Photos That Show Little Hope For 287 Missing Ferry Passengers

Sameera Ehteram
With very little chance of finding survivors, the search continues for 287 people aboard a ferry which sank off the coast of Jindo, South Korea. Most of them are schoolchildren. Nine of the passengers are confirmed dead, while authorities rescued 179.

It is not an easy time for family members of those missing from the doomed ferry Sewol. They carry on a vigil and cling to hope even as chances of finding any more survivors dwindle to zero.

A coast guard official confirms the fears. "Honestly, I think the chances of finding anyone alive are close to zero."

The most heartbreaking is the fate of hundreds of school-going kids that were travelling with their teachers to the popular island resort of Jeju. The young girl below is one of the few lucky ones who were saved:

No one really knows what caused the ferry to sink, but according to numerous surviving passengers, there was a loud thud before the 6,825-tonne Sewol came to an abrupt halt and started capsizing.

There are also claims that the captain and the crew were ill equipped to deal with the disaster and more lives may have been saved if they were competent.

 "We were told to stay where you are, so we kept staying," a survivor told a reporter. "But later on, the water level came up. So we were beside ourselves. Kids were screaming out of terror, shouting for help."

Police are questioning the boat's captain and maritime police are investigating the safety and rescue conditions aboard the ferry.

The captain doesn’t have much to say.

Below is one of the earliest images that came from the disaster location on Wednesday:

Rescue work continued through the day and night, but there’s little hope for nearly 300 missing passengers.

The Sewol's wreckage lies north of Byeongpung Island, not far from the mainland. Rescuers and divers are still looking for the missing people in frigid waters; but the hope of finding any survivors is slim.