Speaking to Arirang News, Kim Petersen, president of Security Dynamics LLC and governor emeritus of the Maritime Security Council, compared South Korea’s ferry disaster to the Costa Concordia rescue. “Looking back on Costa Concordia where you had a very similar situation with the vessel that sank and listed on its side, that was a much simpler rescue operation, particularly as it was in shallow water,” says Petersen.
Over 200 divers are now working on the rescue. They have entered the vessel but it is not known where any survivors might be.
“When you look at the operational environment that the divers are working in, you have two and a half to five knot currents. You have heavy silt in the water which is causing visibility from between zero and five feet. We also have cold water at some 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit) which creates a hypothermic risk for anyone that is exposed to the water.”
The Sewol, carrying 476 passengers and crew, capsized on Wednesday on a journey from the port of Incheon to the southern holiday island of Jeju. Hopes are fading for finding any of the 274 missing alive.
More news coverage of the situation can be seen here.