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Tragedy in South Korea: Ferry Filled With Students Capsizes

Photograph by NBC

Tragic news came out of South Korea yesterday as hundreds of parents and family members were notified that a ferry headed for a popular tourist destination in the country capsized. On it were more than 400 passengers, with over half of them being students from the same high school.

The ship was carrying nearly 500 passengers, 325 of which were students. Today, around 270 are still missing and nine have been reported dead. While the cool temperatures in the water are not promising, there is a possible silver lining: Officials say that because the ship capsized so quickly, there's a possibility that there are still survivors breathing from air pockets inside. Now, cranes are attempting to lift the ship from the water.

Students who were rescued reported that they felt a sudden lurch in the early morning and then the ship started rocking back and forth, and water began to come in. Everyone was told to stay put. Panic hit and people began scrambling to get out. Texts to parents were sent and have since gone viral, "Mom, this might be my last chance to tell you I love you," the L.A. Times reported. "Mom, in case I don't get a chance to speak to you, I love you," another one read, NBC News quoted.

More news reports say that the captain was one of the first to jump ship and, subsequently, one of the first rescued. Why did he get out when others were being told to remain where they were? What happened? Why weren't the ship's life vessels deployed? Investigators are questioning the captain, who is facing a criminal investigation, according to Reuters.

Meanwhile, parents wait for any kind of good news.

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