I would like to express my deepest sympathies to the families and loved ones of the 33 confirmed dead and the 174 still missing in the tragic incident on the MV Sewol off the island of Byungpoong South Korea on the 16 April 2014. My best wishes also go out to the many injured in the incident and the traumatised families of the dead and missing who must be overwhelmed with grief and anxiety. The loss of so many innocent people, mainly school aged children is a terrible tragedy which is felt not only by the families of those involved, but all the people of South Korea and the world. Thanks and praise should be heaped on the South Korean rescue workers who continue to search for survivors in extremely difficult conditions. Praise and admiration must also go out to the divers who are still putting themselves in harm’s way, as they attempt to search the flooded interior of the overturned vessel in the hope of finding survivors. Thanks should also go out to all those on land who are providing comfort and support to the survivors and the families of the bereaved and missing.
As in most disasters of this type, so soon after the incident, information concerning the nature of this incident is far too sketchy to draw any firm conclusions. Indeed, at the time of writing there are more questions than answers. Hopefully the inquiry into this incident will reveal what happened and why it happened. It is hoped that from this tragic incident lessons will be learned that will lead to the improved safety of those who take to the sea.