I learned about the sinking of the Korean ferry “Sewol” when I checked Daum.net in the subway on my way to Bucheon. I was accompanying a visiting high school friend from the Philippines. There were conflicting reports about the number of passengers and those who survived. It was only at 9 o’clock last night when the shipping company confirmed the number of people who boarded the ship at 475 people.
As of 1:30 PM, April 17, the number of survivors is 179 while the rescuers are still looking for the 287 people who are unaccounted. Nine people have died and three of them are high school students.
Among the survivors is the 69-year old captain of the ship. He has been receiving a lot of criticisms for saving himself. Many said that at his age, he should not have saved himself first while many high school students were in the sinking ship. According to the news, the captain of the ship is supposed to abandon the ship only after evacuating all the passengers.
On the other hand, the netizens are mourning the death of Park Ji Young. She is a stewardess of the ship. According to reports, she handled life jackets to the students on the third and fourth floors of the ship. A student said that when she asked why she isn’t wearing a life jacket, Ms. Park said that the crew are the last ones and to save themselves first as she is going to follow later.
Another hero is Jung Cha Woong was a 17-year old student who took off his own life jacket and gave it to his friend. He was a 3rd level “gumdo” athlete.
In South Korea, many families have only one or two kids but it doesn’t really matter how many children are in a family. Losing a child is one thing that parents should never go through.
Park Ji Young and Jung Cha Woong are the Korean ferry heroes who will not be forgotten by the people they helped to live.