South Korea Forms Body to Choose Sewol Ferry Salvor
08 May 2015: The government of South Korea has formed an official body which will choose a salvage company to raise the Sewol ferry that sank off the Jindo Island in April 2014 killing 300 people, 250 of whom were high school students on a school trip.
The body will comprise of 16 members from the country’s Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, Ministry of Public Safety and Security, Navy, as well as from Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology, Korea Public Procurement Service, and Korea Marine Environment Management Corporation.
The Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries said that the salvage company, once chosen, will use crane vessels and a floating dock to raise the ferry which sank in 44 meters of water.
The ministry expects that once the salvage company is chosen, it will need around three months for preparatory works, suggesting that the salvage operation could start by September at the earliest.
The ministry said the salvage could last for about one year and cost around USD 139 million.
South Korea launched the Sewol ferry salvage campaign following a series of protests across the country, culminating last month when protesters and family members of victims prevented the government officials from attending a memorial ceremony to mark the first anniversary of the tragedy.