High School Student’s Body Recovered From Ferry Sewol

kpride, June 25, 2014, 10:02 a.m.

The body of a 17 year old Danwon High School student was recovered from the sunken ferry off the southwest coast on Tuesday.  Identified as Yoon Min ji, she was the first body to be recovered in 16 days as the salvage operation drags on. 

Yoon was found in the corridor of the fourth level without a lifejacket. She was wearing a long-sleeved shirt and jeans. Since she did not carry ID and fingerprint identification was no longer possible after more than two months in the water, her father identified her from her clothes.

Her father wept every time a body was identified by the brand of clothing the victims were wearing, saying he could not afford to buy her label clothes and bought her generic labels instead. This apparently made it more difficult to identify the bodies of students when they were found.

"Other students were wearing label clothes when their bodies were discovered, but I was never able to afford them for my child. This is what pains me the most," he said. 

He asked his daughter if she wanted new clothes for her school trip, but she said no. "She never asked me to buy her expensive clothes. She was a good daughter who didn't want to burden her parents," he said.

The father had been living in a tent at a port near the scene of the tragedy. He boarded a Coast Guard speedboat every day to visit the scene of the accident and silently watched from the barge that was directing recovery operations. 

Her mother also came to the port and waited for news of her daughter, putting up posters of Yoon’s favorite boy band. One volunteer said, "It broke my heart to see her complexion grow darker as she waited."

Yoon's parents cried silently when they returned to their home town of Ansan with their daughter's body.  The funeral is being held at Korea University Hospital in Ansan. There are still 11 passengers missing, with the death toll at 293.

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