Strong Currents Make Raising Sewol Ferry a Challenge

D-Bo , Aug. 20, 2015, 6:44 a.m.

Chinese divers on Wednesday began the process of raising the ferry that sank off the southwest coast in April last year. The salvage operation started 281 days after the end of search and rescue operations, with nine passengers still officially missing.

One diver working for China's Shanghai Salvage went underwater to check the sunken ship off Jindo, South Jeolla Province on Wednesday afternoon, but ended the dive only 10 minutes after due to rapid currents. The diver said visibility was poor. Some 96 divers will engage in underwater operations in teams of four once the currents ease. 

They will spend around 10 days surveying the area surrounding the vessel to make a detailed survey of each section of the vessel. The company will also deploy remotely-operated vehicles to survey the lower section of the vessel but will not enter the wreck to look for bodies. An official at the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries said, "The objective is to salvage the vessel, so there are no plans to enter it." 

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