'Deeply ashamed' S. Korean ferry captain first one to abandon ship
The captain of the South Korean ferry that capsized with 475 passengers on board was one of the first people to escape the doomed vessel, Coast Guard officials said.
An investigator said that the captain may have been off the bridge, and the person at the helm at the time was the third officer.
He added that the captain was not in command when the accident took place.
According to Sky News, it has also been revealed that the captain, Lee Joon-seok, 68, delayed evacuation for half an hour after the distress signal was sent.
Oh Yong-seok, a helmsman on the ferry with 10 years of shipping experience, said that for about half and hour after passengers were told to stay where they were, Lee finally gave the order to abandon the ship.
By the time the order was given, it was impossible for the crew to move to passengers' rooms to help them because the ship was tilted at an impossibly acute angle, he said.
After the tragedy, Lee made a brief, videotaped appearance, although his face was hidden by a gray hoodie, and apologized for his mistake and added that he was deeply ashamed with his actions, the report added.
(Posted on 18-04-2014)