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First Anniversary of Sewol Ferry Accident

Photographer: Jeon Heon-Kyun


The Sewol ferry was carrying 476 people on board when the ship sank on 16 April 2014 between the city of Incheon and the island of Jeju. Most of the passengers were teenagers on a school trip. Officially 295 people died. Nine people were declared missing : Huh Da-Yun, Cho Eun-Hwa, Park Yeong-In, Nam Hyun-Cheol, Yang Seun-Jin, Koh Chang-Seok, Lee Young-Sook, Kwon Jae-Geun and his son Kwon Hyeok-Gyu.


Some 12 months after, the parents of the two Danwon High School students, their teenage daughters Cho Eun-Hwa and Huh Da-Yun, who went missing in the Sewol ferry disaster, demonstrate every day in Seoul over government plans to salvage the sunken ship. Huh Da-Yun's father, Huh Heung-Hwan lost his job after too long a period of absence. Her mother suffers neurofibroma, a nervous system disorder, and deafness in one ear due to the shock. They constantly think about their daughter trapped in the dark waters. Cho Eun-Hwa's father, Cho Nam-Sung also lost his job after a one-year-long unpaid leave. These parents whose life is devastated continue claiming for their children to be pulled from the wreck in order to become 'bereaved families'.


In November 2014, the ferry's Captain Lee Jun-Seok was sentenced to 36 years in prison for gross negligence and dereliction of duty. The South Korean Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries announced on 08 April 2015 that the raising of the Sewol ferry would cost about 110 million US dollars.