Captain in underwear captured jumping ship ahead of passengers

Captain Lee Joon-seok of the sunken ferry Sewol was seen sliding out of the ferry Sewol to be rescued ahead of other passengers in video clips released Monday by the Coast Guard.

By the time a rescue boat reached the front side of the ferry, the vessel was tilted about 60 degrees, making it difficult for passengers to get out of the vessel.

The video clips show Coast Guard officers throwing a rope to the steering house. Lee grabs the rope and slides off the tilted vessel, hanging onto the rope.

The 69-year-old captain wasn’t wearing his uniform but a black long sleeve shirt and navy-colored underwear.

As he reached the guardrail of the ship, he cautiously stepped into the rescue boat, holding onto every part of the ship he could grab so that he did not fall into the water.

Next to Lee were 14 lifeboats, which he never bothered to release.

Using the same rope, several crewmembers slid down the tilted hull of the ship from the bridge and climbed onto the rescue boat.

The Coast Guard uploaded dozens of short video clips — together nearly 10 minutes long — taken between 9:28 a.m. to 11:18 a.m. by officers on the rescue boats.

The video clips show how slow and minimal the rescue efforts were in the early stages after the accident when most of the victims could have been saved.

When a rescue boat arrived there, one helicopter was hovering above the ferry. One high-speed rubber boat kept travelling between the listing ferry and a ship, carrying fewer than 10 people each trip.

A handful of people jumped from the ferry into the water, waiting to be saved.

A 15-minute-long recording obtained from the family of a dead Danwon High School student by a television station provided a stark contrast to the clips showing the crewmembers’ cowardly, hasty evacuation. The TV station that obtained the recording released the audio only.

The student began recording in his room on the fourth deck of the vessel at 8:52 a.m. The students in the room weren’t aware for some 10 minutes that the vessel was listing. As the vessel tilted more, students began looking for lifejackets.

“He doesn’t have a lifejacket. He needs one,” said one student.

“Wear mine,” said another.

“What about you?”

“I am going to look for mine.”

Around 9:06 a.m., an announcement was made, “Attention, please, the students and teachers of Danwon High School. Do not move from where you are and wait.”

The students were confused. “Ah, they need to tell us what is going on,” said one student.

“I don’t know what is going on. If they tell us to wear lifejackets, doesn’t that mean the ship is sinking?” said the other boy.

They then started worrying about their teacher, and the recording ended. By Kim Da-ye The korea times

Search in Site