S. Korea to begin work to recover sunken ferry this week

August 18, 2015
Ships from China-based Shanghai Salvage arrive at the sinking site of the Sewol ferry near Jindo Island off South Korea's southwestern tip on Aug. 16, 2015, to prepare for salvaging the submerged ship. (Yonhap)

Ships from China-based Shanghai Salvage arrive at the sinking site of the Sewol ferry near Jindo Island off South Korea’s southwestern tip on Aug. 16, 2015, to prepare for salvaging the submerged ship. (Yonhap)

SEJONG, Aug. 18 (Yonhap) — South Korea will launch its multimillion dollar project this week to recover the Sewol ferry, nearly 10 months after the country stopped searching for the nine people still missing from the tragic sinking.

According to the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, divers from a Chinese consortium will go under water Wednesday to check the current condition of the sunken passenger ship.

The 6,825-ton ferry sank off the country’s west coast on April 16, 2014, killing 304 people.

A consortium led by China’s state-run Shanghai Salvage has been awarded an 85.1 billion-won (US$71.73 million) contract to recover the Sewol intact.

The ministry has said the top priority of the recovery project is to find the remains of the nine people still missing.

Such an objective makes the current condition of the ship an important factor in deciding how it will be pulled out of the water.

The Chinese consortium is expected to close all openings of the ship with nets to prevent any contents of the ship slipping out while the ship is being hoisted.

Also, the consortium said it will use two giant nets that will surround the ship to catch any articles that slip out.

Officials from Shanghai Salvage earlier said the survey of the ship and its surrounding area may take up to two months, with the entire work to recover the ship expected to be completed before the end of June 2016.

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