Ferry captain, 2 crew members arrested

April 18, 2014
Captain Lee Joon Seok is being taken into custody. (Yonhap)

Captain Lee Joon Seok is being taken into custody. (Yonhap)

The captain of the ferry Sewol was charged with five violations Saturday.

Korean media reported that Lee Jun-suk, 69, is in custody and has been charged with violating maritime law, negligence, causing bodily injury, boat abandonment and not seeking rescue.

Lee has become the first person to be charged with violation of “seamen’s law.” He faces five years or more in prison if convicted.

The clause in the law regarding the violation, which has been in effect since July 30 of last year, states that “If the subject flees after causing the death of a victim, or if the victim dies after the subject flees, the violation will result in at least five years imprisonment.”

When the clause was implemented, it was meant to prevent accidents related to ship captains and crew members in cases of large incidents.

“There is a need to impose strict action upon the captain and the crew members who did not call for help and who left the boat first,” said Attorney General Kim Jin-tae. “It’s a great crime that cannot be overlooked.”

The other two crew members who were taken in are also facing charges, Yonhap reported.