Three deceased ferry crew members honored

May 12, 2014
Park Ji-young (From left), Jeong Hyun-seon, Kim Gi-woong. (Yonhap)

Park Ji-young, Jeong Hyun-seon, Kim Gi-woong. (Yonhap)

By Kim Da-ye

Three deceased crew members of the sunken ferry Sewol will be honored for their heroic act in saving passengers, the welfare ministry said Monday.

Accordingly, their remains will likely be buried in a national cemetery and the family members will be entitled to government compensation and other benefits.

One of the crew members is Park Ji-young, a 22-year-old attendant and non-regular employee of Chonghaejin Marine. She died while trying to evacuate passengers from the vessel that capsized on April 16 off the southwest coast. She distributed life jackets and helped passengers get on rescue boats.

According to a saved Danwon High School student, when passengers ran out of life jackets, Park gave a student hers. When the student asked Park what she would do without a life jacket, Park said, “Don’t worry. I will get out after rescuing you guys.” The passenger reportedly told the welfare ministry that she survived because of Park.

Kim Gi-woong, a 28-year-old part-timer, and Jeong Hyun-seon, a 29-year-old crew member, also died whilst helping passengers evacuate and returned inside the vessel to save the remaining passengers.

The welfare ministry said that it will review if Lee Gwang-wook, a privately hired diver, who died on May 6 while recovering bodies from the capsized ferry, can receive the same benefits as them.

The municipal government of Namyangju applied for the recognition, and the welfare ministry said it has requested for additional documents to enable it conduct a review.

“The committee will hold the next meeting as soon as Namyangju submit the requested documents and other municipal government hand in applications in relation to the Sewol accident,” the ministry said in a statement.

For families of those to be honored, the ministry will confer a certificate of honor and offer compensation of up to 202.91 million won ($197,840). Their bodies will be buried at the national cemetery.

The deceased’s spouses, parents, children and siblings will have their medical expenses covered and will be given preferential consideration in job recruitments. The government will also pay the children’s tuitions until they finish high school.

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