Video recorder found on sunken ferry boat

June 24, 2014

By Kim Da-ye

A video recorder found on the third floor of the Sewol. (Yonhap)

A video recorder found on the third floor of the Sewol. (Yonhap)

A digital video recorder that is believed to contain recordings from surveillance cameras on the sunken ferry Sewol was found Sunday, the joint rescue team said Tuesday.

The recorder was found at the information desk on the ferry’s third deck.

If the device is restored and proved to store footage showing the final moments of the ferry’s sinking, the recordings can be the key evidence for the ongoing trials of the 15 crewmembers of the Sewol who abandoned the vessel and left passengers to drown.

The committee of the victims’ families requested Tuesday that the Mokpo division of the Gwangju District Court preserve the recorder as evidence.

“We believe the restored and analyzed recordings will be the most important evidence to help find out how the Sewol sank, how the crewmembers evacuated and how the Coast Guard failed in their rescue efforts,” said the committee in a press conference.

The families demanded the procedure of restoring and analyzing the recorder be done with “objectivity and fairness.”

The committee said that preventing corrosion of the hard drive will be done by the forensic team of the Korean Bar Association under the prosecution’s command in the presence of the family members, the government’s Sewol task force and the prosecution-police investigation team.

The rescue team said 64 surveillance cameras were installed throughout the vessel including the bridge, engine room, major hallways and cafeteria.

A laptop was also found near the information desk.

Early Tuesday morning, the divers recovered a body from a hallway on the fourth deck more than two weeks after the last corpse was found on June 8.

The victim is assumed to be a female student from Danwon High School. She was not wearing a safety jacket.

Eleven passengers are still missing while 293 are confirmed dead.