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    Posted April 17, 2014 by
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    The tragedy, told from a South Korean

    I was in school when I first heard about the tragedy. My friend said conversationally- I heard a ship going to Jeju for a class trip sunk, but the news said they were all safely rescued in time. They're all our age, isn't that scary?

    And that's what we all believed for a few hours. The news told positive stories about how it was an accident, but no one was hurt.

    Then, the numbers began to change. A hundred or so missing passengers. Then two hundred.

    On kakostory, a popular Korean social networking site, stories from the 70 or so rescued highschool students- not even a third of the nearly 350 students that were on board- started being uploaded. The list of the rescued students were shown. In class 10, only one girl made it out alive.

    I don't know what to believe, because the ship is still underwater and nothing's sure, but the students say that on floors 1 and 2, most students were killed instantly as water flooded the floors in seconds. Only a few students from that floor, ones with exceptional athletic skills, could climb up the rails and to the third and fourth floors.

    On facebook, a girl uploads a text message. It says that so many people are dead, that the captain is telling them to stay put.

    And the thing is, the captain was found to be the one to escape the boat first. Telling the rest of the passengers to stay put, he put on a life jacket (it is also said that there weren't even enough life jackets on board) and escaped while students on the 1st and 2nd floors did what they were told, staying put where they were. The ones that survived now are the ones who didn't listen and jumped off board.

    More details are becoming uncovered- and most of them make me think that this accident really could have been avoided if the CAPTAIN WAS JUST A LITTLE BIT MORE CAUTIOUS.

    It was a very foggy day yesterday. It was the sort of weather where ships usually don't leave the port.

    The course the captain chose to take was a dangerous one; he went in between islands, and it was a clear stray in course. The ship was already twenty years old when the captain bought it from Japanese sellers.

    The captain wasn't even the real captain of Sewol; he was filling in for the original captain, who was said to be taking a vacation.

    Today and the day before, our channel has been set on the news 24/7. We're waiting for good news. We're waiting for a miracle, because to be honest that's probably the only thing that we can hope for now. I feel so bad for all the students that died, and I feel bad for all the students that lived. To be survivors in a tragedy that took the lives of most of your classmates isn't something that you can shake off. A student said that they could hear the students on the first and second floors screaming that they wanted to live.

    This tragedy was even more shocking for me because of the fact that they are my age. An annual 3-day class trip to Jeju Island is pretty common in Korea, and I went on one myself a few years back. I was on a boat back then, too.

    Strict safety measures have to be implemented. An accident isn't something that anyone can predict. It can happen to anyone, any time and the only way that the damage can be lessened is if everyone starts taking safety protocols seriously.

    What happened yesterday could have happened to anyone.

    To be honest, after 40 hours underwater- I'm not sure how many people are still alive in Sewol. I hope that we'll be able to save at least a few more people.

    For all the second year students of Ansan Danwon High School, I still pray.

    (photo copyright to news.naver.com)
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