South Korea Ferry Disaster

South Korea Ferry Survivor: Rushing Water Trapped Passengers

Many passengers aboard the sunken South Korea ferry were trapped inside by rushing water when the vessel tilted, one of the tearful survivors said Wednesday.

Kim Seong-mok told YTN television that he heard the vessel crash into something.

He said the ferry operator made an announcement asking passengers to not move from their places. Kim said he didn't hear any announcement telling passengers to escape.

Kim said he was "certain" that many people were trapped inside the ferry as water quickly rushed in and the severe tilt of the vessel kept them from reaching the exits. Some people urged those who couldn't get out to break windows.

Image: Rescued passengers cry at a gym
Rescued passengers cry at a gym on South Korea's Jindo island on Wednesday. KIM HONG-JI / Reuters

Student Lim Hyung-min said he leapt into the ocean and then swam to a nearby rescue boat.

"As the ferry was shaking and tilting, we all tripped and bumped into each another," Lim told YTN. Once he jumped overboard, the ocean "was so cold. ... I was hurrying, thinking that I wanted to live."


Lim was among 325 students and 15 teachers from a high school in Ansan city near Seoul aboard the ship. They were on their way to Jeju island for a four-day trip.

Image: The mother of a passenger aboard the ferry finds her son's name on list of survivors
The mother of a passenger who was aboard the sinking ferry reacts as she finds her son's name on a list of survivors. KIM HONG-JI / Reuters

Park Ji-hee, a first-year student, said she saw about a dozen parents crying at the school's entrance on Wednesday morning.

She said some students in her classroom began to cry as they saw the news on their cellphones.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.