South Korea Lifts Sewol Wreck

The South Korean government managed to lift the wreck of the ferry Sewol in the morning hours of March 23 following overnight salvage operations, according to the country’s Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries.

The hull of the vessel, which sank three years ago with over 300 people on board, was some 6 meters above the sea as of 2 pm local time. The authorities informed that the aim was to lift the wreck 13 meters above sea level by late afternoon.

Salvage workers carried out balancing procedures before two salvage barges started raising the 6,825-ton ship from its resting place some 44 meters below surface.

Yonhap News Agency cited officials as saying that the lifting and transportation of the 146-meter-long vessel to the Port of Mokpo is expected to take eight days, with an additional four days needed to move the ship onto a dry dock.

The ferry sank off Jindo Island on April 16, 2014, killing 304 people, 250 of which were high school students on a school trip.

The salvage project, conducted by a Chinese consortium led by Shanghai Salvage, started in June 2016. However, bad weather and technical problems postponed the project several times.

Last year, MOF said the ship would not be cut but hoisted in one piece in order to keep any remains of the still missing people inside the wreck.

The cost of the operation to recover the ferry was estimated at around USD 72 million.

World Maritime News Staff

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