After almost 4 years of desperate search efforts, the families of 5 undiscovered victims of the Sewol Ferry Tragedy have agreed to end the search efforts.
The Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries’ representatives spoke to the families about the difficulties of taking apart the hull of the ferry, and the unlikeliness of finding bodies within it.
“It’s difficult to manually search inside the control room.
It would take a long time and it’s unlikely that the search would result in further discoveries.”
— Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries
It’s been reported that the families agreed with the Ministry, citing the financial and emotional toll it would take.
“It seems unlikely that the search will find undiscovered bodies, and underwater searches will be difficult since it’ll be winter soon.
If we keep going, it will go into next year and we’d feel unable to look at the nation in the eye.”
— The families of undiscovered victims
Kwon Oh Bok, who lost a sibling and a sister-in-law, stated that she would feel selfish if she insisted that the search continue.
“It’s already cost a lot of tax money and I think to ask that continuing the search would be selfish.
I think to stopping the search now is my duty.”
— Kwon Oh Bok
The 5 families believe that the bodies are in the sea and will hold a collective memorial service at Mokpo New Port on November 18.
While it must have been difficult for the families to decide to stop the search despite their ongoing emotional turmoil, maybe now everyone can begin to move on and heal.