Death toll continues to soar without any survivorsUpdated: 2014-04-23 PM 3:54:01 (KST)
We begin at Paengmok-hang harbor, the closest area from where the accident took place.
Our Ji Myung-kil is standing by at the site.
Myung-kil what's the latest on the situation there?
The death toll is rising fast and currently stands at 150. Divers are searching the third and fourth floors of the vessel where many passengers were believed to have been at the time the ferry sank.
Divers are having a tough time fighting against the strong currents and the low visibility in the water.
They are still limited to 20 minutes under the water.
More than 150 people remain unaccounted for and are presumably trapped inside the sunken ferry.
Of that total, nearly 90 percent are students from Danwon High School.
More than 200 rescue ships, 34 aircraft, and 550 divers are continuing their rescue operations.
Temporary funeral parlors were set up at the Paengmok-hang harbor today to provide funeral services to the families who lost their loved ones.
How are the families handling this impossibly difficult situation?
It is another day of endless waiting for the bereaved families who are, as you would imagine, in total despair.
I got a chance to talk to a father whose son was on the Sewol-ho.
He said that when he first received the news, he was assured by Danwon High School that his son was alive.
He remains one of the missing.
"My son was very gentle. He was a quiet boy and never disobeyed us. He would listen to all the things we would say to him as parents. He was very diligent and thoughtful."
"My son, I feel really sorry for the things I wasn't able to give you although sometimes I scolded you. That was because I loved you so much. I love you Jung-min . It's heart-breaking to think of the horror you must have gone through"
The father said he wanted the sunken vessel to be lifted to the surface as soon as possible so that he could see his 18-year-old son for one last time.
This was Ji Myung-kil, reporting live from Paengmok-hang harbor.
Reporter : firstname.lastname@example.org
Lord, we pray for those who affected by the ferry disaster tragedies in South Korea,
remember those who have lost their lives so suddenly. We hold in our hearts the families forever changed by grief and loss. Bring them consolation and comfort. Surround them with our prayers for strength. Bless those who have survived and heal their memories of trauma. May they have the courage to face the days ahead.
Help us to respond with generosity in prayer, in assistance, and in comfort to the best of our abilities. Keep our hearts focused on the needs of all the community. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.