No survivors found, death toll continues to riseUpdated: 2014-04-24 07:58:28 (KST)
Divers are stepping up their search of the capsized ferry on this Thursday as hope has all but vanished that isolated pockets of air might be able to support any of the one-hundred-43 passengers still unaccounted for.
Let's go over to Ji Myung-kil who is standing by at Paengmok-hang harbor, the nearest port from the accident site.
Fill us in the latest.
Good morning, Mark, it's sad to say but the death toll is rising and currently stands at 159.
Realizing now that it would be the miracle of all miracles to find any survivors now, the families of the missing have began discussing funeral arrangements for their loved one and have vowed to stay until everyone has been recovered.
Some families were worried that once families find their loved ones they'll leave the scene.
Many families are coming back and forth, checking the missing list trying to match the descriptions with their loved ones.
A temporary funeral parlor capable of handling some 180 bodies is currently providing funeral services.
As for the search-and-rescue operations I believe divers are entering a new phase in the search?
Yes, that's correct. Today's rescue operations will include the largest number of personnel yet they have been focusing their search on the third and fourth floors of the vessel but no air pockets have been found.
Divers are focusing their search on the center of the fourth floor where the cabins are where most of the missing are believed to have been trapped.
More than 200 rescue ships, 34 aircraft and over 500 divers are conducting the search-and-rescue operations.
Underwater drone vehicles have not yielded many results as they struggled to work in the dark, murky waters and amid the strong currents.
But it seems like there are still messages of hope and support there on site.
Yes, behind me are yellow ribbons praying for the safe return of the missing passengers.
It's been over a week since the tragedy, and messages of support for those still missing in the sunken ship were sent to Paengmok-hang Harbor from across the nation as well.
The messages said "We love you all" and that "miracles will happen."
This has been Ji Myung-kil reporting from Paengmok-hang Harbor.
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