Though hope is fading that there may be additional survivors in the frigid waters
Search and rescue operations continue this Thursday for the 133 passengers who remain unaccounted for.
Let's go straight to our correspondent Hwang Sung-hee - she has been covering this story for us from Paengmok-hang Harbor - 20 kilometers from the site of the ship capsize.
Sung-hee, it's yet another day chances are ** they'll recover more bodies at this point what can you tell us?
We are now into the ninth day of search-and-rescue operations and not a single survivor has been found since the ferry capsized.
The death toll rose overnight to 169.
Most of the bodies retrieved were students from Danwon High School.
The families of the missing camping out here at the Paengmok-hang Harbor are clinging to a very thin shred of hope but they are growing restless.
More and more families have been coming to the harbor lately with the rise in the death toll as they try to identify with their own eyes their children's bodies.
Many parents are gathered around a list that describes the retrieved bodies.. trying to match the descriptions with their own loved ones.
As for the search-and-rescue operations ** I believe divers entering a new phase in the search?
The rescue team will attempt to enter the center area of the fourth floor cabins at this hour.
This is where most of the Danwon High School students were staying in the ferry and is where many of the missing passengers are believed to be.
Like you said over 1-hundred-30 LIKELY remain missing inside the sunken ship and most of them are high school students.
Today's rescue operations will be conducted with the biggest rescue team yet with more than 700 rescue personnel, 261 rescue boats and 35 aircraft.
The rescue teams have been focusing their search on the third and fourth floors of the vessel, and so far, they said they have not found any air pockets.
This greatly reduces the chances of finding survivors in the sunken ship.
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 on the Sewol-ho ferry.
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 Hwang Sung-hee reporting from Paengmok-hang Harbor.