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article imageSouth Korea hopes 'air pockets' keeping some in sunken ship alive

By Marcus Hondro     Apr 18, 2014 in World
It may not be much to hope for but officials leading the efforts to rescue missing ferry passengers, most of them high-school students, are hoping "air pockets" in the sunken ship are keeping some alive. As many as 268 are still missing.
The Sewol was sailing from Incheon to the island of Jeju Wednesday morning when it listed over in fog and around noon all but a chunk of the hull had sunk; by Friday morning the hull went under. Reports say 28 are confirmed dead and 179 have been rescued, some plucked off of the ship before it went down, others plucked from the ocean after flinging themselves into the water to avoid going down with the ship.
Rescues efforts have not abated since the ship sunk and officials insist it may be possible to remain alive in "air pockets" for 72 hours, possibly more. In an effort to keep alive any who may be in the sunken ship in an air pocket, oxygen has been pumped into the ship. One official said they are considering using a floating dock to raise the ship, though no details were given. The ship is about 35 metres below the surface.
While the prospects of finding anyone alive are dim there is is precedence, including, on a smaller scale, the story of a Nigerian man, Harrison O'kene, rescued after surviving over 60 hours in an air pocket in a sunken tugboat. His 11 shipmates drowned when the ship sank and Mr. O'kene expected to join them. However, the ship's cook was rescued by a diver sent down to recover bodies.
Divers continue to search the Sewol in hopes of finding people alive down there. They are battling high waves and strong winds.
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