Work to hoist capsized ferry Sewol could begin in September, said South Korea’s Ministry of Public Safety and Security on 22 April, after a meeting with relevant government agencies.
The ministry was formed in November 2014 to take over the work of the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries and Korea Coast Guard, which came under fire for the botched rescue efforts.
Sewol capsized during a routine Incheon-Jeju trip on 16 April last year, leaving 304 of the 476 passengers and crew dead or missing.
The overloaded vessel was found to be structurally unstable and capsized after making a sudden and sharp turn.
Sewol remains submerged in the Maenggol Channel in the Yellow Sea. That area is notorious for strong and unpredictable tidal currents, and the potential risks to divers and salvors are among the challenges in the salvage work. Two civilian divers died during the search-and-rescue efforts last year.
Nine victims remain missing and their families are pressing for prompt salvage of the ferry in hope of recovering their bodies.