Acts of bravery emerge from pilloried ship crew

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Associated Press

Posted on April 22, 2014 at 8:03 AM

Updated Tuesday, Apr 22 at 8:03 AM

MOKPO, South Korea (AP) — Although nine of the surviving crew members from the sunken South Korean ferry have been arrested or detained, there are also accounts of heroism from the crew as the ship listed and began to sink.

At least seven of the 29 crew members are missing or dead. Several of those who survived stayed on or near the ship to help passengers.

But others, including the captain, fled the ship. And they're being labeled "cowards" on social media, while South Korea's president says their actions were "murderous" and "unforgivable."

As for those crew members who stayed behind, some gave their lifejackets to passengers. A surviving passenger says there weren't enough lifejackets for everyone in the area of the third floor where he and others waited. He says four crew members didn't wear any, so that all of the passengers could have one.

One crew member refused to leave until she shepherded students off the ship. She was later found dead -- without a lifejacket.

The wife of a missing crew member says the last words she heard from her husband in a cell phone call were, "I'm on my way to save the kids." He was referring to the 323 high school students on the ferry.

One man says he and four other crew members worked from nearby boats to smash windows on the sinking ferry, dragging six passengers to safety.

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APPHOTO SEL118: Searchers and divers look for people believed to have been trapped in the sunken ferry Sewol in the water off the southern coast near Jindo, south of Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, April 22, 2014. One by one, coast guard officers carried the newly arrived bodies covered in white sheets from a boat to a tent on the dock of this island, the first step in identifying a sharply rising number of corpses from the South Korean ferry that sank nearly a week ago. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon) (22 Apr 2014)

<<APPHOTO SEL118 (04/22/14)££

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