Video Clips Show Sinking Navy Ship

      March 31, 2010 08:44

      Military authorities on Tuesday revealed video footage showing the moment the Navy corvette Cheonan sank in the West Sea last Friday. The one-minute-20-second clip was filmed by a marine stationed on nearby Baeknyeong Island using a thermal observation device. This makes it possible to observe objects at night by detecting temperature differences.

      The clip shows the moment the bow of the Cheonan started to sink with the stern already broken off three minutes after an explosion broke the ship in two on March 26 and a naval fleet of high-speed boats approached the sinking ship at 9:56 p.m.

      In the first sequence, the ship lists to the side and is becoming submerged, while in the second the fleet of high-speed boats circles round the Cheonan keeping a safe distance.

      A military officer said, "Hearing the loud noise from the sea, the marine looked around and began filming after he spotted an object on the surface of the water. The distance was less than 2 km."

      Meanwhile, the coast guard on Tuesday made public a 116-minute video filmed by Patrol Boat 501 right after the corvette sank. It begins with footage of a rigid inflatable boat being lowered to the surface by a crane from Patrol Boat 501 at the scene of the sinking and shows coast guard members rescuing sailors.

      The RIB is seen arriving near the sinking ship and coast guard members taking 10 to 12 sailors one by one by the hand and hauling them up. Some of the rescued sailors did not wear life jackets but only thin T-shirts, showing how much they were taken by surprise. Two Navy high-speed boats are seen focusing their searchlights on the sinking ship, two-thirds of which is already under water.

      A high-speed boat (left) approaches the sinking corvette Cheonan in this grab from a night-vision video clip released by the Defense Ministry on Tuesday. /Courtesy of the Korean Navy
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