Teenager Who Made 1st Distress Call from Ferry Found Dead

Teachers hug students at Danwon High School in Ansan, Gyeonggi Province where most of the ferry disaster victims came from, as classes resume on Thursday. Teachers hug students at Danwon High School in Ansan, Gyeonggi Province where most of the ferry disaster victims came from, as classes resume on Thursday.

The Danwon High School student who was the first to report that the ferry Sewol was sinking last week has been found dead.

The body of the 17-year-old identified only by his surname Choi was handed over to his parents on Wednesday. He was the 141st victim of the disaster to be found dead.

Choi dialed 119 emergency services at 8:52 a.m. on the fateful morning to report that the vessel appeared to be in trouble. After being automatically connected to emergency services in South Jeolla Province, his distress call was relayed to the Korea Coast Guard.

But a Coast Guard official wasted valuable time by asking the student to provide the "exact coordinates" of the vessel and what type of ship it was.

The Korea Coast Guard in the southwestern port city of Mokpo finally pinpointed the Sewol's location at 8:56 and alerted rescue helicopters and ships.

It was later revealed that Choi made his distress call 15 minutes earlier than the crew of the Sewol.

englishnews@chosun.com / Apr. 25, 2014 09:38 KST