Remote-Controlled Vehicles to Join Ferry Search

Rescue workers are considering a change of approach in the search for the last missing victims of the April 16 ferry disaster.

Until now, the search has been carried out by divers working in increasingly difficult conditions in troubled waters as the hull of the ferry Sewol becomes more and more unstable. Now the authorities are thinking of introducing remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) underwater to search the inside of the ferry and deploy divers only when the ROV finds a body.

As the search drags on, there is shortage of divers, and the authorities are wary of any more divers losing their lives.

The divers have searched all 111 compartments of the ferry, so now the authorities want to minimize deployment of divers. "Two divers have already lost their lives in the search efforts, and we feel the need to reduce the risks for divers," an official said.

An advisory panel of senior divers and experts recommended use of small cameras or ROVs.

As the high seas watch is lifted in the sea off Jindo, some 100 search boats including two large barges that evacuated the site on Sunday will return to the site and resume the underwater search on Wednesday afternoon at the earliest.

englishnews@chosun.com / Jun. 04, 2014 12:29 KST