The Ministry of Ocean and Fisheries released a transcript of the conversation between the ferry and center that monitors vessel traffic.
After alerting the center that the ferry was rolling, the Sewol stated that "the body of the ship is tilted to the left. Containers fell over, too."The control center then asked if people were hurt. Impossible to confirm because it was impossible to move, the ferry responded.
The center told the ferry crew to get people ready for evacuation, and the ferry once again described how hard it was for people to move.Adding to the pain for families, police said texts and social media messages claiming to be from missing passengers turned out to be fake.
Media outlets, including CNN, shared the texts with a wide audience."We will investigate people sending out these messages," said Lee Sung Yoon, head of the combined police and prosecution team.He said authorities will go after those behind the hoaxes and will "punish them severely."
The complete conversation
Following is the transcript released by the Ministry of Ocean and Fisheries of the conversation between Jeju Vessel Traffic Services Center (VTS) on Jeju Island and The Sewol, the ferry that sank on Wednesday. The original transcript is in Korean and the translation was done by The Associated Press. It starts off from the first distress call made by the ferry :
Radio conversation on VHF (very high frequency) Channel 12
Sewol : Harbor affairs Jeju, do you have reception of The Sewol ?
Jeju VTS : Yes, Sewol, this is Harbor affairs Jeju
Sewol : Please notify the coast guard. Our ship is in danger. It’s listing right now.
Jeju VTS : Where’s your ship ? Yes, got it. We will notify the coast guard.
Sewol : The ship has listed a lot. Can’t move. Please come quickly.
Sewol : We’re next to Byeongpung Island.
Jeju VTS : Yes, we got it.