【People】 South Korea ferry disaster: Heroes of the Sewol

Tales of young crew members helping passengers escape the doomed Sewol ferry are emerging in the aftermath of its sinking off South Korea last week as the death toll climbs and funerals are held for victims whose bodies have already been recovered

Praise has poured in for three crew members who sacrificed their lives trying to help passengers to safety while the Sewol ferry sunk last Wednesday off the coast of South Korea.

Park Ji-young, a 22-year-old part-time ferry employee, reportedly helped passengers escape and tended to the injured. Survivors said that she refused to leave the ship while there were still passengers to be rescued.

“She was so responsible and so kind,” Park’s grandmother Choi Sun Dok told CNN at a funeral home in the city of Incheon, near the capital Seoul. Floral tributes have been sent from all over the country. One read “We will not forget your noble spirit.”

At another funeral home in Incheon, a Sewol survivor recounted the bravery of crew member Kim Ki-woong, 28, and his fiancée, Jeong Hyun-seon, 27, who also worked on the ferry. As the ship was sinking, they were yelling to passengers to get out. “Then, the couple went back to the cabins to save other passengers, and they never came back,” he said, according to Korea Times.

Over 31,000 people have signed an online petition calling for compensation for their families and for the three to be buried at the national cemetery.

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