Rescue & recovery efforts in South Korean waters - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Rescue & recovery efforts in South Korean waters

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(CBS 8) - Hundreds of family members are hoping to find out the fate of missing loved ones lost at sea.

A total of nine people are confirmed dead and nearly 300 hundred are still missing after the ferry went down off the coast of South Korea.

Rescue and recovery crews are battling frigid waters and difficult conditions, trying to find those missing and help from the United States is on the way.

The USS Bonhomme Richard, once docked in San Diego, is now helping along the coast of South Korea. A crew members says an immediate evacuation order was not issued most likely because the boat was being stabilized.

Among the survivors is a six-year-old girl who was plucked from the ferry and is now recovering in the hospital. Many onboard the capsized ferry were teenagers on a class trip.

It was going to a tourist island off the coast of South Korea. The captain's first orders were to put on life jackets, then after 30 minutes he called for an evacuation. But crew members say they weren't sure if the message was relayed to passengers through the PA system.

The ferry started to tilt to one side and it prevented passengers from emergency exits. Then, they were told not to move.

The captain sent a distress call and two hours later rescue workers pulled passengers from the cold waters.

In San Diego, many Koreans and those in the Asian-American community are praying for the victims:

"There are more and more people found dead now and still a lot of people lost. What we can all hope for is that they do get found and explain the situation. What's actually happening," said Juell Chong.

Coast Guard officials are interviewing the captain and crew to find out how this happened and why the ferry sank and if they followed emergency procedures correctly.

In San Diego, the Asian-American community is praying and hoping they can help with financial donations.

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