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Experienced Captain Says South Korean Ferry Should Have Evacuated04:54

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Rescue workers are battling bad weather to pump oxygen into the capsized ferry off the coast of South Korea, in the hopes of keeping any survivors alive.

Anguished relatives are growing increasingly frustrated. The ferry's captain Lee Joon-seok apologized today, but there are mounting questions about his decisions.

There are reports he did not issue an evacuation order when the ship started listing, but instead his first instructions asked passengers to put on life jackets but stay put as officers were trying to stabilize the listing ship.

Nine people are confirmed dead. At least 179 have been rescued, but 287 are still missing.

Captain James Staples, a maritime consultant with 20 years of command experience, discusses the safety protocols for ships, both before and during an emergency, with Here & Now's Robin Young.


  • James Staples, ship captain and Master Mariner in the U.S. Merchant Marine. He's a principal at OceanRiver LLC, a maritime consulting and security company.

This segment aired on April 17, 2014.

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