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First time for third mate to steer through waters notorious for strong currents

19m ago
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And the investigation team is still trying to determine the exact cause of the sinking. For more, we go back to our Laah Hyun-kyung at the News Center. Hyun-kyung, fill us in. The latest from the official investigation team is that the ferry's third mate,... surnamed Park,... who was steering the ferry when it sank... had never before steered a vessel through those waters. This particular point in the route from Jindo to Jeju Island, where the ferry sank,... is notorious here in Korea for its very strong currents. The third-mate in her twenties reportedly has been working for the ferry operator Cheong Haejin Marine for only four months... and it was the first time she had steered the ferry through these waters. There are also speculation that the reason why such an inexperienced crew member was at the helm of the ship is because of the delay in the ship's departure time. Some reports suggest that the marine company, which was suffering from financial difficulties, might have pushed the ferry to operate despite bad weather conditions. The reports say the Sewol-ho ferry was the only one that operated that day in thick fog. And Hyun-kyung, the captain of the ship is now behind bars-- Criticism against the captain Lee Joon-seok is mounting... Yes, and some say he deserves the brunt of the criticism. The reason being, he was one of the first groups of people to have escaped the sinking ferry. Captain Lee, the third-mate and another crew member in his fifties are in custody now and have been formally charged. Lee, who is under scrutiny for abandoning his passengers, is charged with five violations including charges of negligence. [ ] But earlier this morning... after his questioning session, he told reporters that he did order the passengers to evacuate as the ship was sinking... and that he DID fulfill his duty as the captain. Take a listen: : " ?" [ : "Did you give out evacuation orders?"] : " ." [ : "Yes."] : " ?" [ : "You told the passengers to evacuate?"] : " " [ : "Yes."] " ." [ : "It's not that I wasn't there -- I gave out clear orders for the ship's course, before I had to briefly go to my room. The accident had happened by the time I came back."] The captain is implying that it was NOT his fault that the ship capsized,... because the third-mate was steering the vessel when the ferry sank. Hyun-kyung, and I believe additional crew members were summoned earlier in the day as well for further questioning. That's right. The joint investigation team summoned a total of seven additional crew members in for questioning... in the afternoon. The first round of their questioning sessions have ended but no official results have come out as of yet. Prior to those sessions,... an investigation official was quoted as saying... based up on the investiation results... they will decide whether any of them neglected their duties... and are formally responsible for the sinking. Okay... thanks Hyun-kyung. Please do keep us updated. Title: Ferry operator of sunken ship has patchy safety record And it turns out that the operator of the tragic Sewol-ho ferry... Chonghaejin Marine Company has a horrible safety record. Files show that the company had accidents stemming from engine trouble or collisions on a regular basis every two to three years. Its most recent accident involved a collision of its passenger ship and a fishing boat about three weeks ago during thick fog conditions. In that case... all 1-hundred-41 passengers escaped injury or death. Records also show the company failing to properly communicate to passengers and accept responsibility for mechanical failures.