“It’s far beyond the stars, It’s near beyond the moon, I know beyond a doubt, My heart will lead me there soon.”
-Bobby Darin, “Beyond the Sea”
“People” is the obvious answer to that questioning headline. With the ocean being so unforgiving lately to Asian cultures, and nearly a month after the Malaysian Airline catastrophe, another scavenger hunt has started; instead of Easter eggs, searchers are hoping to discover corpses.
The Sewol left its dock early in the morning carrying 476 passengers, mostly high school students enjoying a field trip, and transporting 3,608 tons of cargo (Liljas, 2014). Of course, the ship is only recommended to carry 987 tons, and this may go down (no pun intended) as the worst field trip in history. See, that day-long excursion to the Jewish Temple in middle school doesn’t seem that bad after all.
Two hours later, the boat was completely submerged underwater. 174 passengers were rescued, 171 confirmed dead (Liljas, 2014), and the other 131 are hanging out on an island with the 239 missing people from Flight 370.
Quality control, command, and ownership are now under investigation concerning the prevention of tragedy. Authorities have uncovered evidence pointing to insufficient evacuation instruction for workers and a lack of spending towards training. There was a newbie behind the helm who has been arrested along with 19 other crew members on counts of negligence including the fact that the distress signal didn’t even come from the captain or his mates in the time of need, it came from a passenger. The owner of the Sewol, Yoo Byung-eun (sounds made up), had been in prison for fraud in the early 90’s, and used to be the leader of a religious cult where 30 people of the sect committed suicide in 1987. He is known as “the millionaire with no face” because of his rare public appearances, including his seclusion during this calamity (Liljas, 2014).
Wait a minute? How does one guy convince a bunch of people to kill themselves, spare his own life, then go to prison for fraud, make even more money after he is free, and live under the radar run a maritime business and purchase a vessel? I thought the world was big on screening people for these types of things. If you take into consideration Yoo’s obviously horrible decision-making skills and past leadership qualities, could the lack of distress amongst the crew be merited as a conspiracy?
The crew was obviously not experienced enough to head the ship, they didn’t deploy the life boats, they didn’t bother to let the proper authorities know that the ship was sinking, and the cargo load was over three times the suggested amount to haul. It’s not like jam-packing your carry-on while flying so you don’t have to pay to check a suitcase; they knew exactly the limitations of the ship. Could this have been a failed suicide mission for another bunch of lost souls that were easily-influenced by a crazy dude? I’m just putting it out there.
Maybe the combined 370 missing passengers of the Sewol and Flight 370 are… wait a minute, the same number of people missing is the same flight number of the Malaysian Airline jet! Don’t worry; it’s merely a coincidence because that would be impossible to plan, even for a crazy person (reference above picture). However, if you find yourself traveling to a recently-developed nation in the Pacific Rim, keep the conspiracy in the back of your mind. Now only if these people can find a good leader to point their society in the right direction to promote tourism. I know someone that might need a new job soon (reference picture above again).
Liljas, P. (2014). Retrieved from http://time.com/#74967/south-korea-ferry-sewol-chonghaejin-investigation/ on April 25th, 2014