Desperate Search Underway After Ferry With 462 Aboard Sinks

SEOUL, South Korea (April 16, 2014) A desperate search continues after a ferry carrying 462 people, most of them high school students, sank off the southern coast of South Korea, but there are fears the death toll will rise dramatically.

The students were on a trip to a tourist island when the ferry sank.

At least four people are confirmed dead and 55 more are injured, but nearly 300 others are still missing.

One of the 325 high school students on the ferry says he and others jumped into the water with their life jackets and swam to rescuers nearby.

Local TV stations showed pictures of the ship listing to its side and slowly sinking as passengers jumped out or were lifted to safety by helicopters.

Rescuers were on the sides of the ship, pulling out passengers, but the ship overturned completely and continued to sink slowly until only its bow was sticking out of the water.

Some 160 coast guard and navy divers were searching for possible survivors.

Sixteen divers approached the ferry and tried to get inside, but couldn't because the current was too strong, according to a coast guard spokesman who said the water is muddy, and visibility is poor.

An emergency official says the water temperature in the area is about 54 degrees.

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