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Re: Documentary shows what went wrong in Sewol disaster
« Reply #40 on: April 23, 2019, 05:42:13 pm »
You all know what THE problem is. A critical lack of critical thinking.

How about you learn how to sail a boat for several years then offer a freaking intelligent opinion?

A person doesn't need to be a chef to tell you the fish is bad, nor do they need maritime experience to tell you that a vessel which was loaded beyond capacity or fails safety standards is dangerous.

I know that but LIC sees things differently

Quote
I absolutely agree with, if you ain't been there and done that your opinion is worth about as much as your personal experience.

Just my opinion, however.


  • gogators!
  • The Legend

    • 3753

    • March 16, 2016, 04:35:48 pm
    • Seoul
Re: Documentary shows what went wrong in Sewol disaster
« Reply #41 on: April 23, 2019, 06:50:11 pm »
I just........................ I can't believe . If I'm on a boat and it's going south.. just get on any deck and sit there with a life jacket.

I'm not blaming the kids or anything. I just hope that anyone in the future in this situation doesn't sit there and wait.

Boats of this size are coffins, Imagine being 3 floors from the deck? If water comes in, you're fukked, like, well and truly fukked, swimming capabilities or not. 

Just want to point out that in all of these situations, you have incomplete information. For example if the flooding is controlled, but everyone goes on desk, the added weight at the top could cause a ship to roll and make the situation worse. Likewise, there's also a chance that if you stay below, you'll get trapped and drown.

It's the same as "Do you stay at the aircraft and wait for rescuers or do you set out into the wilderness? Because you have incomplete information in all of these situations, you are dealing with probabilities, not certainties.

You nor I don't know how we would react in certain situations.   All of us think we'd not be the stupid blonde that walking into the room Jason is in but do really really know we wouldn't be.   Btw not attacking you CO2, I'm just saying I've seen people moments after the tragedy shocked at all the students sitting around doing nothing and making it a "Korean" thing.   
Exactly. Just look at the Vegas shooting. There was a group of people just standing around and vaping while everyone ran and bullets were hitting the pavement near them. Granted they were probably stoned out of the gourd, but still...

There's also some cultural bias here. If WE did it, that would be us "keeping calm" or "our ability to find humor in dark situations". If Koreans do it, it's because they're sheep or ignorant or can't think for themselves or have no sense of urgency or whatever.
Still defending .and apologizing. Sad, but a good look into why things are so hard to change in Korea.

Expert, repeat, expert opinion states then and now that all the passengers should have been on deck, ready for rescue. The captain and the crew were responsible for making that happen. That they didn't was criminally negligent.

It has been reported that the checks put in place to stop ferry overloading were being easily bypassed--trucks unloading,being weighed ant then reloading.  It wouldn't be surprising if they had stopped checking the passenger lists--too much work.


  • NorthStar
  • Expert Waygook

    • 604

    • July 05, 2017, 10:54:06 am
    • Seoul
Re: Documentary shows what went wrong in Sewol disaster
« Reply #42 on: April 24, 2019, 06:38:06 am »
Quote
"That they scurried off like rats just makes all the more disgusting."


Korea, Sparkling.
Italy, Sparkling

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Costa_Concordia_disaster

Will you condemn an entire country of people in this case?

That case is a reflection of the overall layer of suck Korea brings upon itself. 


Italy DOES sparkle. 
« Last Edit: April 24, 2019, 07:00:24 am by NorthStar »


Re: Documentary shows what went wrong in Sewol disaster
« Reply #43 on: April 24, 2019, 08:28:22 am »
Says the one who defended the Sewol Captain back on Dave's.
No I didn't. You didn't read what I wrote carefully. People like you took "I think he's at fault for this, this and this, but not this and this" as "YOU'RE DEFENDING HIM!!!!!" It's not my fault you have trouble with concepts that people learn in 4th grade.

Also, what does that have to do with the point that if you're going to have the Sewol captain reflect Korea, then the Italian captain should reflect Italy.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2019, 08:38:37 am by Mr.DeMartino »


Re: Documentary shows what went wrong in Sewol disaster
« Reply #44 on: April 24, 2019, 08:38:02 am »
People are people, wherever you go. It's their culture which distinguishes them and in this case, I'll blame Korean culture 200%.
And what is the test of culture? Is the Italian captain reflective of Italian culture?



Re: Documentary shows what went wrong in Sewol disaster
« Reply #45 on: April 24, 2019, 08:46:49 am »
People are people, wherever you go. It's their culture which distinguishes them and in this case, I'll blame Korean culture 200%.
And what is the test of culture? Is the Italian captain reflective of Italian culture?

being a cowardly, arrogant show-off? 

hmmmmm...


  • zola
  • The Legend

    • 2783

    • September 30, 2012, 06:56:11 am
    • Korea
Re: Documentary shows what went wrong in Sewol disaster
« Reply #46 on: April 24, 2019, 08:49:21 am »
People are people, wherever you go. It's their culture which distinguishes them and in this case, I'll blame Korean culture 200%.
And what is the test of culture? Is the Italian captain reflective of Italian culture?


You might want to choose a better example to prove your point. Italians aren't the people to be using.
Having lived and worked in Italy, yes, unfortunately, Italy has a tendency towards shoddy work, corruption, passing the buck "not my job" attitude. So I wasn't that surprised when I heard about the Costa Concordia.

In saying that, I don't subscribe to the "culture dictates and explains all actions" argument.
Kpip! - Martin 2018


  • zola
  • The Legend

    • 2783

    • September 30, 2012, 06:56:11 am
    • Korea
Re: Documentary shows what went wrong in Sewol disaster
« Reply #47 on: April 24, 2019, 08:56:24 am »
People are people, wherever you go. It's their culture which distinguishes them and in this case, I'll blame Korean culture 200%.
And what is the test of culture? Is the Italian captain reflective of Italian culture?

being a cowardly, arrogant show-off? 

hmmmmm...
:laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
Kpip! - Martin 2018


Re: Documentary shows what went wrong in Sewol disaster
« Reply #48 on: April 24, 2019, 08:57:46 am »
In saying that, I don't subscribe to the "culture dictates and explains all actions" argument.

as a Brit, if we had anything to do with this, I'd just like to get my apologies in first.  you know, just in case...  now where's my bowler hat and umbrella, I'm late for some dogging.


  • LIC
  • Super Waygook

    • 337

    • February 15, 2019, 04:39:00 pm
    • NE Hemisphere
Re: Documentary shows what went wrong in Sewol disaster
« Reply #49 on: April 24, 2019, 09:58:05 am »
You all know what THE problem is. A critical lack of critical thinking.

How about you learn how to sail a boat for several years then offer a freaking intelligent opinion?

hahaha...your ignorance is showing. I have 1000's of hours of blue water sailing under my keel.

You???


  • NorthStar
  • Expert Waygook

    • 604

    • July 05, 2017, 10:54:06 am
    • Seoul
Re: Documentary shows what went wrong in Sewol disaster
« Reply #50 on: April 24, 2019, 10:22:12 am »
People are people, wherever you go. It's their culture which distinguishes them and in this case, I'll blame Korean culture 200%.
And what is the test of culture? Is the Italian captain reflective of Italian culture?



..
People are people, wherever you go. It's their culture which distinguishes them and in this case, I'll blame Korean culture 200%.
And what is the test of culture? Is the Italian captain reflective of Italian culture?



..deflection. 

...back slap fever!


  • hangook77
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1217

    • September 14, 2017, 09:10:12 am
    • Near Busan
Re: Documentary shows what went wrong in Sewol disaster
« Reply #51 on: April 26, 2019, 01:27:04 pm »
As many Koreans have explained, the assholes running the ship told the kids to stay in their compartments while they went above.  The coast gaurd couldn't rescue the kids because they needed the President's orders to launch a rescue operation, which is dumb as f@k.  (In Canada, they just go rescue, they don't need Turdo's permission.)  The President was getting some illegal face surgery and spent the next couple of years covering it up and trying to silence critics and freedom of speech.  (The real reason she was removed and jailed was the backlash from this and what sat in the back of most people's minds.)  But, she shouldn't be faulted for everything.  Korea has a bureaucratic culture where no one wants to take responsibility and everyone is afraid of risk.  They don't even have Good Samaritan laws to protect people.  Additionally, some fishermen were willing to take out their boats to try and rescue kids.  But the police wouldn't let them leave port.  Another effed up situation.  Again, most people here are afraid of risks and responsibility.  The bureaucracy abounds and almost everyone is afraid of making a damn decision.  You see it everyday in your schools.  If you ask your co-teacher about something, forget it.  Just do it and ask forgiveness later in some cases.  Ha ha.  People here are ridiculously fearful and averse to any risk or leadership, taking initiative is a foreign concept here. 

Still, if it were my kid, those scumbags who told my kid to stay below while he selfishly went to the top waiting to be rescued, well, I'd prob be in jail now myself.  Pieces of shit, unredeemable human beings they were. 

You would have only killed the captain a few years earlier than his death anyway.  Wouldn't have been  worth the jail time.  He suffered a lot and ended up taking his own life anyway, so justice was served in a way.
As many Koreans have explained, the assholes running the ship told the kids to stay in their compartments while they went above.  The coast gaurd couldn't rescue the kids because they needed the President's orders to launch a rescue operation, which is dumb as f@k.  (In Canada, they just go rescue, they don't need Turdo's permission.)  The President was getting some illegal face surgery and spent the next couple of years covering it up and trying to silence critics and freedom of speech.  (The real reason she was removed and jailed was the backlash from this and what sat in the back of most people's minds.)  But, she shouldn't be faulted for everything.  Korea has a bureaucratic culture where no one wants to take responsibility and everyone is afraid of risk.  They don't even have Good Samaritan laws to protect people.  Additionally, some fishermen were willing to take out their boats to try and rescue kids.  But the police wouldn't let them leave port.  Another effed up situation.  Again, most people here are afraid of risks and responsibility.  The bureaucracy abounds and almost everyone is afraid of making a damn decision.  You see it everyday in your schools.  If you ask your co-teacher about something, forget it.  Just do it and ask forgiveness later in some cases.  Ha ha.  People here are ridiculously fearful and averse to any risk or leadership, taking initiative is a foreign concept here. 

Still, if it were my kid, those scumbags who told my kid to stay below while he selfishly went to the top waiting to be rescued, well, I'd prob be in jail now myself.  Pieces of shit, unredeemable human beings they were. 

You would have only killed the captain a few years earlier than his death anyway.  Wouldn't have been  worth the jail time.  He suffered a lot and ended up taking his own life anyway, so justice was served in a way.


The ridiculous bureaucracy has been discussed extensively. I'd like to address what I call a culture of cowardice.

The person who is sure of themselves and their choices does not hesitate. What we see here, as Hangook said is a fear of risk and putting oneself in harm's way, even if it means saving others. Whether it's a blind obedience to authority above all else, weak character or simply a lack of courage, it all boils down to the same 2 things, Korean culture stymies a person's ability to act in an emergency and to think far beyond self-preservation.

A few days ago, I posted an incident where a special needs kid had a tantrum and start flinging chairs at students. My CT's first response was to make a hasty retreat and leave a group of 6 students near this boy, she was 2m from the incident. I had to get from the front of a cramped class, jump over a few desks, to get between this kid and the students who almost got their skulls smashed in. It took nearly 60sec for my CT to say a word, let alone make a decision.

“A coward dies a thousand times before his death, but the valiant taste of death but once. It seems to me most strange that men should fear, seeing that death, a necessary end, will come when it will come.”

We are mostly in agreement here.  But there does need to be good Samaritan laws on the books and a legal protection if the intent was to protect or save lives even if some slight injury does occur as well as some immunity from being canned.  This will fix some of the issue here.  Laws and legal customs are a ridiculous part of this problem too. 


  • Aristocrat
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1838

    • November 10, 2014, 01:04:27 pm
Re: Documentary shows what went wrong in Sewol disaster
« Reply #52 on: April 26, 2019, 02:56:04 pm »
As many Koreans have explained, the assholes running the ship told the kids to stay in their compartments while they went above.  The coast gaurd couldn't rescue the kids because they needed the President's orders to launch a rescue operation, which is dumb as f@k.  (In Canada, they just go rescue, they don't need Turdo's permission.)  The President was getting some illegal face surgery and spent the next couple of years covering it up and trying to silence critics and freedom of speech.  (The real reason she was removed and jailed was the backlash from this and what sat in the back of most people's minds.)  But, she shouldn't be faulted for everything.  Korea has a bureaucratic culture where no one wants to take responsibility and everyone is afraid of risk.  They don't even have Good Samaritan laws to protect people.  Additionally, some fishermen were willing to take out their boats to try and rescue kids.  But the police wouldn't let them leave port.  Another effed up situation.  Again, most people here are afraid of risks and responsibility.  The bureaucracy abounds and almost everyone is afraid of making a damn decision.  You see it everyday in your schools.  If you ask your co-teacher about something, forget it.  Just do it and ask forgiveness later in some cases.  Ha ha.  People here are ridiculously fearful and averse to any risk or leadership, taking initiative is a foreign concept here. 

Still, if it were my kid, those scumbags who told my kid to stay below while he selfishly went to the top waiting to be rescued, well, I'd prob be in jail now myself.  Pieces of shit, unredeemable human beings they were. 

You would have only killed the captain a few years earlier than his death anyway.  Wouldn't have been  worth the jail time.  He suffered a lot and ended up taking his own life anyway, so justice was served in a way.
As many Koreans have explained, the assholes running the ship told the kids to stay in their compartments while they went above.  The coast gaurd couldn't rescue the kids because they needed the President's orders to launch a rescue operation, which is dumb as f@k.  (In Canada, they just go rescue, they don't need Turdo's permission.)  The President was getting some illegal face surgery and spent the next couple of years covering it up and trying to silence critics and freedom of speech.  (The real reason she was removed and jailed was the backlash from this and what sat in the back of most people's minds.)  But, she shouldn't be faulted for everything.  Korea has a bureaucratic culture where no one wants to take responsibility and everyone is afraid of risk.  They don't even have Good Samaritan laws to protect people.  Additionally, some fishermen were willing to take out their boats to try and rescue kids.  But the police wouldn't let them leave port.  Another effed up situation.  Again, most people here are afraid of risks and responsibility.  The bureaucracy abounds and almost everyone is afraid of making a damn decision.  You see it everyday in your schools.  If you ask your co-teacher about something, forget it.  Just do it and ask forgiveness later in some cases.  Ha ha.  People here are ridiculously fearful and averse to any risk or leadership, taking initiative is a foreign concept here. 

Still, if it were my kid, those scumbags who told my kid to stay below while he selfishly went to the top waiting to be rescued, well, I'd prob be in jail now myself.  Pieces of shit, unredeemable human beings they were. 

You would have only killed the captain a few years earlier than his death anyway.  Wouldn't have been  worth the jail time.  He suffered a lot and ended up taking his own life anyway, so justice was served in a way.


The ridiculous bureaucracy has been discussed extensively. I'd like to address what I call a culture of cowardice.

The person who is sure of themselves and their choices does not hesitate. What we see here, as Hangook said is a fear of risk and putting oneself in harm's way, even if it means saving others. Whether it's a blind obedience to authority above all else, weak character or simply a lack of courage, it all boils down to the same 2 things, Korean culture stymies a person's ability to act in an emergency and to think far beyond self-preservation.

A few days ago, I posted an incident where a special needs kid had a tantrum and start flinging chairs at students. My CT's first response was to make a hasty retreat and leave a group of 6 students near this boy, she was 2m from the incident. I had to get from the front of a cramped class, jump over a few desks, to get between this kid and the students who almost got their skulls smashed in. It took nearly 60sec for my CT to say a word, let alone make a decision.

“A coward dies a thousand times before his death, but the valiant taste of death but once. It seems to me most strange that men should fear, seeing that death, a necessary end, will come when it will come.”

We are mostly in agreement here.  But there does need to be good Samaritan laws on the books and a legal protection if the intent was to protect or save lives even if some slight injury does occur as well as some immunity from being canned.  This will fix some of the issue here.  Laws and legal customs are a ridiculous part of this problem too. 

Absolutely, but it takes a few people to get the ball rolling and start a debate. I would expect at least one of the 'rescuers' in the dozens of boats surrounding Sewol as it sank, AT LEAST ONE, to say "F*ck it!" I don't care if I haven't been given orders, I'm rescuing these kids. Or at least one person to have shouted from a damn megaphone, "Kids, get the hell out of there!" If one of them had done that, they would've surely saved lives and would've certainly been hailed a hero and potentially been the spark of passing the good samaritan law.
I find it absolutely baffling that none of them took any initiative.
I also find it hard to believe that the fear of repercussion or the inability to do anything without being told to by a superior was powerful enough to stop any of these vessels from actively trying to, well, do anything! If given the choice between our current job or the lives of a dozen kids, I've no doubt every one of us would be switching to D10s.

Assuming a good samaritan law is actually enforced, I'm sure it'll be effective, but I don't see it really changing perceptions. People will simply help because they don't want to get in trouble, just as they didn't help because it would've brought trouble; it's just changing seats at the same table.

Since the behavior is way too common to call coincidence, I'll still call blame the only common factor, Confucianism.


  • gogators!
  • The Legend

    • 3753

    • March 16, 2016, 04:35:48 pm
    • Seoul
Re: Documentary shows what went wrong in Sewol disaster
« Reply #53 on: April 26, 2019, 10:36:57 pm »
Someone said the captain took his own life. I don't think so. I think it is the CEO of the shipping company you are thinking of.
Under very suspicious circumstances.


  • confusedsafferinkorea
  • Waygook Lord

    • 5091

    • October 08, 2010, 01:02:32 pm
    • Zhubei, Hsinchu Province, Taiwan
    more
Re: Documentary shows what went wrong in Sewol disaster
« Reply #54 on: April 27, 2019, 05:48:45 am »
I find it absolutely baffling that none of them took any initiative.

Sadly, I don't find it baffling at all. My experience there was that no one would EVER take the initiative.  They always sat around waiting for someone at 'the top' to make the decision and they would implement it eventually when it came even if it was the most ridiculous , illogical and stupid decision ever made. It was always 'Yes, sir, no sir, three bag's full, sir'.  It used to drive me absolutely crazy.  When I pointed out a simple, logical solution that could be implemented immediately to solve the situation I was told, 'It's impossible'.

Just used to roll my eyes and sigh, what else could I do?

I really hope Korean society is changing in that regard.
There is no known medical cure for stupidity!


  • NorthStar
  • Expert Waygook

    • 604

    • July 05, 2017, 10:54:06 am
    • Seoul
Re: Documentary shows what went wrong in Sewol disaster
« Reply #55 on: April 27, 2019, 08:35:19 am »
I find it absolutely baffling that none of them took any initiative.

Sadly, I don't find it baffling at all. My experience there was that no one would EVER take the initiative.  They always sat around waiting for someone at 'the top' to make the decision and they would implement it eventually when it came even if it was the most ridiculous , illogical and stupid decision ever made. It was always 'Yes, sir, no sir, three bag's full, sir'.  It used to drive me absolutely crazy.  When I pointed out a simple, logical solution that could be implemented immediately to solve the situation I was told, 'It's impossible'.

Just used to roll my eyes and sigh, what else could I do?

I really hope Korean society is changing in that regard.

Nope...it is not.


Re: Documentary shows what went wrong in Sewol disaster
« Reply #56 on: June 11, 2019, 01:29:40 pm »
Pretty damning article from the New York Times at the weekend...

Quote
JEJU, South Korea — The promises came too late for the overloaded South Korean ferry, too late for the 250 students who drowned when it capsized on a school trip to a resort island.

All South Koreans could do was watch, heartbroken, the desperate videos from students sending last messages to their families as cold waves filled the ship. “Mom, Dad, I love you,” one boy said in a video recovered from a phone.

But as a stunned nation took stock after the Sewol ferry disaster, people hoped it might not be too late to make sure this could never happen again: Officials had promised to finally take on a national culture that often puts profit over people.

Now, five years later, the ships ferrying thousands of South Korean commuters and travelers every day are still vulnerable to cheating and corruption. The Times visited two major ports, interviewed inspectors and Coast Guard officials, and spoke with maritime safety experts. This is what we found:

Officials have worked hard to improve maritime safety, adopting new regulations and tougher penalties for people who violate them.

But rule breaking appears widespread, with the government making limited headway against an industry in which safety is still often an afterthought.

Crucial new measures to prevent ships from being overloaded are often sidestepped. The Coast Guard has uncovered cheating at almost every step of the cargo-weighing process.

The government itself has declined to require changes at ports that experts say would dramatically increase safety by making it easier to catch cargo cheaters. Officials rejected the fixes as too costly.

One maritime safety expert put it bluntly: “They haven’t learned the lessons of the Sewol disaster after all the sadness and national trauma.”

A Culture of Venality

The Sewol sank because of greed.

Renovations by the owner, and approved by regulators, made the ferry more profitable, but also dangerous. Extra berths made the ship so top-heavy that dockworkers said it would lurch badly when loading or unloading.

On the day the ferry sank, April 16, 2014, shippers had loaded twice the legal limit of cargo on its decks. Not only did the ship’s crew lie about the total weight of its cargo, crew members failed to properly secure the cars, trucks and shipping containers to the decks. Some were tied down with ropes, instead of chains — or not secured at all.

Corrupt regulators, bought off by fancy dinners and travel, allowed the unsafe ship to sail. Had inspectors taken the time to board the vessel, it would have been hard to miss how grossly overburdened it was.

The cheating at every level created a perfect storm. When the Sewol made a sharp turn while fighting a strong current, the badly balanced ferry began to keel over. The poorly secured cargo started sliding across the decks, forcing the ferry further onto its side.

The ship soon capsized. More than 300 people were killed. Only 172 passengers made it off alive.

The disaster enraged, and traumatized, the nation. The country’s leaders vowed to write new laws and rules to improve safety at sea, and to do battle with the culture of corruption that courses through the country’s companies and safety agencies.

“I will make sure that all this sacrifice was not for nothing by removing the layer after layer of corruption that has accumulated over the years, and by making South Korea a safe country,” vowed the president at the time, Park Geun-hye.

Improvements, but Wrongdoing Goes On

The government lived up to its promises to pass new laws and rules that cover everything from how thorough inspections need to be, to the maximum age of ferries, to the training of crews to better deal with emergencies on the high seas.

The penalties for lawbreakers have been stiffened, and prosecutors have cracked down hard when violators are caught.

What has proved much harder to fix is the pursuit of profit at all cost and an often casual disregard for safety — problems that have long been blamed in South Korea not only for shipping disasters but also for building collapses and hospital fires.

Maritime investigators continue to find pervasive wrongdoing, especially by the employees of cargo-handling companies and by truck drivers who lie about the weight of their cargo.

“We have made a lot of changes and improvement since the Sewol incident,” said Park Han-seon, who coordinates research on maritime safety at the Korea Maritime Institute. “But what the country still needs is a safety culture where business managers put safety before profit.”

And while the government has taken aim at business practices, victims’ families have accused it of failing to set its sights on officials’ own culpability in the ferry disaster. The families are angry that senior government officials did not end up in jail, especially for the botched rescue effort.

The Coast Guard was both late to the scene and woefully unprepared to help when it finally got there.

In April, the families called on the authorities to investigate former top officials, accusing them of failing to order an evacuation of the passengers in the early hours of the disaster and over accusations that they conspired to impede investigations.

“We know who killed our children, but we are not able to punish them,” said Jang Hoon, who lost his 17-year-old son.

Mr. Jang believes the country will become safer only if top officials realize they can be held criminally accountable for their actions.

Cheating at Every Step

If the Sewol had not been so grossly overloaded, experts say it most likely would have made it to its destination, Jeju Island, off the southern coast.

As part of the flurry of new regulations, truckers are now required to have their cargo weighed at government-licensed stations. The problem is that some shippers and truck drivers have already found ways to evade this safeguard.

On Jeju Island, officials have found cheating at almost every step in the cargo-weighing process. Last year, the Coast Guard covertly watched trucks going into Jeju Harbor for two weeks. It found 21 drivers who it said illegally added more cargo near the harbor without returning to a weigh station in order to save time and money.

But the truckers were not the only ones flouting the law.

The Coast Guard also found that officials at two government-licensed weighing stations had issued certificates to at least four drivers without even weighing their trucks. And in 2017, Coast Guard investigators found that a cargo-handling company official had fabricated more than 1,400 weight certificates.

Despite the alarming findings, Coast Guard officials said there was no ongoing investigation into weight cheating on Jeju Island ferries. The agency, they said, does not have enough investigators.

The Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries told The Times it was fighting the cheating by conducting random checks on trucks going onto ships in major ports. Last year, the ministry reported, the spot checks of 117 randomly selected trucks using mobile measuring equipment found no cheaters.

But the limited scale of such checks, along with the Coast Guard’s troubling findings on Jeju, raise disturbing questions on how widespread, and dangerous, cargo weight-cheating might be.

Im Nam-kyun, a professor at Mokpo National Maritime University in South Korea, said that a few truckers lying about their cargo might not make a vessel overloaded, but that cheating was risky.

“What if many trucks cheat on their cargo at the same time and the extra cargo is loaded on an upper deck?” Mr. Im said. “What if the ship is hit suddenly with high waves and its cargo happens to slide? Problems that won’t normally cause trouble can combine to make a ship capsize in an extraordinary situation.”

The ample evidence of cargo cheating found in even limited investigations “is proof that South Korea remains insensitive to safety,” he added, calling on the Coast Guard and inspectors to carry out random spot checks more often. “What they are doing right now amounts to little more than window-dressing.”

Improved Inspections. Ignored Recommendations.
In the wake of the Sewol disaster, it became clear that South Korea faced two major problems with inspectors.

One was a glaring conflict of interest: Inspectors were paid by the Korea Shipping Association, a lobbying group. Inspectors reported feeling pressured to turn a blind eye to safety problems or risk being reassigned to distant ports.

In addition, the rules governing inspections were so lax that many inspectors simply eyeballed ships from shore to see if they were overloaded, a practice that left them vulnerable to being fooled. That’s what happened with the Sewol: Most of its ballast water — which would have helped balance the ship — had been drained so that it wouldn’t appear to sit too low in the water to inspectors on shore.

Inspectors now work for a company overseen by the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries and are required to board ferries to check their seaworthiness. During recent visits to Jeju and Incheon, a port west of Seoul, The Times witnessed inspectors doing just that, sometimes when they did not know they were being observed.

“Before the Sewol incident, we were not required by law to visit the ship for inspection,” said Jeong Han-gu, who supervises inspectors at that port in Incheon. “Even if we wanted to, we often didn’t have the manpower or the time to do it.”

The government has also increased the number of inspectors to 142 from 73, and inspectors say they feel much freer to cite shippers for safety violations. In 2015, the Oceans Ministry added another layer of safety by dispatching maritime supervisors to ports to oversee the on-site inspectors.

But on the critical issue of cargo cheating, even an army of honest inspectors would be hamstrung by the fact that they do not have equipment to independently weigh trucks right before loading.

In the months after the Sewol’s sinking, safety experts advised installing that equipment at the docks. But the government dismissed the recommendation because of the cost, lack of space and the fear of slowing down loading.

And despite the improvements that have been made, corruption still appears to be leading to deaths on South Korean ships.

Three years after the Sewol sank, a South Korean-owned cargo ship, the Stellar Daisy, went down after reporting flooding in a cargo compartment. Only two of its 24 sailors were saved. Prosecutors recently indicted six officials of the ship operator, saying they ignored severe corrosion to save their company money. They also indicted an official with the government-licensed inspection company that performed a structural check, saying he did not adequately inspect the ship.

What company did the inspection? The same one that gave the risky renovations on the Sewol passing grades.

The Takeaway: Changing laws is a lot easier than changing culture.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/10/world/asia/sewol-ferry-accident.html
« Last Edit: June 11, 2019, 01:32:00 pm by Ronnie Omelettes »