Regular readers of Asia-Pacific will know that I leave ferry commentary from the region to my colleague Robert Straughton and the Ferry World column. However, and I hope he will forgive me, I am bound to briefly comment on reaction to the tragic loss of the ferry Sewol off the coast of South Korea in April.
We have seen it with the Costa Concordia and now again we see it with the Sewol. A tragedy turned into a political and media football.
Point scoring is the poorest form of politics and the South Korean president should know better than to fuel fires already lit by sections of the media with claims of murder.
Whatever happened to inquiries and allowing them to run their full course? The collection of evidence, the examination of cause and the steps to be taken to prevent a repeat incident? Instead prejudging verdicts and trial by media are the order of the day.
The “inexperienced third officer at the helm”. The Captain who “left the ship before the passengers”. An officer at the helm? To my knowledge such a high ranking member of the ship’s company would not normally be at the helm. The Captain – how did he come to leave the ship? I don’t suppose he could have found himself thrown into the water as the ship went over? It happened at Zeebrugge.
Whatever the facts, the officers of the Sewol have been denied a fair hearing, not least of all by their country’s president.