Salvage crews in South Korea are getting ready to move the Sewol ferry from the salvage site off Jindo Island to Mokpo, where a search for the nine missing victims is set to resume.
The wreckage of the 6,800-ton ferry now sits aboard the deck of the semi-submersible heavy lift transport vessel Dockwise White Marlin.
“It looks like there will be no significant risk in transporting the ferry to shore from now on, since it is safely placed on the balanced deck of the semisubmersible vessel,” a spokesman for South Korea’s Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries told reporters on Sunday.
The wreck of the 140-meter-long Sewol was raised to the surface last week by a Chinese salvage consortium. Salvors raised the ferry between two barges fitted with winches and lifting beams that were secured beneath the sunken ferry. Once the Sewol was raised the submerged White Marlin was able to maneuver around the wreck before scooping it up in one piece.
Over the weekend salvors were busy securing the Sewol aboard the White Marlin while also letting the wreck drain of seawater and other contaminants.
The South Korean ferry sank April 16, 2014 off the coast Jindo Island during a routine voyage, killing 304 people, most of them students on a school trip. Nine of the victims remain missing.
A search for the missing is expected to commence once the wreck reaches the dock Mokpo.