The Korean Ministry of Maritime and Fisheries has begun to distribute compensation to some of the survivors and the families of the victims of the Sewol Ferry sinking.
On November 13, it was decided that 13 survivors would be awarded a total of just over 10 billion won (approximately $8.5 million) in damages and compensation. The families of 12 victims who passed away are being given a total of about 476 million won (approximately $407,000). For 11 cases of lost vehicles and 42 cases of loss of aquatic produce, a total of 380 million won (approximately $325,500) is being awarded.
However, this is just a drop in the bucket. As of October 22, more than two-thirds of the families of the victims have filed for government compensation. Each family is entitled to compensation from the government; however, should they choose to do so, they waive their right to sue the government for any wrongdoings related to the incident.
The government is expected to dole out more than 100 billion won (approximately $85 million) to the families of the victims by the time all of the applications have been processed.
The sinking of the Sewol Ferry is South Korea’s worst maritime disaster in over 40 years, since the sinking of the Namyoung Ferry back in 1970 that killed 326 passengers. The Korean Supreme Court recently upheld Captain Lee Jun Seok‘s life sentence, calling his actions of willful negligence tantamount to homicide.
Meanwhile, of the 75 students of Danwon High School who survived the disaster, 72 took the college entrance exam yesterday. The other three were exempt from the exam, having already been admitted to universities through early enrollment programs.