Pages InformationWriter admin Date18 Apr 2014 Read14,446 Comment0
Prayers for the victims and prayers for the survivors of Jindo ferry disaster
Coastguards and navy divers are working around the clock at the site of the accident in effort to find nearly 280 people who are still remain missing in South Korea’s ferry disaster. The ferry capsized over just a two-hour period on Wednesday morning during a short journey from Incheon to Jeju Island. Many of them were Seoul high school students on their school trip. Currently, 179 people had been rescued, 271 are still missing and death toll rose to 24. The massive rescue efforts include 169 boats, 29 planes and 512 divers. However, the water currents are powerful, murky water and drizzling rain adds to poor visibility and making for dangerous operation.
There is still no official explanation and the exact cause of the incident is still to be confirmed, but it is highly probable that the Sewol deviated from its original course and the ship may have made an unusually sharp turn. This may have shifted the cargo on board and caused the ferry to tip onto its side, which began to take on water.
The volunteers from the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism and its affiliated organization, the Korean Buddhist Foundation for Social Welfare, arrived at the Jindo Stadium (near the site of incident) on April 17, 2014. The volunteer team includes Ven. Beopil, the abbot of Hyaingjeoksa temple, members of the Sangha and devotees from the Association of Jindosa Hermitage, and the Director Social Affairs from the Korean Buddhist Foundation for Social Welfare. Emergency volunteer support team installed a booth near Jindo Stadium to offer coffees and snacks as they stand vigil.
One of the survivors from the Seowol ferry came to offer words of appreciation at the booth. The survivor stated, “I could not figure out what to do at first, but I feel somewhat relieved now that I see a monk. I can’t understand why such harsh ordeal has happened to me.” and could not hold back her tears. Ven. Beopil from Hyangjeoksa temple said, “ It is such a misfortune to have this happen in the area. I have been here since early morning to get to the accident site, but it is not possible to have access” and added, “It will take a long time for the ship to be completely salvaged. We will be here till the end and fulfill our role.”
Moreover, as the entire nation morns for the deceased and hope for more survivors, every Buddhist community including the Jogye Order, Jingak Order, Cheontae Order, and others have gathered in their temples to offer prayers.
Most Ven. Jaseung, the president of the Jogye Order, during the lantern lighting ceremony to officiate the commencement of 2014 Lotus Lantern Buddhist Birthday Celebration solemnly offered words of condolences and hope for the safe return of the survivors.