Sinkng of the Sewol ferry: A missing son
photo by Seong-Gwang KIM (THE HANKYOREH)


Sung-bok’s uncle, father and aunts grieve over Sung-bok’s casket before it enters the crematorium on May 5th, three days after divers found his body in the ocean near the wreckage of the Sewol passenger and cargo ferry, which sank April 16, 2014.


The South Korean Coast Guard recovers bodies from the sea. They shifted their efforts from looking for survivors and bodies on the shipwreck to looking in the ocean.


Seven days after the disaster, families of Sewol passengers watch two screens in the Jindo gymnasium where they’ve gathered to learn news. On the left screen, rescuers post characteristics of the bodies they’ve found to help families identify them. On the right screen is a video feed of the disaster site.


Sung-bok’s father, Chang-guk, identifies his son’s body in the chapel of rest on May 2nd.


Victims’ families look at portraits of Sewol ferry victims at the government’s memorial altar in Ansan, a suburb of Seoul where the students were from.


Sung-bok’s mother, Nam-hee, is unable to contain her sorrow as she holds the box of his ashes at a memorial site in Ansan on May 5th.


A minister from the church Sung-bok and his family attended leads Sung-bok’s coffin while his friends line the route from the hospital to the crematorium for his funeral in Ansan, on May 5th.


Sung-bok’s family visit his classroom at Danwon High School in Ansan on May 5th, the day of his funeral. Empty desks represent missing classmates while desks with flowers are those of his dead classmates. Only one of his classmates survived the disaster.


Sung-bok’s mother (left) and his aunts wait near the Blue House, President Park Geun-hye’s official residence, to meet with her on May 9th.


Before going to the crematorium for Sung-bok funeral, his friend Min-su holds a portrait of Sung-bok in a room that would have been Sung-bok’s. The family moved into the house in Ansan a day after the Sewol sunk on April 16th.


 Sung-bok’s father, Chang-guk, looks out over the sea at Jindo at the site of the disaster, almost a month after the Sewol sunk.