The Sewol sank on a routine trip from the port of Incheon to Jeju. Of the 476 passengers and crew on board, 339 were children and teachers on a high school outing. Only 174 people have been rescued and the remainder are all presumed to have drowned.
The official confirmed death toll is over 100.
A boy called a fire station by his mobile phone at 8.52 a.m., a fire officer said. The ship sent out a distress call to Jeju at 8.55 a.m. Jeju then notified the nearer control station on the island of Jindo.
The conversation was transcribed from a release by the government.
8.55 a.m. Sewol: "Jeju, do you copy"
Jeju: "Yes Sewol, this is Jeju."
Sewol: "Contact the coastguard. The ship is in danger. The ship is listing."
8.56 a.m. Jeju: "Where is your ship We'll contact the coastguard."
Sewol: "The ship is capsizing. We can't move. Come quickly. We are next to Byeongpung Island."
Jeju: "Roger that."
Jeju to coastguard: "Emergency call made."
8.58 a.m. Jeju: "Sewol, this is Jeju, do you copy Sewol, this is Jeju."
Sewol: "Jeju, this is the Sewol."
9.00 a.m. Jeju: "Sewol, this is Jeju."
Sewol: "Yes, this is the Sewol."
Jeju: "How is the situation right now"
Sewol: "The ship is listed to the left. Containers have fallen."
Jeju: "OK. What about the passengers"
Sewol: "We can't confirm. The ship is listed so we can't move."
Jeju: "OK. Make passengers wear life jackets and get ready in case you need to abandon ship."
Sewol: "It's difficult for the passengers to move now."
9.05 a.m. Sewol: "Jeju, this is the Sewol. Do you copy"
Jeju: "Yes, Sewol, this is Jeju."
Sewol: "What's happening with the coastguard"
Jeju: "We've notified the coastguard. We are on the line with Jindo VTS (vessel traffic services) and Wando (another island) VTS. Stand by."