The South Korean government on Saturday reversed its plan to recover a ferry the following day that sank in 2014, leaving more than 300 people dead, because of expected bad weather.
The passenger ferry Sewol capsized off the country's southwestern island of Jindo on April 16, 2014, in one of the nation's worst maritime disasters.
The Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries announced Saturday that it will attempt to salvage the ferry on Sunday morning if weather permits, but later it shelved the plan, citing unfavorable weather.
"Due to expected changes in weather conditions from Monday through Wednesday, we decided to cancel the plan to recover the ferry," the ministry said.
Two barges are currently on standby in waters near the site of the accident. Officials from the ministry and workers from China's state-run Shanghai Salvage were checking equipment for a future operation to lift the 145-meter-long, 6,825-ton ship one to two meters above the water, the ministry earlier said.
The work will eventually involve connecting lifting beams installed in the ship to hydraulic jacks on the barges. Once hoisted, it will be moved onto a semisubmersible ship, which is expected to take about three days. Then it will be carried to a port in Mokpo, some 87 kilometers away, which will take one day.
The ship sank off the country's western coast while en route to the southern resort island of Jeju. The accident killed 304 people, mostly high school students on a school excursion. Nine of them remain missing. (Yonhap)