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Newly Arrested Crew Members Say They Tried to Save Ferry

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Staff Report
The Associated Press

JINDO, South Korea (AP) - The four crew members from a sunken South Korean ferry who were arrested today have appeared in court.

In all, 22 of the 29 members of the ferry's crew survived, and nine of them -- including the captain -- have been arrested or detained in connection with the investigation.

The four who were arrested today talked to reporters after the court hearing, with their faces hidden by caps, sweatshirts and masks. One said the crew had tried to correct the ferry's listing early on, but that "various devices" failed to work. The crew member said they reported the emergency and tried to launch lifeboats, but the ferry was tilted too far.

The captain has said he waited to issue an evacuation order because the current was strong, the water was cold and passengers could have drifted away before help arrived. But maritime experts said he could have ordered passengers to the deck - where they would have had a greater chance of survival - without telling them to abandon ship.