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'Please hurry' -- transcript of sinking ferry's desperate calls released

By CNN Staff
updated 6:05 AM EDT, Mon April 21, 2014

(CNN) -- The following is a partial transcript of communication between an unidentified crew member aboard the sinking South Korean ferry Sewol and local maritime traffic control centers on Wednesday.

The discussion lasts more than 30 minutes. For the first 11 minutes the Sewol communicates with the Jeju Vessel Traffic Services Center. After that, the ship communicates with the Jindo Vessel Traffic Services Center. There are references to other nearby ships, which are redacted.

The transcript, translated by CNN, was provided by the South Korean government. Due to static, CNN could not hear parts of the audio recording to corroborate the transcript.

8:55 a.m.

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Sewol: Harbor affairs Jeju, do you have reception of Sewol?

Jeju Vessel Traffic Services Center: Yes, Sewol, this is Harbor Affairs Jeju.

Sewol: Please notify the coast guard. Our ship is in danger. The ship is rolling right now.

8:56 a.m.

Jeju Vessel Traffic Services Center: Where is your ship? Yes, OK. We will notify the coast guard.

Sewol: The ship rolled over a lot right now. Cannot move. Please come quickly. We're next to Byeongpung Island.

Jeju Vessel Traffic Services Center: Yes, understood.

8:58 a.m.

Jeju Vessel Traffic Services Center: Sewol, this is Harbor Affairs Jeju. Do you have reception? Sewol, this is Harbor Affairs Jeju.

8:59 a.m.

Sewol: Harbor Affairs Jeju, this is Sewol.

Jeju Vessel Traffic Services Center: Sewol, this is Harbor Affairs Jeju. Channel 21, please.

9:00 a.m.

Jeju Vessel Traffic Services Center: What's the current situation?

Sewol: Currently, the body of the ship is tilted to the left. Containers fell over, too.

Jeju Vessel Traffic Services Center: OK. There are no damages to people?

Sewol: Currently, it's impossible to confirm. It is impossible to move as the body of the ship is tilted.

Jeju Vessel Traffic Services Center: Yes, OK. Please put on the life vests and get ready as people may have to abandon ship.

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Sewol: It is hard for people to move.

Jeju Vessel Traffic Services Center: Yes, OK.

9:05 a.m.

Sewol: Harbor Affairs Jeju, do you have reception of Sewol?

Jeju Vessel Traffic Services Center: Yes, this is Harbor Affairs Jeju, Sewol.

Sewol: What's going on with the coast guard?

Jeju Vessel Traffic Services Center: Yes, we just notified the coast guard. We are in the middle of conversation with Jindo VTS and Wando VTS. So please hold for a moment.

(The vessel then speaks with the communications tower at a closer location, in Jindo.)

9:06 a.m.

Jindo Vessel Traffic Services Center: Sewol do you copy? Sewol do you copy? ...Sewol, Sewol, this is Jindo VTS.

9:07 a.m.

...

Sewol: Jindo VTS, this is Sewol.

Jindo Vessel Traffic Services Center: Sewol, this is Jindo VTS. Are you sinking?

Sewol: Yes. (We are sinking.) Please send the coast guard as soon as possible.

...

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Sewol: Jindo VTS, this is Sewol.

Jindo Vessel Traffic Services Center: This is Jindo VTS.

Sewol: Our ship is listing and may fall.

Jindo Vessel Traffic Services Center: How are the passengers doing?...

9:12 a.m.

Jindo Vessel Traffic Services Center: Sewol, this is Jindo VTS. Did the passengers board life raft or rescue boats?

Sewol: No, they haven't yet. They can't move because the vessel has listed.

9:13 a.m.

Jindo Vessel Traffic Services Center: How many passengers?

Sewol: There are 450. About 500... Please hurry up.

9:14 a.m.

Jindo Vessel Traffic Services Center: We are reaching out to nearby fishing boats. ...Please approach as quick as possible. Please actively cooperate in rescue operation. ...Are the passengers able to escape?

Sewol: The ship listed too much so it is impossible.

9:17 a.m.

Jindo Vessel Traffic Services Center: Sewol, this is Jindo VTS, do you copy? How is the flooded condition?

Sewol: It is listed more than 50 degrees to the port side and people are not able to move from left to right. We've alerted the crew members to wear life jacket and wait. It is impossible to confirm whether or not they wore (life jackets). Crew members are at the bridge and are unable to move. Please hurry.

9:18 a.m.

Jindo Vessel Traffic Services Center: Roger that. How is the flooded situation?

Sewol: It cannot be confirmed either. We confirmed that several containers on the deck fell, but because we cannot move, we cannot move even by one step from the bridge, we are able to stand by holding onto the wall.

...

9:23 a.m.

...

Jindo Vessel Traffic Services Center: Patrol boat ETA is 15 minutes. Please broadcast and tell the passengers to wear life jackets.

Sewol: We are unable to broadcast.

9:24 a.m.

Jindo Vessel Traffic Services Center: Even if you can't broadcast, please send someone to inform the passengers to wear life jacket or thick clothes.

Sewol: If passengers escape from the ship, will they be rescued immediately?

Jindo Vessel Traffic Services Center: Dispatch the lift ring. Quickly!

9:25 a.m.

Jindo Vessel Traffic Services Center: The captain should make decision to make people escape. We do not know the situation so captain make final decision on passengers' escape.

9:26 a.m.

Sewol: That's not what I meant. If passengers escape, can they be immediately rescued?

Jindo Vessel Traffic Services Center: Patrol ship should arrive in 10 minutes.

Sewol: 10 minutes?

Jindo Vessel Traffic Services Center: Yes 10 minutes! 10 minutes!

9:27 a.m.

Jindo Vessel Traffic Services Center: Sewol, a helicopter will arrive in one minute.

Sewol: I can't hear very well. Please repeat again clearly.

Jindo Vessel Traffic Services Center: A helicopter will arrive in one minute.

Sewol: Repeat what you just said.

Jindo Vessel Traffic Services Center: A helicopter will arrive soon.

9:28 a.m.

Sewol: There are too many passengers. A helicopter may not be enough.

9:37 a.m.

Jindo Vessel Traffic Services Center: Sewol, Sewol, this is Jindo VTS.

Sewol: This is Sewol. Sewol.

Jindo Vessel Traffic Services Center: What's the flood situation like?

Sewol: It is not possible to confirm the flood situation. Coast guards and fishing ships approached by 50 meters and those who are on the port side escaped. We sent out broadcast and it is not easy to move toward the port side.

Jindo Vessel Traffic Services Center: Copy that.

Sewol: The ship is listed 60 degrees to the port side. Now there are aircraft and coast guards.

9:38 a.m.

Transmission ends

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