A diver has spoken of the moment he found the bodies of a boy and girl who had tied their life jackets together to prevent them from drifting apart while trapped on the sinking South Korea ferry.
The unnamed diver had to separate the boy and girl because he could not carry both of them up to the surface at the same time.
"I started to cry thinking that they didn't want to leave each other," he told the Kyunghyang Shinmun newspaper on the island of Jindo on Thursday, near to where the Sewol ferry capsized with 476 passengers on board.
On Thursday, the parents of the boy who made the first distress call from aboard the sinking South Korea ferry said his body has been found by divers, the coast guard has said.
The parents are understood to have seen his body and named him as their son, but he has not yet been formally identified by DNA.
South Korea ferry disaster
South Korea ferry disaster
1/6 South Korea ferry disaster
A woman ties a yellow ribbon dedicated to dead and missing passengers onboard sunken passenger ship Sewol to a pillar at Yellow Ribbon's Garden set up at Seoul City Hall Plaza
2/6 South Korea ferry disaster
A South Korean man walks past a well-wishing ribbon in Seoul
3/6 South Korea ferry disaster
High school student who are members of the Youth section of the Seoul Alpine Federation, climb to display a sign reading 'My dear friend I will remember you forever' while hoping for the safe return of the sunken ferry Sewol's missing passengers as they hang on a rope bridge on the Ansan mountain in Seoul
4/6 South Korea ferry disaster
High school student hold a sign reading 'My dear friend I will remember you forever' while hoping for the safe return of the sunken ferry Sewol's missing passengers as they hang on a rope bridge on the Ansan mountain in Seoul
5/6 South Korea ferry disaster
File image: A diver gets out from the sea after attempting to search for the missing passengers at the site of the sunken South Korean ferry 'Sewol' off Jindo on 26 April, 2014
6/6 South Korea ferry disaster
South Korean coast guard officers try to rescue passengers from the Sewol ferry as it sinks in the water off the southern coast near Jindo, south of Seoul, South Korea
"Save us! We're on a ship and I think it's sinking," the Yonhap News Agency quoted the boy as saying. His call was followed by about 20 other emergency calls from children on board the ship.
The majority of the 300 dead or missing victims were from a high school near the capital of Seoul after the ferry sank while travelling from Incheon to Jeju Island. The confirmed death toll on Thursday was 171.
US President Obama is expected to express grief during a visit to South Korea today, where he will meet with President Park Geun-hye for an evening of talks.
Angry relatives of some of those still missing confronted the fisheries minister Lee Ju-young and the coast guard chief Kim Seok-kyun on Thursday. Families surrounded them in an overnight stand-off that lasted into today as they vented their rage at the pace of search efforts.
About 700 divers were working at the site of the 16 April wreck, said Koh Myung-seok, spokesman for the government-wide emergency task force. He said more than 340 volunteer divers visited, but only 16 had gone underwater.
Authorities said the search is becoming more difficult because divers must now break through cabin walls to find more bodies. Many of the bodies already retrieved were in a larger lounge area.Reuse content