Terrible editing casts doubts on the paper’s raison d’etre (The online version has this error corrected).
It would be nice if the jerk at the Korea Times did some research before writing his editorial.
In this attack piece the author either has an ax to grind or has no critical thinking ability. Let’s dig in:
They did save people ― the captain and the crew. It is an ABC of maritime rescue that the crew should be the last to leave the ship not only for moral but for realistic reasons too: they should help the relief squad, mainly by informing them of the structure of the vessel. The Coast Guard should have told the crew to go back to the ship, as was the case of Italian rescuers years ago. Again, the officers said they could not tell passengers from the crew, but the latter would have been recognizable due to their clothing.
Here is the captain. Would you recognize him as such? Image from Channel Asia News. He is wearing a sweater and boxers. To be fair, they are navy boxers.
We are lost for words after hearing that an officer reported that the Sewol was sinking to the Mokpo Coast Guard by means of a “ax”[sic] instead of using a telephone. More surprisingly, when the Mokpo office received an SOS call from a student, it asked him to provide the “latitude and longitude” of the location.
I’m pretty sure the print edition had the word “fax”. At 8:00PM Thursday night, the online edition still had “ax”. Why by fax? I can’t say for certain, but numbers and letters are more easily sent in print than aloud. People read faster than they speak. I could only wish the editorial-writer were lost for words.
Why would the Coast Guard ask for latitude and longitude? It doesn’t take much thought offer ideas. 1) There were fake calls after the disaster. It doesn’t seem unreasonable to imagine that there have been other false alarms. 2) The Sewol was way off course. To be told the ship was near islands and might have hit one would reasonably be greeted with skepticism when there were no rocks on its intended route.
[A] Coast Guard executive stunned people by saying, “We did our best. Rescuing 80 people is no small feat.” The other 94 people were saved by fishermen on vessels smaller and older than those of the Coast Guard.
There was a lot of confusion during the initial stages of the rescue. The Coast Guard is not blameless and there is always room for improvement. Still, there were many fishing boats; it was not one vessel crewed by old sea-salts that somehow loaded 94 in their boat.
I approve of a free press and would not want to see it muzzled. On the other hand, if the author really wants the Coast Guard to be the subject of” a vast and meticulous report on who did what (wrong) with respect to this tragic incident, not omitting even a single and minor mistake or misdeed”, perhaps the Times should suffer the same. After all “What matters is not a lack of manuals or agencies but those of training and experts” and the Times appears to be lacking both.