Professor: Ferry turned further than 3rd mate ordered

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Associated Press

Posted on April 23, 2014 at 6:33 AM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 23 at 6:33 AM

MOKPO, South Korea (AP) — A maritime professor who spoke with the third mate who was steering the South Korean ferry before it sank says he suspects a problem with the steering gear caused the sinking.

Professor Kim Woo-Sook of Mokpo National Maritime University is a former teacher of the third mate (Park Han-gyeol.) She was arrested Saturday in connection with the accident, which left 300 people dead or missing.

Kim talked to her at a detention facility. He says she told him she ordered a helmsman to make a 5-degree turn, but the steering gear turned too far and the helmsman could not turn it back. Tracking data show that the ship made a 45-degree turn.

Prosecutors are examining the turn as try to determine the disaster's cause.

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APPHOTO LJM107: Buddhists monks walk after their pray for the safe return of people believed to have been trapped in the sunken Sewol ferry at a port in Jindo, south of Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, April 23, 2014. The grim work of recovering bodies from the submerged South Korea ferry proceeded rapidly Wednesday, with the official death toll reaching over one hundred, though a government official said divers must now rip through cabin walls to retrieve more victims. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man) (23 Apr 2014)

<<APPHOTO LJM107 (04/23/14)££

APPHOTO SEL813: Divers look for people believed to have been trapped in the sunken ferry Sewol in the water off the southern coast near Jindo, south of Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, April 23, 2014. The grim work of recovering bodies from the submerged South Korea ferry proceeded rapidly Wednesday, with the official death toll reaching over 140, though a government official said divers must now rip through cabin walls to retrieve more victims. (AP Photo/Yonhap) KOREA OUT (23 Apr 2014)

<<APPHOTO SEL813 (04/23/14)££

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