Rescue operation underway after South Korean passenger ship sinks

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A South Korean ship, with around 350 passengers on board, was sinking off the country’s southwestern coast Tuesday night, CNN affiliate YTN has reported.

Among the passengers, around 320 were students who were traveling with several teachers to the resort island of Jeju. There are around 20 crew members on board.

The distress signal was received around 9 AM (Wednesday local time)

The Mokpo Coast Guard has confirmed to CNN that 82 passengers have been rescued. YTN has reported that all students aboard the ship have been saved. This information has also been received by the students’ school but remains unconfirmed by the coast guard.

All remaining on the stricken ship have been told to jump into the water, YTN has reported. The water is 12.6 degrees centigrade (55 degrees Fahrenheit). Humans can survive for around two hours at this temperature.

The students were in touch with their parents by telephone. So far, no injuries and no deaths have been reported.

South Korean coast guard and naval vessels are involved in the rescue operation, semi-official news agency Yonhap has reported.

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