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The mother of a passenger who was on a sinking ferry reacts as she finds her son's name in the survivors list in Jindo

The mother of a passenger who was on a sinking ferry reacts as she finds her son's name in the survivors list at a gym where rescued passengers gather in Jindo April 16, 2014. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

South Korea ferry disaster: Texts from the doomed ship

16 April 2014

Frantic South Korean passengers aboard a ferry, many of them high school students heading on an overnight trip to Jeju Island, reached for their mobile devices to send farewell messages to friends and loved ones as the ship carrying 462 passengers and crew began to sink.

"Mom, I'm sending you this now because I'm afraid I might not be able to say it later. I love you," the student writes.

His mother replies seven minutes later. "Why..? I was wondering why you weren't checking the messenger..."

The student is reported to have been rescued and has since been reunited with his family.

In a text message exchange between a passenger named Woong Gi and his brother, the passenger's brother tries to provide reassurance that coast guard rescuers are on their way.

"Keep calm, don't panic, take your time, stay sharp, and do as they say," the passenger's brother writes.

"When data works contact me again, your brother," he adds in another message six minutes later.

The passenger is currently reported missing:

As the Sewol ship continued to sink, a high school student who was a passenger messaged 30 members of a theatre club in this text exchange obtained by South Korea's Yonhap News agency. Several other people in the conversation replied, some apparently confused by the messages about the ferry capsizing.

"If I've wronged any of you, forgive me," one student writes. "Love you guys.