MOKPO, South Korea – 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 Park at a Mokpo 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.