World

S. Korean relatives, many with heads shaved, weep and toss flowers to mark ferry anniversary

  • Family members of the victims of the sinking of the ferry Sewol visit the site where the ferry sank off Jindo, South Korea, on the eve of the first anniversary of the disaster  Wednesday, April 15, 2015. A solemn crowd of relatives of some of the 304 people _ mostly school kids _ who died in a ferry sinking gathered at a small South Korean port Wednesday, a day before the first anniversary of one of the country’s deadliest sea disasters. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon, Pool)

    Family members of the victims of the sinking of the ferry Sewol visit the site where the ferry sank off Jindo, South Korea, on the eve of the first anniversary of the disaster Wednesday, April 15, 2015. A solemn crowd of relatives of some of the 304 people _ mostly school kids _ who died in a ferry sinking gathered at a small South Korean port Wednesday, a day before the first anniversary of one of the country’s deadliest sea disasters. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

  • A relative of a victim of the ferry Sewol disaster holds a flower as he looks out at the water during a visit to the site of the sunken ferry, off the coast of South Korea's southern island of Jindo, Wednesday, April 15, 2015. A solemn crowd of relatives of some of the 304 people _ mostly school kids _ who died in a ferry sinking gathered at a small South Korean port Wednesday, a day before the first anniversary of one of the country’s deadliest sea disasters. (Ed Jones/Pool Photo via AP)

    A relative of a victim of the ferry Sewol disaster holds a flower as he looks out at the water during a visit to the site of the sunken ferry, off the coast of South Korea's southern island of Jindo, Wednesday, April 15, 2015. A solemn crowd of relatives of some of the 304 people _ mostly school kids _ who died in a ferry sinking gathered at a small South Korean port Wednesday, a day before the first anniversary of one of the country’s deadliest sea disasters. (Ed Jones/Pool Photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • A relative of victim of the sinking of the ferry Sewol stands on the deck of a boat during a visit to the site where the ferry sank off the coast of South Korea's southern island of Jindo Wednesday, April 15, 2015. A solemn crowd of relatives of some of the 304 people _ mostly school kids _ who died in a ferry sinking gathered at a small South Korean port Wednesday, a day before the first anniversary of one of the country’s deadliest sea disasters. (Ed Jones/Pool Photo via AP)

    A relative of victim of the sinking of the ferry Sewol stands on the deck of a boat during a visit to the site where the ferry sank off the coast of South Korea's southern island of Jindo Wednesday, April 15, 2015. A solemn crowd of relatives of some of the 304 people _ mostly school kids _ who died in a ferry sinking gathered at a small South Korean port Wednesday, a day before the first anniversary of one of the country’s deadliest sea disasters. (Ed Jones/Pool Photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

A solemn crowd of relatives of some of the 304 people, mostly schoolchildren, who died in a ferry sinking gathered at a small South Korean port Wednesday on the eve of the anniversary of one of the country's deadliest disasters.

Under hazy skies, the group in yellow windbreakers left Paengmok on ships to visit the site of the sinking off the southwestern coast. Many wept, often inconsolably, as they tossed white flowers into the water in honor of their loved ones. Some had shaved their heads as symbols of their grief and rage at the deaths.

Earlier, hundreds of relatives and their supporters attended a memorial service at the port, where they called for a new investigation into the cause of the sinking, which state prosecutors have blamed on overloaded and poorly secured cargo and a botched rescue effort.

Scores have been arrested, but many family members want a more thorough investigation because they believe higher-level officials have not been held accountable.