Published On: Apr 16 2014 06:34:03 AM CDTUpdated On: Nov 11 2014 04:31:09 PM CST
Lee Joon-seok, the captain widely derided by families for leaping to safety while the hundreds of people remained inside the sinking South Korean ferry, was sentenced Tuesday to 36 years in jail. He was acquitted of murder, but found guilty of violating "seamen's law" and abandonment causing death and injury. Take a look back at images from the disaster earlier this year.
The Sewol ferry sank en route from Incheon to the resort island of Jeju, off the nation's southwestern coast, on April 16, 2014.
The death toll from the tragedy stands at 304 people; 10 victims are still missing.
More than 170 people were rescued soon after the vessel sank.
Investigators believe badly secured and overloaded cargo contributed to the capsizing of the ship.
Helicopters, military vessels and fishing boats swarmed to the scene to help rescue passengers.
Survivors told CNN affiliate YTN that announcements on board the ferry, which also carries cars and shipping containers, ordered passengers to remain where they were after the ship began to violently list. Others told passengers to jump into the water.
There were 325 students from Danwon High School on the ferry. They left from the port city of Incheon, just west of Seoul, for a four-day trip to Jeju. The resort island is considered the Hawaii of Korea.
The ship sank within two hours of its first distress call, which came just before 9 a.m., the semiofficial Yonhap News Agency reported.
Hundreds were involved in the rescue work. The U.S. Navy ship USS Bonhomme Richard, on routine patrol in the area, dispatched its helicopters to aid in the rescue, the U.S. Navy said.
Water temperatures, swift currents and low visibility complicated the massive operation.