As a ferry started to tilt dangerously off the South Korean coast, a group of teenage passengers made jokes and talked of posting about the experience on Facebook.
One started to hum the theme song from the movie "Titanic."
But as the listing got worse, the students grew fearful.
“Am I really going to die?” one asked.
The ferry Sewol was carrying 476 people when it capsized and sank April 16. They included 325 students from a high school in Ansan, near Seoul. By late Thursday, 213 people had been confirmed killed in the disaster and 81 were missing, according to the Yonhap news agency.
Some of the students’ final moments were captured in poignant video recorded on the cellphone of a 17-year-old passenger, Park Su-hyeon. Rescuers recovered the phone with the youth’s body, the Associated Press reported.
The boy’s father, Park Jong-dae, shared the video with AP and local media this week. The 15 minutes of video were edited to blur the faces of the students.
When Park began recording in a cabin at 8:52 a.m., the students didn’t appear to grasp the danger.
A boy is heard saying, “Someone get the life jackets." Another replies, "Eh, why take them out?"
A boy says it would be fun to post the video on Facebook. Another poses for the camera, saying he is “the man who defied gravity.” They discuss whether they will be on the news.
"It would be fun if water started coming in," a boy says.
Announcements over the loudspeaker repeatedly instruct people to remain where they are and to hold on to something if they can.
About 9 a.m., a voice is heard saying, "I'm really, really scared." One boy asks, "What's the captain doing?"
Another says, "It's like the Titanic" and starts humming the song.
The boys worry about their friends on deck. One says there's a good chance they've fallen overboard.
Someone tries to make a cellphone call and realizes there is no signal. "I feel like I should say my last words before I die," he says jokingly.
The boy recording tells him to say them to the camera.
"Mom, Dad, I love you," a voice says.
"Mom, Dad, Dad, Dad, what about my sister?” another asks. “I should tell her never to go on a school retreat."
A boy mumbles to himself that he didn't do much that was bad.
The boy recording says his legs are shaking and that he feels nauseated.
The announcements instructing passengers to remain in place continued after a crew member told a marine traffic official that the ship had tilted and was impossible to move, according to media reports.
Capt. Lee Joon-seok has reportedly said that he delayed giving an evacuation order because he was worried about sending the passengers into the cold waters and fast currents before rescuers arrived.
Lee was seen in a separate video released by the coast guard being helped into a rescue boat while hundreds of passengers remained in the sinking ferry.
He and 14 other crew members have been detained as prosecutors investigate accusations that they were negligent and abandoned ship.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times