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Delay in ferry evacuation puzzles maritime experts

FILE - In this April 16, 2014 file photo, South Korean coast guard officers try to rescue passengers from the Sewol ferry as it sinks in the water off the southern coast near Jindo, south of Seoul, South Korea. It is a decision that has maritime experts stumped and is at odds with standard procedure: Why were the passengers of the doomed South Korean ferry told to stay in their rooms rather than climb on deck? Evacuations can be chaotic and dangerous, and an important principle in maritime circles is that even a damaged ship may be the best lifeboat. But car ferries like the Sewol, which left some 300 people missing or dead when it sank Wednesday, are different. They are particularly susceptible to rapid capsizing which makes it critically important that the crew quickly evacuate passengers when there is trouble. (AP Photo/Yonhap, File) KOREA OUT

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