"The area is known for the second fastest tidal currents in the country. Divers sought to plunge into waters when the currents became slower. "
Seoul, May 3 - The toll in the South Korean ferry disaster rose to 236 Saturday as rescue operations went on despite rapid currents and floating objects.
As of Saturday evening, 236 people have been confirmed dead as eight more bodies were recovered from the sunken vessel, Xinhua reported. The number of missing passengers fell to 66, with the number of those rescued remaining unchanged at 174.
The 6,825-ton ferry Sewol sank off the country's southwestern coast April 16.
Of the 64 passenger cabins where bodies were believed to be trapped, 58 cabins have been searched. The remaining cabins were hard to enter as floating objects such as furniture and other junk delayed divers' entrance into the rooms.
The area is known for the second fastest tidal currents in the country. Divers sought to plunge into waters when the currents became slower.
The 487 passengers aboard the submerged ship included 325 high school students and 24 teachers on their way to a class trip. Nationwide mourning has been observed in a joint memorial altar.