Report: Only 1 of 46 lifeboats was deployed

Jindo, South Korea (CNN) -- There were 46 lifeboats attached to the South Korean ferry that sank in frigid waters, but only one lifeboat was deployed, CNN affiliate YTN reported Thursday.

CNN has not been able to independently confirm the report. But if true, it will fuel the anger of families still waiting to hear the fate of 287 passengers still missing at sea.

Video obtained by affiliate JTBC showed at least 12 of the white survival capsules still attached to the ferry, even as it was keeled over in the water. The survival capsules hold the lifeboats.

More than 24 hours have passed since the 6,800-ton ferry sank Wednesday morning.


Nine people are dead. At least 179 have been rescued.

But no one knows whether the missing 287 are alive, perhaps on the ship, or if they succumbed to water that's about 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit.)

The captain of the ferry broke down in tears when asked if he had anything to say to the missing passengers' families.

"I am sorry, I am at a loss for words," captain Lee Joon Suk said, his head and face covered. Lee faces possible charges of negligence and accidental homicide.

No one knows exactly why the ship sank.

Some analysts said the five-story ferry might have veered off course -- speculation that South Korean Oceans and Fisheries Ministry quashed Thursday.

The agency had approved the ferry's intended route, and "there was no huge difference between their plan and the actual track chart," spokesman Nam Jae Heon said.

The massive rescue efforts has included 169 boats, 29 planes and 512 divers. Crews were trying to move a crane to stabilize the ship.

But relentless rain, whipping winds and thick fog stymied rescue efforts Thursday. Three of the 22 volunteer divers who joined the search went missing in high tide but were later found, YTN said.


South Korean President Park Geun-hye visited families at the scene and urged rescue workers press on.

"Since there is the possibility of survivors, we cannot waste any time," she said.


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