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Lee Joon-seok, captain of the South Korean ferry that lifted over earlier this week, was taken into custody on Friday night after prosecutors sought an arrest warrant for him and additional crew members for their mishandling of the ship.
According to USA Today, a shore-to-ship transcript discovered by investigators shows that the captain withheld evacuation of the ferry by 30 minutes after being advised to do so by the Jeju Vessel Traffic Services Center.
Additionally, prosecutors believe Lee failed to be present on the bridge during the sharp turn maneuver that caused the disaster, and was one of the first to abandon ship.
The 68-year-old captain made a brief apology Thursday behind a gray hoodie, stating, “I am really sorry and deeply ashamed. I don't know what to say.”
Fox News reports that 20 of the 29 crew members survived the ordeal, while 270 passengers, mostly students, remain unaccounted for.
Besides the captain, a female mate and male helmsman are being sought by prosecutors for failing to reduce speeds while navigating the island-condensed waters.
Rescue attempts continued Friday, but so far only 28 bodies have been recovered.