The rescues dragged into the afternoon Wednesday, as the massive ship sank into the waters of the East China Sea.
Most of the passengers - more than 300 of them - were high school students, traveling with teachers to the resort island of Jeju, southwest of South Korea’s coast.
The ferry sent a distress signal at about 9 a.m.
The South Korean coast guard rushed to help the 474 people on board.
One passenger told CNN affiliate YTN that he heard a loud bump just before the ship started to sink.
Some passengers leaped into the water trying to get to safety, hoping to swim to a rescue vessel.
One of them suffered a fractured leg.
With water temperatures lower than 60 degrees Fahrenheit, hypothermia became a concern.
The coast guard provided the rescued with blankets.
Read more at cnn.com.
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