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South Korean Ferry Captain Faces Five Criminal Charges; Bluefin-21 Back in the Water; Vice President Biden Heads to Ukraine; Boston Marathon Held One Year After Bombings

Aired April 21, 2014 - 08:00   ET



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The captain should have made the initial command to evacuate that vessel as soon as possible.


CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking overnight: akin to murder. South Korea's president blasts the ferry's captain. Four more crew members arrested. We have transcripts from the helm that point to what may have gone wrong.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Running out of time. The Bluefin back in the water this morning, so far unable to find any sign of Flight 370. Officials say if they don't find anything in coming days, they'll have to move the search area. So, where to next?

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: The Boston marathon set to start in one hour. Thousands of runners showing the true definition of Boston strong. They're surrounded by the biggest security presence ever for the race. We're live at the starting line.

CUOMO: Your NEW DAY continues right now.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo, Kate Bolduan, and Michaela Pereira.

BOLDUAN: Good morning and welcome to NEW DAY once again. It's Monday, April 21st, 8:00 in the East.

We're learning this morning what the captain of the sunken South Korean ferry is now facing, five criminal charges including abandoning ship. Four members of his crew were also arrested overnight. And this morning, South Korea's president is voicing outrage at the crew's actions when the ship carrying hundreds of high school students and many others began to list and go under.

Let's get the very latest from CNN's Paula Hancocks live in Jindo, South Korea.

Hi there, Paula.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kate, we just have fresh information into us now. Officials telling CNN that this is still a search and rescue operation. They say they have found no air pockets but they believe there still could be air pockets because the ship has not completely sunk. They say at this point, it is 30 to 50 feet below the water, potentially giving parents some hope.


HANCOCKS (voice-over): This morning, the investigation into what went wrong is ramping up. Four additional crew members arrested overnight as the country's president blasts the ship's captain directly, calling his actions, quote, "akin to murder."

He's now charged with negligence. Though he was not at the helm, his third officer was. Prosecutors still accused him of failing to slow the ship down, causing the ship to make an excessive turn.

Newly released calls between an unidentified crew member and boat traffic control shed new light on what exactly happened.

"Our ship is in danger," he says. "The ship is rolling right now."

By that time, the ship had already tilted too far for the majority of passengers to move or to deploy lifeboats. Five minutes later, boat traffic control urged the unidentified crew member on the radio to prepare for evacuation saying, "Please put on the life vests and get ready as people may have to abandon ship."

Then after 30 minutes, boat traffic encouraged the captain to take charge and make the final decision to escape. The crew member questioned the retreat asking if passengers would immediately be rescued. And now, the grim task of retrieving the dead continues as families, angry and anguished, wait for news.


HANCOCKS: There's a heartbreaking scene going on behind me. An official right now is on the loud speaker describing the bodies that have been coming in through out the day, the height, the gender, clothes they are wearing. And families are crowded around him waiting to hear if they recognize their child.

Back to you, Chris.

CUOMO: That's just terrible, Paula. The need for answers can't come soon enough.

Now, let's turn to this other mystery that we've been covering. Right now, the Bluefin-21, that underwater drone looking for Flight 370, is back in the water for its ninth mission. So far nothing, more than two-thirds of the underwater search area covered, the question becomes what's next?

CNN's Erin McLaughlin is in Perth, Australia, with more -- Erin. ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Chris.

Well, the next few days are really important. This is the most likely place where they believe they'll find the black box that based albeit on a very limited set of information that focuses on the second ping that was detected on April 8th. It was the strongest of the four signals, picked up by that American operated towed pinger locator. It lasted a total of 13 minutes.

What they're doing right now is they're searching in a six-mile radius around that point. They're about two-thirds of the way done. They have another third to go. Australian officials here saying they expect to complete that search within the week. And that is if the Bluefin operates as expected and if the weather holds.

Now, the weather could be a factor considering there is a tropical cyclone named Jack currently to the northwest of the search field. Forecasters telling me that it's moving southeast in the general direction of the search, but they do not believe -- they believe by the time it arrives, it will have broken up substantially. It could bring rain, it could bring wind.

So, it could impact the operation, but it wasn't having an effect today. The Bluefin-21 back in the water for its ninth dive this morning -- Kate.

BOLDUAN: All right. Erin, live in Perth, Australia -- Erin, thank you so much.

Vice President Biden is set to arrive in Ukraine this morning. He's going to meet with Kiev's interim leaders as a show of support for Ukraine as it tries to ward off aggression coming from Russia. Biden's visit comes a day after six people were killed in a shoot-out after pro-Russian groups say one of their roadblocks came under attack.

CNN's Michelle Kosinski is live at the White House with much more.

We are seeing that this tension is becoming more deadly by the day, Michelle. A huge task ahead for Vice President Biden.

MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Right, that's the question. Is it escalation or is it de-escalation? It seems to be different at different times.

But this will be a brief trip for the vice president. He arrives today, stays through tomorrow morning. First, he's going to meet with U.S. embassy staff there and then with top leaders in Ukraine's new government. The administration has framed this as an important high- level visit from the U.S. to reaffirm support for Ukraine at such a critical time.

Support, of course, so far, has not been military. It's been political and economic. It comes just as expanded U.S. sanctions against Russia seem eminent, since there's been really no visible de- escalation of the situation on the part of Russia, even after it signed an agreement to do so last week. In fact, now, Russia is blaming Ukraine for not de-escalating it.

Now, for Biden, this kind of goes along with his expanded foreign policy role during Obama's second term, as well as looking forward to 2016 and his own possible presidential run -- Michaela.

PEREIRA: Michelle Kosinski at the White House, thanks so much.

Looking at your other headlines right now.

At least 30 al Qaeda militants are dead in a targeted operation under way in Yemen. A government official tells CNN that the operation is, quote, "massive and unprecedented" in a joint venture between the U.S. and Yemen. Those strikes were focused near where al Qaeda followers gathered recently to hear from the head of the network's Yemeni branch.

Breaking overnight, a 16-year-old boy is recovering this morning after apparently stowing away in the wheel well of an airliner headed toward Hawaii, a Hawaiian airlines flight, in fact. He made it all the way from California to Maui.

Now, some are doubting his story saying it would be almost impossible to survive with a lack of oxygen and frigid temperatures at 38,000 feet. However, surveillance footage shows him jumping a fence at San Jose Airport and later crawling out of the landing gear area in Maui.

The 2014 climbing season in Mount Everest, more than 300 expeditions in total, could be canceled after last week's deadly avalanche. The native Sherpas who guide climbers up the world's tallest mountains, they are threatening to go on strike. At least 13 guides died as they prepared the route for the summit. The Sherpa community is upset with Nepal's plan to compensate their families. The compensation amounts to barely $400 per person.

CUOMO: The hard life.

PEREIRA: Very difficult life. Very difficult life.

CUOMO: All right. So, some 36,000 will run. As many as 1 million will watch. Police will be out in force like never before for today's 118th Boston marathon.

Last year's race scarred by a deadly bombing near the finish line. But today, we are Boston strong all day long.

CNN's John Berman live at the starting point in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, where the race is set to get under way within the hour.

What's up, J.B.?

JOHN BERMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Chris, I'm standing about 26.2 miles from downtown Boston. This is Hopkinton, Massachusetts, population about 15,000. But over the next several hours, it will swell some 36,000 runners will start this race here, so much anticipation, 1 million people watching the race. That's more than ever before, and the officials here who have been planning security for a year, they say they are ready.


BERMAN (voice-over): The security here unprecedented.

WILLIAM EVANS, COMMISSIONER, BOSTON POLICE DEPARTMENT: We're going to have plenty of assets. And if need be, they'll be rolling in very quickly.

BERMAN: More than 3,500 police officers uniformed and undercover patrolling the streets, 100 more security cams are in place to watch the huge crowd. The eyes of the whole world on Boston for the 118th marathon.

Organizers expecting a record turnout with about 1 million spectators lining the 26.2-mile course. They'll be cheering on 36,000 runners. That's 9,000 more than last year. Many looking for their student to finally cross that finish line.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's very emotional because I was right on Boylston Street when the second bomb went off. So, it means a lot to be able to come back and hopefully finish, cross the finish line this year.

BERMAN: Other runners injured in the blast now showing what it means to be Boston strong.

TOM GRILK, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, BOSTON ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION: It means above all that we never, ever give in to anything.

BERMAN: A renewed sense of pride and purpose, after the bombings during last year's race. Three people were killed that day.

The White family was among 264 who were injured. Mary Jo suffered a broken wrist. Her husband Bill lost his leg. Son Kevin had shrapnel all through his body. But that's not stopping him from running this year.

(on camera): Any fears about being at the finish line?

MARY JO WHITE, INJURED IN BOMBING: If I have any, they're pretty far back. So, I'm not really dwelling on them.

KEVIN WHITE, INJURED IN BOSTON: I also think it's probably going to be one safest places that day.

BERMAN: It's going to be one of the safest places in history ever.



BERMAN: So, Kevin White who is running in today's marathon told me one year ago he was on his back at the finish line after those bombs went off. Today, he will run across that finish line. He's already signed up for his second marathon. He wants to run Chicago in a little bit.

You could not ask for a more perfect day for a marathon. It's cool here but sunny. It will be a great day for these runners.

The wheelchair race starts in a little bit. About an hour from now, the elite women right after that. It will be a phenomenal morning here in Massachusetts -- Chris, Kate.

BOLDUAN: Well worth everyone taking a moment to pause to remember, to truly feel inspired by everyone out there.

John, you're really capturing the emotion of the day really well. Thank you so much, John.

I know it's special for him to be there.

CUOMO: It is. It's his hometown. He was there for the worst. Now, he'll be there for the best.

BOLDUAN: Absolutely right. Still ahead on NEW DAY, we're going to talk to Boston's police commissioner -- we heard in John's piece right there about keeping runners and spectators safe one year after the marathon bombing. He's going to be joining us in just a few minutes.

CUOMO: And there are new challenges in the search for Flight 370. The search zone is close to being coned. And a cyclone is stirring things up in the Indian Ocean. How will this complicate the search? We will tell you.


BOLDUAN: Welcome back to NEW DAY.

Overnight, the mini-sub, the Bluefin-21, went back in the water for its ninth mission, searching for any evidence of Flight 370. Two- thirds of the underwater search area that they've defined have now been scanned by the Bluefin. And so far, as they say, no points of interest have been detected.

Let's discuss this and all the latest developments with Mary Schiavo, CNN aviation analyst, former inspector general for the Department of Transportation. And David Gallo, CNN analyst and director of special projects at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Good morning, once again, to both of you.

I want to pick up a little bit where we left off earlier in the show, Mary.

One of the new bits of information coming out is the existence of four ELTs, emergency locator transmitters. These are designed to, in the event of a crash to send out a signal in order to show the location of where the crash happened. The information coming out is none of the four activated. How unusual in your experience is this?

MARY SCHIAVO, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Well, it's very unusual, especially considering that there are four on this one. You know, a lot of times there's questions about, you know, how many are there, in the nose and tail? Or what kinds are there? Are they kind of water activated, crash activated, et cetera.

But here with four, you would certainly expect some of them to have gone off. Of course, the important point here is that they basically send a signal to a satellite, so you don't have to necessarily send the Bluefin down to find them. They should have sent a signal to the satellite upon impact or meeting with the water. So, it's very unusual that four out of four didn't work.

BOLDUAN: And when we say unusual, we're not then taking the step to say that this means that the plane did not crash, did not have some impact. It's just that they did not activate.

Is this -- are these ELTs more effective if the crash is on land versus over water? Is that playing a role here?

SCHIAVO: Well, they are. What they're really effective for are small planes, for example, lost in the woods or a small plane goes down in the ocean. And, you know, they usually go off then because they're -- you know, first of all, they hit the water right away. The water gets to them on a small plane.

So, they're very effective in some applications, but here, it does certainly give pause why none of them apparently were detected by any satellite, which would tend to suggest it either didn't go off or whatever happened sent the plane, for example, to the bottom before they had a chance to go off, that they were under the water before -- the plane was under water before it got to them which would bring up the question did the plane go down in one piece, did it gently land on the water and sink.

So, there's lots of questions as to why this might have happened, but no one knows the answer.

BOLDUAN: That's absolutely right.

And the under water search for one piece or many pieces of the plane, David, that continues as we speak. The ninth mission scanning the search area is under way. They've covered two-thirds of what they've defined as they best guess, where they really have high degree of confidence that the black boxes are.

You've been very good to remind us -- don't judge the success of this yet. They still have one-third of the area to search. When do you begin to prepare for the next stage, David, because we still have this one-third to go?

DAVID GALLO, CNN ANALYST: Well, I know they're beginning to think about it. Certainly by announcing that if this doesn't pan out, then we've got to go to plan B, which may be expanding this area, the bull's eye a little bit, or maybe moving, which I think is tougher to explain if this is where the pingers. But, you know, they're just moving, Kate, into the most -- the heart of the bull's eye, if you will. So, it's a perfect time to do it. They have all the bugs worked out. They're operating at peak efficiency. Any one of these days, it could be the day when they go through that data that there's something peculiar that they find at the bottom of the ocean. So as the minister said, we need a good deal of prayer, some luck and we'll see what happens.

BOLDUAN: And there are other drones, there are other under water vehicles that are available. But they are in various points of the world at this point. When do you begin staging that? Do you think it would be a good idea to start moving things in that area? Because you've also pointed out that comes with a lot of manpower demands.

GALLO: Sure. It's moving these vehicles around. They're not small, they weigh thousands of pounds. There's not that many on the planet. Some of them are busy already. They're on boats already, in different parts of the world.

That's the state of ocean exploration right now. We've got precious few technologies out there that can explore the deep ocean. We've only explored about 5 percent of it. This is why.

So, we'll have to -- but I do know they've reached out, so people are on notice that any day now a call could come to sell us what you can do to help.

BOLDUAN: Mary, I want to lean on your expertise that you've worked with families following crashes like this before. Some of the families have put together a very detailed list of 26 questions they had for investigators. They say that none of those questions have been answered in the meetings since that list has come out.

Should they be answered? Do the investigators need to be more open, more forthcoming with the families or is this just standard operating procedure during an investigation?

SCHIAVO: Well, no, they should be more open. It's unfortunate that the United States has had so much experience with crashes and crash families. I mean, we were certainly over many decades the aviation nation. We have a lot of experience, and through the experience we learned the best thing is to give families the straight information, straight answers.

And that's why there's a constant briefing in the United States by the NTSB. For example, the NTSB hearing, when they have the first hearing, which is called the fact-finding hearing, literally, they have a special area for the families. And they go to them and say, do you have any questions, what do you want us to ask? What do you want to know, what have we not asked, that helps so much.

It doesn't compromise the investigation at all. If anything, it helps because then the families are on board and they know you're doing the best you can for them.

BOLDUAN: And that does not seem to be happening at this point, that kind of communication, that back and forth between the families and investigators. We'll continue to follow it, ninth mission under way. We'll see you more throughout the show and tomorrow.

David and Mary, thank you.


CUOMO: Coming up on NEW DAY, 9,000 more runners, a million spectators. How do you keep them all safe, the Boston marathon? The police chief joins us with why it will be the safest place around live.

Plus, criminal charges in the South Korean ferry accident. Who is to blame? South Korea's president thinks she knows. Is she right? We'll tell you.


PEREIRA: Time now for the five things you need to know for your NEW DAY.

At number one, the death toll in the South Korean ferry disaster has now risen to 87, 215 people are still missing. The ship's captain faces five criminal charges including abandoning ship.

A government official in Yemen tells CNN at least 30 al Qaeda militants have been killed in a joint operation between the U.S. and Yemen. He calls the operation massive and unprecedented.

The Bluefin-21 on its ninth mission searching for any trace of Flight 370. So far, they've scanned two-thirds of the underwater search area.

Vice President Biden heading to Ukraine to show support for Kiev's interim government. This comes a day after six people were killed in a shoot-out. Pro-Russian groups say one of their roadblocks was attacked.

Quite a mystery here this morning. The FBI investigating a 16-year- old boy who they say stowed away in the wheel well of a Hawaiian airlines flight. He flew all the way to Maui to San Jose, California, at 38,000 feet. Some are wondering how he managed to survive.

Always updating the five things to know. So, be sure to go to for the very latest -- Kate.

BOLDUAN: Thanks, Michaela.

This morning, investigators continue to question the captain and crew members of the South Korean ferry that sank late last week. Could they have done more to save the passengers on board? Could it have been handled -- should it have been handled differently in that emergency situation?

Joining us to discuss is Captain James Staples, the cargo ship captain and maritime safety consultant with Ocean River LLC Maritime Consultants.

Captain, thank you very much for being here with us.


BOLDUAN: I want to walk through what happened, and when, and what could have done possibly differently -- leaning on your expertise here. We know at 8:55 the ferry was as it should be, right?

STAPLES: Correct.

BOLDUAN: If we begin, we're going to show you -- I want to pause this. Can we stop it?

At 9:11 then, it was suggested 43 degrees -- listing 43 degrees from the side. We know from the transcript that whoever the unnamed person was that was speaking to the control tower said that it was too difficult for many people to move around. That was one of their big concerns, people can't move around, they're having difficulty getting their life vests on.

How difficult is it to move when you're at 43-degree angle here?

STAPLES: Well, 43 degrees is very, very difficult. What we need to find out, first of all, why did the ship go to that inclination angle?

BOLDUAN: Absolutely.

STAPLES: And why was the ship in a hard right turn? You know, was it a mechanical failure with the steering gear? Was it a wrong held command that the inexperience third mate gave? That's one of the things we need to look at, to see what happened here, why did the ship do this?

Whenever a ship makes a hard turn, she should come back to the up right position with no problem at all if she has positive stability. So, we definitely have some type of stability problem here with the ship.

The reason we don't know at this time. Was it a cargo ship? Did they not have enough fuel or ballast on board the vessel?

These are some of the things they're going to be looking at to see what happened with the vessel. But at 43 degrees, it's very, very difficult to move. We had time before this -- the 10 minutes prior that could have been given the evacuation order for people to get out at that time.

BOLDUAN: Time is clearly critical when you see how quickly, at least from the uninitiated, it seems this began to list and to go under. This was at 9:11 is when it was at a 43-degree angle. Then they reported at over 50-degree, listing to a 50-degree angle, just a few minutes later.

What does that suggest to you and how fast this is going under?

STAPLES: Oh, this is quick. She's getting a lot of ingress of water.