Three Korean ferry crew members designated as martyrs

Christians pray near yellow ribbons with messages for the victims and missing passengers of the sunken ferry Sewol, at a port in Jindo, south of Seoul, South Korea. (AP Photo/Yonhap)

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – Three crew members on the sunken South Korean ferry were designated as martyrs on Monday, for giving their lives to save others as the ship was sinking last month. That means they can be buried in a national cemetery, and their families will be eligible for financial compensation and medical assistance.

A witness said one of the crew members gave up her life vest to a student who didn’t have one. The two others were recognized for helping passengers escape while they themselves were not rescued.

Fifteen surviving crew members have been arrested on suspicion of negligence. There are also accusations against the ferry’s owner.

For a third day today, bad weather kept divers from searching the sunken vessel. No bodies have been recovered since Friday. Twenty-nine people remain missing, with 275 bodies recovered so far. Most were students from a single high school.

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