South Korea Ferry Captain 'Deeply Ashamed'

Lee Joon-seok was among first to be evacuated on one of the only working lifeboats.
3:09 | 04/17/14

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Transcript for South Korea Ferry Captain 'Deeply Ashamed'
off the coast of South Korea. You see the waters, so choppy. The keel of the ship is sticking up out of the water right now. It's so hard to go through this rescue operation. And the families are waiting in anguish today. Huddled under blankets. Looking for any sign that rescuers have found the 287 people still missing. And the ship's captain, he says he's really sorry and deeply ashamed. He was one of the first to escape. We're learning an evacuation order was not giving until 30 minutes after the ship started And only 1 of 46 lifeboats was deployed. ABC's Gloria Riviera, has the latest. Reporter: This morning, a chilling look inside the doomed ship's hull. The girl says, the water is rising. Do you see us? And on the deck, as passengers fought to survive, some using the bconies like ladders. Others, frantic, as helicopters moved in, fighting a ticking clock. The announcement told us we should stay still. But the ship was already sinking. Reporter: And this morning, a disturbing claim from survivors. They say the passengers onboard, mostly high school students, were told to stay put by the ship's crew, rather than evacuate on the lifeboats. This morning we learned, only 1 of 46 lifeboats were deployed. Translator: I screamed for 30 to 40 minutes in the ferry. Things were falling. And people were sliding down the ship. Reporter: Some passengers, seen here left waiting. Some sending texts to loved ones, not knowing if they would ever see them again. Mom, I might not be able to tell you in person, I love you. And from a daughter, dad, I can't walk out. The corridor is full of kids. And it's too tilted. Soon, the ship's electronic doors and Gates would stop working. With 300 passengers missing this morning, many of them are believed to be trapped inside. Overnight, as the ferry's captain surfaced in shame, saying, I don't know what to say. Officials pumped oxygen into the ship to give possible survivors a lifeline. Then, the search and rescue effort, suddenly postponed due to weather. Another devastating development for families. But amidst the grief, stories of heroism and hope emerging, too. A 58-year-old man pulling nearly two dozen students to safety by tying a fire hose to curtains. And this, the rescue of a brave 6-year-old girl, capturing the heart of a grieving nation. Thanks again to Gloria Riviera. Those text messages, just rip your heart out. They sure do. Just break your heart. Going to turn to the crisis in Ukraine, new reports of casualties. Secretary of state Kerry is in high-stakes talks with his Russian counterpart this morning, the latest attempt to walk back from war. And Martha Raddatz is tracking all of the latest developments. Good morning, Martha.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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