271 Still Missing in South Korea Ferry Sinking

Search and rescue teams battle strong currents and inclement weather in the search for survivors.
5:00 | 04/17/14

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Transcript for 271 Still Missing in South Korea Ferry Sinking
This is a special room. That agonizing wait -- hopes fate that any survivors will be found on the ferry boat in South Korea. On its side the parents of those missing students demanding answers is the captain of the ferry is under fire and apologizing. Hello everyone I'm Michelle Franzen in New York that desperate rescue efforts still ongoing here are the latest numbers. Of the 475. Souls on board at least 25 are now confirmed dead 179. Survivors. Have been rescued and 276. People are still unaccounted for. ABC's show -- issue is on scene in South Korea following at all. Here -- -- I and it anxious families -- news that their loved ones many exhausted. An angry that officials are not keeping them informed -- tells of their rescue efforts and answers to what caused the wreckage. Information is slow to emerge about what happened aboard that ferry -- 475. Souls on board many of them high school students like -- to his side. Then sank into the waters on way to a popular resort -- it. Nearly 300 people are still missing. Ships helicopters and divers battle strong currents. Rain and poor visibility and attempts to inject oxygen into the ship -- today have revived all that bad weather. Fearful parents have grown impatient. Overwhelmed by their emotions some banking officials. -- divers back to the water. And now -- criminal investigation Coast Guard officials say. The captain was one of the first to this day it's getting to a lifeboat about a half hour after reporting incidents to ABC news has learned that is one of 46 lifeboats. What ever deployed hiding his face -- his studies he offered an apology passengers were originally told to put on life that. And stay in place. That loss of precious time may have deprived many of them the chance of escape. Some small rays of hope and rescues including this -- six year old girl. And we've learned of those heartbreaking text messages between students and their families 118 year old woman writing to her father. Dad don't worry I've got a -- -- -- and were huddled together she's still among the missing. He -- -- -- -- and South Korea. I want to bring an ABC's Dana Hughes at the Pentagon Dana so many questions around these chaotic moments still what else can you tell us about the rescue efforts. And in terms of the US getting involved. -- -- from the moment that this -- That the ferry sunk the United States offered its help and its condolences. Two the South Koreans. -- you'd the United States forces in Korea. Sent to the USS. Brought him Richard which is a warship that was patrolling in the area. To the scene and then awaited. Instructions for help now. The US force. Public affairs. Person says that you know the Koreans have done a fairly good job in. In the rescue attempts. And they just were taking what ever. Whatever. They they were waiting for instructions on what was needed they've released video today showing that -- held that they've sent helicopters. To help with -- search and rescue effort but as -- he reported. The weather has been age and a big problem yeah -- seen video -- just the earlier video of just the weather just as the waves. The conditions out there those chaotic moments as they scramble to try and find. Some of those on -- give us an idea of the family members who are waiting we understand that there was also a moment of silence today. That's right the force commander. Held a moment of silence today. In Korea and South Korea to. Honored the victims of the South Korean of the ferry accident. And you know it just underscores. How close the relationship is between. The the big thing that's the Pentagon is saying and that to the US forces in South Korea are saying is that. Yet they are willing to help in whatever way they need President Obama even put out a statement today issuing condolences. To the South Korean government and it it's just -- really sad situation. -- Hughes at the Pentagon thanks for your insight on this you can keep up with the story in real time by downloading. The ABC news -- -- starring in this story for exclusive updates on the go on Michelle -- here in New York.

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

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