(Newser) – At least four people are confirmed dead and nearly 300 are missing after a passenger ferry carrying 476 people—including more than 300 high school students and their teachers—sank off South Korea's coast this morning, reports Yonhap. Divers, helicopters, and dozens of boats scrambled to pluck people from the water after the boat sent a distress call and sank while on its way to the island of Jeju, reports the AP, in what it calls a "frantic, hours-long rescue by dozens of ships and helicopters." Yonhap reports that fears are now mounting that many of the missing are trapped inside; it took divers hours to get into the ship, but the first three areas they searched were free of bodies. The water temp is reportedly about 54 degrees Fahrenheit, cold enough for hypothermia to start to set in within about 90 minutes.
Photo Credit: Getty Images