JINDO, South Korea - Concerns are growing among anguished families that the bodies of those who died in the sinking of a South Korean ferry may never be found, as search teams suspended work Saturday because of bad weather.
A looming storm and high tides put a temporary halt to operations to recover the remains of more than 100 people still missing over a week after the huge ferry capsized.
"Over the weekend, strong wind and rain is expected in the Jindo area", a coastguard spokesman told journalists.
"As efforts to find the missing people are becoming protracted, there are growing concerns among their families that bodies might be lost for good", he said.
The confirmed death toll stood Saturday at 187, with 115 unaccounted for – many bodies are believed trapped in the ferry that capsized on April 16 with 476 people on board.
Making up the bulk of the passengers on the 6,825 tonne Sewol when it sank were 325 high school students -- around 250 of whom are either confirmed or presumed dead.
Although all hope of finding survivors has been extinguished, there is still anger and deep frustration among relatives of the missing over the pace of the recovery operation.