18/04/2014 06:09 BST | Updated 18/04/2014 07:59 BST

South Korean Ferry Disaster: Rescued School Vice Principal Found Hanged

AP10ThingsToSee - South Korean Coast Guard officers search for missing passengers aboard a sunken ferry in the waters off the southern coast near Jindo, South Korea on Thursday, April 17, 2014. An immediate evacuation order was not issued for the ferry, likely with scores of people trapped inside, because officers on the bridge were trying to stabilize the vessel after it started to list amid confusion and chaos, a crew member said Thursday. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

The high school vice principal rescued from a doomed South Korean ferry has been found hanged, police have said.

Kang Min-Kyu, 52, was one of more than 300 teachers and students on board the Sewol ferry and was reported missing on Thursday night.

His body was found near the school gymnasium on Jindo island where many of the relatives and rescued people have been staying, according to Yonhap news agency.

south korea

The tragic news emerged as a team of eight divers entered the capsized South Korean ferry on Friday, searching for survivors.

It is now unlikely they will find anyone alive from among hundreds still missing more than 48 hours after the vessel began sinking, officials have said.

south korea

south korea

YTN television said that divers had searched the dining hall and cafeteria of the Sewol ferry, where many of the passengers, mostly high school students, were at the time of Wednesday's accident.

The ship is now fully submerged in waters about 25 km (15 miles) off the southwestern coast of South Korea.

Earlier in the day, investigators said that the 69-year old captain may not have been on the bridge at the time the vessel heeled sharply and then capsized.

south korea

"He (the captain) may have been off the bridge.. And the person at the helm at the time was the third officer," Park Jae-eok, an official investigating the accident, told a news conference in Mokpo, a city close to the port where rescue operations are being conducted.

The official death toll for the ferry, which capsized on Wednesday carrying 475 passengers and crew, climbed to 25. A total of 179 have been rescued and many of the 271 still missing are children from one school on the outskirts of Seoul.