Go to contents

Marine Dies in Flood Rescue Attempt

Posted July. 14, 2006 03:01,   


At a funeral service on July 13 in Gyeonggi, some 20 marine soldiers who were transferred from active service to the reserve list are sobbing in front of the mortuary of Lee Seung-woo (48) who died in the morning that day.

They were searching for a missing cleaning service man only a few hours ago. They seemed shocked by his sudden death.

On July 12, from the morning, heavy rains fell. Even without notice, members of marine comrade came to the office. Under the command of Lee they towed cars near Wangsuk stream and controlled traffic voluntarily.

At dusk, at the news that a cleaning service man was missing in a rapid stream, he went to the flooding site without hesitation.

He encouraged marine members, saying, “His family members must be heartbroken. Let’s keep searching for him. He went missing while doing good work for all of us.” The members were tired, but followed their leader.

They were in search of the missing man but without success. On July 13, they brought diving suits and resumed the search. As Lee’s junior members were about to put on diving suits, he said with a smile, “Leave this job to me. Do not come in the water.”

At around 10:30 a.m. he went into the fast stream. But he lost control and became swept away by a strong current.

Marine members tried to save him but failed. The flood was very fast and was swelling in volume.

Ji Min-gyu (43) said, “He always took on dangerous jobs and took the lead in helping other people. I can’t believe this tragedy happened to a great man.”

For the past three years, Lee served as a chairman and did volunteer works. He told his relatives that he would devote himself to volunteer works after he stopped running a super market a few months ago.

Lee took care of his mother with dementia for years. He was a great head of a family with a son who is serving in the military and a daughter, a third-year university student.

Dong-Young Lee argus@donga.com