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USS Bonhomme Richard Searches For Survivors Of South Korean Ferry Disaster (Video)

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USS Bonhomme Richard on search and rescue mission

The South Korean military has requested the help of the USS Bonhomme Richard in the desperate search for survivors near the site of the sunken ferry Sewol.

According to U.S. Naval Forces Korea Public Affairs, South Korea has assigned the Bonhomme Richard a search area "five to 15 nautical miles from the shipwreck site."

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As you can see in the video at the top of this post, two of the Bonhomme Richard's MH-60 Seahawk helicopters are braving the nasty weather to participate in the hunt for signs of missing passengers from the ferry.

Capt. Joey "JT" Tynch, commanding officer of Bonhomme Richard, said of the search:

"Our partners in the Republic of Korea coast guard and navy have the lead during this operation and the South Korean responders have been very efficient with their efforts. We remain ready to offer whatever help is required. Our thoughts and prayers remain with the passengers and crew of Sewol and their families."

BBC News is reporting that the current death toll stands at 18 people. At least 280 are still missing, and 179 people have been rescued.

As Home Post reported Wednesday, the passenger ferry Sewol, with 475 passengers and crew aboard, capsized off South Korea’s southwestern coast.

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As many as 340 of the passengers were high school students on a field trip.

The USS Bonhomme Richard is forward-deployed to Sasebo, Japan as part of the U.S. 7th Fleet. The ship was homeported in San Diego until 2012.

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