It began as a routine ocean trip on calm seas. Passengers bound for a resort island were just stirring, some eating breakfast.
The ship ran into trouble just before 9 a.m. on Wednesday, April 16, 2014, as it steamed toward to Jeju, a resort island considered the Hawaii of Korea.
Why did it happen? South Korean media has reported investigators are probing the possibility the ship may have taken a sharp turn, causing vehicles and cargo aboard to shift and forcing the ship off balance.
CNN has not confirmed those reports.
A partial transcript of communication between an unidentified crew member aboard the sinking South Korean ferry and local maritime traffic control centers reveals some new details of events.
From Wednesday, April 16, 2014, at 9:07am:
Jindo Vessel Traffic Services Center: Sewol, this is Jindo VTS. Are you sinking?
Sewol: Yes. (We are sinking.) Please send the coast guard as soon as possible.
At 9:17am, Staples said the listing was reported at 51 degrees. “She’s now at a point of no return.”
Twenty-one minutes later, at 9:38am, the transmission ends.
WATCH STAPLES' BREAKDOWN BELOW:
And see MORE at CNN.com.