Feb. 20 (UPI) -- South Korea is moving the salvaged ferry Sewol to a pier in the port city of Mokpo, about a year after it was brought ashore following its 2014 sinking, one of the worst disasters in the country's recent history.
Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries, the South Korean firm responsible for the relocation project, said Wednesday it aims to preserve the ship's hull, according to Yonhap.
Hyundai's Shin Chang-kyu, who is responsible for the relocation, said there are no plans to cut open the ship's body and will add "structural reinforcements" to preserve the hull.
The recovered vessel has been stationed in Mokpo since the wreck was transferred to shore in May 2017.
It was lying on its side when work began on the relocation at 8 a.m. on Wednesday.
Families of the victims on board the ship continue to grieve their losses.
About 43 family members watched the relocation in Mokpo, News 1 reported.
Im Eun-yu, 57, the father of high school student Im Yo-han, said he became emotional while watching the ship move to its new location.
"The first thing that happened, was tears came to my eyes as they began work," Im said. "I came here with a sad heart but am glad the project is being properly handled. Many issues of justice still need to be addressed, but this feels like a good start."
Local newspaper Hankyoreh reported Wednesday a memorial park where the ferry would be put on display is being planned in Ansan, Gyeonggi Province, a location proximal to Seoul.
A total of 304 people died when the Sewol sunk off Jindo Island in April 2014.