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Injured captain regains consciousness

Seok Hae-kyun, 58, the wounded captain of a freighter Samho Jewelry that freed from Somali pirates, partially recovered consciousness, doctors said Thursday.

Injured captain regains consciousness
03 February 2011 - 10:00

Seok Hae-kyun, 58, the wounded captain of a freighter freed from Somali pirates, partially recovered consciousness, doctors said Thursday.

“He slowly regained consciousness around 10 a.m. and his vital signs such as the blood platelet count (BPC) have returned to normal,” said a doctor at Ajou University Hospital in Suwon, Gyeonggi Province. “We've seen him open his eyes."

The hospital says it plans to remove a respiratory tube from his bronchus.

Seok had been in a semicoma due to multiple gunshot wounds inflicted during the South Korean Navy commandoes’ retaking of the 11,500-ton chemical carrier Samho Jewelry on Jan. 21.

The captain underwent surgery twice in Oman and flown home on a medevac jet Saturday for further surgery here.

Doctors in Oman removed two bullets during previous operations, while two additional bullets were removed in the latest surgery.

The remaining crewmembers of the hijacked cargo ship returned home in relatively good health Wednesday.

Samho Jewelry and its 21 crew members, including eight South Koreans, were hijacked in the Indian Ocean on Jan. 15.

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