SEOUL, April 15 (Xinhua) -- South Korean Navy early Thursday began its salvage work for a stern of a sunken warship, according to local media.
A 2,200-ton giant sea crane began raising the ship at 9:00 a.m. local time (0000 GMT), and it is expected to take about 11 hours to pull the wreckage out of water, Seoul's Yonhap News Agency quoted Navy officers as saying.
The Navy moved the rear part of the sunken ship "Cheonan" about 4.6 km toward Baengnyeong Island Monday, and now it is lying about 25 meters under water.
Three chains have been connected to the wreckage, and safety net also has been fixed around the broken exterior of the stern, Yonhap said.
Ahead of the salvaging work, family members of some of the missing sailors held a memorial ceremony aboard a warship for all 44 sailors who remain missing.
The 1,200-ton corvette with 104 crew members onboard sank late last month into waters near the tense maritime border after an unexplained explosion, leaving the authorities here scrambling for days to determine what caused the disaster.
Fifty-eight crew members were rescued alive from the sinking ship, while two were found dead and other 44 remain unaccounted for. Missing sailors are believed to be trapped inside the rear part of the vessel.