Ms Park Ji Young, a 22-year-old crew member of the ferry Sewol, was among them. She lost her life while struggling to ensure that all passengers on the third and fourth floors of the vessel wore life jackets and found their way out.
"I repeatedly asked her why she did not first wear a life jacket. Park just said that she would get out of the ship after making sure that all passengers were out. She said the crew including her would be the last (to escape)," a survivor told the media.
"Park pushed shocked passengers toward the exit even when the water was up to her chest."
Mr Kim Jong Hwang, a 58-year-old survivor, also remembered Ms Park's evacuation efforts.
"When the ship turned upside down, passengers were put on a door with one of them falling through it. Park dragged the passenger out of it and pushed others out of their quarters," he said.
Ms Park joined the ferry company in 2012 to earn money to support her poor family although she was admitted to a college in South Chungcheong province that year. When her body arrived at a hospital, her mother broke down.
Many other Korean Hero's were there on that fateful day. Mr Jeong Cha Woong, a 17-year-old student, is also being hailed as a hero. He died after helping his friends escape from the ship. Mr Jeong is known to have died after giving his own life vest to his drowning friend and hurled himself into the waters to rescue others.
Mr Kim Hong Gyeong, a 59-year-old survivor, also risked his life to save other people.
Mr Kim made a 10m-long rope with curtains of the ship and used it to drag up several passengers. Although the water was above his knees, he continued his rescue efforts and saved the lives of some 20 people. He, then, boarded a fishing boat that volunteered in the rescue operations
To Our brothers and sisters in South Korea our hearts and prayers here in America go out to you.