The death toll from the 6,825-ton ferry Sewol surpassed 100 early Tuesday as divers retrieved five more bodies as their search focused on decks of the five-story vessel, where most of those unaccounted for are believed to have been trapped.
The operations have transited from rescue to recovery and identification as hopes of finding any survivors were fading rapidly as none of missing passengers have been found alive since the ship sank off the southwestern island of Jindo on Wednesday.
Of the 476 people on board, only 174 passengers, including the ferry's captain and most of its crew, were rescued as the boat listed due to what is believed to have been a faster than usual turn.
While the search had been hampered by bad weather, murky water and strong current, operations are expected to gather steam this week as the weather in the area finally turned favorable.
The government task force team handling the disaster said rescue workers will continue to search around-the-clock as weather conditions have improved, by mobilizing a total of 212 boats, 34 aircraft and 550 rescue workers.
Authorities earlier said they will lift the ship from the sea only with consent from families of the missing, some of whom may feel a tinge of hope for survivors.
Weather in the area was forecast to be mild, with waves expected to reach between 0.5 and 1 meter, and wind blowing at a speed of 5 to 8 meters per second.
On Monday, family representatives staying in a gymnasium in Jindo Island pressured the rescue team to wrap up the search in the next few days while the weather allowed.