For some, the recent tragic cruise ship accident of the Costa Concordia in Italy has echoes of the sinking of the Titanic in 1912. Of course, the circumstances were completely different, but with the death toll at 17 and a number of crew and passengers still missing, the Costa incident is proving to be one of the most fatal cruise liner accidents in recent history. Many are wondering how such tragic boating accidents can occur in such a modern day age. And while technology has made great strides since 1912, it has not eliminated such maritime disasters from occurring during the past 100 years.
Some of the worst modern maritime disasters of the last century include:
In 2006, a passenger ship sank about 40 miles from Egyptian port Hurghada. Of the 1,300 people on board, only 388 survived the sinking ship.
In 2002, a ferry near Senegal was caught in a fierce windstorm and overturned. Despite having a capacity of 500, almost 2,000 passengers were on the ferry at the time of its capsize. Over 1,800 died in the incident.
In September 1994 a ferry ship traveling from Estonia to Stockholm sank in the Baltic Sea after it hit a severe storm. The storm ripped the bow door from the ship, causing it to sink. Eight hundred and fifty-two people drowned when the ship went down.
In December of 1987, two ships collided just off the coast of the Philippines. The collision caused the ship to catch on fire and sink. It is believed that over 4,000 passengers were on board, even though the ship’s manifest only showed around 1,600 passengers. Of those, only 21 passengers survived. The official death toll was 1,565 but it is suspected that over twice that number perished in the accident.
Source: Houston Chronicle, “Worst maritime disasters this century.”