Shipping accidents worldwide - victim numbers 2000-2014

This graph illustrates selected shipping accidents worldwide between 2000 and 2014, sorted by the number of fatalities. In April 2014, the Sewol accident off the South Korean coast left 304 people dead.

Shipping accidents based on the number of victims

Shipping accidents occur for a variety of reasons, including navigation failures caused by the ship’s crew, technical and equipment failures, as well as physical damages to the ship. Pirate attacks or overloading of a cargo and passengers can also be named as a reason for maritime disasters.

One of the most recent large ocean shipping-related accidents was the sinking of the MV Sewol on April 16th, 2014. The South Korean ferry capsized on its way from Incheon to Jeju City, carrying 476 passengers and 24 crew members onboard. Rescue efforts were hindered by the difficult weather conditions including strong winds, rain and fog, as well as the low ocean temperatures. The disaster prompted a number of trials and investigations. The ship’s captain and six crew members were arrested only a few days after the incident.

The MV Sewol was a ship used both as a ferry and a cargo ship, originally built in 1994 by Japanese company Hayashikane Shipbuilding & Engineering. The ship was bought by South Korea’s Chonghaejin Marine Company in 2012 and refitted in 2013. The improvements made to the ship increased its cargo capacity by roughly 240 metric tons and the passenger capacity by 117 people. As of 2014, the ship had a total capacity of 921 passengers, over 80 cars and 60 Class-5 trucks, as well as a crew capacity of 35.

Selected shipping accidents worldwide from 2000 to 2014, sorted by number of fatalities

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Release date

June 2017



Survey time period

2000 to 2014

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Statistics on "Ocean shipping worldwide"

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