Ferry Accident in South Korea
As the ferry industry’s trade association, Interferry wishes to express its deepest condolences to everyone affected by the recent tragedy in South Korea. Fatal ferry accidents are rare in developed countries such as this but that does not diminish the industry’s ongoing commitment to advancing safety measures even further. Interferry stands ready to assist the relevant authorities in understanding the causes and then communicating the results to ensure any necessary modification of equipment, design, operational procedures, training, regulations or enforcement are implemented.
Although Interferry has no members in South Korea, we are always concerned about ferry safety matters in any part of the developed or developing world. We have been working in partnership with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) for a number of years on efforts to improve ferry safety in developing countries where most of the accidents occur. The government of South Korea has provided assistance in these efforts in Bangladesh and Indonesia.
More than 300 people are missing after a South Korean ro-pax ferry capsized and sank today near Jeju Island with more than 400 passengers on board. South Korean officials earlier said 368 people had been rescued but have now revised that figure down to 164, amid conflicting reports about the status of the ongoing rescue, with 34 naval and civilian ships and 18 helicopters looking for survivors. Four people have been confirmed dead.
The Japanese-built Sewol was carrying 325 high school students, 15 teachers, 89 non-student passengers and 30 crew members. The 1994-built, 3,794 dwt ferry — called Ferry Naminoue until October 2012 — has capacity to carry 900 people. It is owned by Chonghaejin Marine, based in Incheon, having been built by Hayashikane Shipbuilding & Engineering in Nagasaki.