The MV Sewol ferry was carrying 459 people — most of them high school students — when it capsized and sank off the coast of South Korea overnight Tuesday. Officials say this could end up being the country's biggest maritime disaster in more than 20 years.
Here are five other recent maritime disasters:
- March 22, 2014: Lake Albert disaster
Members of the Uganda Police Marine Unit participate in a rescue operation after a boat carrying mostly Congolese refugees capsized in Lake Albert near Ntoroko southwest of Uganda's capital Kampala, March 23, 2014. REUTERS/Edward Echwalu
An unnamed boat carrying more than 300 Congolese refugees from Uganda back their home country capsized on Lake Alberta between the two countries. The Democratic Republic of Congo declared three days of mourning for the 251 people who died, many of whom were children.
- Aug. 16, 2013: MV St. Thomas Aquinas
Life rafts from the sunken ferry St. Thomas Aquinas float in front of a cargo ship on August 17, 2013 whose bow was destroyed after a colliding with the ferry the night before off the town of Talisay near the Philippines' second largest city of Cebu province. AFP PHOTO / TED ALJIBE
A passenger ferry collided with a cargo ship off the coast of the Philippines and sank. While 750 passengers were rescued, another 61 were confirmed dead and 59 remain unaccounted for. Oil and fuel from the accident have since wreaked havoc on the local fishery.
- Oct. 3, 2013: Lampedusa migrant shipwrecks
Some 100 migrants stand on the Guardia Costiera boat after being rescued off the shores of the island of Lampedusa on October 25, 2013. Two boats with other 219 migrants were picked up by Italian Navy ships deployed in Italy's new Mare Nostrum search-and-rescue operation, launched after more than 400 migrants drowned in two disasters. AFP PHOTO / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE
An unnamed vessel carrying migrant workers -- mostly from Entrea, Somalia and Ghana -- sank off the Italian island of Lampedusa. The Italian Coast Guard rescued 155 people, but more than 360 died. Eight days later, a similar shipwreck in the same area killed at least 34 migrants from Syria and Palestine.
- Jan. 13, 2012: Costa Concordia
An aerial view shows the Costa Concordia as it lies on its side next to Giglio Island taken from an Italian navy helicopter August 26, 2013. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi
Just hours after leaving the Italian port of Civitavecchia, the cruise ship Costa Concordia ran around while trying to "salute" the island of Giglio. Most of the more than 4,000 passengers and crew escaped on life boats or were rescued, but 32 people died.
- Oct. 1, 2012: Lamma Island ferry collision
Personnel from the Fire Services Department board a company boat, which sank after colliding with a ferry on October 1, for inspection at Hong Kong's Lamma Island October 3, 2012. REUTERS/Bobby Yip
The Lamma IV, carrying Hongkong Electric workers and their families, collided with the ferry Sea Smooth off Hong Kong's Lamma Island, killing 39 people. Both captains were later charged with several counts of manslaughter in the country's deadliest maritime disaster in more than 40 years.