The ferry sank during a severe typhoon in the Tsugaru Strait. The Toya Maru had already delayed departure when it set sail from Hakodate, but no sooner had it left the dock then the ship was forced to drop anchor in the harbor to try to ride out the storm. The tactic failed and, after the vessel drifted out to sea, it was dragged onto rocks. Its cargo of train cars broke loose and crushed passengers as water poured into the ship. It eventually capsized near the shore, killing up to 1,170 passengers and crew.
Unsafe at Sea: Asia’s History of Deadly Ferry Disasters
The sinking of the Costa Concordia raises critical questions about maritime safety. The issue is particularly important in parts of South and East Asia, where millions of people rely on often poorly maintained ferries to get around. They brave bad weather and overcrowding, usually because there is no other option. Here are six examples of Asian sea-voyages gone wrong through the decades.