Previous tragedies include:
28 February 2004: Up to 112 die after a fire on board Superferry 14 off Mariveles Baatan.
25 September 2002: A Senegalese ferry capsizes in a storm off Gambia, West Africa, killing about 1000 people.
21 May 1996: A ferry sinks in Lake Victoria in east Africa, killing at least 500 people. One estimate puts the number of dead at 800.
28 September 1994: The ferry Estonia sinks during a storm in the Baltic Sea, killing 852 people.
16 February 1993: An overcrowded ferry sinks between Jeremie and Port-au-Prince, Haiti, estimated 500-700 dead.
20 December 1987: In the world's worst peacetime shipping disaster, 4340 drown when the ferry Dona Paz collides with the tanker MT Victor in the Philippines.
6 March 1987: The Herald of Free Enterprise sinks at the entrance of Zeebrugge harhour with the loss of 193 lives.
31 August 1986: Soviet passenger ship Admiral Nakhimov collides with a merchant vessel in the Black Sea, sinking both ships and killing up to 448 people.
25 May 1986: Some 600 people die when a ferry goes down in the River Meghna in Bangladesh.
27 January 1981: 580 killed when Indonesian passenger ship Tamponas II catches fire and sinks in Java sea.
25 July 1956: Two passenger liners, the Andrea Doria and the Stockholm, collide off Massachusetts, sinking the Andrea Doria and killing 46 of its 1706 passengers and crew.
7 May 1915: The British ocean liner Lusitania is torpedoed and sunk by a German U-Boat while crossing the Atlantic Ocean, killing 1195 people.
29 May 1914: A Canadian Pacific steamship, the Empress of Ireland, collides with a Norwegian freighter near Quebec, sinking in 14 minutes and killing 1012 people.
12 April 1912: The Titanic - the world's largest passenger steamship at the time - strikes an iceberg in the Atlantic and sinks on its maiden voyage, killing at least 1496 people.
15 June 1904: The steamship General Slocum catches fire in New York's East River, killing more than 1000 people.
27 April 1865: The steamboat Sultana sinks after its steam drum explodes on the Mississippi River, killing at least 1700 people.