The BBC News website looks at the world's major peacetime shipping disasters over the past 20 years.
3 February: About 1,000 people - many of them pilgrims returning from Mecca - die as the al-Salam Boccaccio '98 ferry, travelling from Saudi Arabia to Egypt, goes down in the Red Sea.
16-21 May: Three ferries sink in Bangladesh's rivers within one week, killing at least 148 people.
19 February: At least 116 people die after a ferry, the MV Maharaj, goes down in the Buriganga river near Bangladesh's capital, Dhaka.
23 May: The MV Lighting Sun ferry sinks in Meghna river, south of Dhaka, killing at least 61 people with some 100 others reported missing.
8 July: Bangladesh's MV Nasrin-1 ferry sinks in the monsoon-swollen Meghna river, killing up to 400 people in what is believed to be the country's biggest shipping disaster.
26 September: Senegal's state-run overcrowded ferry, the Joola, sinks off the coast of Gambia, killing more than 1,800 people.
22 April: More than 100 people die in two separate ferry disasters near Dhaka, Bangladesh.
3 May: At least 450 people drown when a Bangladeshi ferry, the MV Salahuddin-2, sinks in a storm in the Meghna river.
19 October: Nearly 400 people die when an overcrowded ferry with mostly Indonesian asylum seekers sinks off the Indonesian island of Java.
29 June: Indonesian ferry the Cahay Bahari goes down near the island of Sulawesi, killing more than 500 refugees.
21 May: More than 500 people die when the MV Bukoba ferry sinks in Tanzania.
28 September: More than 850 people die when the Estonia ferry sinks off in the Baltic Sea en route from the Estonian capital, Tallinn, to Sweden's capital, Stockholm.
29 April: A ferry capsizes near the Kenyan port of Mombasa, killing 272 people.
20 August: An overcrowded ferry sinks in Bangladesh's Meghna river, killing more than 300 people.
10 October: An overcrowded ferry, the Seohae, capsizes south of South Korea's capital, Seoul, killing 292 people.
17 February: A heavily-overloaded ferry, the Neptune, sinks in stormy seas off the coast of Haiti, killing hundreds of passengers.
16 December: Egypt's Salem Express ferry hits a coral reef off the Red Sea port of Safaga, killing 470 people.
27 December: At least 200 people die when Bangladesh's ferry, the Haisal, sinks after a collision with a cargo vessel.
24 October: The Dona Marylin ferry sinks near the Philippine island of Leyte, killing 250 people.
20 December: More than 4,300 people die in the Philippines after the Dona Paz ferry goes down in the Sibyan Sea in a collision with a tanker.
6 March: The Herald of Free Enterprise sinks en route for Dover just after leaving the Belgian port of Zeebrugge, killing 193 people.
31 August: A Soviet cruise liner, the Admiral Nakhimov, sinks in the Black Sea after being rammed by a freighter. Nearly 400 people die.