At least 57 people have died and more than 60 people have been rescued after a crowded pleasure boat capsized in the Gulf off the coast of Bahrain.
The passengers were mostly foreigners from a local company
Here is a selection of comments from readers on the disaster.
Sorry for the tragic accident at sea. My deepest condolences to those who have lost their dear ones.
Stephen Duah, Accra Ghana West Africa
There were lots of police cars, ambulances and helicopters. And lots of people watching the team rescuing the passengers. It was a disaster!!
Ahmed Bokhammas, Juffair / Manama
I saw the ship exactly ten minutes before the departure. It was fully loaded with people. Unfortunately, all the Persian Gulf nations simply do not care about the safety regulations.
Hassan Mosavi, Bahrain
It was around 10pm while browsing the internet, I got news alert on my desktop from the BBC, and just a few minutes later my wife got a call from her hospital asking to report for duty as there was an emergency.
Dileep Panoli, Kingdom of Bahrain
I feel terrible for the people who suffered greatly by this incident and want to bless them all.
Natalie Shanhouser, United States
My parents are living in Bahrain at the moment. It is quite stressful knowing that they could have been on that ship.
Ian Hurlock, UK
I was horrified by this news, especially as I was on a similar dhow last weekend off the coast of Qatar. The dhow I was on ran out of diesel on the inward trip with about 30 children on board. We were stuck about 300m offshore for two hours in the middle of the day. I hope the local authorities will now do something to improve safety on these boats, as the trips are a great experience, but safety is a major issue on them all.
Jayne Morgan, Doha
It is very frustrating to hear of such an incident so close to the shore yet so many people lost their life. Foreign authorities that had some of their nationals in this boat should insist on investigating the safety record of this boat as will as the qualification of the management in charge. We can not continue letting such incidents go by without holding people and governments responsible.
Karim Ali, Bahrain
It isn't a one off incident and it's only getting a lot of news coverage as there are Western nationals on board. In the 20 years I've lived in Dubai I can think of many, many such incidents but as the deaths generally involve Indian, Pakistani or Arab national crews, they barely receive more than a column inch in the newspaper. Ironically, I was walking along the dhow wharf in Dubai earlier this week. The boats here are almost exclusively used for transporting cargo but many of these look quite non-seaworthy and I did wonder whether the Dubai port authorities run checks.
Cate Masterson, Dubai, UAE
Every day many such boats set out and do return safely. To decry that the boats are not seaworthy and the locals have no knowledge about safety measures etc is rather uncalled for. It could happen to anyone anywhere. It is really an unfortunate and a one-off incident.
Sumitran Robert, Madras, India
People need to realise when they are in foreign countries that all is not the same as in the UK, rules and regulations for vessels etc are not as stringent as they should be.
Ian Collacott, UK
I was in near the area when the accident happened in a coffee shop having a sea view. The sea state was at minimum low tide which means a very strong current of water where it gets stronger in narrow area (i.e. near a bridge). That along with the over-crowded ship resulted the ship to flip over.
Isa Abdulla, Isa Town . Bahrain
I have had a similar experience on an Arab dhow in Bahrain. The majority of these boats are not seaworthy. The boat operators have no clue about safety. It is time that the government imposed a clamp on these death traps.
Roger Spence, Brighton, UK
I was born and brought up in Bahrain. Accidents happen everywhere and I have had the pleasure of going on these boats many times. Now something has happened and somebody comments that they thought something would happen like this. Why?
Shahid Saleem, Edmonton, Canada
We have just heard from a relative who left the boat whilst in harbour that a number of people onboard felt it was ill-equipped, unstable and had too many people on board as they left. This was a "topping out" trip on the completion of a prestigious building in Bahrain which would have included 150 of the main construction specialists involved, including many expatriates, some British.
A Austin, Devon, England
An incident happened two years ago while my husband and I were stationed in Bahrain with the Navy. We also were having a dinner party/cookout on board. The wind picked up the flames from the barbeque and blew them in our direction. People sitting nearer the side of the boat almost pitched overboard as the ship was turned away from the wind. The crew of these dinner boats are slapdash and have no idea how to provide safety for their guests. I'm not surprised to hear that a fatal accident finally happened.
Rhonda Coffey, Louisville, Kentucky