Accidents on Ferries

What Causes Accidents on Ferries?

Ferry boats are the most common means for transportation used by people who want to travel by sea. Capable of hauling numerous people and tons of shipment, these beasts are capable of carrying a massive amount of payload. But of course, just like any vehicle in the world, these ships can be prone to accidents. And when they do get involved in these accidents, it can quickly turn into an unmitigated disaster. What are the common causes of accidents on ferries? Here are just some of the most common reasons why.

  • Bad weather- Sea operations can be severely affected by weather disturbances. In fact, for safety reasons, if rains and/or winds are too strong, all kinds of sea craft are prohibited from traveling the seas. But for the people who still force the issue, there are so many potential perils waiting in the wings. For instance, strong winds can create massive waves that have the capability of toppling even the sturdiest ferry around. Because of this, captains and ferry operators must take to consider conditions at sea before setting sail.
  • The boat colliding with other boats- While sophisticated equipment such as radar and GPS have dramatically reduced the incidence of such accidents, there’s always the potential that a ferry boat can collide with another boat or ship. Such a collision can cause major damage to all ships involved, and can even cause their sinking. Because of this, all ship captains must take note for oncoming ships at all times.
  • The boat colliding with foreign objects- Foreign objects such as icebergs and rocky protrusions on the sea floor can cause major damage to a ship’s hull, causing it to take in water and sink. This scenario is most famously seen in the legendary Titanic. Because of its immense destructive potential, captains must always keep an eye on them. It’s also the reason why various safety apparatus such as underwater detection devices are created.
  • Fires- A fire can be caused by different factors, but they are most commonly caused by mechanical and/or electrical failures. Ferries most prone to such incidents are ships with poorly maintained mechanicals (ex.: engines) and those that either have faulty wiring systems or overloaded electrical systems.
  • Overloading- All boats, including ferries, have a particular capacity that must be strictly followed. If the load limit of these ships is breached, there’s a huge chance that the ship can capsize due to the sheer weight of all its occupants. Also, it can greatly compromise a boat’s maneuverability, making it more prone to accidents. This is the reason why a certain limit must be followed by operators for both passengers and cargo.

While there are other factors that can potentially contribute to a ship not making its destination to one piece, these 5 are the most common reasons why accidents on ferries happen. A lot of these accidents can actually be prevented, but they often happen because of negligence. And often times, these moments of negligence cause the loss of a lot of lives.