Belgian Harbor Tragedy March 6 1987

edited March 2012 in General Discussion Posts: 5,634
I've seen no mention of it and I think News is the right category for it, it wouldn't seem appropriate anywhere else but some may be aware that today was the 25th anniversary of a major sea disaster off the British Isles in 1987, when a passenger ship left it's port with the bow doors open !, and subsequently sank about a mile off land with the result of 193 casualties in total, I think it's the biggest UK shipping disaster in home waters, but may be wrong. Someone will remember this event

I remember the day well, was in London at the time for an exhibition and news came through about an incident off the coast of Belgium, we didn't know at the time the full extent of the situation but it became one of the biggest maritime tragedies of years and it was all down to human error. The bow doors had not been closed and the ship was allowed to leave harbor and take on water with devastating results, there was a long enquiry about it but to this day I don't think anyone was properly prosecuted for it which was simply inadequate for the families involved

This would of been more appropriate news earlier in the day but didn't get a chance to post, just wanted to give a mention while there was just enough time to those that lost their lives that day (193) and to all the loved ones involved. The very worst thing about it is that it was an event that so easily could of been avoided

Edit: News -> General Discussion / @DiscoVolante


  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 20,191
    A tragedy to left a scar in my native country.
  • 4EverBonded4EverBonded Riding a white swan to Matera
    Posts: 12,409
    I did not remember this; it is tragic.
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 20,191
    I was 5 and thus at an impressionable age. It weren't so much the images as well as the numbers that got me frightened. Fear, it was the prime emotion that I, a child, dealt with at the time. I couldn't quite contextualise the catastrophe in full, lacking the intellectual capacity of an adult to adequately do so, but like I said, the numbers told me it was a most serious accident and I was in some kind of shock for sure.
  • Posts: 5,634
    I knew someone would recall this event, no shame in being unaware of circumstances. I've always had an interest in sea things and nautical bits of history and this was no exception

    1987 in the UK was a notable year for disasters. Not only this atrocity, but the Kings Cross Tube Fire, The massacre at Hungerford, There was a hurricane apparently that year that maybe was a bit exaggerated but it did cause casualties and millions of pounds in way of excessive damage. It was a bit of a dark year in way of events

    Just to reitertate if I may, with the ship disaster itself, I believe no one was found culpable which many consider simply not good enough, it was, after all, down to human error and this could so easily have been avoided. There was a major shake up on procedures after this event. With the advent of the channel tunnel some years yet to come, people were dependant on boat crossings at the time, but this must have left a nasty taste in mouths. My sympathies once again to the families involved that they did not get the justice they deserved
  • DragonpolDragonpol Writer @
    Posts: 15,063
    I think we touched on this when I studied it in Constitutional Law and I remember watching a programme about this many years ago. I have the feeling that this happened before, too. Very sad indeed for the loss of life.
  • Posts: 6,396
    Oh I remember this vividly. I was ten years old and I was with my dad and sister when the story of this disaster broke on the news. My mum was on another ferry crossing the channel at the time but naturally due to the early reports and confusion, we had no idea if it was her ferry that had sunk.

    There was a strange feeling of elation and relief on hearing that my mum was fine and one of utter remorse for those who perished that day. I still feel a sense of guilt for showing relief when others were grieving for their dead loved ones.
Sign In or Register to comment.