Facts + Statistics: Marine Accidents

Marine accidents killed 1,596 people and caused $2.5 billion in insured losses in 2016. In 2016, three maritime disasters made the top ten disasters of 2016 in terms of victims. In March, two boats carrying migrants capsized, one in Greece (Mediterranean Sea) resulting in 358 deaths and one in Libyan Arab Jamahiriya causing 240 deaths. In addition, in September a boat carrying migrants capsized in Egypt, killing  178 people. In 2012, 30 people were killed when the Costa Concordia cruise ship carrying 4,200 passengers went aground off the coast of Italy. The Costa Concordia incident was the costliest man-made disaster in 2012, causing $515 million in insured damages losses when it occurred. By mid-2014, insured losses for the disaster had risen to about $2 billion. The greatest maritime disaster in peacetime happened in December 1987, when the Philippine ferry, the Doa Paz, collided with the Vector, a small coastal oil tanker, according to the National Maritime Museum in the United Kingdom. Only 24 of the 4,317 Doa passengers survived. By contrast, 1,500 perished in the sinking of the Titanic in 1912.

 

MARINE DISASTERS, 2016 (1)

 

Category Number of events Victims Insured losses ($ millions)
Passenger ships 19 1,530 $0
Drilling platforms 9 0 1,944
Tankers 5 66 98
Other maritime accidents 3 0 420
Total 36 1,596 $2,463

(1) Based on events classified by Swiss Re as a catastrophe. The threshold for a maritime disaster is $19.9 million in insured losses or total losses of $99.0 million; or at least 20 dead or missing, 50 injured or 2,000 made homeless.

Source: Swiss Re, sigma, No. 2/2017.

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PASSENGER SHIP LOSSES, 2007-2016 (1)

Year Number Victims Insured losses ($ millions)
2007 38      2,096 $50
2008 32      1,553 31
2009 35      2,146 NA
2010 22      1,058 27
2011 29      1,873 NA
2012 26      1,679 719
2013 16      1,079 20
2014 28      2,000 231
2015 20      2,259 65
2016 19      1,530 0

(1) Based on events classified by Swiss Re as a catastrophe. The threshold was $17.4 million in insured losses or at least 20 dead or missing, 50 injured or 2,000 made homeless from 2007 to 2011; $18.3 million in insured losses in 2012; $19.3 million in 2013; $19.6 million in 2014; $19.7 million in 2015 and $19.9 million in 2016.

NA=Not applicable.

Source: Swiss Re, sigma, No. 2/2012, 2/2013, 1/2014/, 2/2015, 1/2016, 2/2017.

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