Facts + Statistics: Marine Accidents

Marine accidents killed 1,163 people and caused $197 million in insured losses in 2017. The deadliest maritime disaster occurred in January when a passenger ferry sank, killing 88 people off Nonouti, an atoll in Kirbati in the Pacific Ocean, between Papua New Guinea and Hawaii. A boat carrying migrants capsized off the coast of Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Zawiyah, killing 74 people. In 2012, 30 people were killed in the costliest man-made disaster of that year when the Costa Concordia cruise ship carrying 4,200 passengers went aground off the coast of Italy, 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, 2017 (1)

Category Number of events Victims Insured losses ($ millions)
Drilling platforms 1 0 90
Freighters 2 22 75
Tankers 1 0 32
Passenger ships 27 1,087 0
Other maritime accidents 2 54 0
Total 33 1,163 $197

(1) Based on events classified by Swiss Re as a catastrophe. The threshold for a maritime disaster is $20.3 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. 1/2018.

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Passenger Ship Losses, 2008-2017 (1)

Year Number Victims Insured losses ($ millions)
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
2017 27 1,087 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 2008 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; $19.9 million in 2016 and $20.3 million in 2017.

NA=Not applicable.

Source: Swiss Re, sigma, No. 2/2012, 2/2013, 1/2014/, 2/2015, 1/2016, 2/2017, 1/2018.

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