In the past five years about 600 people were found dead or missing from maritime accidents -- most of which were caused by human error.
From 2009 to 2013 there were about 1,400 accidents in Korean waters, with some 82 percent caused by crewmembers. Safety violations and negligence were the main causes.
However, the penalties dished out were comparatively light. Most were let off with a warning while others were suspended, but no one had their license revoked.
With Korea's biggest maritime accident in decades at the fore, questions are being raised about why safety at sea has not been taken more seriously.