The five-storey South Korean ship, named “Sewol” or “time and tide” in Korean, was making a 13-hour trip from Incheon to the resort island of Jeju on Wednesday when it ran into trouble.
The 6,825-tonne vessel, which was among the largest cruisers in South Korea, listed violently, capsized and finally sank – all within two hours of sending a distress signal at 9am local time.
There were 475 people on board - including 375 teenage students on a school trip. On Thursday, nearly 300 people were still missing, and at least nine were confirmed dead.
The final moments of the ship before it sank completely were captured in a series of dramatic pictures: