A Tragic End for Day Trippers

Nearly 150 are feared dead as a British ferry capsizes

The North Sea harbor was calm but cold at 7:50 p.m. as the ferry Herald of Free Enterprise pulled out of the slip at Zeebrugge, Belgium, to begin its regular 85-mile run to the British port of Dover. Darkness had just fallen, and the 543 passengers and crew, most of them British, were settling in for the 4 1/2-hour journey. Some were day trippers returning to Dover after a promotional tour sponsored by the Sun, a London tabloid. Others were British soldiers on leave from their units in West Germany. The ferry was about three- fourths of a mile from the...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!