Disasters: Grief and a Ghost Ship

Grief and a Ghost Ship

Two huge floating cranes edged next to the exposed hull of the ferry Herald of Free Enterprise, while salvage experts scampered along rails and divers plunged into the frigid oil-fouled waters in search of corpses. The vessel, which overturned just outside the harbor of Zeebrugge, Belgium, has become a rusting tomb for the unrecovered bodies of more than half the 134 passengers and crew who drowned in one of Britain's worst peacetime disasters in this century.

Miraculously, 409 of the 543 passengers bound for Dover from Zeebrugge were saved. As several investigations into the still mysterious causes of the disaster got...