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The Sinking of The Sewol Ferry Case (Case Study Sample)


The sinking of the Sewol Ferry - The South Korean Ferry Disaster
Your report should contain the following sections:
1. Executive Summary: A concise review of the report including major findings and
conclusions. This should be no more than one (1) A4 page. This section is allocated 3
marks out of 25.
2. Introduction and Aims: Outline the aims of the analysis and discuss the approach you
have taken to develop your case material. Make explicit the criteria that you have used
in choosing the risk management issue(s) identified in the case. This should be no more
than one to two (1-2) A4 pages. This section is allocated 2 marks out of 25.
3. Case Study: This section should include the full text of your case study includes the
facts of the case and your analysis, and in particular why the risk management issues
examined in the case occurred. This section should be no more than six (6) pages.
This section is allocated 12 marks out of 25.
4. Conclusion and Recommendations. Identify the lessons that can be learned from the
case, your conclusions and the nature of any control procedures and/or risk treatment
systems that you recommend should have been implemented or where failures occurred
and give the reasons for your recommendations. This section should be no more than
four (4) A4 pages. This section is allocated 7 marks out of 25.
5. References: Please list the sources you have consulted for the completion of the
report. This section is allocated 1 mark out of 25.


Student’s Name
Professor’s Name
The Sinking of The Sewol Ferry Case
Executive Summary
With increased systems complexity and establishment of more regulations on business risk management, organizations are putting more effort to develop and sustain unswerving risk management stratagems. Fundamentally, risk management necessitates accessing, identifying, and finally controlling any perceived threats in organizations. Such risks stems from the natural disaster, operational errors, strategic management or mechanical error. Mainly, risk organization is meant to enable a business entity to mitigate avoidable mistakes. On 16th April 2014, for instance, a South Korean ferry capsized, killing about 304 passengers and crew members. The disaster occurred when the passenger ferry carrying 456 people was cruising from Incheon towards Jeju. Following the incident, the South Korean government appointed an eight-member panel to investigate the capsizing and sinking of the Sewol ferry. Adamantly, investigations laid claims to overloading, negligence, stability problems as well as external factors such as startling collisions.
During an investigation into the Sewol Ferry accident, overloading and improperly secured cargo was pointed out as a direct cause of the disaster. These are risks that could be easily mitigated should there have been a concise risk management manual. Analysis of ship's Automatic Identification System (AIS) made known of the immediate cause. According to data obtained, a sudden turn of the vessel was the primary cause of the incident. Similarly, data from crew members, ROK coast guard, and government investigators agreed with AIS data pinpointing the disaster’s cause to sudden turn. However, other primary and secondary reasons have been theorized to establish the most justified cause. Following the incident, there was a response as a search and rescue mission was initiated almost instantaneously. The naval forces were directly involved as well as commercial vessels. Additionally, the Republic of Korea Navy took part in the process to ensure efficiency. Nonetheless, the rescue mission took about 6days to recover all the victims fully. Different response occurred when the US warship arrived at the scene as well, as the Japanese coast guard; however, Korea did not approve of their quest to offer assistance. Conclusively, the disaster was the deadliest incident ever witnessed in Korea since 1940 when a ferry capsized killing about 326 people in Korea.
Introduction and Aims
Risk management strategies determine how well an organization is pre-prepared for qualms to safeguard business property, human resources, as well as the environment. Risk management is a process which entails three crucial steps. First, there is a risk assessment and analyses, which encompasses the evaluation of an organization’s exposure to determinate events whose occurrence could impact its day-to-day operation. The assessment also estimates the damage such circumstances could have on human resources, revenue, and reputation (Lee and Yoon 570). Second is the risk evaluation stage, which embroils a comparison between perceived risks and risk criteria set out by an organization. Such risk criteria may entail regulations governing business operations, socio-economic factors, costs and benefits, legal requirements as well as system complexities. Finally, there is the response and recommendation stage, which occurs when policies and procedures stipulated in an organization are implemented to help negate risks. To this end, the complete phase of risk mitigation is embraced, and it could also entail risk financing and risk transfer.
Based on a feasible risk management process, it is easy to identify, evaluate, and implement risk management issues in an organization. According to Kim et al., Korean waters are generally calm; however, the culmination of lax risk management processes and procedures became apparent when the disaster occurred (94). Mostly, everything went wrong, resulting in tremendous consequences which had a direct and immediate negative impact on the Korean economy (Haimes, 15). In regards to this, there are three most identifiable risk management issues associated with the incidence. These are; emergency response, agility to regulations, and organizational risk culture. The problems are directly inclined to the fatalities recorded in the disaster and directly links the findings to feasible recommendations. According to Lee and Yoon, emergency response is a risk management protocol involving the organization, allies, and other associated agencies that could help in such a situation (577). For instance, the Korean government declined the US and Japan offer to assist in the tragedy. Ultimately, the emergency response was not well coordinated, and the moderate result was not adequate.
The crew of Korean ferry is reported to have contacted coast guard minutes after the boat was already in distress. Likewise, the boat crew failed to respond to mechanical issues identified on the ship weeks before the disaster. As Haimes points out, the response should be coordinated to encompass all events occurring before, during, and after an accident (15). For instance, the crew should have pre-prepared by ensuring passenger and own safety before the journey. Additionally, the captain should have contacted the coast guard immediately; there was an unprecedented occurrence (Kim et al. 93). Finally, the government and other organizations should have responded with immediate effect to ensure the safety of victims. In regards to regulations, the ship had been modified against existing laws to accommodate more passengers. Similarly, the ferry was overloaded with cargo which was against the rules limiting the ship's cargo to about 2000 metric tons. According to Lee and Yoon, the vessel was carrying over 3000 metric tons on the day of disaster (570). Captain and crew neglected necessary regulations of operation which further worsened the situation. Lastly, team and rescuers lacked necessary operation skills and knowledge required to respond to such an incident. There was a gap in organizational risk culture.
Case Study
In April 2014 Sewol ferry capsized killing 304 passengers of 476 people who had boarded in what came to be known as the deadliest ferry disaster in Korea. Most of the passengers were students from Danwon high school who were on a school trip to a resort island. Initially, the ship had taken the course with no identifiable issues on the boat, crew, passengers, or the waters. Third Mate, Park Han, and Helmsman Cho Joo took control of the ship proceeding at a reasonable speed, and according to Haimes, visibility was excellent, and nothing seemed uncertain until the onset of the incident (20). The ship approached Maenggol channel, which according to Kim, contains hazardous rocks as well as strong underwater currents (185). Necessarily, the ships' crews were required to express adequate caution at the instance. Regardless, reports indicate that Park lacked the necessary skills to steer the ferry through such a channel.
The ferry’s captain, Captain Lee, was absent at the deck and Cho and Park took the ship through multiple turns, which resulted in complications. Turning off the boat to about 15 degrees in about 45 seconds implicated on the steering as the ferry shifted rapidly towards the right. The ships AIS failed following the turn which has been attributed to power failure or other accompanying mechanical niches. Arguably, the captain and other crew members were unable to respond accordingly, which signifies the breakdown in risk management issues. Ultimately, the captain should have immediately responded by alerting the coast guard and the crew to ready them (Kim, 185). Additionally, the steering failed to function normally, which exhibited the possibility of an impending problem. Meanwhile, angular velocity accelerated, resulting in further ship listing, and consequently, the cargo fell towards one side. This caused the ship to lose restoring power and therefore once the ship began listing, the containers and vehicles began sliding and started to fall off the boat.
Arguably, the sliding cargo on the Sewol Ferry may have exacerbated the ship’s listing which further indicated danger. Kim et al. assert that a lack of proper risk management culture could have attributed to negligence in terms of cargo loading and supervision (94). Moreover, there was negligence in terms of loading policies and regulations as the ship carried more than 1000 metric tons in extra cargo. According to Haimes, Sewol was only allowed to take about 2000 metric tons of cargo (17). Regulations govern the operation of organizations as well as transport vehicles and institutions. Therefore, failure to follow the rules could lead to unprecedented occurrences easily. This negligence continued prompting water to flow into the ship from a side door of the cargo loading bay. Following this, Lee returned to the cabin and ordered the evacuation of the engine room, the engines were shut, and lights are reported to have gone off abruptly. Disputably, there was no immediate response from the crew. Generally, this indicates a lack of necessary risk management skills as the ship’s crew lacked risk management culture.
As Sewol began sinking, all passengers were alerted to remain calm as movements could worsen the situation. Despite the case, there was no mobilization of the necessary emergency services, further indicating a gap in response and preparedness. As Kim states, the first emergency call was made by Danwon high school student abroad the ship to the Jeollanam fire station (184). This was against emergency protocol as the crew should consult emergenc...

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