Rewind to the year 1888: The 202-foot SS City of Chester, departing San Francisco harbor in thick fog, is nearly cut in two by the much larger liner Oceanic, arriving from Hong Kong. Within six minutes, the smaller ship disappears under the turbulent current near the site of the present-day Golden Gate Bridge, claiming 16 lives.

Cowardice comes in many forms, but there's a special sense of shame reserved for captains who abandon ship.

South Korean authorities have arrested Capt. Lee Jun-Seok, who was one of the first to flee from the ferry as it sank on Wednesday.

"I can't lift my face before the passengers and family members of those missing," Lee told reporters.

This post is being updated as news comes in.

Unsuccessful in their attempts to find the missing in a sunken ferry off the southern coast of South Korea overnight, rescue divers resumed their search at day break Thursday, Jason Strother reports from Seoul.

A day after the boat began to sink, the cause of the accident is unclear and less than half of the passengers who were on board have been rescued, Strother tells NPR's Newscast Desk.

Most of those unaccounted for are high school students who were on a trip to a resort island.

I started my journey at the famed Gdansk Shipyard, home of Poland's solidarity movement in the 1980s. It was nearly midnight when I arrived and saw for the first time the Maersk McKinney Moller, the world's largest container ship.

I simply wasn't prepared for just how massive it is. The whole ship really can't be taken in, even standing at a distance, so I gave my neck a good stretch by scanning this behemoth end to end, and up and down.

On a cold, blustery day at Port Elizabeth in New Jersey, one of several massive cranes whirs along a rail high above the pier, picks up a heavy container from a ship's deck and loads it on a waiting truck back on land. The truck drives away, another arrives, and the whole process starts again.

It's a scene played out every day along America's coasts as massive container ships from across the globe pull into deep-water seaports, waiting to be unloaded. The ships are enormous — some 10 stories high and several football fields long.

National Coast Guard Museum Association

Like many cities, New London has plans to revitalize its downtown. One project local leaders hope will bring in  tourist dollars is the construction of a National Coast Guard Museum on the city’s waterfront.

A ghost ship full of diseased, cannibalistic rats could be nearing landfall somewhere in the British Isles.

No, it's not the plot for a new horror film. According to The Independent, the 300-foot cruise liner Lyubov Orlova, which has been drifting, crewless, around the North Atlantic for nearly a year since it snapped its towline en route to the scrapyard, might be moving east toward the English coast.

Alan Villers

Mystic Seaport hosts its annual Sea Chanty Blast and Pub Sing this Saturday. The event brings together some of the best chanty singers and groups from the northeast.

There's good news from Antarctica, where two ships that had been stuck in ice — one of them for about two weeks — have managed to get to open waters.

The U.S. Navy's first "supercarrier" is being sold for just 1 cent to a ship breaker.

The USS Forrestal, launched in 1954 and decommissioned in 1993, is the first of three conventional (non-nuclear) carriers due to be scrapped in the coming years. The Forrestal is best known for a devastating fire in 1967 that engulfed the ship's flight deck, killing 134 sailors and wounding 161 others.

Peter Willcox of Norwalk spoke with his wife, Maggy Willcox, for the first time Monday since his arrest by Russian authorities on a piracy charge. This improves on her previous communication with him, which was an email saying the Russians were taking over his ship.


With Tom Hanks getting good reviews for his portrayal of a ship captain taken over by Somali pirates, it might be a good time to note that there could be a future Hollywood script being written right now in the Russian port city of Murmansk. 

There's news this week that shipbuilder STX Finland will close what it describes as "the world's leading ferry builder," a yard where the company also built small cruise ships, icebreakers and naval craft.

The company blamed economic conditions for the closure of the Rauma Shipyard. Work from there will be shifted to the company's facility in Turku. About 700 people will lose their jobs.

Harriet Jones

Connecticut is celebrating its maritime heritage this weekend with the Schooner Festival in New London. The brand-new event hopes to attract thousands of people from around the region, and provide a showcase for local companies.

The Fishers Island Ferry prepares to sail from its terminal in New London. She'll have some company today, as 20 schooners, sturdy, sleek and fast sailing vessels with a long history in Connecticut, arrive in the Thames River.

Ed G (Flickr Creative Commons)

The executive director of Amistad America Inc., a New Haven-based non-profit, asserts that all money it has received from the state has been used appropriately. Amistad America owns and operates the Freedom Schooner Amistad, and recently lost its non-profit status after falling behind in filing federal tax returns.

J Holt

Yesterday, Mystic Seaport celebrated another major milestone in its effort to restore the only wooden whaling ship left in the world. 

On Sunday, the crowd overflowed from Mystic Seaport's shipyard, to boats spread across the river, and any piece of shoreline with a view. 

White- "Ladies and gentlemen," 

That's Seaport President Steve White.

White- "Welcome to the launching of the Charles W. Morgan on her 172nd anniversary. Welcome!"

J Holt

A significant milestone was reached in the restoration of the Charles W. Morgan- Mystic Seaport's 172 year old wooden whaling ship. 

Mystic Seaport president Steve White addressed over 200 people gathered beside the giant wooden hull of the Charles W. Morgan.

White- "...the last surviving whaling ship on the face of the of the earth, and the oldest commercial ship afloat in the western hemisphere..."

J Holt

A significant milestone was reached Friday in the restoration of the Charles W. Morgan- Mystic Seaport's 172 year old wooden whaling ship. 

Mystic Seaport president Steve White addressed over two hundred people gathered beside the giant wooden hull of the Charles W. Morgan.

White- "...the last surviving whaling ship on the face of the of the earth, and the oldest commercial ship afloat in the western hemisphere..."

When Hurricane Sandy blew across the Northeast it caused devastating damage to the boating industry. The losses could amount to more than half a billion dollars. And as WNPR’s J Holt reports, Connecticut’s marine industry is still feeling the effects four months later.

Inst. for Exploration & Inst. for Archaeological Oceanography

Dr. Robert Ballard is probably the world’s most famous explorer - in part because of his Titanic discovery - in part because of his tireless mission to uncover secrets of the deep.

Chion Wolf

Before we get started on ferries, let me make a few things clear.

J. Holt, WNPR

Connecticut’s marine industry is one of many facing tax increases in governor Malloy’s proposed budget. But those in the industry say the changes could have unintended consequences. 

Early April is a quiet time for boating here in Connecticut. Most pleasure boats are still tucked under winter covers, but for Connecticut boatyards this is just as important a time of year as any other.

At pilot’s point marina in Westbrook, Rives Potts is inspecting a 46 foot sailboat that his yard has been rebuilding in one of their sheds.

Boaters Can Help Stop Spread Of Invasive Species

Apr 8, 2011
Andres Musta

The state Department of Environmental Protection is training volunteers to educate boaters about invasive species on Candlewood Lake. Last fall the invasive zebra mussel was found in Lakes Zoar and Lillinonah. The mussel can be carried in boats from one lake to another. Eleanor Mariani of the D.E.P. says the volunteers will ask boaters to make sure they’ve cleaned their vessels if they’ve been in a lake that contains the mussel.