On 6 March 1987, the ferry Herald of Free Enterprise, leaving Zeebrugge port in Belgium, overturned, killing nearly 200 people. Among the passengers were many British people, using a special offer in tabloid newspaper The Sun, allowing them to make the crossing for just one UK pound.
The newspaper soon organised the recording of a single to benefit the Sun's Zeebrugge Disaster Fund, which was set up to raise money for victims of the disaster and relatives of the deceased. The recordings took place on 14, 15 and 16 March 1987, and only weeks later it was a Europe-wide chart success.
Kim about Ferry Aid
I didn't think, when I heard, that this was a good thing to do. Making a record wasn't the first thing that sprang to mind. I was very upset by what happened and I didn't think it was appropriate to sing about it. I'm doing it because I've been told the families need the money but I feel very strange about it. (1)
I had very mixed feelings about Ferry Aid, I thought that it wasn't in good taste, but at the end of the day I realised that it would raise a lot of money for the families of the victims. (2)