The event in this instance is the sinking of the Indonesian fishing vessel that has become known as the 'Suspected Illegal Entry Vessel X' (SIEV X). The trip had been organised by a number of 'people-smugglers' and planned to take passengers to Australia's Christmas Island. Over 400 asylum seekers boarded the vessel on 18 October 2001. The following day, the boat sank and less than 50 were alive when Indonesian fishing vessels resuced survivors - bringing the deaths to over 350.
The Case Study is divided into sections based on a number of questions that are to be answered by the student. In order to do this, students are presented with a great deal of evidence - some of it conflicting, and are asked to evaluate and decide upon its validity, which will lead them to draw their own conclusions about the various issues raised. Progression through these questions will help them develop the skills and knowledge required to answer the essay question: "Was the sinking of the SIEV X and subsequent loss of life preventable?"