The tragic sinking of RMS Titanic in 1912, with 1,517 fatalities, is probably the most famous shipwreck, but not the biggest in terms of life lost. However it led to a series of improvements in maritime safety systems. Every maritime mishap serves as eye openers and maritime safety systems are still evolving imbibing lessons from each tragedy. In this article, V.J. Mathew, a senior advocate of Kerala High Court and Co- President of the Indian Maritime Law Association and member of International Maritime and Transport Committee, IBA, London makes a review of how maritime safety over the years evolved for the better learning lessons from Titanic and the latest challenges.
When we think of marine safety, one of the first things which pop into our head is the sinking of the Titanic, which is unmistakably the most iconic of all shipwrecks in marine history. This incidentally, is a great starting point to begin the discussion on marine and maritime safety.
The tragedy pushed the issue of marine safety to the forefront of public consciousness. The adoption of the first International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) in 1914 was a direct consequence of the sinking of the Titanic on 15 April 1912. Pressure also mounted around the globe for the creation of a permanent international body to promote maritime safety more effectively.
(Read the full part of this article in the March issue of Safety Messenger Magazine 2015)