5 ways the Titanic SHAPED maritime HISTORY

The sinking of the Titanic exposed a long list of flaws which changed the course of maritime history in many ways. Here are just a few.

5 ways the Titanic SHAPED maritime HISTORY.

The sinking of the Titanic in 1912 sparked a lawmaking frenzy, which shaped maritime history forever.

From the radical changes in how ships were designed and built to strict laws regarding lifeboat drills and an ice patrol team, the unfortunate maritime disaster changed how we see the industry today for the better.

As one of the most infamous maritime accidents, sinking a ship that was once called ‘practically unsinkable’ had far-reaching consequences and left an incredible mark on history.

The events surrounding the Titanics’ demise led to significant advancements in maritime safety, rescue and emergency responses.

In this article, we will delve into five of the main ways in which the sinking of the RMS Titanic shaped maritime history. Thus, revolutionising the industry and reinforcing the importance of safety at sea.

5. The 1957 Limitation Convention – changes to shipowners’ liability

The 1957 Limitation Convention is one of the ways the Titanic shaped maritime history.
Credit: commonswikimedia.org

One of the main ways the Titanic shaped maritime history was the change of liability of the ship owners.

At the time when Titanic existed, ship owners were only liable for the ‘casualty value of the vessel’, which meant that the bigger the casualty rate, the less money was available to the claimants.

Moving ahead to 1957, The Limitation Convention eventually came into play, which ensured a fair and balanced framework for compensating victims and a straightforward procedure for limitation proceedings.

Key elements of this convention included limits on the shipowner’s liability being based on the vessel’s tonnage instead of the post-casualty value.

4. International Ice Patrol – monitoring the threat of icebergs

The International Ice Patrol monitors the threat of icebergs.
Credit: picryl.com

Since the sinking of the Titanic occurred after a collision with an iceberg, it was inevitable that something needed to change regarding the patrol of icebergs to prevent this from happening again.

The disaster led to the convening of the International Ice Patrol. The United States Coast Guard runs it to this very day.

The duties of the International Ice Patrol are to monitor and report on the location of icebergs in the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans that could be a threat to sea vessels crossing this route.

The organisation, funded by 13 nations, was set up in 1914. Every year, the US Coast Guard and the International Ice Patrol lay a wreath on a ship or an aircraft at the site of the Titanic disaster.

3. Enhanced emergency response & rescue – important aspects of maritime safety

Enhanced emergency response is one of the ways the Titanic shaped maritime history.
Credit: wallpaperflare.com

The Titanic disaster exposed the crucial need for better emergency response and rescue procedures in case of maritime accidents.

One notable change following the sinking was the establishment of stricter radio communication protocols. Furthermore, the addition of more comprehensive de-stress signal systems.

This is one of the top ways the Titanic shaped maritime history, helping to improve the overall coordination of rescue efforts and increasing the chance of survival, which the unfortunate passengers and crew on the Titanic never had.

The Radio Act of 1912 was introduced and required all sea vessels to have a 24-hour radio system in place.

2. Changes to ship designs – one way the Titanic shaped maritime history

Changes to ship desgins.
Credit: Flickr/ Ryan N81

Since it became apparent that some of the flaws of the design and build of the Titanic added to the impact of the disaster, the improvement of further ship designs became vital to improving safety at sea.

The Titanic’s design revealed various technical shortcomings and design vulnerabilities. These, in turn, led to the ship sinking quicker than anyone could have imagined.

They are attributed as some of the mistakes that caused the sinking of the Titanic.

Modern ships have begun incorporating watertight compartments, improved lifeboat provisions, more advanced communication systems and accessible escape routes for all decks.

1. The International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) – one of the most important establishments

SOLAS is one of the ways the Titanic shaped maritime history.
Credit: Flickr/ International Maritime Organization

One of the most important ways the Titanic shaped maritime history is the development of SOLAS. SOLAS plays an integral role in all things regarding maritime safety.

The creation of SOLAS was to set and hold safety standards. For example, how many lifeboats a ship should have, regular inspections and lifeboat drills.

When you delve into the story of the Titanic, you realise that the disaster exposed critical flaws in safety practices.

This includes insufficient lifeboats for all passengers, no safety drill taking place, and half-half-empty lifeboats.

Because of these flaws, SOLAS was created to ensure all precautions are taken for safety at sea.

So, there are the top five ways the Titanic shaped maritime history. The sinking of the Titanic led to substantial changes and improvements in safety at sea, ship design and ice patrol, all of which continue to shape the industry today.

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