(Representational Photo only. Picture shot in Southern Indian ocean)
EXIF: Nikon COOLPIX S6, 1/85 sec, f/9, Matrix metering, ISO 50 (stitched panorama of 5 different shots)
“April 15, 1912. Titanic sank taking more than 1500 lives with it….”
These words used to be there on the inner jacket of ‘SOLAS’ publication back in 1998. SOLAS stands for Safety Of Life At Sea, an IMO convention. (I am not sure if James Cameron had secretly sponsored the 1998 cover).
Since then the SOLAS publication jackets have had less cinematic words inscribed on them, but even today SOLAS mentions ‘RMS Titanic’ sinking on its back cover.
If you wonder why I am writing this, I’d passed about 45 miles south of the Titanic’s last position on 16th April 2012. That made it 100 years and a day later.
I don’t know what it says about climatic changes, but the prevalent ice-limits were about 240 miles north of Titanic’s last position, which was hit by ice-berg. North Atlantic is seldom in sparing mood and our own weather was no exception. However now we have the benefits of regular weather reports/analysis, shore based weather-routing, ice-reports. Not to mention the pin point navigation, thanks to satellites. Today’s ships are designed to take head-on collisions with other ships, floating objects, icebergs and stay afloat … but sadly so was the Titanic.
As unfortunate as Titanic’s sinking has been, it also heralded a new era in Maritime safety. For the first time in maritime history governments were forced to monitor shipboard safety and shipbuilding standards. Many of the pioneering efforts started since, like SOLAS and International Arctic Ice Patrol are relevant even today. Inarguably, many more lives have been saved by the SOLAS convention and other such efforts since then.