100 years ago tomorrow, The RMS Titantic, while on her maiden voyage from England to the United States, hit the iceberg in the night, tearing a whole in the ship and causing her to sink in the ocean in the early hours of April 15, 1912. This was among deadliest peacetime maritime disasters as 1,514 people perished.
The accident was caused by operator error as there were warnings of icebergs in the area, yet the ship continued at full speed at the direction of Captain Smith who could not imagine ice being a problem for such a large ship. The number of deaths however were caused by poor management of the lifeboats. The ship did not have enough space for all of the passengers onboard in the lifeboats, plus, they lowered the lifeboats many times before they were full.
As a result of this tragedy, maritime regulations were changed to make certain that there were enough life boats and life jackets, plus other safety measures. Cruise ships today take extreme caution when it comes to safety of its passengers. Most cruise lines have a muster drill before the ship sets sail on embarkation day. Attendance is mandatory at these drills as well. Those who don’t come, will be contacted by safety personnel onboard. The crew onboard also train constantly about what to do in an emergency. I have no problem with attending a muster drill knowing it is in my best interest.
We’ve come a long way in the last 100 years.
Exactly …. and next time I go on a cruise I won’t be taking safety so much for granted …especially after the Costa Concordia tragedy … before that I never even considered the possibility that a modern cruise ship could sink, and never gave it a second thought while on board.