How the Titanic Changed Sea Travel - dummies

How the Titanic Changed Sea Travel

By Stephen J. Spignesi

The sinking of the Titanic changed history and the travel at sea for all time. Here are some of the changes that ensued to ensure a tragedy like the loss of Titanic didn’t happen again:

  • Enough lifeboats were carried onboard. The Titanic didn’t carry enough lifeboats for her passengers and crew. After the Titanic’s historic accident, ships were required to provide one seat for every passenger and crew member on a lifeboat.

  • The International Ice Patrol (IIP) was established. This organization monitors icebergs in the Arctic and North Atlantic oceans and broadcasts information about their locations. Not a single accident involving a ship and an iceberg has occurred since the establishment of the IIP.

  • Ship designs changed. Ships’ hulls were made stronger to prevent them from being breached and flooded by objects such as icebergs.

Maybe these reforms and changes to regulations would have been made if the Titanic didn’t strike the iceberg and sink on April 15, 1912. But it may well have taken the sinking of the biggest ship ever built on its maiden voyage to cause the “sea change” in ship design and ocean travel the world needed.

The Titanic disaster took the lives of just over 1,500 people. It is without a doubt the single most famous maritime disaster ever. It’s famous not just because rich and famous people died or because it sank on its maiden voyage (although that factor certainly contributed to the immediate and ongoing fascination with the disaster). It’s also famous because it opened eyes. It awakened people to the awesome power of nature and reminded them that no human-made edifice, no matter how strong or technologically advanced, is immune to the raw force of nature. It also made governments and the shipbuilding industry take a step back and ask, “Are we being as safe as we can?” And the answer, of course, was “No.”