Why SOLAS? Seafaring was in vogue during the 19th and early 20th century when air carriers were yet to set a firm footing in international transport. Passenger transport through ships was much more frequent than it is today, and so were the accidents and disasters that took place along with it. The annual loss of life from British ships alone averaged between 700 and 800 during this period. When the invincible, White Star Liner Titanic, the safest ship of her times, drowned in the Atlantic in 1912 killing more than 1500 passengers and crew, the international fraternity felt the need to have a set of guidelines that would make seafaring safer. And that’s when SOLAS was born. How Did It Come Into Action? The International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea was adopted first at a conference held in London in 1914. This convention touched upon various chapters of safety at sea like navigation, construction, radiotelegraphy, life-saving appliances, and fire protection. But the central aspect of 1914 SOLAS convention was laws and rules to prevent loss of human life at Sea. Under the ruling body of IMO, four more conventions were adopted. The 2nd one was in 1929 and entered into force in 1933. The 3rd in 1948 and came into effect in 1952; the 4th (under the … Continue reading Understanding Shipping Safety with SOLAS
The World Maritime Day, marked on September 29, 2016, is observed to give shipping due credit it deserves. The IMO or International Maritime Organization, is a global maritime regulatory authority and a subset of the United Nations that supervises the movement of international fleet and cargo transport on a day to day basis.