Since this week is the hundredth anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, there has been much discussion on the news.
The sinking of the Titanic was a major disaster in several ways. Over 1500 people lost their lives. A major vessel was lost on it's first voyage. A comedy of errors occurred which led to the disaster.
Over the last 100 years the Titanic sinking has provided the reason for many books to be written. People are still fascinated with the sinking. Many heroic tales have been told of how people survived and died. It was horrendous for all as they thought they were on an extremely modern and safe ship. Within the last 10 years a major movie was made. Many newspaper articles and interviews have occurred on the topic. This week I heard several documentaries. One documentary was on the band that played on the ship and how it played to almost the last minute. The band members got off the ship but because they were in the water they soon perished from hypothermia.
Recent technology has enabled us to go down to the Titanic and look around. Again more was learned to explain what happened. Treasure seekers have been able to access the wreck. There is controversy regarding the ethics of taking things from the wreck. Salvagers assure us that the things the have were picked up from the ocean floor and not taken from the ship as the ship is considered a grave site.
Survivors provided eye witness accounts of events. The last Titanic survivor died only a few years ago. Families are still able to name members who were lost in the disaster.
Many investigations have taken place as to why the Titanic sank. There is till some dispute as to what actually happened. The investigations have led to many rules to improve navigation and safety. The basic building of ships was changed so that the bulkheads would prevent water from moving from one compartment to another. The type of steel used to build ships was changed because of the Titanic sinking.
It's difficult to consider the technology of the time. They did not have radar or sonar. They only had Morse code for a radio system. Visual sailing was all they had. They knew that this area could have icebergs but they continued on. Other ships in the area stopped for the night.
I think that today we have benefited from the Titanic disaster by having more reliable engineering practices. Laws have been enacted to enforce safety regulations. Life boat space and life jackets must be provided for all people on a ship.
We have all benefited from this great tragedy. 100 years have provided us with much information. I'm sure there is still more to learn. We also must remember this tragedy.