Safety Measures In Ships
Titanic making was completed around 1907. The enormous ship captured attention globally due to its complexity. From the remains that were found on the wreck ground it was observed that the ship had Artistic completely nurtured, three-dimensional features and objects, witnesses say that the Titanic was more than describable, in fact the right phrase applicable would be, beyond words and pictures. Unfortunately, the Titanic met with a fatal disaster in 1912. Titanic’s story has been narrated and re-narrated.
Although it sank and got destroyed, the Titanic remains a great historical source of legendary and curiosity (Young 1912). To start the comparisons between safety measures in place then at the ones put in today it sounds appropriate to ask our selves, why does it take for a disaster to happen, to change policies, strategies or laws and regulations in regard to safety precautions. Since that accident, ship owners and authorities have pushed for further measures to be installed in all major cargo and passenger ships ( Paine ,1919).
To begin with, let us scrutinize safety measures in the Titanic by looking at the materials that had been used in its construction. From the wrecks, it is seen that the Titanic was made of steel plates that had been joined by iron rivets. A comprehensive survey indicated that the pieces of steel plating of this ship seemed to have metallurgy lose of elasticity which highly facilitated Titanic’s brittleness in water, due to this reaction; the Titanic was left vulnerable to total indention and rupture (Winzy. com 2008).
Further analysis found out that the steel had higher phosphorus and sulfur contents. Higher amounts of the latter are said to result to fractures and likelihood of cracks respectively. Research also noted that the steel lacked in manganese and this in turn might have caused the ship’s to loose on ductility (Eye witness to History. com, 1912). This might have been one area that the manufactures of the Titanic failed. Although innovation and technology had not developed as such, it is likely or rather apparent that these firm could have used better quality material had they known.
The content of these constituent minerals in the main steel have been checked. Only high quality steel with less of these chemical content is used only now as a safety precaution. Another most likely defect or amiss in Titanic’s making could be the riveting concept applied (Lawrence 1929). Investigations say that they were more fragile than expected. Slag residues found in them again could have led to the ship’s breakdown at that rate. In new ship building industries today only the best quality of rivet material is used.
The number of rivets holding the steel plates together probably might have been smaller which in turn made the fracturing of the legendary Titanic even faster. Although, the building process might have seen small mishaps and setbacks, I believe more could have been done if proper studies and research had been done. Reports later on alleged that the ship building company had shortages in skilled and highly competent riveters. Mostly the riveting was carried out by hand, another aspect that might have jeopardized Titanic’s safety (Titanic Facts, 2008).
However, the scene today has completely changed and everything is now mechanized: from the initial processes to the finished product. Today’s rivets are steel made which is contrast to earlier iron ones. Evidently, steel is stronger than iron which convinces of a compact and strong structure. Next point to be considered is the electronically of the Titanic as an effort towards ensuring safety, the radar in particular. Although investigations indicate that the radar was not too small, for the Titanic’s size, it design had less to be proud of or even to be associated with.
In relation to Titanic’s size there were other bigger radars in comparatively average sized ships. Scrutinizing this citation, the radars capability to view far distance was lower. This could be given as the reason why the captain and his crew members might have seen the iceberg that caused Titanic her life. With advancement in technology, the extent to which radar power has gone is indeed tremendous. Their ability and scale of efficiency is even further boosted by satellite installations in today’s ships.
Recently made radars can view ship obstacle from a very long distance and with satellite signals facilitating warning in good time. Moreover, in Titanic’s manufacture, the builders might have minimally concentrated on or given little thinking about how the ship, of eight hundred and fifty two feet in length could make a turning incase of an emergency or particularly to avoid collision. Perhaps in addition, the most deadly occurrence to Titanic’s design might have been her screw engine arrangement which was in a triple configuration.
Also constituent were reciprocating engines run by steam which in turn drove the propellers. A turbine ran her middle propeller. Problem seen was that the reciprocating engines were reversible while the turbine was not. It is also apparent that, when Titanic’s First Officer, ordered for a reverse to the engines so as to avoid hitting or colliding with the iceberg, he handicapped or better said sabotaged the ship’s turning ability( Cynthia, 1996). This resulted to a halt simply because; the centre turbine could not reverse as the ship was cruising at full speed.
In fact, the lock hampered the ship’s tendency to maneuver. This century has seen a lot of developments put into ensuring that the engines perform at maximum potential at all times. Ships of the moment have propellers that move in all directions. Titanic’s failure seems to have sent a lesson that fortunately appears to have been well learned. That fatal tragedy served as an eye opener (Robertson, 1991). Further more facing the fact that the middle propeller had been placed in front of the rudder, its effectiveness seems to have been cut down.
Compared to Canard or Lusitanian rudder design, Titanic’s was just a fraction of their size. This could have hampered its functioning. Those could have been the technical aspect of safety that lacked. Looking at the physical safety precautions, the magnitude of the disaster might have increased due to the outgrown or rather rotted lifebelts that did not work. Today safety belts are changed regularly and checked to ensure that they are functioning properly. The life boats also had little to help even though they presented a safety assurance.
To dissatisfaction, these too did not function successfully (Blackwell, 1912). It was evident that they carried fewer people than they were supposed to. As a result, many people out of fear, panicked and disorder took centre stage. Saving became even harder due to commotion and distress. The fire equipment was faulty and unmanaged and the crew in control acted lazily. The obvious reason of course that badly impacted on the Titanic was that they had never encountered a fire drill before. Critics though feel that the owners of the ship and their policies caused the worst to happen (Mow bray, 1912).
They particularly think that these owners were interested only in making profits at the expense of safety and even the priceless human life. Passengers more often were asked to sign warranties that indicate they were at own risk. So, this forced a large number of them aboard to even jump out of the wrecking ship. It was dangerous trying it but worth than just waiting for the unexpected. From the safety equipments to the team, there was a shortage and redundancy to reaction immediately the Titanic’s hull hit the iceberg.
The nature of compartments made it impossible for passengers to quickly access the exit. Overconfidence is another aspect that negatively affected their safety reaction. There was belief that nothing could even destroy the Titanic (Lord, 1956). In the happening of the accident, it seems that safety courses had not been established and reading of signs not upgraded or even widely known among the water means users. A lot ought to have been done; the California ship nearby, could have helped but they rather turned off their wireless since they did not know the meaning of the lamp signal.
Comparing with water transport today, the industry has grown very much in deed. Sinking and wrecking of the Titanic is a factor that led to a follow up of what the maritime body has achieved. It is now eminent that practices, sea traditions and culture, and design of ship building have been considered to correct the fault done earlier. Among the changes established initiated include; the International Ice Patrol to check out and clear existing and forming icebergs, new rules and regulations on lifeboats and safety belts and the twenty four hour surveillance on passenger ships.
Today, the stability of ships afloat has improved, the longer it can float in the wake of an accidence the easier it gets for successful rescue and evacuation. Ship operators just put roll-on-roll-off ferries. In addition vessels must be compliant to regulations under voyage issues. Shipping companies have gone even further to catering for personal safety in ships today. With other safety fears emerging like hijacking and terrorism, security to ensure safety has been beefed up-thousands of people in America sail onboard everyday, the ships could be targeted by terror groups.
In bids to ensure that this does not happen, the United States in conjunction with United Nations have imposed very strict and straight forward maritime regulations, policies and laws(George ,2008). This are meant to protect the passengers onboard. United States has created the Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA) and the International Ship and Facility Security code (ISPS) which are part of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) which is in turn a constituent of United Nation (US coastguard, 2008).
The International Council of Cruise Lines (ICCL) indicates that the regulations on security laws require ships, governments and port facilities to access or acquire formal screening measures, security plans, waterside rescue equipment and effective communication in existence between the ports and the ships. The measures are meant to ensure safety of passengers from terrorist attacks in the middle of the sea or at the port. Other measures categorically focus on mechanical and reaction to fire problems. Rabaska, 2008) The IMO has taken the mandatory to step in and consult in terms of ship design, operation and construction. The Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) which was initiated after the destruction of the Titanic in 1914 has today been updated over time. The resultant is drastic changes in ship building and technological aspects of the latter. ( Cox ,2003) SOLAS is concerned with matters in regard to ship water tightness, communicational links, navigation capability, fire prevention, life-saving techniques and transport of people, cargo and dangerous goods.
Ship crews are now trained on how to respond incase of an emergency. Apart from numerous regular serviced lifeboats, life-jackets are also in plenty to assist persons incase they are forced to swim. (US coastguard 2008)Most recommendable efforts though have seen ship personal safety pushed to further scrutiny of personal health. Due to rising cases of noro-virus, ships have actively played their role on carried out sanitation programs.
Despite its efforts, the ship personnel is not always competent in effort towards controlling codes of behavior and so, it has emphasized to its passengers on trying to concentrate on their personal hygiene. Another thing that ships have done is the installation of security cameras. These surveillance gadgets monitor all ship compartments and if any passenger is found violating given rules they are penalized. Even after all these measures have been put in place and guarantees convinced on safety, the growing rise in sexual assaults and disappearing of passengers has become worrying.
In fact, complains have seen The International Cruise Victims Organization (ICVO) experience hardships in trying to curb the menace (Silverstein, 2006). The organ though alleges that ship firms are not accountable and regulated. It says that they are not committed to protecting their passengers. Lastly, activism and lobby groups have pushed for reforms that concern insurance and compensation. They feel that all passengers onboard any vessel should be on the ship’s policy and are entitled to compensation incase of a disaster.