27 September 2012
The sinking of the Titanic 100 years ago had a “significant impact” on improving safety in the maritime sector internationally, says the Associate Minister of Transport, Simon Bridges, at World Maritime Day last week.
“Despite the huge numbers lost on Titanic, there were some positives taken from the disaster. Two years after the sinking, the first International Convention for the Safety for Life at Sea, or SOLAS, was adopted,” he says.
About 80 representatives from New Zealand’s maritime community attended the event, including delegates from the Marine Transport Association, CentrePort, the Greater Wellington Regional Council, Maritime Union of New Zealand and Coastguard New Zealand Ltd.
The theme for 2012 was IMO: 100 years after the Titanic.
“The disaster led to the introduction of new international requirements dealing with safe navigation for all merchant ships, the provision of watertight and fire-resistant bulkheads, life-saving appliances, such as lifeboats, and firefighting and fire-preventing equipment on passenger ships.
Minister Bridges also spoke of the maritime regulations adopted, such as the carrying of radio telegraph equipment for ships carrying more than 50 people, and the establishment of a North Atlantic ice patrol.
More recent boat safety initiatives in New Zealand were also recognised by the Minister, including the launch of the Fishing Sector Action Plan and licensing for jet boat drivers.
“We’re constantly trying to improve safety on the water and we strive to ensure seafaring is as safe as it can be.”
World Maritime Day is an annual event that focuses on maritime issues such as international safety, security and environmental protection. The day was created by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) – a specialised agency of the United Nations – and is celebrated around the world every September.
For further information contact:
Maritime New Zealand Media Line
Phone 04 499 7318