Published on Australian Maritime Safety Authority (

100 years after the Titanic

Wednesday 11 April 2012

On the night of 14 April 1912, the RMS Titanic struck an iceberg in the Atlantic Ocean and sank early the next morning.

Media Release

It was a tragedy of immense proportions with more than 1500 lives lost, but out of this disaster came countless changes to maritime safety—changes that 100 years later continue to shape the maritime industry.

The International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) was created as a direct result of the sinking of the Titanic. SOLAS is described by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) as being “generally regarded as the most important of all international treaties concerning the safety of merchant ships”.

One of the key advancements in maritime safety brought about following the sinking of the Titanic was in relation to the number and use of lifeboats. The Titanic did not have sufficient lifeboats for all passengers, a lifeboat drill was not conducted, nor did the crew have adequate training in loading and lowering the lifeboats. These issues are all addressed in SOLAS, with minimum requirements specified.

Australia is a signatory to SOLAS and numerous other maritime conventions. Furthermore, we play a key role in enhancing international maritime safety standards, as a member of the IMO Council.

On 15 April Australia will join with countries all over the world to remember the tragedy of the Titanic. In September, the IMO’s World Maritime Day will also focus on this anniversary and the developments in maritime safety since this time.

The Titanic will never be forgotten, nor will the international maritime safety arrangements that started as a result of this disaster cease. It is a continual process and one which is a priority for Australia and all IMO Member States.

Note to media: Detailed information on the safety of life at sea and Australia’s role in the IMO are available on the AMSA website. Photos are also available to download from this site.