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Safety Moment #56: Sinking Standards

July 28, 2018
Great Eastern / Titanic comparison

Great Eastern

This month is the 30 year anniversary of the Piper Alpha disaster. And, as to be expected, there have been many articles, blogs and web pages to do with that event, and the lessons that it continues to teach us. But there is an earlier maritime event which probably had a greater impact in its day than did Piper Alpha in ours. And that event was the sinking of the Titanic.

That event has given rise to many stories, movies and even some proverbs.

  • Rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.
  • Until the moment she actually sinks, the Titanic is unsinkable. (Julia Hughes).
  • Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the ‘Titanic’ who waved off the dessert cart. (Erma Bombeck).

One of the most important lessons to do with this famous event concerns the gradual erosion of safety standards that took place from the time of the building of the Great Eastern in 1858 to the sinking of the Titanic, 54 years later (which is why the picture at the head of the post is of the Great Eastern, not the Titanic).

For more discussion to do with the Great Eastern / Titanic comparison, and what it can teach us today, please visit Safety Moment #56: Sinking Standards.

Thank you.

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