Don’t Let More Submarines Become Underwater Graveyards

Target: Kitack Lim, Secretary General of International Maritime Organization

Goal: Amend SOLAS to include enhanced safety standards for submersible vessels.

For days, the world waited for word on the fate of the five people aboard the Titan: a submersible vessel that took passengers to the wreckage of the ill-fated Titanic. In a tragic twist of irony, remains of the Titan were discovered near the infamous sunken ship. All five occupants, including the submersible’s creator and company CEO, are presumed dead. Now the lingering question remains: could this disaster have been prevented?

Reports seem to indicate the answer is yes, and that this vessel is the latest victim of lacking regulations and security protections. While most submarines used for work purposes are subject to safety inspections and guidelines (including the U.S. Navy’s rigorous SUBSAFE program), tourism-based submersibles that operate in international waters generally have no such safeguards. And regulations that do exist can easily be skirted by companies not meeting weight or passenger load requirements for the mandates to be implemented.

Such regulation aversion is believed to have been routinely practiced by the company running the Titan. Former employees and other experts had reportedly warned about the potential for catastrophe like the implosion that seemingly befell this submersible. In fact, warnings of possible death were allegedly cited multiple times in the waiver passengers signed to board the vessel.

An update to a set of safety standards for sea-faring vessels (created after the Titanic’s loss) to include submersibles can be made to prevent future tragedies. Sign the petition below to demand this needed reform be addressed at once.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Lim,

Aviation was once considered a Wild West, and only when the public was assured of air travel’s safety through rigorous international standards did airplanes and airlines become an integral part of transportation and of society. And only when the world learned from the catastrophic mistakes of the Titanic did seafaring become regarded as a safe and trusted form of travel. The Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) protocols were created in the wake of the Titanic tragedy.

It seems tragically fitting that a more recent tragedy associated with this historic disaster should inspire similar change. The vessel construction, rescue, and safety inspection and equipment mandates made possible by SOLAS can and should cover commercial submersibles. This essential template has been amended in the past when the time calls. If the Titan submersible’s horrific fate teaches us anything, it’s that mass tragedies must be an impetus for urgent change and for protections that will prevent the next needless loss of lives.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Madelganus


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