Stop the presses! An official communique, actually a press release, announces that the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has endorsed a proposal by its Secretary-General to dedicate 2012 World Maritime Day to Titanic victims. The reason, the news report says, is “that the time had come for the organisation to return to its “roots” of identifying with safety of life at sea.” Which makes one wonder how far they have strayed from their supposed mission of safety at sea. Until this press release, I never heard of IMO and I doubt many have.
So what is going on here? Is it merely a way to acknowledge a terrible loss at sea in 1912 and the lessons learned from it? IMO plans to “examine whether the lessons drawn from among the most costly accidents of the last 100 years had been learnt to the full.” The next line says it all:
“The organisation will also identify the most contributory factors in the quest for ever-enhanced safety in shipping.”
Written like a true bureaucrat! You might conclude they will put out brochures and other informational media as to the many safety innovations over the years. More lifeboats, 24 hour radio, life vests, satellite transponders. All of that true. Perhaps they just want to hop on board the Titanic bandwagon in 2012 like everybody else is doing. Except they were not around in 1912. Nor does the IMO, as far as I know, have any participation in the International Ice Patrol. Since the major maritime nations already have mechanisms in place (regulations and oversight agencies) that deal with shipping, the IMO probably does not have much to do. So it probably comes up with nifty reports on dealing with many maritime problems and perhaps useful in meditating the occasional spat between shippers and maritime authorities. I suspect though they have been working on other areas outside of their framework
In case your wondering what the 2011 IMO day was, the theme was “Piracy: Orchestrating the Response.” Well the old way still works. You track down the pirates, damage or sink their crafts, hinder their ability to operate, and execute the worst of the lot and imprison the rest.
Nigerian Observer News, IMO Dedicates World Maritime Day To Victims Of Titanic Accident, 6 Jul 2011