Tag Archives: Seamans Act 1915

SS Eastland: Titanic Regulations Had An Impact

SS Eastland circa 1911 Photo: public domain (Library of Congress)
SS Eastland circa 1911
Photo: public domain (Library of Congress)

Marian Cheatham, writing for Chicago Now, recently opined that regulations enacted after Titanic had a consqeuence. The consequence was that ships that were not designed for the extra weight or had stability issues would have problems. The SS Eastland was one such ship. Now obviously no one wanted this to happen so the actual fault does not rest on the regulations but on the shipowners and whether they were negligent or not.

Titanic Responsible For Eastland Capsizing?(3 Aug 2014,Chicago Now)
The Eastland was originally designed and built for 6 lifeboats. The additional weight added in compliance with the Seaman’s Act made an already unstable vessel even more top-heavy and inevitably, deadly. On the day of her capsizing in July 1915, she had a total of 11 lifeboats, 37 rafts, and a workboat. Without a doubt, the fallout from the Titanic impacted the Eastland, but the additional weight of this life-saving equipment was not the only cause of that fatal capsizing. Several other factors came into play. As I outlined in the Author’s Notes for my novel, Eastland, the disaster occurred because a series of events unfolded in catastrophic succession. The Seaman’s Act was only the first event in that series.