India on 5 April 2017 observed the 54th edition of the National Maritime Day. At the inaugural function at the Tuticorin Port, Port Trust chairman S Anantha Chandra Bose placed a wreath on the memorial for sailors who sacrificed their lives at sea. On this day in 1919, navigation history was created when SS Loyalty, the first ship of the Scindia Steam Navigation Company, journeyed to the United Kingdom. It was a crucial step for India shipping history when sea routes were controlled by the British.
The National Maritime Day was first celebrated on 5 April 1964. India is strategically located in the Indian sub-continent and has about 7516 kilometres of coastline. The long coastline is serviced by a total of 182 ports, 12 of them under a special status as Major Ports. At present, 90% of India’s international trade in terms of volume and 77% in terms of value is moved by sea. As a part of the programme, a grand function was organised at the port.
The maritime day flag was hoisted and Port Trust chairman took salute of the Sail Past. An array of flotilla consisting of Tug Thiruvalluvar, Tug Ocean Brave, Tug Ocean Endurance, Pilot Launch Nallathanni, Pilot Launch Tuticorin and Patrol boats Harsha-III and Jyothi sailed at the port during Sail Past. Demonstrations programmes like ‘Man over Board Drill, ‘Search pattern of Man over board’ and Firefighting at sea were displayed to the gathering. The National Maritime Day was first celebrated on April 5, 1964.