On April 14, 1912 at 2340 the RMS Titanic struck an iceberg on her maiden voyage, the rest is history and the story well known.
On January 20, 1914 100 years ago today as a result of this tragedy 13 Nations held the International Convention of Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) it came into force in 1915 with just 5 Nations having ratified SOLAS.
At that time Europe was involved in the First World War from 1914 to 1918 but eventually most if not all maritime nations signed and ratified the Convention and today it is the normal standard for safely operating vessels at sea. In each country there is a body which is charged by its government and enforces SOLAS on all ships registered in or visiting its Ports. Known as the Flag State and the Port State Inspections vessels are inspected to SOLAS standards they may be detained until repairs are made should defects be found by these Inspections.
In the United States of America this is one of the missions of the United States Coast Guard (USCG) and the National Transportation Safety Board Marine Office (NTSB) conducts inquiries after maritime incidents.