April 5 is celebrated as the National Maritime Day in India every year. It was on this day 99 years ago in 1919 when the country's navigation history set sail with SS Loyalty, the first ship of the Scindia Steam Navigation Company Ltd started for the United Kingdom from Mumbai (then British Bombay). It marked a red letter day in the maritime history of India, a country known for its seafaring abilities since ancient days.
The day is being observed since 1964.
In 2018, the theme of the occasion is 'Indian Shipping - An Ocean of opportunity'. On this day, awareness in supporting safe and environmentally sound commerce between continents across the world is stressed upon.
An award called Varuna is conferred to those who have made an outstanding contribution to the Indian maritime sector on this day. Besides, those who have made distinguished achievements or made contributions to education and training in the sector are also awarded on the day.