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On this day in 1912: The sinking of RMS Titanic

Apologies if Mecantile rather than Royal but Naval History nevertheless.


Over 1,500 people, including 700 of the 900 crew, died that morning

At 11.40 p.m. the lookouts in the crow’s nest phoned through to the bridge that there was an iceberg dead ahead. Titanic started to reverse and turn, but there was insufficient time. Within 40 seconds the iceberg raked down the starboard side of the ship. (Some experts suggest that the decision to reverse and turn was decisive in the ship’s fate, as she may have survived a head on collision with the iceberg.)

Thomas Andrews, who had designed Titanic, inspected the damage and found that five of the hull’s 16 watertight compartments had been compromised and were filling with water. He reported to Captain Edward Smith that the ship could withstand four flooded compartments, but not more. In his view Titanic would sink.

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Distress calls were sent out, but all shipping in the vicinity was either too far away or uncontactable. Captain Smith decided to abandon ship. Unfortunately, the 20 lifeboats only had space for 1,178 people. To compound the problem, crewmen were afraid the cranes were weak, and launched many of the lifeboats only partially filled.

In fact, six of the watertight compartments were taking on water. Titanic’s bow began sinking dramatically, and seawater started to spill over the unsealed tops of the watertight compartments into neighbouring sections. As the bow dropped ever further, the stern rose out of the water.

Official enquiries in the USA and UK found Titanic had been travelling too fast, had failed to hold a lifeboat drill, and should have sounded a general alarm to alert all crew and passengers of the emergency
At 2.18 a.m. on Monday 15 April the ship snapped in two from the enormous strain on its hull. By 2.20 a.m. Titanic had disappeared under the waves completely, where its two sections sank a further two and a half miles to the Atlantic seabed. RMS Carpathia arrived at 3.30 a.m. and began picking up survivors from the Titanic’s lifeboats. Those who had not made it into the lifeboats had long since frozen to death or gone down with the ship.

Over 1,500 people, including 700 of the 900 crew, died that morning. Captain Smith and Thomas Andrews were among the dead. Only 705 were saved by the lifeboats. The third-class passengers, who had been deep in the boat, suffered the worst losses, with only 174 survivors out of 710.

A newspaper boy spreads news of the sinking of Titanic to bystanders
A newspaper boy spreads news of the sinking of Titanic to bystanders CREDIT: GETTY
Official enquiries in the USA and UK found Titanic had been travelling too fast, had failed to hold a lifeboat drill, and should have sounded a general alarm to alert all crew and passengers of the emergency. The captain of SS Californian — which was found to have been closer to Titanic than was originally stated — was widely censured by both enquiries for not having offered assistance that may have saved a great number of lives.

Titanic’s opulence and tragedy came to define the end of a glamorous era, which was soon replaced by the trenches of World War One.

Her sister ship Britannic hit a mine in 1916 and sank with the loss of 30 lives. Olympic served as a successful cruise liner — and a troop carrier in the war — until scrapped in 1935.

On 1 September 1985, Argo, a 5-metre submersible from the U.S. Navy research ship Knorr, captured the first photographic images of Titanic on the sea bed. Despite many proposals to raise the wreck, it is safeguarded by UNESCO’s Convention on the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage, and now too fragile to be moved.

Extract from https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/04/15/day-1912-sinking-rms-titanic1/



Fate:Hit an iceberg 11:40 p.m. (ship's time) 14 April 1912 on her maiden voyage and sank 2 h 40 min later on 15 April 1912; 107 years ago.
More = https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RMS_Titanic
 

sampost

Lantern Swinger
Official enquiries in the USA and UK found Titanic had been travelling too fast, had failed to hold a lifeboat drill, and should have sounded a general alarm to alert all crew and passengers of the emergency

Talking of going too fast, this incident in Busan on April 6 this year springs to mind.

 
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