Titanic (/taɪˈtænɪk/) was a British passenger liner that sank
in the North Atlantic Ocean in the early hours of 15 April 1912, after
colliding with an iceberg during its maiden voyage from
New York City. There were an estimated 2,224 passengers and crew
aboard, and more than 1,500 died, making it one of the deadliest
commercial peacetime maritime disasters in modern history. RMS Titanic
was the largest ship afloat at the time it entered service and was the
second of three Olympic-class ocean liners operated by the White Star
Line. It was built by the
Harland and Wolff
Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast.
Thomas Andrews, her architect, died in the disaster.
Titanic was under the command of Edward Smith, who also went down with
the ship. The ocean liner carried some of the wealthiest people in the
world, as well as hundreds of emigrants from Great Britain and
Scandinavia and elsewhere throughout Europe who were seeking
a new life in the United States. The first-class accommodation was
designed to be the pinnacle of comfort and luxury, with an on-board
gymnasium, swimming pool, libraries, high-class restaurants and
opulent cabins. A high-powered radiotelegraph transmitter was
available for sending passenger "marconigrams" and for the ship's
operational use. Although
Titanic had advanced safety features such
as watertight compartments and remotely activated watertight doors,
Titanic only carried enough lifeboats for 1,178 people—about half
the number on board, and one third of her total capacity—due to
outdated maritime safety regulations. The ship carried 16 lifeboat
davits which could lower three lifeboats each, for a total of 48
Titanic carried only a total of 20 lifeboats, four of
which were collapsible and proved hard to launch during the
Southampton on 10 April 1912,
Titanic called at
Cherbourg in France and Queenstown (now Cobh) in Ireland before
heading west to New York. On 14 April, four days into the crossing
and about 375 miles (600 km) south of Newfoundland, she hit an
iceberg at 11:40 p.m. ship's time. The collision caused the hull
plates to buckle inwards along her starboard (right) side and opened
five of her sixteen watertight compartments to the sea; she could only
survive four flooding. Meanwhile, passengers and some crew members
were evacuated in lifeboats, many of which were launched only
partially loaded. A disproportionate number of men were left aboard
because of a "women and children first" protocol for loading
lifeboats. At 2:20 a.m., she broke apart and foundered with
well over one thousand people still aboard. Just under two hours after
Titanic sank, the Cunard liner RMS Carpathia arrived and brought
aboard an estimated 705 survivors.
The disaster was met with worldwide shock and outrage at the huge loss
of life and the regulatory and operational failures that led to it.
Public inquiries in Britain and the United States led to major
improvements in maritime safety. One of their most important legacies
was the establishment in 1914 of the International Convention for the
Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), which still governs maritime safety
today. Additionally, several new wireless regulations were passed
around the world in an effort to learn from the many missteps in
wireless communications—which could have saved many more
The wreck of
Titanic was discovered in 1985 (more than 70 years
after the disaster), and remains on the seabed. The ship was split in
two and is gradually disintegrating at a depth of 12,415 feet
(3,784 m). Thousands of artefacts have been recovered and
displayed at museums around the world.
Titanic has become one of the
most famous ships in history; her memory is kept alive by numerous
works of popular culture, including books, folk songs, films,
exhibits, and memorials.
Titanic is the second largest ocean liner
wreck in the world, only beaten by her sister HMHS Britannic, the
largest ever sunk. The final survivor of the sinking, Millvina Dean,
aged two months at the time, died in 2009 at the age of 97.
2 Dimensions and layout
3.2.1 Watertight compartments and funnels
3.2.2 Rudder and steering engines
3.2.3 Water, ventilation and heating
3.2.4 Radio communications
3.3 Passenger facilities
3.4 Mail and cargo
4 Building and preparing the ship
4.1 Construction, launch and fitting-out
4.2 Sea trials
5 Maiden voyage
5.3 Collecting passengers
5.4 Atlantic crossing
6 Aftermath of sinking
6.1 Arrival of Carpathia in New York
6.2 Insurance and aid for survivors
6.3 Investigations into the disaster
6.3.1 Role of the SS Californian
6.4 Survivors and victims
6.5 Retrieval and burial of the dead
8.2.1 Significance in Northern Ireland
11 See also
15 External links
Titanic was derived from Greek mythology and meant gigantic.
Built in Belfast, Ireland, in the
United Kingdom of Great Britain and
Ireland (as it was then known), the RMS
Titanic was the second of the
three Olympic-class ocean liners—the first was the RMS Olympic
and the third was the HMHS Britannic. They were by far the
largest vessels of the British shipping company White Star Line's
fleet, which comprised 29 steamers and tenders in 1912. The three
ships had their genesis in a discussion in mid-1907 between the White
Star Line's chairman, J. Bruce Ismay, and the American financier J. P.
Morgan, who controlled the White Star Line's parent corporation, the
International Mercantile Marine Co.
International Mercantile Marine Co. (IMM).
White Star Line
White Star Line faced an increasing challenge from its main rivals
Cunard, which had recently launched the Lusitania and the
Mauretania—the fastest passenger ships then in service—and the
German lines Hamburg America and Norddeutscher Lloyd. Ismay preferred
to compete on size rather than speed and proposed to commission a new
class of liners that would be larger than anything that had gone
before as well as being the last word in comfort and luxury. The
company sought an upgrade in their fleet primarily in response to the
Cunard giants but also to replace their oldest pair of passenger ships
still in service, being the SS Teutonic of 1889 and
SS Majestic of 1890. Teutonic was replaced by Olympic while
Majestic was replaced by Titanic. Majestic would be brought back into
her old spot on White Star's New York service after Titanic's
The ships were constructed by the
Belfast shipbuilders Harland and
Wolff, who had a long-established relationship with the White Star
Line dating back to 1867.
Harland and Wolff
Harland and Wolff were given a great
deal of latitude in designing ships for the White Star Line; the usual
approach was for the latter to sketch out a general concept which the
former would take away and turn into a ship design. Cost
considerations were relatively low on the agenda and Harland and Wolff
was authorised to spend what it needed on the ships, plus a five
percent profit margin. In the case of the Olympic-class ships, a
cost of £3 million (£250 million in 2015 money) for the first two
ships was agreed plus "extras to contract" and the usual five percent
Harland and Wolff
Harland and Wolff put their leading designers to work designing the
Olympic-class vessels. The design was overseen by Lord Pirrie, a
director of both
Harland and Wolff
Harland and Wolff and the White Star Line; naval
architect Thomas Andrews, the managing director of Harland and Wolff's
design department; Edward Wilding, Andrews' deputy and responsible for
calculating the ship's design, stability and trim; and Alexander
Carlisle, the shipyard's chief draughtsman and general manager.
Carlisle's responsibilities included the decorations, equipment and
all general arrangements, including the implementation of an efficient
lifeboat davit design.[a]
On 29 July 1908,
Harland and Wolff
Harland and Wolff presented the drawings to J. Bruce
Ismay and other
White Star Line
White Star Line executives. Ismay approved the design
and signed three "letters of agreement" two days later, authorising
the start of construction. At this point the first ship—which
was later to become Olympic—had no name, but was referred to simply
as "Number 400", as it was Harland and Wolff's four hundredth hull.
Titanic was based on a revised version of the same design and was
given the number 401.
Dimensions and layout
Titanic in 1912
Titanic was 882 feet 9 inches (269.06 m) long with a
maximum breadth of 92 feet 6 inches (28.19 m). Her
total height, measured from the base of the keel to the top of the
bridge, was 104 feet (32 m). She measured 46,328 gross
register tons and with a draught of 34 feet 7 inches
(10.54 m), she displaced 52,310 tons.
All three of the Olympic-class ships had ten decks (excluding the top
of the officers' quarters), eight of which were for passenger use.
From top to bottom, the decks were:
The Boat Deck, on which the lifeboats were housed. It was from here
during the early hours of 15 April 1912 that Titanic's lifeboats were
lowered into the North Atlantic. The bridge and wheelhouse were at the
forward end, in front of the captain's and officers' quarters. The
bridge stood 8 feet (2.4 m) above the deck, extending out to
either side so that the ship could be controlled while docking. The
wheelhouse stood directly behind and above the bridge. The entrance to
the First Class Grand Staircase and gymnasium were located midships
along with the raised roof of the First Class lounge, while at the
rear of the deck were the roof of the First Class smoke room and the
relatively modest Second Class entrance. The wood-covered deck was
divided into four segregated promenades: for officers, First Class
passengers, engineers, and Second Class passengers respectively.
Lifeboats lined the side of the deck except in the First Class area,
where there was a gap so that the view would not be spoiled.
A Deck, also called the Promenade Deck, extended along the entire 546
feet (166 m) length of the superstructure. It was reserved
exclusively for First Class passengers and contained First Class
cabins, the First Class lounge, smoke room, reading and writing rooms
and Palm Court.
B Deck, the Bridge Deck, was the top weight-bearing deck and the
uppermost level of the hull. More First Class passenger accommodations
were located here with six palatial staterooms (cabins) featuring
their own private promenades. On Titanic, the À La Carte Restaurant
and the Café Parisien provided luxury dining facilities to First
Class passengers. Both were run by subcontracted chefs and their
staff; all were lost in the disaster. The Second Class smoking room
and entrance hall were both located on this deck. The raised
forecastle of the ship was forward of the Bridge Deck, accommodating
Number 1 hatch (the main hatch through to the cargo holds), numerous
pieces of machinery and the anchor housings.[b] Aft of the Bridge Deck
was the raised Poop Deck, 106 feet (32 m) long, used as a
promenade by Third Class passengers. It was where many of Titanic's
passengers and crew made their last stand as the ship sank. The
forecastle and Poop Deck were separated from the Bridge Deck by well
C Deck, the Shelter Deck, was the highest deck to run uninterrupted
from stem to stern. It included both well decks; the aft one served as
part of the Third Class promenade. Crew cabins were housed below the
forecastle and Third Class public rooms were housed below the Poop
Deck. In between were the majority of First Class cabins and the
Second Class library.
D Deck, the Saloon Deck, was dominated by three large public
rooms—the First Class Reception Room, the First Class Dining Saloon
and the Second Class Dining Saloon. An open space was provided for
Third Class passengers. First, Second and Third Class passengers had
cabins on this deck, with berths for firemen located in the bow. It
was the highest level reached by the ship's watertight bulkheads
(though only by eight of the fifteen bulkheads).
E Deck, the Upper Deck, was predominantly used for passenger
accommodation for all three classes plus berths for cooks, seamen,
stewards and trimmers. Along its length ran a long passageway
nicknamed Scotland Road, in reference to a famous street in Liverpool.
Scotland Road was used by Third Class passengers and crew
F Deck, the Middle Deck, was the last complete deck and mainly
accommodated Second and Third Class passengers and several departments
of the crew. The Third Class dining saloon was located here, as were
the swimming pool and Turkish bath.
G Deck, the Lower Deck, was the lowest complete deck that carried
passengers, and had the lowest portholes, just above the waterline.
The squash court was located here along with the traveling post office
where letters and parcels were sorted ready for delivery when the ship
docked. Food was also stored here. The deck was interrupted at several
points by orlop (partial) decks over the boiler, engine and turbine
Orlop Decks and the Tank Top below that were on the lowest level
of the ship, below the waterline. The orlop decks were used as cargo
spaces, while the Tank Top—the inner bottom of the ship's
hull—provided the platform on which the ship's boilers, engines,
turbines and electrical generators were housed. This area of the ship
was occupied by the engine and boiler rooms, areas which passengers
would have been prohibited from seeing. They were connected with
higher levels of the ship by flights of stairs; twin spiral stairways
near the bow provided access up to D Deck.
Rudder with central and port wing propellers[c] for scale note the man
at bottom of the photo
Titanic was equipped with three main engines—two reciprocating
four-cylinder, triple-expansion steam engines and one centrally placed
low-pressure Parsons turbine—each driving a propeller. The two
reciprocating engines had a combined output of 30,000 hp and a
further 16,000 hp was contributed by the turbine. The White
Star Line had used the same combination of engines on an earlier
liner, the SS Laurentic, where it had been a great success.
It provided a good combination of performance and speed; reciprocating
engines by themselves were not powerful enough to propel an
Olympic-class liner at the desired speeds, while turbines were
sufficiently powerful but caused uncomfortable vibrations, a problem
that affected the all-turbine Cunard liners Lusitania and
Mauretania. By combining reciprocating engines with a turbine,
fuel usage could be reduced and motive power increased, while using
the same amount of steam.
The two reciprocating engines were each 63 feet (19 m) long and
weighed 720 tons, with their bedplates contributing a further 195
tons. They were powered by steam produced in 29 boilers, 24 of
which were double-ended and five single-ended, which contained a total
of 159 furnaces. The boilers were 15 feet 9 inches
(4.80 m) in diameter and 20 feet (6.1 m) long, each weighing
91.5 tons and capable of holding 48.5 tons of water.
They were heated by burning coal, 6,611 tons of which could be carried
in Titanic's bunkers, with a further 1,092 tons in Hold 3. The
furnaces required over 600 tons of coal a day to be shovelled into
them by hand, requiring the services of 176 firemen working around the
clock. 100 tons of ash a day had to be disposed of by ejecting it
into the sea. The work was relentless, dirty and dangerous, and
although firemen were paid relatively generously there was a high
suicide rate among those who worked in that capacity.
Exhaust steam leaving the reciprocating engines was fed into the
turbine, which was situated aft. From there it passed into a surface
condenser, to increase the efficiency of the turbine and so that the
steam could be condensed back into water and reused. The engines
were attached directly to long shafts which drove the propellers.
There were three, one for each engine; the outer (or wing) propellers
were the largest, each carrying three blades of manganese-bronze alloy
with a total diameter of 23.5 feet (7.2 m). The middle
propeller was slightly smaller at 17 feet (5.2 m) in
diameter, and could be stopped but not reversed.
Titanic's electrical plant was capable of producing more power than an
average city power station of the time. Immediately aft of the
turbine engine were four 400 kW steam-driven electric generators,
used to provide electrical power to the ship, plus two 30 kW
auxiliary generators for emergency use. Their location in the
stern of the ship meant they remained operational until the last few
minutes before the ship sank.
Watertight compartments and funnels
The interiors of the Olympic-class ships were subdivided into 16
primary compartments divided by 15 bulkheads which extended well above
the waterline. Eleven vertically closing watertight doors could seal
off the compartments in the event of an emergency. The ship's
exposed decking was made of pine and teak, while interior ceilings
were covered in painted granulated cork to combat condensation.
Standing above the decks were four funnels, each painted buff with
black tops, (though only three were functional—the last one was a
dummy, installed for aesthetic purposes and also for kitchen
ventilation)—and two masts, each 155 feet (47 m) high, which
supported derricks for working cargo.
Rudder and steering engines
Titanic's rudder was so large—at 78 feet 8 inches
(23.98 m) high and 15 feet 3 inches (4.65 m) long,
weighing over 100 tons—that it required steering engines to move it.
Two steam-powered steering engines were installed though only one was
used at any one time, with the other one kept in reserve. They were
connected to the short tiller through stiff springs, to isolate the
steering engines from any shocks in heavy seas or during fast changes
of direction. As a last resort, the tiller could be moved by ropes
connected to two steam capstans. The capstans were also used to
raise and lower the ship's five anchors (one port, one starboard, one
in the centreline and two kedging anchors).
Water, ventilation and heating
The ship was equipped with her own waterworks, capable of heating and
pumping water to all parts of the vessel via a complex network of
pipes and valves. The main water supply was taken aboard while Titanic
was in port, but in an emergency the ship could also distil fresh
water from seawater, though this was not a straightforward process as
the distillation plant quickly became clogged by salt deposits. A
network of insulated ducts conveyed warm air, driven by electric fans,
around the ship, and First Class cabins were fitted with additional
Marconi company receiving equipment for a 5 kilowatt ocean liner
Titanic's radiotelegraph equipment (then known as wireless telegraphy)
was leased to the
White Star Line
White Star Line by the Marconi International Marine
Communication Company, which also supplied two of its employees, Jack
Phillips and Harold Bride, as operators. The service maintained a
24-hour schedule, primarily sending and receiving passenger telegrams,
but also handling navigation messages including weather reports and
The radio room was located on the Boat Deck, in the officers'
quarters. A soundproofed "Silent Room", next to the operating room,
housed loud equipment, including the transmitter and a motor-generator
used for producing alternating currents. The operators' living
quarters were adjacent to the working office. The ship was equipped
with a 'state of the art' 5 kilowatt rotary spark-gap
transmitter, operating under the radio callsign MGY, and communication
was conducted in Morse code. This transmitter was one of the first
Marconi installations to use a rotary spark gap, which gave
distinctive musical tone that could be readily distinguished from
other signals. The transmitter was one of the most powerful in the
world, and guaranteed to broadcast over a radius of 350 miles
(563 km). An elevated
T-antenna that spanned the length of the
ship was used for transmitting and receiving. The normal operating
frequency was 500 kHz (600 m wavelength), however the equipment
could also operate on the "short" wavelength of 1000 kHz (300 m
wavelength) that was employed by smaller vessels with shorter
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First class facilities of the RMS Titanic
First class facilities of the RMS Titanic and
Second and Third-Class Facilities on the RMS Titanic
The passenger facilities aboard
Titanic aimed to meet the highest
standards of luxury. According to Titanic's general arrangement plans,
the ship could accommodate 833 First Class Passengers, 614 in Second
Class and 1,006 in Third Class, for a total passenger capacity of
2,453. In addition, her capacity for crew members exceeded 900, as
most documents of her original configuration have stated that her full
carrying capacity for both passengers and crew was approximately
3,547. Her interior design was a departure from that of other
passenger liners, which had typically been decorated in the rather
heavy style of a manor house or an English country house.
Titanic was laid out in a much lighter style similar to that of
contemporary high-class hotels—the Ritz Hotel was a reference
point—with First Class cabins finished in the Empire style. A
variety of other decorative styles, ranging from the
Louis XV, were used to decorate cabins and public rooms in First and
Second Class areas of the ship. The aim was to convey an impression
that the passengers were in a floating hotel rather than a ship; as
one passenger recalled, on entering the ship's interior a passenger
would "at once lose the feeling that we are on board ship, and seem
instead to be entering the hall of some great house on shore".
Among the more novel features available to first-class passengers was
a 7 ft. deep saltwater swimming pool, a gymnasium, a squash
court, and a
Turkish bath which comprised electric bath, steam room,
cool room, massage room, and hot room. First-class common rooms
were impressive in scope and lavishly decorated. They included a
Lounge in the style of the Palace of Versailles, an enormous Reception
Room, a men's Smoking Room, and a Reading and Writing Room. There was
an À la Carte Restaurant in the style of the Ritz Hotel which was run
as a concession by the famous Italian restaurateur Gaspare Gatti.
A Café Parisien decorated in the style of a French sidewalk café,
complete with ivy covered trellises and wicker furniture, was run as
an annex to the restaurant. For an extra cost, first-class passengers
could enjoy the finest French haute cuisine in the most luxurious of
surroundings. There was also a Verandah Café where tea and light
refreshments were served, that offered grand views of the ocean. At
114 ft. long X 92 ft. wide, the Dining Saloon on D-Deck was
the largest room afloat and could seat almost 600 passengers at a
time. Third Class (commonly referred to as Steerage)
Titanic were not as luxurious as First or Second
Class, but even so were better than on many other ships of the time.
They reflected the improved standards which the
White Star Line
White Star Line had
adopted for trans-Atlantic immigrant and lower-class travel. On most
other North Atlantic passenger ships at the time, Third Class
accommodations consisted of little more than open dormitories in the
forward end of the vessels, in which hundreds of people were confined,
often without adequate food or toilet facilities.
White Star Line
White Star Line had long since broken that mould. As seen aboard
White Star Line
White Star Line passenger ships divided their Third Class
accommodations into two sections, always at opposite ends of the
vessel from one another. The established arrangement was that single
men were quartered in the forward areas, while single women, married
couples and families were quartered aft. In addition, while other
ships provided only open berth sleeping arrangements, White Star Line
vessels provided their Third Class passengers with private, small but
comfortable cabins capable of accommodating two, four, six, eight and
Third Class accommodations also included their own dining rooms, as
well as public gathering areas including adequate open deck space,
Titanic comprised the Poop Deck at the stern, the forward
and aft well decks, and a large open space on D Deck which could be
used as a social hall. This was supplemented by the addition of a
smoking room for men and a General Room on C Deck which women could
use for reading and writing. Although they were not as glamorous in
design as spaces seen in upper class accommodations, they were still
far above average for the period.
Leisure facilities were provided for all three classes to pass the
time. As well as making use of the indoor amenities such as the
library, smoking rooms, and gymnasium, it was also customary for
passengers to socialise on the open deck, promenading or relaxing in
hired deck chairs or wooden benches. A passenger list was published
before the sailing to inform the public which members of the great and
good were on board, and it was not uncommon for ambitious mothers to
use the list to identify rich bachelors to whom they could introduce
their marriageable daughters during the voyage.
One of Titanic's most distinctive features was her First Class
staircase, known as the Grand Staircase or Grand Stairway. Built of
English oak with a sweeping curve, the staircase descended
through seven decks of the ship, between the Boat Deck to E deck,
before terminating in a simplified single flight on F Deck. It was
capped with a dome of wrought iron and glass that admitted natural
light to the stairwell. Each landing off the staircase gave access to
ornate entrance halls paneled in the William & Mary style and lit
by ormolu and crystal light fixtures.
At the uppermost landing was a large carved wooden panel containing a
clock, with figures of "Honour and Glory Crowning Time" flanking the
clock face. The Grand Staircase was destroyed during the sinking
and is now just a void in the ship which modern explorers have used to
access the lower decks. During the filming of James Cameron's
Titanic in 1997, his replica of the Grand Staircase was ripped from
its foundations by the force of the inrushing water on the set. It has
been suggested that during the real event, the entire Grand Staircase
was ejected upwards through the dome.
The gymnasium on the Boat Deck, which was equipped with the latest
The famous Grand Staircase, which connected Boat Deck and E Deck
Swimming Pool on Olympic, Titanic's near identical sister ship
Mail and cargo
La Circassienne au Bain; the most highly valued item of cargo lost on
Titanic was primarily a passenger liner, she also carried a
substantial amount of cargo. Her designation as a
Royal Mail Ship
(RMS) indicated that she carried mail under contract with the Royal
Mail (and also for the United States Post Office Department). For the
storage of letters, parcels and specie (bullion, coins and other
valuables), 26,800 cubic feet (760 m3) of space in her holds was
allocated. The Sea Post Office on G Deck was manned by five postal
clerks; three Americans and two Britons, who worked 13 hours a day,
seven days a week sorting up to 60,000 items daily.
The ship's passengers brought with them a huge amount of baggage;
another 19,455 cubic feet (550.9 m3) was taken up by first- and
second-class baggage. In addition, there was a considerable quantity
of regular cargo, ranging from furniture to foodstuffs, and a 1912
Renault Type CE Coupe de Ville motor car. Despite later myths, the
cargo on Titanic's maiden voyage was fairly mundane; there was no
gold, exotic minerals or diamonds, and one of the more famous items
lost in the shipwreck, a jewelled copy of the Rubaiyat of Omar
Khayyam, was valued at only £405 (£36,800 today). According to
the claims for compensation filed with Commissioner Gilchrist,
following the conclusion of the Senate Inquiry, the single most highly
valued item of luggage or cargo was a large neoclassical oil painting
La Circassienne au Bain
La Circassienne au Bain by French artist Merry-Joseph
Blondel. The painting's owner, first class passenger Mauritz Håkan
Björnström-Steffansson, filed a claim for $100,000 ($2.4 million
equivalent in 2014) in compensation for the loss of the artwork.
Titanic was equipped with eight electric cranes, four electric winches
and three steam winches to lift cargo and baggage in and out of the
hold. It is estimated that the ship used some 415 tons of coal whilst
in Southampton, simply generating steam to operate the cargo winches
and provide heat and light.
Main article: Lifeboats of the RMS Titanic
A collapsible lifeboat with canvas sides
Titanic carried a total of 20 lifeboats: 14 standard wooden Harland
and Wolff lifeboats with a capacity of 65 people each and four
Englehardt "collapsible" (wooden bottom, collapsible canvas sides)
lifeboats (identified as A to D) with a capacity of 47 people
each. In addition, she had two emergency cutters with a capacity of
40 people each.[e] Olympic herself did not even carry the
four collapsibles A–D during the 1911–12 season. All of the
lifeboats were stowed securely on the boat deck and, except for
collapsible lifeboats A and B, connected to davits by ropes.
Those on the starboard side were odd-numbered 1–15 from bow to
stern, while those on the port side were even-numbered 2–16 from bow
Both cutters were kept swung out, hanging from the davits, ready for
immediate use, while collapsible lifeboats C and D were stowed on
the boat deck (connected to davits) immediately inboard of
boats 1 and 2 respectively. A and B were stored on the roof of
the officers' quarters, on either side of number 1 funnel. There
were no davits to lower them and their weight would make them
difficult to launch by hand. Each boat carried (among other
things) food, water, blankets, and a spare life belt. Lifeline ropes
on the boats' sides enabled them to save additional people from the
water if necessary.
Titanic had 16 sets of davits, each able to handle four lifeboats.
Titanic the ability to carry up to 64 wooden lifeboats
which would have been enough for 4,000 people—considerably more
than her actual capacity. However, the
White Star Line
White Star Line decided that
only 16 wooden lifeboats and four collapsibles would be carried, which
could accommodate 1,178 people, only one-third of Titanic's total
capacity. At the time, the Board of Trade's regulations required
British vessels over 10,000 tons to only carry 16 lifeboats
with a capacity of 990 occupants.
White Star Line
White Star Line actually provided more lifeboat
accommodation than was legally required.[f] At the time, lifeboats
were intended to ferry survivors from a sinking ship to a rescuing
ship—not keep afloat the whole population or power them to shore.
Had the SS Californian responded to Titanic's distress calls, the
lifeboats may have been adequate to ferry the passengers to safety as
Building and preparing the ship
Construction, launch and fitting-out
Titanic Disaster – Genuine Footage (1911–1912)
The sheer size of
Titanic and her sister ships posed a major
engineering challenge for Harland and Wolff; no shipbuilder had ever
before attempted to construct vessels this size. The ships were
constructed on Queen's Island, now known as the
Titanic Quarter, in
Harland and Wolff
Harland and Wolff had to demolish three existing
slipways and build two new ones, the largest ever constructed up to
that time, to accommodate both ships. Their construction was
facilitated by an enormous gantry built by Sir William Arrol &
Co., a Scottish firm responsible for the building of the Forth Bridge
and London's Tower Bridge. The Arrol Gantry stood 228 feet (69 m)
high, was 270 feet (82 m) wide and 840 feet (260 m) long,
and weighed more than 6,000 tons. It accommodated a number of mobile
cranes. A separate floating crane, capable of lifting 200 tons, was
brought in from Germany.
The construction of Olympic and
Titanic took place virtually in
parallel, with Olympic's keel laid down first on 16 December 1908 and
Titanic's on 31 March 1909. Both ships took about 26 months to
build and followed much the same construction process. They were
designed essentially as an enormous floating box girder, with the keel
acting as a backbone and the frames of the hull forming the ribs. At
the base of the ships, a double bottom 5 feet 3 inches
(1.60 m) deep supported 300 frames, each between 24 inches
(61 cm) and 36 inches (91 cm) apart and measuring up to
about 66 feet (20 m) long. They terminated at the bridge deck (B
Deck) and were covered with steel plates which formed the outer skin
of the ships.
The 2,000 hull plates were single pieces of rolled steel plate, mostly
up to 6 feet (1.8 m) wide and 30 feet (9.1 m) long and
weighing between 2.5 and 3 tons. Their thickness varied from 1
inch (2.5 cm) to 1.5 inches (3.8 cm). The plates were
laid in a clinkered (overlapping) fashion from the keel to the bilge.
Above that point they were laid in the "in and out" fashion, where
strake plating was applied in bands (the "in strakes") with the gaps
covered by the "out strakes", overlapping on the edges. Commercial
oxy-fuel and electric arc welding methods, ubiquitous in fabrication
today, were still in their infancy; like most other iron and steel
structures of the era, the hull was held together with over three
million iron and steel rivets, which by themselves weighed over 1,200
tons. They were fitted using hydraulic machines or were hammered in by
hand. In the 1990s some material scientists concluded that the
steel plate used for the ship was subject to being especially brittle
when cold, and that this brittleness exacerbated the impact damage and
hastened the sinking. It is believed that, by the standards of the
time, the steel plate's quality was good, not faulty, but that it was
inferior to what would be used for shipbuilding purposes in later
decades, owing to advances in the metallurgy of steelmaking. As
for the rivets, considerable emphasis has also been placed on their
quality and strength.
One of the last items to be fitted on
Titanic before the ship's launch
was her two side anchors and one centre anchor. The anchors themselves
were a challenge to make with the centre anchor being the largest ever
forged by hand and weighing nearly 16 tons. Twenty Clydesdale draught
horses were needed to haul the centre anchor by wagon from the Noah
Hingley & Sons Ltd forge shop in Netherton, near Dudley, United
Kingdom to the Dudley railway station two miles away. From there it
was shipped by rail to Fleetwood in Lancashire before being loaded
aboard a ship and sent to Belfast.
The work of constructing the ships was difficult and dangerous. For
the 15,000 men who worked at
Harland and Wolff
Harland and Wolff at the time, safety
precautions were rudimentary at best; a lot of the work was dangerous
and was carried out without any safety equipment like hard hats or
hand guards on machinery. As a result, deaths and injuries were to be
expected. During Titanic's construction, 246 injuries were recorded,
28 of them "severe", such as arms severed by machines or legs crushed
under falling pieces of steel. Six people died on the ship herself
while she was being constructed and fitted out, and another two died
in the shipyard workshops and sheds. Just before the launch a
worker was killed when a piece of wood fell on him.
Titanic was launched at 12:15 p.m. on 31 May 1911 in the presence
of Lord Pirrie, J. Pierpoint Morgan,
J. Bruce Ismay
J. Bruce Ismay and 100,000
onlookers. 22 tons of soap and tallow were spread on the slipway
to lubricate the ship's passage into the River Lagan. In keeping
with the White Star Line's traditional policy, the ship was not
formally named or christened with champagne. The ship was towed to
a fitting-out berth where, over the course of the next year, her
engines, funnels and superstructure were installed and her interior
was fitted out.
Titanic was virtually identical to the class's lead ship
Olympic, a few changes were made to distinguish both ships. The most
noticeable exterior difference was that
Titanic (and the third vessel
in class, Britannic) had a steel screen with sliding windows installed
along the forward half of the A Deck promenade. This was installed as
a last minute change at the personal request of Bruce Ismay, and was
intended to provide additional shelter to first class passengers.
Extensive changes were made to B Deck on
Titanic as the promenade
space in this deck, which had proven unpopular on Olympic was
converted into additional First Class cabins, including two opulent
parlour suites with their own private promenade spaces. The À la
Carte restaurant was also enlarged and the Café Parisien, an entirely
new feature which did not exist on Olympic, was added. These changes
Titanic slightly heavier than her sister, and thus she could
claim to be the largest ship afloat. The work took longer than
expected due to design changes requested by Ismay and a temporary
pause in work occasioned by the need to repair Olympic, which had been
in a collision in September 1911. Had
Titanic been finished earlier,
she might well have missed her collision with an iceberg.
Construction in gantry, 1909–11
Launch, 1911 (unfinished superstructure)
Belfast for her sea trials on 2 April 1912
Titanic's sea trials began at 6 a.m. on Tuesday, 2 April 1912,
just two days after her fitting out was finished and eight days before
she was due to leave
Southampton on her maiden voyage. The trials
were delayed for a day due to bad weather, but by Monday morning it
was clear and fair. Aboard were 78 stokers, greasers and firemen,
and 41 members of crew. No domestic staff appear to have been
aboard. Representatives of various companies travelled on Titanic's
Thomas Andrews and Edward Wilding of
Harland and Wolff
Harland and Wolff and
Harold A. Sanderson of IMM. Bruce Ismay and Lord Pirrie were too ill
to attend. Jack Phillips and
Harold Bride served as radio operators,
and performed fine-tuning of the Marconi equipment. Francis
Carruthers, a surveyor from the Board of Trade, was also present to
see that everything worked, and that the ship was fit to carry
The sea trials consisted of a number of tests of her handling
characteristics, carried out first in
Belfast Lough and then in the
open waters of the Irish Sea. Over the course of about 12 hours,
Titanic was driven at different speeds, her turning ability was tested
and a "crash stop" was performed in which the engines were reversed
full ahead to full astern, bringing her to a stop in 850 yd
(777 m) or 3 minutes and 15 seconds. The ship covered a
distance of about 80 nautical miles (92 mi; 150 km),
averaging 18 knots (21 mph; 33 km/h) and reaching a maximum
speed of just under 21 knots (24 mph; 39 km/h).
On returning to
Belfast at about 7 p.m., the surveyor signed an
"Agreement and Account of Voyages and Crew", valid for 12 months,
which declared the ship seaworthy. An hour later,
Belfast to head to Southampton, a voyage of about 570 nautical miles
(660 mi; 1,060 km). After a journey lasting about 28 hours
she arrived about midnight on 4 April and was towed to the port's
Berth 44, ready for the arrival of her passengers and the remainder of
Both Olympic and
Liverpool as their home port. The
offices of the
White Star Line
White Star Line as well as Cunard were in Liverpool,
and up until the introduction of the Olympic, most British ocean
liners for both Cunard and White Star, such as Lusitania and
Mauretania, sailed out of
Liverpool followed by a port of call in
Queenstown, Ireland. Since the company's founding in 1871, a vast
majority of their operations had taken place out of Liverpool.
However, in 1907 White Star established another service out of the
Southampton on England's south coast, which became known as
White Star's "Express Service".
Southampton had many advantages over
Liverpool, the first being its proximity to London.
In addition, Southampton, being on the south coast, allowed ships to
easily cross the
English Channel and make a port of call on the
northern coast of France, usually at Cherbourg. This allowed British
ships to pick up clientele from continental Europe before recrossing
the channel and picking up passengers at Queenstown. The
Southampton-Cherbourg-New York run would become so popular that most
British ocean liners began using the port after World War I. Out of
respect for Liverpool, ships continued to be registered there until
the early 1960s.
Queen Elizabeth 2
Queen Elizabeth 2 was one of the first ships
Southampton when introduced into service by Cunard in
Titanic's maiden voyage was intended to be the first of many
trans-Atlantic crossings between
Southampton and New York via
Cherbourg and Queenstown on westbound runs, returning via
England while eastbound. Indeed, her entire schedule of voyages
through to December 1912 still exists. When the route was
established, four ships were assigned to the service. In addition to
Teutonic and Majestic, the RMS Oceanic and the brand new
RMS Adriatic sailed the route. When the Olympic entered service
in June 1911, she replaced Teutonic, which after completing her last
run on the service in late April was transferred to the Dominion
Line's Canadian service. The following August, Adriatic was
transferred to White Star's main Liverpool-New York service, and in
November, Majestic was withdrawn from service impending the arrival of
Titanic in the coming months, and was mothballed as a reserve
White Star's initial plans for Olympic and
Titanic on the Southampton
run followed the same routine as their predecessors had done before
them. Each would sail once every three weeks from
Southampton and New
York, usually leaving at noon each Wednesday from
Southampton and each
Saturday from New York, thus enabling the
White Star Line
White Star Line to offer
weekly sailings in each direction.
Special trains were scheduled from
London and Paris to convey passengers to
Southampton and Cherbourg
respectively. The deep-water dock at Southampton, then known as
the "White Star Dock", had been specially constructed to accommodate
the new Olympic-class liners, and had opened in 1911.
Edward Smith, captain of Titanic, in 1911
Southampton docks, prior to departure
Display ad for Titanic's first but never made sailing from New York on
20 April 1912
Main article: Crew of the RMS Titanic
Titanic had around 885 crew members on board for her maiden
voyage. Like other vessels of her time, she did not have a
permanent crew, and the vast majority of crew members were casual
workers who only came aboard the ship a few hours before she sailed
from Southampton. The process of signing up recruits had begun on
23 March and some had been sent to Belfast, where they served as a
skeleton crew during Titanic's sea trials and passage to England at
the start of April.
Captain Edward John Smith, the most senior of the White Star Line's
captains, was transferred from Olympic to take command of
Henry Tingle Wilde also came across from Olympic to take
the post of Chief Mate. Titanic's previously designated
Chief Mate and
William McMaster Murdoch
William McMaster Murdoch and Charles Lightoller, were
bumped down to the ranks of First and Second Officer respectively. The
original Second Officer, David Blair, was dropped altogether.[g]
The Third Officer was
Herbert Pitman MBE, the only deck officer who
was not a member of the Royal Naval Reserve. Pitman was the second to
last surviving officer.
Titanic's crew were divided into three principal departments: Deck,
with 66 crew; Engine, with 325; and Victualling (pronounced
vi-tal-ling), with 494. The vast majority of the crew were thus
not seamen, but were either engineers, firemen, or stokers,
responsible for looking after the engines, or stewards and galley
staff, responsible for the passengers. Of these, over 97% were
male; just 23 of the crew were female, mainly stewardesses. The
rest represented a great variety of professions—bakers, chefs,
butchers, fishmongers, dishwashers, stewards, gymnasium instructors,
laundrymen, waiters, bed-makers, cleaners, and even a printer,
who produced a daily newspaper for passengers called the Atlantic
Daily Bulletin with the latest news received by the ship's wireless
Most of the crew signed on in
Southampton on 6 April; in all, 699
of the crew came from there, and 40% were natives of the town. A
few specialist staff were self-employed or were subcontractors. These
included the five postal clerks, who worked for the
Royal Mail and the
United States Post Office Department, the staff of the First Class A
La Carte Restaurant and the Café Parisien, the radio operators (who
were employed by Marconi) and the eight musicians, who were employed
by an agency and travelled as second-class passengers. Crew pay
varied greatly, from Captain Smith's £105 a month (equivalent to
£9,500 today) to the £3 10s (£320 today) that stewardesses earned.
The lower-paid victualling staff could, however, supplement their
wages substantially through tips from passengers.
Main article: Passengers of the RMS Titanic
John Jacob Astor IV
John Jacob Astor IV in 1909. He was the wealthiest person aboard
Titanic's passengers numbered approximately 1,317 people: 324 in
First Class, 284 in Second Class, and 709 in Third Class. Of these,
869 (66%) were male and 447 (34%) female. There were 107 children
aboard, the largest number of which were in Third Class. The ship
was considerably under capacity on her maiden voyage, as she could
accommodate 2,453 passengers—833 First Class, 614 Second Class, and
1,006 Third Class.
Usually, a high prestige vessel like
Titanic could expect to be fully
booked on its maiden voyage. However, a national coal strike in the UK
had caused considerable disruption to shipping schedules in the spring
of 1912, causing many crossings to be cancelled. Many would-be
passengers chose to postpone their travel plans until the strike was
over. The strike had finished a few days before
however, that was too late to have much of an effect.
Titanic was able
to sail on the scheduled date only because coal was transferred from
other vessels which were tied up at Southampton, such as SS City
of New York and RMS Oceanic, as well as coal Olympic had brought
back from a previous voyage to New York, which had been stored at the
White Star Dock.
Some of the most prominent people of the day booked a passage aboard
Titanic, travelling in First Class. Among them (with those who
perished marked with a dagger†) were the American millionaire John
Jacob Astor IV† and his wife Madeleine Force Astor, industrialist
Benjamin Guggenheim†, painter and sculptor Francis Davis Millet†,
Macy's owner Isidor Straus† and his wife Ida†, Denver
millionairess Margaret "Molly" Brown,[i] Sir Cosmo Duff Gordon and his
wife, couturière Lucy (Lady Duff-Gordon), Lieut. Col. Arthur Peuchen,
writer and historian Archibald Gracie, cricketer and businessman John
B. Thayer† with his wife Marian and son Jack, George Dunton
Widener† with his wife Eleanor and son Harry†, Noël Leslie,
Countess of Rothes, Mr.† and Mrs. Charles M. Hays, Mr. and Mrs.
Henry S. Harper, Mr.† and Mrs. Walter D. Douglas, Mr.† and Mrs.
George D. Wick, Mr.† and Mrs. Henry B. Harris, Mr.† and Mrs.
Arthur L. Ryerson, Mr.† and Mrs.† Hudson J. C. Allison, Mr. and
Mrs. Dickinson Bishop, noted architect Edward Austin Kent†, brewery
heir Harry Molson†, tennis players
Karl Behr and Dick Williams,
author and socialite Helen Churchill Candee, future lawyer and
Elsie Bowerman and her mother Edith, journalist and social
reformer William Thomas Stead†, journalist and fashion buyer Edith
Philadelphia and New York socialite Edith Corse Evans†,
wealthy divorcée Charlotte Drake Cardeza, French sculptor Paul
Chevré (fr), author Jacques Futrelle† with his wife May,
silent film actress
Dorothy Gibson with her mother Pauline, Alfons
Simonius-Blumer, Swiss Army Colonel and banker, president of the Swiss
Bankverein, James A. Hughes's daughter Eloise, banker Robert Williams
Daniel, the chairman of the Holland America Line, Johan
Reuchlin (de), Arthur Wellington Ross's son John H. Ross,
Washington Roebling's nephew Washington A. Roebling II, Andrew Saks's
daughter Leila Saks Meyer with her husband, senator William A. Clark's
nephew Walter M. Clark with his wife Virginia, great-great-grandson of
soap manufacturer Andrew Pears, Thomas C. Pears, with wife, John S.
Pillsbury's honeymooning grandson John P. Snyder and wife, Nelle,
Dorothy Parker's New York manufacturer uncle Martin Rothschild with
his wife, Elizabeth, among others.
J. P. Morgan
J. P. Morgan was scheduled to travel on the maiden
voyage but cancelled at the last minute. Also aboard the ship
were the White Star Line's managing director
J. Bruce Ismay
J. Bruce Ismay and
Titanic's designer Thomas Andrews, who was on board to observe any
problems and assess the general performance of the new ship.
The exact number of people aboard is not known, as not all of those
who had booked tickets made it to the ship; about 50 people cancelled
for various reasons, and not all of those who boarded stayed
aboard for the entire journey. Fares varied depending on class
and season. Third Class fares from London, Southampton, or Queenstown
cost £7 5s (equivalent to £700 today) while the cheapest First Class
fares cost £23 (£2,100 today). The most expensive First Class
suites were to have cost up to £870 in high season (£79,000
On Wednesday 10 April 1912 Titanic's maiden voyage began. Following
the embarkation of the crew the passengers began arriving from
9:30 a.m., when the London and South Western Railway's boat train
London Waterloo station
London Waterloo station reached
Southampton Terminus railway
station on the quayside, alongside Titanic's berth. In all, 923
Titanic at Southampton, 179 First Class, 247 Second
Class and 494 Third Class. The large number of Third Class passengers
meant they were the first to board, with First and Second Class
passengers following up to an hour before departure. Stewards showed
them to their cabins, and First Class passengers were personally
greeted by Captain Smith on boarding. Third Class passengers were
inspected for ailments and physical impairments that might lead to
their being refused entry to the United States – a prospect the
White Star Line
White Star Line wished to avoid, as it would have to carry anyone who
failed the examination back across the Atlantic. 922 passengers
were recorded as having embarked
Titanic at Southampton. Additional
passengers were to be picked up at
Cherbourg and Queenstown.
The maiden voyage began on time, at noon. An accident was narrowly
averted only a few minutes later as
Titanic passed the moored liners
SS City of New York of the
American Line and what would have been
her running mate on the service from Southampton, White Star's
Oceanic. Her huge displacement caused both of the smaller ships to be
lifted by a bulge of water and then drop into a trough. New York's
mooring cables could not take the sudden strain and snapped, swinging
her around stern-first towards Titanic. A nearby tugboat, Vulcan, came
to the rescue by taking New York under tow, and Captain Smith ordered
Titanic's engines to be put "full astern". The two ships avoided
a collision by a matter of about 4 feet (1.2 m). The incident
delayed Titanic's departure for about an hour, while the drifting New
York was brought under control.
After making it safely through the complex tides and channels of
Southampton Water and the Solent,
Titanic headed out into the English
Channel. She headed for the French port of Cherbourg, a journey of 77
nautical miles (89 mi; 143 km). The weather was windy,
very fine but cold and overcast. Because
Cherbourg lacked docking
facilities for a ship the size of Titanic, tenders had to be used to
transfer passengers from shore to ship. The
White Star Line
White Star Line operated
two at Cherbourg, the SS Traffic and the SS Nomadic. Both
had been designed specifically as tenders for the Olympic-class liners
and were launched shortly after Titanic. (Nomadic is today the
White Star Line
White Star Line ship still afloat.) Four hours after
Southampton, she arrived at
Cherbourg and was met by the tenders. 274
additional passengers were taken aboard, 142 First Class, 30 Second
Class, and 102 Third Class. Twenty-four passengers who had booked
passage only cross-channel from
Southampton left aboard the tenders to
be conveyed to shore. The process was completed within only 90 minutes
and at 8 p.m.
Titanic weighed anchor and left for Queenstown
with the weather continuing cold and windy.
At 11:30 a.m. on Thursday 11 April,
Titanic arrived at Cork
Harbour on the south coast of Ireland. It was a partly cloudy but
relatively warm day, with a brisk wind. Again, the dock
facilities were not suitable for a ship of Titanic's size, and tenders
were used to bring passengers aboard. In all, 123 passengers boarded
Titanic at Queenstown, 3 First Class, 7 Second Class and 113 Third
Class. In addition to the 24 cross-channel passengers who had
disembarked at Cherbourg, another seven passengers had booked an
overnight passage from
Southampton to Queenstown. Among the seven was
Father Francis Browne, a
Jesuit trainee, who was a keen photographer
and took many photographs aboard Titanic, including the last-ever
known photograph of the ship. A decidedly unofficial departure was
that of a crew member, stoker John Coffey, a Queenstown native who
sneaked off the ship by hiding under mail bags being transported to
Titanic weighed anchor for the last time at 1:30 p.m.
and departed on her westward journey across the Atlantic.
Titanic (right) after the near-collision with City of New York (left,
together with Oceanic at the far left)
Titanic in Cork harbour, 11 April 1912
The route of Titanic's maiden voyage, with the coordinates of its
Titanic was planned to arrive at New York Pier 59 on the morning
of 17 April. After leaving Queenstown
Titanic followed the Irish
coast as far as Fastnet Rock, a distance of some 55 nautical
miles (63 mi; 102 km). From there she travelled 1,620
nautical miles (1,860 mi; 3,000 km) along a Great Circle
route across the North Atlantic to reach a spot in the ocean known as
"the corner" south-east of Newfoundland, where westbound steamers
carried out a change of course.
Titanic sailed only a few hours past
the corner on a rhumb line leg of 1,023 nautical miles (1,177 mi;
1,895 km) to
Nantucket Shoals Light when she made her fatal
contact with an iceberg. The final leg of the journey would have
been 193 nautical miles (222 mi; 357 km) to Ambrose Light
and finally to New York Harbor.
From 11 April to local apparent noon the next day,
Titanic covered 484
nautical miles (557 mi; 896 km); the following day, 519
nautical miles (597 mi; 961 km); and by noon on the final
day of her voyage, 546 nautical miles (628 mi; 1,011 km).
From then until the time of her sinking she travelled another 258
nautical miles (297 mi; 478 km), averaging about 21 knots
(24 mph; 39 km/h).
The weather cleared as she left Ireland under cloudy skies with a
headwind. Temperatures remained fairly mild on Saturday 13 April, but
the following day
Titanic crossed a cold weather front with strong
winds and waves of up to 8 feet (2.4 m). These died down as the
day progressed until, by the evening of Sunday 14 April, it became
clear, calm and very cold.
The first three days of the voyage from Queenstown had passed without
apparent incident. A fire had begun in one of Titanic's coal bunkers
approximately 10 days prior to the ship's departure, and continued to
burn for several days into its voyage, but passengers were
unaware of this situation. Fires occurred frequently on board
steamships of that day due to spontaneous combustion of the coal.
The fires had to be extinguished with fire hoses, by moving the coal
on top to another bunker and by removing the burning coal and feeding
it into the furnace. The fire was over on 14 April.
There has been some speculation and discussion as to whether this fire
and attempts to extinguish it may have made the ship more vulnerable
to its fate.
Titanic received a series of warnings from other ships of drifting ice
in the area of the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. One of the ships
Titanic was the Atlantic Line's Mesaba. Nevertheless, the
ship continued to steam at full speed, which was standard practice at
the time. Although the ship was not trying to set a speed
record, timekeeping was a priority, and under prevailing maritime
practices, ships were often operated at close to full speed, with ice
warnings seen as advisories and reliance placed upon lookouts and the
watch on the bridge. It was generally believed that ice posed
little danger to large vessels. Close calls with ice were not
uncommon, and even head-on collisions had not been disastrous. In 1907
SS Kronprinz Wilhelm, a German liner, had rammed an iceberg but
still had been able to complete her voyage, and Captain Smith himself
had declared in 1907 that he "could not imagine any condition which
would cause a ship to founder. Modern shipbuilding has gone beyond
Main article: Sinking of the RMS Titanic
At 11:40 p.m. (ship's time) on 14 April, lookout Frederick Fleet
spotted an iceberg immediately ahead of
Titanic and alerted the
bridge. First Officer William Murdoch ordered the ship to be
steered around the obstacle and the engines to be stopped, but it
was too late; the starboard side of
Titanic struck the iceberg,
creating a series of holes below the waterline.[k] The hull was not
punctured by the iceberg, but rather dented such that the hull's seams
buckled and separated, allowing water to seep in. Five of the ship's
watertight compartments were breached. It soon became clear that the
ship was doomed, as she could not survive more than four compartments
Titanic began sinking bow-first, with water spilling
from compartment to compartment as her angle in the water became
Titanic were ill-prepared for such an emergency. In
accordance with accepted practices of the time, where ships were seen
as largely unsinkable and lifeboats were intended to transfer
passengers to nearby rescue vessels,[l]
Titanic only had enough
lifeboats to carry about half of those on board; if the ship had
carried her full complement of about 3,339 passengers and crew, only
about a third could have been accommodated in the lifeboats. The
crew had not been trained adequately in carrying out an evacuation.
The officers did not know how many they could safely put aboard the
lifeboats and launched many of them barely half-full. Third-class
passengers were largely left to fend for themselves, causing many of
them to become trapped below decks as the ship filled with water.
The "women and children first" protocol was generally followed when
loading the lifeboats, and most of the male passengers and crew
were left aboard.
At 2:20 a.m., two hours and 40 minutes after
Titanic struck the
iceberg, her rate of sinking suddenly increased as her forward deck
dipped underwater, and the sea poured in through open hatches and
grates. As her unsupported stern rose out of the water, exposing
the propellers, the ship began to break in two between the third and
fourth funnels, due to the immense forces on the keel. With the
bow underwater, and air trapped in the stern, the stern remained
afloat and buoyant for a few minutes longer, rising to a nearly
vertical angle with hundreds of people still clinging to it,
before sinking. For many years it was generally believed the ship sank
in one piece; however, when the wreck was located many years later, it
was discovered that the ship had fully broken in two. All remaining
passengers and crew were immersed into lethally cold water with a
temperature of 28 °F (−2 °C). Sudden immersion into
freezing water typically causes death within minutes, either from
cardiac arrest, uncontrollable breathing of water, or cold
incapacitation (not, as commonly believed, from hypothermia),[m] and
almost all of those in the water died of cardiac arrest or other
bodily reactions to freezing water, within 15–30 minutes. Only
13 of them were helped into the lifeboats, though these had room for
almost 500 more people.
Distress signals were sent by wireless, rockets, and lamp, but none of
the ships that responded was near enough to reach
Titanic before she
sank. A radio operator on board the Birma, for instance,
estimated that it would be 6 a.m. before the liner could arrive
at the scene. Meanwhile, the SS Californian, which was the last
to have been in contact before the collision, saw Titanic's flares but
failed to assist. Around 4 a.m., RMS Carpathia arrived
on the scene in response to Titanic's earlier distress calls.
About 710 people survived the disaster and were conveyed by
Carpathia to New York, Titanic's original destination, while at least
1,500 people lost their lives. Carpathia's captain described
the place as an ice field that had included 20 large bergs
measuring up to 200 feet (61 m) high and numerous smaller bergs,
as well as ice floes and debris from Titanic; passengers described
being in the middle of a vast white plain of ice, studded with
icebergs. This area is now known as
The sinking, according to J. Thayer, sketched onboard Carpathia, based
on his description
The iceberg thought to have been hit by Titanic, photographed on the
morning of 15 April 1912.
"Untergang der Titanic", as conceived by Willy Stöwer, 1912
Aftermath of sinking
Arrival of Carpathia in New York
London newsboy Ned Parfett with news of the disaster.
RMS Carpathia took three days to reach New York after leaving the
scene of the disaster. Her journey was slowed by pack ice, fog,
thunderstorms and rough seas. She was, however, able to pass news
to the outside world by wireless about what had happened. The initial
reports were confused, leading the American press to report
erroneously on 15 April that
Titanic was being towed to port by the
Later that day, confirmation came through that
Titanic had been lost
and that most of her passengers and crew had died. The news
attracted crowds of people to the White Star Line's offices in London,
New York, Montreal, Southampton,
Liverpool and Belfast.
It hit hardest in Southampton, whose people suffered the greatest
losses from the sinking. Four out of every five crew members came
from this town.[n]
Carpathia docked at 9:30 p.m. on 18 April at New York's Pier 54
and was greeted by some 40,000 people waiting at the quayside in
heavy rain. Immediate relief in the form of clothing and
transportation to shelters was provided by the Women's Relief
Committee, the Travelers Aid Society of New York, and the Council of
Jewish Women, among other organisations. Many of Titanic's
surviving passengers did not linger in New York but headed onwards
immediately to relatives' homes. Some of the wealthier survivors
chartered private trains to take them home, and the Pennsylvania
Railroad laid on a special train free of charge to take survivors to
Philadelphia. Titanic's 214 surviving crew members were taken to the
Red Star Line's steamer SS Lapland, where they were accommodated
in passenger cabins.
Carpathia was hurriedly restocked with food and provisions before
resuming her journey to Fiume, Austria-Hungary. Her crew were given a
bonus of a month's wages by Cunard as a reward for their actions, and
some of Titanic's passengers joined together to give them an
additional bonus of nearly £900 (£82,000 today), divided among the
The ship's arrival in New York led to a frenzy of press interest, with
newspapers competing to be the first to report the survivors' stories.
Some reporters bribed their way aboard the pilot boat New York, which
guided Carpathia into harbour, and one even managed to get onto
Carpathia before she docked. Crowds gathered outside newspaper
offices to see the latest reports being posted in the windows or on
billboards. It took another four days for a complete list of
casualties to be compiled and released, adding to the agony of
relatives waiting for news of those who had been aboard Titanic.[o]
Arrival of Titanic's survivors at New York (artist concept)[p]
Cartoon demanding better safety from shipping companies, 1912
Arthur Rostron awarded by Margaret Brown,
Insurance and aid for survivors
In January 1912, the hulls and equipment of
Titanic and Olympic had
been insured through Lloyd's of London. The total coverage was
£1,000,000 (£91,000,000 today) per ship. The policy was to be "free
from all average" under £150,000, meaning that the insurers would
only pay for damage in excess of that sum. The premium, negotiated by
brokers Willis Faber & Company (now Willis Group), was 15 s (75 p)
per £100, or £7,500 (£680,000 today) for the term of one year.
Lloyd's paid the
White Star Line
White Star Line the full sum owed to them within 30
Many charities were set up to help the victims and their families,
many of whom lost their sole breadwinner, or, in the case of many
Third Class survivors, everything they owned. On 29 April opera stars
Enrico Caruso and
Mary Garden and members of the Metropolitan Opera
raised $12,000 ($300,000 in 2014) in benefits for victims of the
disaster by giving special concerts in which versions of "Autumn" and
"Nearer My God To Thee" were part of the programme. In Britain,
relief funds were organised for the families of Titanic's lost crew
members, raising nearly £450,000 (£41,000,000 today). One such fund
was still in operation as late as the 1960s.
Investigations into the disaster
Main articles: United States Senate inquiry into the sinking of the
Titanic and British Wreck Commissioner's inquiry into the sinking
of the RMS Titanic
Even before the survivors arrived in New York, investigations were
being planned to discover what had happened, and what could be done to
prevent a recurrence. Inquiries were held in both the United States
and United Kingdom, the former more robustly critical of traditions
and practices, and scathing of the failures involved, and the latter
broadly more technical and expert-oriented.
The U.S. Senate's inquiry into the disaster was initiated on 19 April,
a day after Carpathia arrived in New York. The chairman, Senator
William Alden Smith, wanted to gather accounts from passengers and
crew while the events were still fresh in their minds. Smith also
needed to subpoena all surviving British passengers and crew while
they were still on American soil, which prevented them from returning
to the UK before the American inquiry was completed on 25 May.
The British press condemned Smith as an opportunist, insensitively
forcing an inquiry as a means of gaining political prestige and
seizing "his moment to stand on the world stage". Smith, however,
already had a reputation as a campaigner for safety on U.S. railroads,
and wanted to investigate any possible malpractices by railroad tycoon
J. P. Morgan, Titanic's ultimate owner.
The British Board of Trade's inquiry into the disaster was headed by
Lord Mersey, and took place between 2 May and 3 July. Being run by the
Board of Trade, who had previously approved the ship, it was seen by
some as having little interest in its own or White Star's conduct
being found negligent.
Each inquiry took testimony from both passengers and crew of Titanic,
crew members of Leyland Line's Californian, Captain
Arthur Rostron of
Carpathia and other experts. The British inquiry also took far
greater expert testimony, making it the longest and most detailed
court of inquiry in British history up to that time. The two
inquiries reached broadly similar conclusions: the regulations on the
number of lifeboats that ships had to carry were out of date and
inadequate, Captain Smith had failed to take proper heed of ice
warnings, the lifeboats had not been properly filled or crewed,
and the collision was the direct result of steaming into a dangerous
area at too high a speed.
Neither inquiry's findings listed negligence by IMM or the White Star
Line as a factor. The American inquiry concluded that since those
involved had followed standard practice the disaster was an act of
God. The British inquiry concluded that Smith had followed
long-standing practice that had not previously been shown to be
unsafe, noting that British ships alone had carried 3.5 million
passengers over the previous decade with the loss of just 10
lives, and concluded that Smith had done "only that which other
skilled men would have done in the same position". Lord Mersey did
however find fault with the "extremely high speed (twenty-two knots)
which was maintained" following numerous ice warnings, noting
that without hindsight, "what was a mistake in the case of the Titanic
would without doubt be negligence in any similar case in the
The recommendations included strong suggestions for major changes in
maritime regulations to implement new safety measures, such as
ensuring that more lifeboats were provided, that lifeboat drills were
properly carried out and that wireless equipment on passenger ships
was manned around the clock. An
International Ice Patrol
International Ice Patrol was set
up to monitor the presence of icebergs in the North Atlantic, and
maritime safety regulations were harmonised internationally through
the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea; both
measures are still in force today.
On 18 June 1912,
Guglielmo Marconi gave evidence to the Court of
Inquiry regarding the telegraphy. Its final report recommended that
all liners carry the system and that sufficient operators maintain a
Role of the SS Californian
The SS Californian, which had tried to warn
Titanic of the danger
One of the most controversial issues examined by the inquiries was the
role played by SS Californian, which had been only a few miles
Titanic but had not picked up her distress calls or responded to
her signal rockets. Californian had warned
Titanic by radio of the
pack ice that was the reason Californian had stopped for the night,
but was rebuked by Titanic's senior wireless operator, Jack
Testimony before the British inquiry revealed that at 10:10 p.m.,
Californian observed the lights of a ship to the south; it was later
agreed between Captain
Stanley Lord and Third Officer C.V. Groves (who
had relieved Lord of duty at 11:10 p.m.) that this was a
passenger liner. At 11:50 p.m., the officer had watched that
ship's lights flash out, as if she had shut down or turned sharply,
and that the port light was now visible. Morse light signals to
the ship, upon Lord's order, were made between 11:30 p.m. and
1:00 a.m., but were not acknowledged. If
Titanic were as far
from the Californian as Lord claimed, then he knew, or should have
known, that Morse signals would not be visible. A reasonable and
prudent course of action would have been to awaken the wireless
operator and to instruct him to attempt to contact
Titanic by that
method. Had Lord done so, it is possible he could have reached Titanic
in time to save additional lives.
Captain Lord had gone to the chartroom at 11:00 p.m. to spend the
night; however, Second Officer Herbert Stone, now on duty,
notified Lord at 1:10 a.m. that the ship had fired five rockets.
Lord wanted to know if they were company signals, that is, coloured
flares used for identification. Stone said that he did not know and
that the rockets were all white. Captain Lord instructed the crew to
continue to signal the other vessel with the Morse lamp, and went back
to sleep. Three more rockets were observed at 1:50 a.m. and Stone
noted that the ship looked strange in the water, as if she were
listing. At 2:15 a.m., Lord was notified that the ship could no
longer be seen. Lord asked again if the lights had had any colours in
them, and he was informed that they were all white.
Californian eventually responded. At around 5:30 a.m., Chief
Officer George Stewart awakened wireless operator Cyril Furmstone
Evans, informed him that rockets had been seen during the night, and
asked that he try to communicate with any ship. He got news of
Titanic's loss, Captain Lord was notified, and the ship set out to
render assistance. She arrived well after Carpathia had already picked
up all the survivors.
The inquiries found that the ship seen by Californian was in fact
Titanic and that it would have been possible for Californian to come
to her rescue; therefore, Captain Lord had acted improperly in failing
to do so.[q]
Survivors and victims
Main article: List of
The number of casualties of the sinking is unclear, due to a number of
factors. These include confusion over the passenger list, which
included some names of people who cancelled their trip at the last
minute, and the fact that several passengers travelled under aliases
for various reasons and were therefore double-counted on the casualty
lists. The death toll has been put at between 1,490 and
1,635 people. The tables below use figures from the British
Board of Trade
Board of Trade report on the disaster. While the use of Marconi
wireless system did not achieve the result of bringing a rescue ship
Titanic before it sank, the use of wireless did bring the
Carpathia in time to rescue some of the survivors who otherwise would
have perished due to exposure.
The water temperature in the area where
Titanic sank, which was well
below normal, also contributed to the rapid death of many passengers
during the sinking. Water temperature readings taken around the time
of the accident were reported to be 28 °F (−2 °C).
Typical water temperatures were normally in the mid-40 °F range
during mid-April. The coldness of the water was a critical
factor, often causing death within minutes for many of those in the
Fewer than a third of those aboard
Titanic survived the disaster. Some
survivors died shortly afterwards; injuries and the effects of
exposure caused the deaths of several of those brought aboard
Carpathia. The figures show stark differences in the survival
rates of the different classes aboard Titanic. Although only 3% of
first-class women were lost, 54% of those in third class died.
Similarly, five of six first-class and all second-class children
survived, but 52 of the 79 in third class perished. The differences by
gender were even bigger: nearly all female crew members, first and
second class passengers were saved. Men from the First Class died at a
higher rate than women from the Third Class. In total, 50% of the
children survived, 20% of the men and 75% of the women.
The last living survivor,
Millvina Dean from England, who at only nine
weeks old was the youngest passenger on board, died aged 97 on 31 May
2009. A special survivor was crew member
Violet Jessop who
survived the sinkings of both
Titanic and Britannic and was aboard
Olympic when she was rammed in 1911.
Retrieval and burial of the dead
Titanic victims, Fairview Cemetery, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Once the massive loss of life became known,
White Star Line
White Star Line chartered
the cable ship
CS Mackay-Bennett from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, to
retrieve bodies. Three other Canadian ships followed in the
search: the cable ship Minia, lighthouse supply ship Montmagny
and sealing vessel Algerine. Each ship left with embalming
supplies, undertakers, and clergy. Of the 333 victims that were
eventually recovered, 328 were retrieved by the Canadian ships and
five more by passing North Atlantic steamships.[r]
The first ship to reach the site of the sinking, the
CS Mackay-Bennett, found so many bodies that the embalming
supplies aboard were quickly exhausted. Health regulations required
that only embalmed bodies could be returned to port. Captain
Larnder of the Mackay-Bennett and undertakers aboard decided to
preserve only the bodies of first class passengers, justifying their
decision by the need to visually identify wealthy men to resolve any
disputes over large estates. As a result, many third class passengers
and crew were buried at sea. Larnder identified many of those buried
at sea as crew members by their clothing, and stated that as a
mariner, he himself would be contented to be buried at sea.
Bodies recovered were preserved for transport to Halifax, the closest
city to the sinking with direct rail and steamship connections. The
Halifax coroner, John Henry Barnstead, developed a detailed system to
identify bodies and safeguard personal possessions. Relatives from
across North America came to identify and claim bodies. A large
temporary morgue was set up in the curling rink of the Mayflower
Curling Club and undertakers were called in from all across eastern
Canada to assist. Some bodies were shipped to be buried in their
home towns across North America and Europe. About two-thirds of the
bodies were identified. Unidentified victims were buried with simple
numbers based on the order in which their bodies were discovered. The
majority of recovered victims, 150 bodies, were buried in three
Halifax cemeteries, the largest being Fairview Lawn Cemetery followed
by the nearby Mount Olivet and Baron de Hirsch cemeteries.
In mid-May 1912, RMS Oceanic recovered three bodies over 200
miles (320 km) from the site of the sinking who were among the
original occupants of Collapsible A. When Fifth Officer Harold
Lowe and six crewmen returned to the wreck site sometime after the
sinking in a lifeboat to pick up survivors, they rescued a dozen males
and one female from Collapsible A, but left the dead bodies of
three of its occupants.[s] After their retrieval from
Collapsible A by Oceanic, the bodies were buried at sea.
Titanic body recovered was steward James McGrady, Body No.
330, found by the chartered Newfoundland sealing vessel Algerine on 22
May and buried at Fairview Lawn Cemetery in Halifax on 12 June.
Only 333 bodies of
Titanic victims were recovered, one in five of the
over 1,500 victims. Some bodies sank with the ship while currents
quickly dispersed bodies and wreckage across hundreds of miles making
them difficult to recover. By June, one of the last search ships
reported that life jackets supporting bodies were coming apart and
releasing bodies to sink.
Main article: Wreck of the RMS Titanic
The bow of the wrecked RMS Titanic, photographed in June 2004
Titanic was long thought to have sunk in one piece and, over the
years, many schemes were put forward for raising the wreck. None came
to fruition. The fundamental problem was the sheer difficulty of
finding and reaching a wreck that lies over 12,000 feet (3,700 m)
below the surface, in a location where the water pressure is over
6,500 pounds per square inch (450 bar). A number of
expeditions were mounted to find
Titanic but it was not until 1
September 1985 that a Franco-American expedition led by Robert Ballard
The team discovered that
Titanic had in fact split apart, probably
near or at the surface, before sinking to the seabed. The separated
bow and stern sections lie about a third of a mile (0.6 km) apart
Titanic Canyon off the coast of Newfoundland. They are located 13.2
miles (21.2 km) from the inaccurate coordinates given by
Titanic's radio operators on the night of her sinking, and
approximately 715 miles (1,151 km) from Halifax and 1,250 miles
(2,012 km) from New York.
Both sections struck the sea bed at considerable speed, causing the
bow to crumple and the stern to collapse entirely. The bow is by far
the more intact section and still contains some surprisingly intact
interiors. In contrast, the stern is completely wrecked; its decks
have pancaked down on top of each other and much of the hull plating
was torn off and lies scattered across the sea floor. The much greater
level of damage to the stern is probably due to structural damage
incurred during the sinking. Thus weakened, the remainder of the stern
was flattened by the impact with the sea bed.
The two sections are surrounded by a debris field measuring
approximately 5 by 3 miles (8.0 km × 4.8 km). It
contains hundreds of thousands of items, such as pieces of the ship,
furniture, dinnerware and personal items, which fell from the ship as
she sank or were ejected when the bow and stern impacted on the sea
floor. The debris field was also the last resting place of a
number of Titanic's victims. Most of the bodies and clothes were
consumed by sea creatures and bacteria, leaving pairs of shoes and
boots—which have proved to be inedible—as the only sign that
bodies once lay there.
Since its initial discovery, the wreck of
Titanic has been revisited
on numerous occasions by explorers, scientists, filmmakers, tourists
and salvagers, who have recovered thousands of items from the debris
field for conservation and public display. The ship's condition has
deteriorated significantly over the years, particularly from
accidental damage by submersibles but mostly because of an
accelerating rate of growth of iron-eating bacteria on the hull.
In 2006, it was estimated that within 50 years the hull and structure
Titanic would eventually collapse entirely, leaving only the more
durable interior fittings of the ship intermingled with a pile of rust
on the sea floor.
Bell from the Titanic
Many artefacts from
Titanic have been recovered from the sea bed by
Titanic Inc., which exhibits them in touring exhibitions around
the world and in a permanent exhibition at the
Luxor Las Vegas
Luxor Las Vegas hotel
and casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. A number of other museums
exhibit artefacts either donated by survivors or retrieved from the
floating bodies of victims of the disaster.
On 16 April 2012, the day after the 100th anniversary of the sinking,
photos were released showing possible human remains resting on the
ocean floor. The photos, taken by
Robert Ballard during an expedition
led by NOAA in 2004, show a boot and a coat close to Titanic's stern
which experts called "compelling evidence" that it is the spot where
somebody came to rest, and that human remains could be buried in the
sediment beneath them. The wreck of the
Titanic falls under the
scope of the 2001 UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the
Underwater Cultural Heritage. This means that all states party to the
convention will prohibit the pillaging, commercial exploitation, sale
and dispersion of the wreck and its artefacts. Because of the location
of the wreck in international waters and the lack of any exclusive
jurisdiction over the wreckage area, the convention provides a state
co-operation system, by which states inform each other of any
potential activity concerning ancient shipwreck sites, like the
Titanic, and co-operate to prevent unscientific or unethical
Main article: Changes in safety practices after the sinking of the RMS
An ice patrol aircraft inspecting an iceberg
After the disaster, recommendations were made by both the British and
American Boards of Inquiry stating that ships should carry enough
lifeboats for all aboard, mandated lifeboat drills would be
implemented, lifeboat inspections would be conducted, etc. Many of
these recommendations were incorporated into the International
Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea passed in 1914. The
convention has been updated by periodic amendments, with a completely
new version adopted in 1974. Signatories to the convention
followed up with national legislation to implement the new standards.
For example in Britain, new "Rules for Life Saving Appliances" were
passed by the
Board of Trade
Board of Trade on 8 May 1914 and then applied at a
meeting of British steamship companies in
Liverpool in June 1914.
Further, the United States government passed the Radio Act of 1912.
This act, along with the International Convention for the Safety of
Life at Sea, stated that radio communications on passenger ships would
be operated 24 hours a day, along with a secondary power supply, so as
not to miss distress calls. Also, the
Radio Act of 1912 required ships
to maintain contact with vessels in their vicinity as well as coastal
onshore radio stations. In addition, it was agreed in the
International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea that the firing
of red rockets from a ship must be interpreted as a sign of need for
help. Once the
Radio Act of 1912 was passed it was agreed that rockets
at sea would be interpreted as distress signals only, thus removing
any possible misinterpretation from other ships.
Finally, the disaster led to the formation and international funding
of the International Ice Patrol, an agency of the United States Coast
Guard that to the present day monitors and reports on the location of
North Atlantic Ocean icebergs that could pose a threat to
transatlantic sea traffic. Coast Guard aircraft conduct the primary
reconnaissance. In addition, information is collected from ships
operating in or passing through the ice area. Except for the years of
the two World Wars, the
International Ice Patrol
International Ice Patrol has worked each
season since 1913. During the period there has not been a single
reported loss of life or property due to collision with an iceberg in
the patrol area. In 1912, the
Board of Trade
Board of Trade chartered the barque
Scotia to act as a weather ship in the Grand Banks of Newfoundland,
keeping a look-out for icebergs. A Marconi wireless was installed to
enable her to communicate with stations on the coast of
Main article: Cultural legacy of RMS Titanic
Titanic Belfast, 2012
Titanic has gone down in history as the ship that was called
unsinkable.[t] For more than 100 years, she has been the inspiration
of fiction and non-fiction. She is commemorated by monuments for the
dead and by museums exhibiting artefacts from the wreck. Just after
the sinking memorial postcards sold in huge numbers together with
memorabilia ranging from tin candy boxes to plates, whiskey
jiggers, and even black mourning teddy bears. Several
survivors wrote books about their experiences but it was not
until 1955 the first historically accurate book A Night to Remember
The first film about the disaster, Saved from the Titanic, was
released only 29 days after the ship sank and had an actual survivor
as its star—the silent film actress Dorothy Gibson. The British
film A Night to Remember (1958) is still widely regarded as the most
historically accurate movie portrayal of the sinking. The most
financially successful by far has been James Cameron's
which became the highest-grossing film in history up to that
time, as well as the winner of 11 Oscars at the 70th Academy
Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director for Cameron.
Titanic disaster was commemorated through a variety of memorials
and monuments to the victims, erected in several English-speaking
countries and in particular in cities that had suffered notable
losses. These included Southampton,
Belfast in the
United Kingdom; New York and Washington, D.C. in the United States;
Cobh (formerly Queenstown) in Ireland. A number of museums
around the world have displays on Titanic, the most prominent is in
Belfast, the ship's birthplace (see next section).
Titanic Inc., which is authorised to salvage the wreck site, has a
Titanic exhibition at the
Luxor Las Vegas
Luxor Las Vegas hotel and casino
Nevada which features a 22-ton slab of the ship's hull. It also
runs an exhibition which travels around the world. In Nova
Maritime Museum of the Atlantic
Maritime Museum of the Atlantic displays items that
were recovered from the sea a few days after the disaster. They
include pieces of woodwork such as panelling from the ship's First
Class Lounge and an original deckchair, as well as objects
removed from the victims. In 2012 the centenary was marked by
plays, radio programmes, parades, exhibitions and special trips to the
site of the sinking together with commemorative stamps and
In a frequently commented-on literary coincidence, Morgan Robertson
authored a novel called Futility in 1898 about a fictional British
passenger liner with the plot bearing a number of similarities to the
Titanic disaster. In the novel the ship is the SS Titan, a
four-stacked liner, the largest in the world and considered
unsinkable. But like the Titanic, she sinks after hitting an iceberg
and does not have enough lifeboats.
Significance in Northern Ireland
Only recently has the significance of
Titanic most notably been given
Northern Ireland where it was built by
Harland and Wolff
Harland and Wolff in the
capital city, Belfast. While the rest of the world embraced the glory
and tragedy of Titanic, in its birth city,
Titanic remained a taboo
subject throughout the 20th century. The sinking brought tremendous
grief and was a blow to the city's pride. But it's shipyard was also a
place many Catholics regarded as hostile. In the latter half of
the century, during a 30-year sectarian conflict
Titanic was a
reminder of the lack of civil rights that in part contributed towards
The Troubles. While the fate of
Titanic remained a well-known story
within local households throughout the 20th century, commercial
investment around Titanic's legacy was modest because of these
The Troubles in 1998, the number of overseas tourists visiting
Northern Ireland dramatically increased to 30 million (100% rise by
2008). It was subsequently identified in the 'Northern Ireland
Tourism Board’s Strategic Framework for Action 2004-2007' that the
significance of and interest in
Titanic globally (partly due to the
1997 film 'Titanic') was not being fully exploited as a tourist
Titanic Belfast® was spearheaded, along with
some smaller projects, such as a
In 2012 on the ship's centenary,
Belfast visitor attraction
was opened on the site of the shipyard where
Titanic was built.
It was Northern Ireland's second most visited tourist attraction with
almost 700,000 visitors in 2016.
Despite over 1,600 ships being built by
Harland and Wolff
Harland and Wolff in Belfast
Habour, Queen's Island became renamed after its most famous ship;
Titanic Quarter in 1995. In 2005
Titanic Quarter Ltd launched one of
the world's largest urban-waterfront regeneration projects. Today
Titanic Quarter is Northern Ireland's most esteemed site; a major hub
of world-class education, employment, entertainment and tourist
facilities. Once a sensitive story,
Titanic is now considered one
of Northern Ireland’s most iconic and uniting symbols.
Diagrams of RMS Titanic
Diagram of RMS
Titanic showing the arrangement of the bulkheads in
red. Compartments in the engineering area at the bottom of the ship
are noted in blue. Names of decks are listed to the right (starting at
top on Boat deck, going from A through F and ending on Lower deck at
the waterline). Areas of damage made by the iceberg are shown in
green. The scale's smallest unit is 10 feet (3.0 m) and its total
length is 400 feet (120 m).
A cutaway diagram of Titanic's midship section.
S: Sun deck. A: Upper promenade deck. B: Promenade deck,
glass-enclosed. C: Saloon deck. E: Main deck. F: Middle deck. G: Lower
deck: cargo, coal bunkers, boilers, engines. (a) Welin davits with
lifeboats, (b) Bilge, (c) Double bottom
Titanic in size to modern means of transport and a
Timeline of RMS Titanic
17 September 1908: Ship ordered.
31 May 1911: Ship launched.
1 April 1912: Trials completed.
10 April, noon:
Maiden voyage starts. Leaves
narrowly escaping collision with American liner New York.
10 April, 19:00: Stops at
Cherbourg for passengers.
10 April, 21:00: Leaves
Cherbourg for Queenstown.
11 April, 12:30: Stops at Queenstown for passengers and mail.
11 April, 14:00: Leaves Queenstown for New York.
14 April, 23:40: Collision with iceberg (Latitude 41° 46′ N,
Longitude 50° 14′ W).[u]
15 April, 00:45: First boat, No. 7, lowered.[u]
15 April, 02:05: Last boat, Collapsible D, lowered.[u]
15 April, 02:20: Foundering.[u]
15 April, 03:30–08:50: Rescue of survivors.[u]
19 April – 25 May: U.S. inquiry.
2 May – 3 July: British inquiry.
1 September 1985: Discovery of wreck.
See also: Replica Titanic,
Titanic II, and Romandisea Titanic
First Class Lounge of the Olympic which was almost identical to that
of the Titanic, seen today as a dining room in the White Swan Hotel,
There have been several proposals and studies for a project to build a
replica ship based on the Titanic. A project by South African
businessman Sarel Gaus was abandoned in 2006, and a project by
Clive Palmer was announced in 2012, known as
A Chinese shipbuilding company known as Wuchang Shipbuilding Industry
Group Co., Ltd commenced construction in January 2014 to build a
replica ship of the
Titanic for use in a resort. The vessel will house
many features of the original, such as a ballroom, dining hall,
theatre, first-class cabins, economy cabins and swimming
pool. Tourists will be able to reside inside the Titanic
during their time at the resort. It will be permanently docked at the
resort and feature an audiovisual simulation of the sinking, which has
caused some criticism.
RMS Olympic was the sister ship of the Titanic. The interior
decoration of the dining salon and the grand staircase were in
identical style and created by the same craftsmen. Large parts of the
interior of the Olympic were later sold and are now in the White Swan
Hotel, Alnwick, which gives an impression of how the interior of the
United Kingdom portal
International Maritime Organization
Lists of shipwrecks
Titanic alternative theories, alternative explanations for the
fate of the
Titanic (rather than it hitting an iceberg)
The Wreck of the Titan: Or, Futility
^ Carlisle would leave the project in 1910, before the ships were
launched, when he became a shareholder in Welin
Engineering Company Ltd, the firm making the ship's davits.
Wilding was sacked following the
Titanic disaster, having apparently
been blamed by Pirrie, unfairly, for the ship's loss.
^ It was kept off-limits to passengers; the famous "flying" scene at
the ship's bow from the 1997 film
Titanic would not have been
permitted in real life.
^ This photo is probably of Titanic's sister ship, Olympic.
^ Copy of the neoclassical oil painting by Merry-Joseph Blondel
^ Measurement of lifeboats: 1–2: 25'2" long by 7'2" wide by 3'2"
deep; 326.6 cubic feet (9.25 m3); 3–16: 30' long by 9'1" wide
by 4' deep; 655.2 cubic feet (18.55 m3) and A–D: 27'5" long by
8' wide by 3' deep; 376.6 cubic feet (10.66 m3)
^ Since 1894, when the largest passenger ship under consideration was
the Cunard Line's 13,000-ton Lucania, the
Board of Trade
Board of Trade had made no
provision to increase the existing scale regarding the number of
required lifeboats for larger ships, such as the 46,000-ton Titanic.
Sir Alfred Chalmers, nautical adviser to the
Board of Trade
Board of Trade from 1896
to 1911, had considered the matter of adjusting the scale "from time
to time", but because he not only assumed that experienced sailors
would need to be carried "uselessly" aboard ship only to lower and man
the extra lifeboats, but also anticipated the difficulty in getting
away a greater number than 16 boats in any emergency, he "did not
consider it necessary to increase [the scale]".
^ He expressed deep disappointment about the decision before the
voyage, but was presumably greatly relieved afterwards.
Titanic also had a ship's cat, Jenny, who gave birth to a litter of
kittens shortly before the ship's maiden voyage; all perished in the
^ Known afterward as the "Unsinkable Molly Brown" due to her efforts
in helping other passengers while the ship sank
^ Captain Edward Smith had been in command of Titanic's sister Olympic
when she in 1911 collided with a warship. Even though that ship was
designed to sink others by ramming them, it suffered greater damage
than Olympic, thereby strengthening the image of the class being
^ The official enquiry found that damage extended about 300 feet, but
both Edward Wilding's testimony and modern ultrasound surveys of the
wreck suggest the total area was perhaps a few narrow openings
totalling perhaps no more than 12 to 13 square feet (1.1 to
^ An incident confirmed this philosophy while
Titanic was under
construction: the White Star liner Republic was involved in a
collision and sank. Even though she did not have enough lifeboats for
all passengers, they were all saved because the ship was able to stay
afloat long enough for them to be ferried to ships coming to
^ Life expectancy in such temperatures is often under 15 minutes even
for people who are young and fit. The victims would have died from
bodily reactions to freezing water rather than hypothermia (loss of
core temperature). Immersed into freezing seas, around 20% of victims
die within two minutes from cold shock (uncontrolled rapid breathing
and gasping causing water inhalation, massive increase in blood
pressure, cardiac strain leading to cardiac arrest, and panic),
another 50% die within 15–30 minutes from cold incapacitation
(inability to use or control limbs and hands for swimming or gripping,
as the body 'protectively' shuts down peripheral muscles to protect
its core), and exhaustion and unconsciousness cause drowning,
claiming the rest within a similar time.
^ The Salvation Army newspaper, The War Cry, reported that "none but a
heart of stone would be unmoved in the presence of such anguish. Night
and day that crowd of pale, anxious faces had been waiting patiently
for the news that did not come. Nearly every one in the crowd had lost
a relative." It was not until 17 April that the first incomplete
lists of survivors came through, delayed by poor communications.
^ On 23 April, the Daily Mail reported: "Late in the afternoon hope
died out. The waiting crowds thinned, and silent men and women sought
their homes. In the humbler homes of
Southampton there is scarcely a
family who has not lost a relative or friend. Children returning from
school appreciated something of tragedy, and woeful little faces were
turned to the darkened, fatherless homes."
^ According to an eyewitness report, there "were many pathetic scenes"
when Titanic's survivors disembarked at New York
^ Lord protested his innocence to the end of his life, and many
researchers have asserted that the known positions of
Californian make it impossible that the former was the infamous
"mystery ship", a topic which has "generated ... millions of words and
... hours of heated debates" and continues to do so.
^ Most of the bodies were numbered, however, the five passengers
buried at sea by Carpathia went unnumbered.
^ Thomas Beattie, a first class passenger, and two crew members, a
fireman and a seaman.
^ An example is Daniel Butler's book about RMS Titanic, titled
^ a b c d e Ship's time; at the time of the collision, Titanic's
clocks were set to 2 hours 2 minutes ahead of
Eastern Time Zone
Eastern Time Zone and 2
hours 58 minutes behind Greenwich Mean Time.
^ Beveridge & Hall 2004, p. 1.
^ Official investigation report - the sinking of RMS
Titanic (PDF) (1
ed.). London: The final board of inquiry. Retrieved 27 July
^ Hsu, J. (April 17, 2012). "How Marconi's Wireless Tech Helped Save
Titanic Passengers", New York: NBC NEWS. Assessed at:
^ Vander Hook, S. (2008). Titanic. Edina, Minnesota: ABDO Publishing
Company., p. 18.
Titanic Ship Listing". Chris' Cunard Page. Archived from the
original on 15 April 2012. Retrieved 12 April 2012.
^ Second Officer Lightoller insisted on excluding men, while First
Officer Murdoch, on the other side of the ship, permitted men and
women to board the lifeboats.
^ "Patrick S. Ryan, The ITU and the Internet's
Titanic Moment" (PDF).
Retrieved 4 July 2014.
^ Chirnside 2004, p. 319.
^ Beveridge & Hall 2011, p. 27.
^ Bartlett 2011, p. 26.
^ "Outgoing Steamships – Sail Saturday October 26, 1912: Majestic
(Southampton)". The Sun. 24 October 1912. Retrieved 18 May 2015.
^ a b Bartlett 2011, p. 25.
^ a b Hutchings & de Kerbrech 2011, p. 12.
^ Hutchings & de Kerbrech 2011, p. 14.
^ "Testimony of Alexander Carlisle". British Wreck Commissioner's
Inquiry. 30 July 1912. Retrieved 8 November 2008.
^ McCluskie 1998, p. 20.
^ Eaton & Haas 1995, p. 55.
^ a b c Eaton & Haas 1995, p. 56.
^ a b McCluskie 1998, p. 22.
^ Chirnside 2004, p. efn319.
^ a b Hutchings & de Kerbrech 2011, p. 47.
^ Gill 2010, p. 229.
^ a b c d e f g Hutchings & de Kerbrech 2011, p. 48.
^ Gill 2010, p. 232.
^ Gill 2010, p. 233.
^ Gill 2010, p. 235.
^ a b Gill 2010, p. 236.
^ a b Gill 2010, p. 237.
^ Beveridge 2008, p. 100.
^ Gill 2010, p. 120.
^ a b Gill 2010, p. 121.
^ Hutchings & de Kerbrech 2011, p. 79.
^ Hutchings & de Kerbrech 2011, p. 80.
^ a b Gill 2010, p. 126.
^ a b Gill 2010, p. 148.
^ Hutchings & de Kerbrech 2011, p. 86.
^ Hutchings & de Kerbrech 2011, p. 85.
^ Hutchings & de Kerbrech 2011, p. 96.
^ Gill 2010, p. 127.
^ a b Hutchings & de Kerbrech 2011, p. 74.
^ Hutchings & de Kerbrech 2011, p. 106.
^ Hutchings & de Kerbrech 2011, p. 107.
^ a b Hutchings & de Kerbrech 2011, p. 44.
^ Gill 2010, p. 104.
^ Hutchings & de Kerbrech 2011, p. 68.
^ a b Hutchings & de Kerbrech 2011, p. 70.
^ a b Gill 2010, p. 162.
^ Bruce Beveridge et al., edited by Art Braunschweiger (2008).
Titanic : the ship magnificent (3rd ed.). Stroud,
Gloucestershire: History Press. ISBN 0752446061.
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^ a b Gill 2010, p. 182.
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^ a b Hutchings & de Kerbrech 2011, p. 59.
^ Lynch 1992, p. 53.
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^ Merideth 2003, p. 236.
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Groot. New York and London: W. W. Norton & Company.
Spignesi, Stephen J. (1998). The Complete Titanic: From the Ship's
Earliest Blueprints to the Epic Film. Secaucus, New Jersey: Birch Lane
Press. ISBN 978-1-55972-483-8.
Spignesi, Stephen J. (2012). The
Titanic For Dummies. Hoboken, NJ:
John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-1-118-20651-5.
Verhoeven, John D. (2007). Steel
Metallurgy for the Non-Metallurgist.
Materials Park, OH: ASM International.
Ward, Greg (2012). The Rough Guide to the Titanic. London: Rough
Guides Ltd. ISBN 978-1-4053-8699-9.
Wels, Susan (1997). Titanic: Legacy of the World's Greatest Ocean
Liner. Del Mar, California: Tehabi Books.
Journals and news articles:
Broad, William J. (8 April 1997). "Toppling Theories, Scientists Find
6 Slits, Not Big Gash, Sank Titanic". The New York Times. Retrieved 5
Broad, William J. (15 April 2008). "In Weak Rivets, a Possible Key to
Titanic's Doom". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 March 2012.
Canfield, Clarke (8 March 2012). "Full
Titanic site mapped for 1st
time". The Associated Press. Archived from the original on 2 January
2013. Retrieved 9 March 2012.
Felkins, Katherine; Leighly, HP; Jankovic, A (1998), "The Royal Mail
Ship Titanic: Did a Metallurgical Failure Cause a Night to Remember?",
JOM, Minerals, Metals & Materials Society, 50 (1): 12–18,
Ryan, Paul R. (Winter 1985–1986). "The
Titanic Tale". Oceanus. Woods
Hole, MA: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. 4 (28).
Belfast complex opens". BBC News. 31 March 2012.
Retrieved 9 April 2012.
"Report on the Loss of the "Titanic." (s.s.)". British Wreck
Commissioner's Inquiry, Final Report (Watertight Compartments). 30
July 1912. Archived from the original on 3 January 2014. Retrieved 14
Mersey, Lord (1999) . The Loss of the Titanic, 1912. The
Stationery Office. ISBN 978-0-11-702403-8.
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Titanic Historical Society
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Collection of Marconigram radio messages related to the Titanic
Titanic collected news and commentary". The Guardian.
New York Times coverage of the Titanic
RMS Titanic: 100 Years Later—An Online Newspaper Exhibition at
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Titanic Footage and Survivors Interviews – YouTube
Titanic Footage: Leaving
Belfast - British Pathé
References to the
Titanic in European Historic Newspapers
Rare Postcard from the Titanic
First class facilities
Second and Third class facilities
Changes in safety practices
Legends and myths
Lifeboat No. 1
Wreck of Titanic
Maritime Memorial Act
Edward J. Smith (Captain)
Henry Tingle Wilde (Chief Officer)
William McMaster Murdoch
William McMaster Murdoch (First Officer)
Charles H. Lightoller (Second Officer)
Herbert Pitman (Third Officer)
Joseph G. Boxhall (Fourth Officer)
Harold G. Lowe (Fifth Officer)
James Paul Moody
James Paul Moody (Sixth Officer)
Joseph Bell (Machine Room Manager)
William Denton Cox
Alfred Frank Evans
John Jacob Astor IV
David John Bowen
Walter Donald Douglas
Edith Corse Evans
Sidney Leslie Goodwin
Charles Melville Hays
Edward Austin Kent
Joseph Philippe Lemercier Laroche
Francis Davis Millet
Harry Markland Molson
Eino Viljami Panula
W. T. Stead
John Borland Thayer Jr.
Frank M. Warren, Sr.
George Dennick Wick
George Dunton Widener
Harry Elkins Widener
George Henry Wright
Mauritz Håkan Björnström-Steffansson
Margaret "Molly" Brown
Helen Churchill Candee
Charlotte Drake Cardeza
Sir Cosmo Duff-Gordon
Lucy, Lady Duff-Gordon
Ethel Flora Fortune
Archibald Gracie IV
Frank John William Goldsmith
Henry S. Harper
Margaret Bechstein Hays
J. Bruce Ismay
Eleanor Ileen Johnson
Michel Marcel Navratil
Arthur Godfrey Peuchen
Marjorie Newell Robb
Noël Leslie, Countess of Rothes
Frederic Kimber Seward
Eloise Hughes Smith
Ella Holmes White
R. Norris Williams
Marie Grice Young
Memorials and monuments to the RMS Titanic
Engine Room Heroes (Liverpool)
Straus Park (New York City)
Titanic (New York City)
Titanic (Washington, D.C.)
Butt-Millet Memorial Fountain
Butt-Millet Memorial Fountain (Washington, D.C.)
Futility, or the Wreck of the Titan (1898)
A Night to Remember (book)
Saved from the
In Nacht und Eis
In Nacht und Eis (1912)
A Night to Remember (1958)
The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964)
Secrets of the
The Legend of the
Titanic: The Legend Goes On (2000)
Ghosts of the Abyss
Ghosts of the Abyss (2003)
Titanic II (2010)
Titanic: The Complete Story (1994)
No Greater Love (1996)
"A Flight to Remember" (Futurama) (1999)
Titanic: Blood and Steel (2012)
Titanic (It Was Sad When That Great Ship Went Down)" (folk song)
The Sinking of the
Titanic (music composition)
The Unsinkable Molly Brown (musical)
"My Heart Will Go On" (Celine Dion song)
"Nearer, My God, to Thee" (song)
Titanic: Adventure Out of Time (1996)
Titanic: Honor and Glory (TBA)
SeaCity Museum (Southampton)
Titanic Museum (Branson, Missouri)
Titanic Museum (Pigeon Forge, Tennessee)
Maritime Museum of the Atlantic
Maritime Museum of the Atlantic (Halifax)
Titanic Quarter, Belfast
Cape Race, Newfoundland
Fairview Cemetery, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Mount Olivet Cemetery (Halifax)
White Star Line
Titanic Historical Society
Women and children first
Olympic-class ocean liners
RMS Olympic (1910)
HMHS Britannic (1914)
See also: Replica Titanic,
Last remaining survivors of the RMS
Millvina Dean (1912–2009)
Barbara West (1911–2007)
Lillian Asplund (1906–2006)
Winnifred Quick (1904–2002)
Michel Navratil (1908–2001)
Eleanor Johnson (1910–1998)
Louise Laroche (1910–1998)
Edith Brown (1896–1997)
Eva Hart (1905–1996)
Beatrice Sandström (1910–1995)
Robertha "Bertha" Watt (1899–1993)
Ellen Shine (1891–1993)
Marjorie Newell (1889–1992)
Louise Kink (1908–1992)
Bertram Dean (1910–1992)
Alden Caldwell (1911–1992)
Michael Joseph (1907–1991)
Frank "Philip" Aks (1911–1991)
George Touma (1904–1991)
Anna "Annie" McGowan (1897–1990)
Ruth Becker (1899–1990)
Ocean liners with four funnels
SS Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse (1897)
SS Deutschland (1900)
SS Kronprinz Wilhelm (1901)
SS Kaiser Wilhelm II (1902)
RMS Lusitania (1906)
RMS Mauretania (1906)
SS Kronprinzessin Cecilie (1906)
SS France (1910)
RMS Olympic (1910)
RMS Aquitania (1913)
HMHS Britannic (1914)
RMS Arundel Castle (1921)
RMS Windsor Castle (1922)
Timeline of the world's largest passenger ships
Syracusia (240 BC)
Thalamegos (200 BC)
Caravel ships (1400s)
SS Royal William (1831)
SS Great Western (1837)
SS British Queen (1839)
SS President (1840)
SS Great Britain (1845)
HMS Himalaya (1854)
RMS Atrato (1854)
SS Great Eastern (1858)
RMS Celtic (1901)
RMS Baltic (1903)
RMS Empress of Scotland (1906)
RMS Lusitania (1907)
RMS Mauretania (1907)
RMS Olympic (1911)
SS Imperator (1913)
SS Leviathan (1913)
RMS Majestic (1914)
SS Normandie (1935)
RMS Queen Mary (1936)
RMS Queen Elizabeth (1940)
MS Sovereign of the Seas (1987)
Sun Princess (1995)
Carnival Sunshine (1996)
Grand Princess (1997)
MS Voyager of the Seas (1999)
MS Explorer of the Seas (2000)
MS Navigator of the Seas (2002)
RMS Queen Mary 2 (2004)
MS Freedom of the Seas / MS Liberty of the Seas /
MS Independence of the Seas (2006)
MS Oasis of the Seas (2009)
MS Allure of the Seas (2010)
MS Harmony of the Seas (2016)
MS Symphony of the Seas (2018)
White Star Line
White Star Line ships
Olympic (order cancelled)
Oceanic (never completed)
Red Jacket (1853)
Blue Jacket (1854)
SS Ceramic (1913)
Years indicate year of entry into White Star service.
Ships that were lost on their maiden voyage
Galera Victoria (1729)
Grosser Kurfürst (1878)
and cargo liners
New Era (1854)
Georges Philippar (1932)
Hans Hedtoft (1959)
Royal Captain (1773)
Carrier Pigeon (1852)
Crescent City (1871)2
Catherine Griffiths (1875)
Mecanicien Donzel (1918)1
Adolf Vinnen (1923)
Île de Los (1935)
Joseph Medill (1935)
Empire Thunder (1941)1
Michael E (1941)1
Alexander Macomb (1942)1
Empire Clough (1942)1
Empire Drum (1942)1, 2
Empire Dryden (1942)1, 2
Empire Spenser (1942)1
Fort Good Hope (1942)1
Fort la Reine (1942)1
George Calvert (1942)1
George Thatcher (1942)1
Sam Houston (1942)1
San Victorio (1942)1
Stephen Hopkins (1942)1
Bloody Marsh (1943)1
Empire Florizel (1943)1
Fort Cedar Lake (1943)1
Haakon Jarl (1943)1
John Morgan (1943)1
J. Pinckney Henderson (1943)
Matt W. Ransom (1943)1, 3
Molly Pitcher (1943)1
Fort Crevier (1944)
John A. Treutlen (1944)1
Union Star (1981)2
1 = Due to enemy action. 2 = Maiden revenue-earning voyage. 3 =
Constructive total loss
Shipwrecks and maritime incidents in 1912
2 Feb: HMS A3
29 Feb: H. K. Bedford
12 Mar: Oceana
20 Mar: Koombana
2 Apr: USS Santee
15 Apr: Titanic (sinking)
12 May: HMS A3
May (unknown date): USS Pensacola
8 Jun: Vendémiaire
26 Jun: Naniwa
8 Aug: HMS Holland 5
17 Aug: Leafield
1 Sep: HMS Waterwitch
3 Sep: HMS Holland 4
28 Sep: Kiche Maru
4 Oct: HMS B2
16 Oct: Ralph Creyke, Nicaragua
22 Oct: SS Keystorm
31 Oct: Feth-i Bülend
23 Nov: Rouse Simmons
28 Nov: Friendship
Unknown date: City of
Adelaide, USS Ericsson, Fox
18 Jan: Sarah Dixon
2 Feb: HMS Hazard
12 Mar: Pisagua
14-15 Apr: Californian
2 Jun: Friendship, Derwent
8 Jun: Saint Louis
16 Aug: Camano, Sioux
4 Oct: Amerika
12 Oct: Arabia
December (unknown date): Lady Elizabeth, Pelayo
Coordinates: 41°43′57″N 49°56′49″W / 41.73250°N
49.94694°W / 41.73250; -49.94694