During its maiden voyage from Southampton to New York, the Titanic sank in the early hours of 15th April 1912 in the Atlantic Ocean.
How Much Do You Know about the Disaster?
The Titanic was the world’s largest man-made moving object. It was 269 meters long that struck an iceberg at 11.40 pm on 14th April 1912.
There were several warnings but still, the Titanic was racing through dangerous waters almost at its top speed of 23 knots.
The iceberg was spotted only 30 seconds before impact, and this happened because the lookouts of the ship were not equipped with binoculars.
Just in two and a half hours, the Titanic sank and sent survivors into the freezing water. The maritime disaster claimed over 1,500 lives and only 705 people survived.
Have a look at 10 facts about the Titanic:
1. How many lifeboats were available?
The ship was originally designed for 64 lifeboats but it only had 20 and that was not enough for 2,200 passengers and crew on board.
A large number of launched boats were not filled to capacity, having one with 24 people, even though it could fit 65. A lifeboat drill was planned for the day the Titanic hit the iceberg, however, it was canceled.
2. The Freezing Temperatures
The temperature of the Atlantic Ocean was below zero and that is why many people died within minutes of entering the water.
The baker of the ship, Charles Joughin, survived for two hours as he was blind drunk on whiskey and claimed that he could not feel the cold.
3. Damage Caused by the Iceberg:
Along the Titanic’s starboard side, the iceberg caused a crack of over 200ft. This made five of the forward compartments flooded. It is believed that if the collision was head-on, the ship would have survived.
4. Rumors of ‘No Lives Lost’
The Daily Mail reported that no lives lost in the Titanic’s sinking. On 16th April 1912, the Daily Mail reported on the disaster and the headline read: “Titanic sunk. No lives lost”. The exact nature of the tragedy was not known for several days.
5. Two Dogs Survived the Disaster
Out of the 2500 passengers aboard, there were nine dogs brought aboard and two of them were survived.
6. The Titanic’s Own Newspaper
The Titanic had its own newspaper named ‘The Atlantic Daily Bulletin’. It used to be printed every day. It included news, stock prices, and horseracing results, as well as the day’s menu.
7. One of the Titanic’s Funnel Was Fake
There were four funnels in the Titanic and three of them were needed to release steam from the boilers, which were burning through 650 tons of coal every day.
The fourth funnel was added for decoration only because the designers thought it would make Titanic look bigger.
8. The Titanic Band
There was a band in the first-class passengers throughout the voyage. It memorized all 350 songs from ‘The White Star Line Songbook’. When the ship was sinking, the band continued to play for two hours to calm people down.
9. Famous Names Dies During the Titanic Disaster
Among the dead, there were some notable names but didn’t get a spot on a lifeboat.
10. A Novel Predicted the Titanic Sinking 14 Years Previously
Fewer people have heard of is a short novel called ‘Futility: The Wreck of the Titan’. This novel was published by the U.S. writer Morgan Robertson.
The novel told the story of the world’s largest passenger ship, the Titan, and how it sank after hitting an iceberg. The novel was published 14 years before the Titanic sank.
The Best Ever Lodging:
The first-class accommodation of the Titanic was designed to be the pinnacle of comfort and luxury, with a gymnasium, swimming pool, libraries, high-class restaurants, and opulent cabins.
The Titanic had promoted safety measures such as watertight compartments and remotely activated watertight doors. Due to outdated maritime safety regulations, it carried lifeboats for only 1,178 people, one-third of her total capacity.
After quitting Southampton on 10th April 1912, the Titanic called at Cherbourg in France and Queenstown in Ireland before heading west to New York.
On 14th April, four days into the crossing and about 375 miles south of Newfoundland, the Titanic hit an iceberg at 11:40 p.m. ship’s time. Some crew members and passengers were evacuated in lifeboats but many of them were launched only partially loaded.
A large number of men were left aboard because of a ‘women and children first’ protocol for loading lifeboats. At 2:20 a.m., the ship broke apart and sank with well over one thousand people still aboard.
Why were so few onboard rescued?
More than 1500 people died when the Titanic sank on 15th April 1912 after hitting an iceberg in the Atlantic Ocean. There were only 705 survivors because the vast ocean liner set sail with too few lifeboats to hold everyone on board. This was due to a decision based on the assumption that in the unlikely event the Titanic ran into trouble; other ships would come to the rescue. The others didn’t help, but why?
There were two main reasons. First was that a miners’ strike caused a shortage of high-grade steam coal in Britain, which meant that far fewer ships than usual were at sea in the North Atlantic.
In a normal situation, the Titanic might have expected to be in sight of two or three ships at all times. But those ships were simply not there.
The second reason was that not all ships had radios, and those that had, did not man their radios 24 hours a day.
Two ships; SS Californian and SS Parisian, could have reached the Titanic in time to rescue everyone on board if they had received the distress call but unfortunately, the radio sets on both ships were switched off that night.