Ten Titanic Disaster Facts You Might Like To Know

Over the last few weeks we've been looking at top Titanic Facts to do with the history of the R.M.S Titanic, all of the articles included in this series can be accessed from the list below:

In this article we are going to explore some of the Titanic facts surrounding the disaster of the Titanic.

Fact 1: Titanic Departed

The Titanic departed from Southampton on April 10th 1912, bound for Cherbourg where she would stop to collect passengers before making her way to Queenstown at her final stop.

Fact 2: Final Memories

The final picture of the Titanic can be seen below on this page, this is the last picture ever taken of the Titanic as she steamed away from Queens town (taken by Francis Browne) after her final stop, she was on her way to New York and her fate had already been sealed.

Fact 3: The Final Ice Warnings

The two final iceberg warnings were sent at 21:40 and 22:55, the final of which was sent by the Californian. Neither of the warnings ever made it to Titanic's bridge that night due to Jack Phillips being the sole operator working that night, busy dealing with paid messages.

Fact 4: The Iceberg Is Spotted

The iceberg which caused Titanic to sink was spotted by Frederick Fleet at 23:40, shortly after which the order was given to turn the ship “hard a starboard” but it was too late and the ship was struck a fatal blow on her starboard side.

Fact 5: Lifeboat Space Wasted

Many of the 20 lifeboats on board Titanic had their space effectively wasted as the majority of them were launched unfilled, in fact many of them were launched less than half full. Some report that this was due to concerns by crew on the strength of the davits, whilst others report it was because they never thought the ship would actually sink.

Fact 6: The Sinking Date Of Titanic

The date which Titanic sank is often reported incorrectly, if you were to ask people on what date did Titanic sink the majority of them would say it sunk on April 14th 1912. However, this is factually incorrect, the Titanic struck the iceberg on April 14th 1912 but in actual fact it sank on April 15th 1912.

Fact 7: Sinking Time Of Titanic

The Titanic disappeared below the water of the North Atlantic Ocean just 2 hours and 40 minutes after she struck the iceberg. Her stern sank below the water at 02:20 a.m on April 15th 1912.

Fact 8: Survivors From The Water

Only 13 people were rescued from the water on the night that Titanic sank, even though there would have been some 500 spaces in the surrounding lifeboats. The remaining passengers who entered the water that night would have died fairly quickly from hypothermia, cardiac arrest and other conditions associated with the extreme cold that night.

Fact 9: A Great Loss Of Life

Only 710 people survived the sinking of Titanic, 1517 lives were lost and either went down with the ship or died in the freezing cold water. R.M.S Carpathia collected and took aboard Titanic's remaining survivors from the water around 4 a.m on April 15th.

Fact 10: Titanic Lay Undisturbed

The Titanic lay 2 and a half miles down at the bottom of the North Atlantic Ocean for 73 years until Dr Robert Ballard discovered the wreck in 1985. Since that time a further 27 years have passed and the Titanic wreck has begun to disintegrate at an increasing speed.

Do you have any additional Titanic disaster facts that we may have missed? If so then please let us know by leaving a comment below.

What Caused The Titanic To Sink?

The Titanic hit the iceberg just after 11:30 pm on April 14th 1912, she sank at around 02:20am on April 15th 1912. But why did she sink?

We know that the main reason Titanic sank was because more than 5 consecutive bulkheads of her massive hull were breached, causing water to spill over at E and D deck into rear compartments. But why was the damage so severe that the accident was fatal?

There are many theories as to the reasons behind Titanic sinking that night, just some of these include:

  • The construction of Titanic's hull
  • The turning ability of Titanic
  • The speed at which Titanic was travelling
  • The angle and orientation of the impact
  • The night time whether conditions

The Construction Of Titanic's Hull

It's possible that the materials used in the construction of the Titanic's hull were actually sub-standard, in fact analysis of rivets from the wreck of Titanic found a high concentration of slag. This essentially made the rivets more brittle and more prone to damage. On the night that Titanic sunk the hull plates buckled in multiple places, allowing water to flood the hull, had the rivets been of better quality and been well fitted then the steel plates may not have buckled.

The Turning Ability Of Titanic

The size of the rudders on Titanic have been criticised by many as being too small for a ship her size. Whilst the rudder size met the standards enforced at that time, were they suitable for a ship her size and did they allow for enough water flow across them for optimum turning ability?

In reality Titanic met all of the shipping standards laid out at that time, including those for lifeboats but they were far from adequate for the amount of passengers on board that night. Ships the size of Titanic were rare and standards at that time weren't designed for ships of this magnitude.

The Speed At Which Titanic Was Moving

It's reported that just before the iceberg was hit, the Titanic had been travelling at around 22 knots, this was 2 knots below her designed top speed. This was in spite of the ice warnings sent throughout the day and later on that evening, the final one being sent by the Californian's only radio operator who left his post at 11:15pm immediately after being told to “shut up” by the Titanic's radio operator. But why was the Titanic going so fast?

It's always been rumoured that J. Bruce Ismay had put pressure on Captain E. J Smith to increase Titanic's speed in order to get to New York earlier than planned. White Star Line were keen to show passengers that they were better than their rivals and could make a 6 day crossing.

The Angle And Orientation Of The Impact

The Titanic hit the iceberg on it's starboard side, this cause the iceberg to buckle the steel plates of Titanic's hull across several of the watertight compartments. It's theorized that had Titanic hit the iceberg head on, less watertight bulkheads would have been breached and the Titanic would not have sunk.

The Night Time Wheather Conditions

On the night that the Titanic sank the weather was cold but good, the sea was extremely calm, described in TV and books as being like a “mill pond”. This meant that there were very few waves present and therefore the icebergs were even harder to see since there were no waves breaking at their surface.

Conclusion

In there are many reasons and theories as to why the Titanic may have sunk that night, do you have any comments or theories of your own as to the demise of Titanic? If so then please go ahead and post them below, we'd love to hear what you have to say.