Titanic left Southampton on April 10th 1912 bound for Cherbourg where she would make a short stop to collect passengers, it was then onto the final port of Queenstown where she would stop briefly to collect the remaining passengers. Then, on April 11th 1912, Titanic left Queenstown port bound for Pier 59 in New York City which, was then owed by the White Star Line company. None of the 2,228 passengers and crew on board could predict that Titanic would never reach her destination.
Titanic had been at sea since Wednesday , it was on Saturday that warnings of ice began to come through the wireless radios. Ships were reporting ice through the west and eastbound passages of the North Atlantic shipping lanes, some ships were able to communicate via wireless whilst some were not and therefore waited until they reached port to make reports.
Sunday April 14th
Sunday April 14th seemed to be a fairly uneventful day at sea, other than the several ice warnings and the falling temperatures. The two final ice warnings came across the wireless at 21:40 and 22:55, the first was from Mesaba and warned of large ice bergs and ice fields, the second was from the Californian. Neither warnings made it to the bridge that night. The warning from Mesaba wasn't forwarded by Jack Phillips due to being the only wireless operator on duty that night, busy sending commercial messages through to the Cape Race station. The second warning from Californian's operator Cyril Evans was equally ignored when Titanic's operator told Evans to “shut up, you're blocking my signal”. Evans, being the sole operator on Californian, then went to bed at 23:30 and therefore did not attempt to resend the message.
Titanic Hits The Iceberg At 23:30
At 23:30 that night Frederick Fleet and Reginald Lee were on lookout duty in the crows nest, just half an hour before they were due to be relieved, when they saw a dark haze in the distance. Suddenly, realising what was about to be upon them, Fleet rang the warning bell 3 times and then reached across the crows nest to pick up the phone to the bridge to report what he could see, Fleet is reported to have said “Iceberg, right ahead!”.
First Officer Murdoch was in control at the bridge and he gave the order for “hard-a-starboard” and then proceeded to send a telegraph message down to the engine room to stop and reverse Titanic's massive engines along with commencing the closure of the watertight doors. It took just over half a minute (reportedly 37 seconds) for Titanic to hit the iceberg on the starboard side, forcing out rivets and bucking the ships steel hull plates as it went. The collision impacted and breached 5 of the main forward watertight compartments, the hull had been breached.
The watertight compartments extended to E deck in some cases and as far as D deck in others. However, this wasn't far enough and as the water in the forward 5 compartments gushed in it proceeded to overspill at E and D deck into the remaining sealed compartments. At midnight Titanic's mail room is said to have been some 24 feet under water.
Titanic Sends Out An SOS Distress Call
By this point the Titanic's fate has already been sealed and Captain Smith is aware that the ship will sink, it's just going to be a matter of time. Between 00:15 and 02:17 that morning various nearby ships heard the SOS distress call which had been sent out by the Titanic's wireless operators. Those ships included the Titanic's sister ship Olympic, Mount Temple, Frankfort, Birma, Baltic II, Virginian and the Carpathia, the closest of those two were the Mount Temple and the Carpathia of which the Carpathia responded. During this time it's also known that Titanic's band had begun to play in the first class lounge, then later out on deck, in order to try and keep some calm amongst the passengers.
At 00:45 the first of Titanic's few lifeboats was launched with just 28 people on board in a boat which was built for somewhere around 70, famously it was women and children who were loaded into the boats first.
Titanic's Bow Is Almost Submerged At 01:15
AT 01:15 Titanic's name of the front of the bow becomes submerged in the rising water and the as the bow begins to sink the stern begins to rise slowly. As the final life boats are launched panic begins to set in amongst the other passengers who realise they're not going to get off the ship as the life boats are all gone. As the final lifeboats are launched part of the forward funnel on Titanic collapses and crushes many of the people in the water.
Titanic Sinks At 02:20
At 02:18 the Titanic's lights went out as her stern rose high above the water and her bow dipped down into the freezing cold North Atlantic, the ship broke in two under the weight. At 02:20 Titanic sinks, disappearing below the surface plummeting almost 2 and a half miles below the North Atlantic ocean.
As the Titanic sunk below broken into two separate pieces the bow sunk and settled onto the ocean floor, leaving a good majority of it in tact owing to the fact it was already filled with water when it sunk. The bow however was a different story, the bow wasn't filled with water and so as it sunk to the bottom it imploded with the outside pressure, hence the reason why the bow is now so much less recognisable.
As the final passengers fought for their lives in the water 2 of the life boats returned to search for survivors, one of which was manned by Fifth Officer Harold Godfrey Lowe. That night only 9 people were rescued from the sea, 1 of which died shortly after.
Just 4 hours after the Titanic had disappeared into the dark depths of the Atlantic the Carpathia arrived and began to rescue the survivors in the life boats, before proceeding forward to New York.
Of the 2,228 people on board that night it's estimated that around 710 them were saved, although this number can not be accurately confirmed and sources do differ.
Titanic Sinking Photos & Pictures
The following pictures are various photos of the Titanic sinking as well as artist impressions. Visit our photo gallery for more Titanic photos.
A Video Of Titanic Sinking
Click the video image to play to watch this Titanic sinking scene (Opens in a pop over window).