Dispelling myths - The real reason Titanic didn't have enough lifeboats and other facts.
These interesting tidbits will improve your knowledge of this historic tragedy.
As the world prepares to observe the 100th anniversary of the Titanic disaster, questions still linger over why the ship was lost and if more people could have somehow been saved. Packed with little-known facts, this special article may answer some of those questions and shed light on the mystery that shrouds the legendary ship.
A century after her sinking, Titanic still invokes mystery and awe.
The Titanic disaster remains one of the deadliest maritime disasters in world history (aside from war).
As the largest ship afloat at the time she was famously labeled as "unsinkable" although contrary to belief no official statements were ever made by the owners or designers to this effect.
Notoriously, RMS Titanic carried only 20 lifeboats for over 2,000 crew and passengers. This was because the ship was considered (by design) to be the ultimate lifeboat. Featuring multiple watertight compartments to prevent the spread of flooding, the ship was designed to remain afloat even if several compartments were breached.
Instead of saving lives, the lifeboats were present for ferrying passengers to other ships should anything happen to the ultimate lifeboat - the ship itself.
Tragically, the ship experienced flooding in one more compartment than her design would allow, and other ships did not arrive in time to accept ferried passengers.
April 14, 1912
On the night of April 14, 1912, Titanic was steaming at high speed through dangerous waters. Warnings had been issued that icebergs were present in the area, but for various reasons these were not considered to be a threat to the ship.
At 11:40 PM, lookouts (who were not equipped with binoculars) spotted the fatal berg directly in their path. The combination of an exceptionally calm sea and the lack of binoculars meant there was no time to safely alter course; collision was inevitable. The ship's first officer ordered evasive maneuvers and for a moment, just a moment --the matter remained in doubt, but the Titanic, with her (relatively) small rudder and unable to reverse her engines in time, managed to scrape over a submerged portion of the iceberg.
As the liner slid over the ice, rivets popped and gashes were torn into the frigid (and therefore weakened) steel plates under the waterline. Icy seawater immediately flooded five of Titanic's compartments.
Passengers reported a variety of experiences. Some said they heard a tearing noise, like fabric being ripped, others said they felt only the slightest bump. Many survivors reported nothing with most sleeping through the collision.
Below the waterline, the crew tried valiantly with mixed results, to stem the flow of water. Initial efforts bought time for the captain and officers to assess the situation, but it soon became apparent that the ship was doomed.
Several minutes after the collision, the crew was instructed to rouse passengers to the boat decks with their lifejackets. Since most passengers were unaware of any real danger, they blearily shuffled to the deck, some believing that it was a poorly conceived drill.
. . . - - - . . . / - . - . - - . - - . .
In the "Marconi Room" as it was called, Titanic sent out her first SOS.
Her radio operators sent out the distress call to any who could hear, "SOS.CQD.SOS.CQD." The CQD was the original distress signal that had been standardized in 1904 by Marconi himself. The signal literally meant, "All [telegraph] stations attend, distress!" The SOS was a standardized signal that was adopted in 1906 not for the significance of the letters themselves, but because the pattern would be instantly recognizable to a listener. The letters "SOS" stand for nothing.
Contrary to popular belief, the Titanic was not the first ship to use the SOS distress call. That dubious distinction belongs to the S.S. Arapahoe in 1909.
Titanic was advanced for her time. She was equipped with a state-of-the-art wireless telegraph, but unfortunately most other ships of the time had no such equipment and could not hear the call for help.
The crew also fired distress flares (rockets) and used lamps to signal any nearby ships. None were close enough to arrive in time. One ship, the Californian, observed the flares but did not respond. Subsequent investigation concluded that had the Californian responded, she still would not have arrived in time to save the doomed passengers however, modern historians dispute this. The captain of the Californian lost his post later that year amid the controversy.
Terror and death
As the crew herded reluctant passengers into lifeboats, their abject lack of ...
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