NEWFOUNDLAND, CANADA一 On the night of April 14, the British luxury liner Titanic struck an iceberg, 400-miles south of Newfoundland, Canada, and sunk into the icy waters of the North Atlantic Ocean taking over 1,000 lives.
The Titanic was part of a class of large liners built by White Star to compete with another company.
The liners were to be known for their comfort and luxurious amenities compared to the competitor’s speed, according to an April 9 article from Britannica.
In the original construction, there were 16 compartments with watertight doors that were supposed to contain water in case the hull was breached.
The Titanic’s maiden voyage embarked on April 10, 1912, setting its course for France, Ireland, and finally New York City.
Investigations run after the ship sunk showed the wireless radio operators received warnings about icebergs and on April 14 the ship’s captain Edward J. Smith altered the course to compensate for the warning but maintained a speed of 22 knots, roughly 25 miles per hour.
There was a warning about an ice field from the Mesaba around 10 p.m. that never reached the bridge and at 10:55 p.m. the Californian sent a message after having to stop because they were stuck in ice, according to Britannica.
Just before midnight April 14, the Titanic failed to evade an iceberg and was cut along the side rupturing five of the 16 compartments pulling the bow of the ship down.
The stern was pulled almost vertical and the Titanic snapped in half and sunk at roughly 2:20 a.m. according to This Day in History, on history.com.
Distress signals were sent out to the nearest ships, the Carpathia was the closest to answer the distress call and was almost three hours away. The Californian had turned off their wireless for the night and never received the call.
Twenty lifeboats were on the ship and loaded with women and children before being sent off. The lifeboats could hold roughly 60 people and did not match the number of passengers and staff on the liner.
The Carpathia did not arrive until 3:30 a.m. to save the survivors, according to Britannica.
There were two investigations into the tragedy of the Titanic, the United States was the first to investigate between April 19 and May 25, 1912.
The U.S faulted the British Board of Trade for lax regulations and hasty inspections, Smith for refusing to slow down given the ice warnings, and Captain Stanley Lord of the Californian who was 23 miles away when his crew reported there was a ship without lights and rather than turning the wireless back on, told his crew to use light morse code to communicate.
In 1985, the first underwater images of the Titanic were recovered, showing the ship in two pieces 13,000-feet below the ocean floor.