108 years ago on the night of Sunday 14th April 1912 RMS TITANIC during her maiden voyage struck an iceberg, buckling part of her hull and causing her to sink in the early hours of 15th April. 706 of her 2,224 passengers and crew survived. Her loss was the catalyst for major reforms in shipping safety and is arguably the most famous maritime disaster.
The sinking of the RMS TITANIC occurred on the night of 14th April through to the morning of 15th April 1912 in the north Atlantic Ocean, four days of her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York City. The largest passenger liner in service at the time, of which she had an estimated 2,224 people on board she struck an iceberg at 2340 hrs on Sunday, 14th April 1912. Her sinking two hours and forty minutes later at 0220 hrs on Monday, 15th April resulted in the deaths of more than 1,500 people, which made it one of the deadliest peacetime maritime disasters in history.
RMS TITANIC received six warnings of drifting ice on 14th April but was sailing with her maximum speed when her crew sighted the iceberg. Unable to turn quickly enough, the ship suffered a glancing blow that buckled her starboard side and opened five of her sixteen compartments to the sea. She had been designed to stay afloat with four of her forward compartments flooded but not more, and the crew soon realised that the ship would sink. They used rocket flares and radio (wireless) messages to attract help as the passengers were put into lifeboats. However, in accordance with existing maritime practice, the ship was carrying far too few lifeboats for everyone and many boats were not filled to their capacity due to a poorly managed evacuation.
The ship sank with over a thousand passengers and crew members still on board. Almost all those who jumped or fell into the water died from hypothermia within minutes.
RMS CARPATHIA arrived on the scene about an hour and a half after the sinking and had rescued the last of the survivors in the lifeboats by 0915 hrs on 15th April, little more than 24 hours after Titanic ’s crew had received their first warnings of drifting ice. The disaster caused widespread public outrage over the lack of lifeboats, lack shipping regulations, and the unequal treatment of the different passenger classes aboard the ship. Inquiries set up in the wake of the disaster recommended sweeping changes to maritime regulations. This led to the establishment in 1914 of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), which still governs maritime safety today.
Photos by Capt. Lawrence Dalli. Do not use these images without my permission. © All rights reserved. Malta Ship Photos & Action Photos – www.maltashipphotos.com
Published – Thursday 16th April, 2020