The Titanic

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The Titanic is the luxury steamship that sank early April 15, 1912, off the coast of Newfoundland in the North Atlantic. The ship swept across an iceberg during her maiden voyage. She was considered to be “unsinkable” according to her enormous size. Out of the 2,240 passengers and crew included, more than 1,600 lost their lives in this tragedy. Her departure from Southampton, England, on April 10, 1912, and stopping in Cherbourg, France, and Queenstown, Ireland… created quite a stir. Many of the titanic passengers were high-ranking officials, wealthy industrialists, dignitaries and celebrities. And who was considered to be the “millionaire’s captain”, J.P. Morgan was aboard as well, he actually was the literal captain of the Titanic.

According to some hypotheses, Titanic was doomed from the start by a design that many lauded as state-of-the-art. The Olympic-class ships featured a double bottom and 15 watertight bulkhead compartments equipped with electric watertight doors that could be operated individually or simultaneously by a switch on the bridge. It was these watertight bulkheads that inspired Shipbuilder magazine, in a special issue devoted to the Olympic liners, to deem them “practically unsinkable.” But the watertight compartment design contained a flaw that was a critical factor in Titanic’s sinking: While the individual bulkheads were indeed watertight, the walls separating the bulkheads extended only a few feet above the water line, so water could pour from one compartment into another, especially if the ship began to list or pitch forward. The second critical safety lapse that contributed to the loss of so many lives was the number of lifeboats carried on Titanic. A mere 16 boats, plus four Engelhardt “collapsible,” could accommodate just 1,178 people. Titanic could carry up to 2,435 passengers, and a crew of approximately 900 brought her capacity to more than 3,300 people.