Sinking of the RMS Titanic

Detailed information about disaster

The sinking of the RMS Titanic occurred on the night of 14 April through to the morning of 15 April 1912 in the north Atlantic Ocean, four days into the ships maiden voyage from Southampton to New York City. The largest passenger liner in service at the time, Titanic had an estimated 2,224 people on board when she struck an iceberg at around 23:40 (ships time) on Sunday, 14 April 1912. Her sinking two hours and forty minutes later at 02:20 (05:18 GMT) on 15 April resulted in the deaths of more than 1,500 people, which made it one of the deadliest peacetime maritime disasters in history.

Titanic received six warnings of sea ice on 14 April but was travelling near her maximum speed when her lookouts sighted the iceberg. Unable to turn quickly enough, the ship suffered a glancing blow that buckled her starboard (right) side and opened five of her sixteen compartments to the sea. Titanic 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 distress flares and radio (wireless) messages to attract help as the passengers were put into lifeboats. In accordance with existing practice, Titanics lifeboat system was designed to ferry passengers to nearby rescue vessels, not to hold everyone on board simultaneously. So with the ship sinking fast and help still hours away, there was no safe refuge for many of the passengers and crew. Compounding this, poor management of the evacuation meant many boats were launched before they were totally full.

Titanic sank with over a thousand passengers and crew still on board. Almost all those who jumped or fell into the water drowned within minutes due to the effects of hypothermia. RMS Carpathia later arrived on the scene about an hour and a half after the sinking and had rescued the last of the survivors by 09:15 on 15 April, some nine and a half hours after the collision.

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