The Titanic was a modern marvel of engineering for its time. The massive cruise liner was built with all the amenities of a luxury ocean liner. The vessel was built in just over two years. Run by the White Star ocean liner and constructed by the Harland Wolff shipyard in Belfast, Ireland, Titanic construction was thought to be the best of its time.
Setting sail for its maiden voyage on April 10, 1912, from Southampton, England, and bound for New York City, the Titanic carried 2,223 passengers toward its destination. The ship made stops in Cherebourg, France and Queensland, Ireland and continued on its voyage through the North Atlantic ocean. Late on April 14, 1912, the ship received warnings of icebergs in the area. Reports say that the ship continued full steam ahead despite these warnings.
At approximately 11:40 pm, the Titanic struck an iceberg that buckled the hull and sent water rushing into the watertight compartments. Although it was thought that the ship could have stayed afloat despite having four of these compartments flooded, the glancing blow in the hull caused five compartments to become flooded and the Titanic began sinking.
The sinking of the Titanic was a long and horrifying event. It took nearly two hours for the vessel to sink completely, and by 2:20 am the Titanic was at the bottom of the Atlantic ocean. Equipped with 20 lifeboats, the Titanic had more lifeboats than was required by maritime law at the time, but it wasn’t nearly enough to accommodate the 2,223 passengers on board. Many of the Titanic lifeboats were launched when they weren’t at total capacity, and some were even lost during the event.
Those in the first and second classes had the most significant chance of survival. Nearly 50% of lives lost during the sinking of the Titanic were in third class. The strict women and children first policy meant that most of the Titanic survivors were women and children from first and second class. Nearly 80% of fatalities during the sinking of the Titanic were men.
With the Titanic’s 100th anniversary approaching, many are again recalling the events of April 14, 1912, and remembering those who were lost during the Titanic tragedy. Research has been conducted on the Titanic wreck to figure out what may have caused such a gruesome event, and those reports look to prevent the same from happening in the future.