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Remembering the Titanic: 100 Years Later


Today marks the 100th anniversary of the Titanic disaster.  Dubbed the “ship that couldn’t sink”: sink it did.

At 11:40 p.m., began its final journey to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.  2,223 passengers were on board, 1,516 died; 68%.

It took 160 minutes for the Titanic to sink.

-2°C – the temperature of the sea water.

15 – 45 minutes – the typical maximum life expectancy of the Titanic victims in the water.

According to Titanicfacts.net this is the timeline of the Titanic’s last hours:

11.30pmThe iceberg lies just 4 miles and 10 minutes ahead.
11.39pmThe iceberg lies just 1,000 yards ahead, but the moonless conditions mean the lookouts cannot see it still. 30 seconds later and the berg is spotted, but too late too avoid a collision.
11.40pmAlerted by the crow’s nest, Murdoch demands that the engines be put into reverse and the ship steered away from the berg. The iceberg strikes the Titanic’s starboard bow. Many passengers and crew sleep through the collision whilst many others – including lookout man Fleet – assume the ship has survived a glancing blow and is undamaged.
The Last Hours – 15 April 1912
12.00amThe captain demands that an emergency request for assistance be broadcast to all ships within range. However the nearest ship, the Californian, has turned off her wireless for the evening after receiving Phillips’ curt response earlier in the evening. Tragically, the ship was a mere 20 miles away and could have reached Titanic before she sank.
12.20amCaptain Smith gives the order to start loading the lifeboats, women and children first. At this point the Captain will have realised that the deaths of many hundreds of passengers and crew is inevitable.
12.25amThe Carpathia replies to say have put about and are heading for the Titanic. She is around 58 miles (4 hours) away.
12:45amThe first lifeboat (lifeboat No.7 on the starboard side) is launched. She leaves with just 28 of a possible 65 people on board. The first of eight emergency distress rockets is fired.
2.20amTitanic slips beneath the surface of the water. In waters that are close to freezing temperature, disorientation, exhaustion and unconsciousness are likely within the first 15 minutes, and hypothermia and death likely within 15 to 45 minutes.
3.30amThe Carpathia’s rockets are spotted.
4.10amThe Carpathia arrives and starts to pluck survivors from the lifeboats. Lifeboat No.2 is the first to be evacuated.
Except for the [life] boats beside the ship and the icebergs, the sea was strangely empty. Hardly a bit of wreckage floated – just a deck chair or two, a few life belts, a good deal of cork*.” Arthur Rostron, Captain of the Carpathia, in ‘Home From The Sea’, 1931 (*cork was the material used for the life preservers)
5.30amThe Californian is finally alerted to the disaster, by the Frankfurt, and makes haste to the scene.
8.30amThe last of the lifeboats (No.12) is rescued by the Carpathia. The Californian arrives at the scene and navigates the disaster area looking for survivors.
8.50amThe Carpathia sets sail for New York, with 705 survivors aboard. In total around 1,522 are believed lost at sea. Aboard Carpathia, Bruce Ismay sends a telegram to the White Star Line’s New York office.
Deeply regret advise you Titanic sank this morning after collision with iceberg, resulting in serious loss of life. Full particulars later.” Bruce Ismay, in his wire to the White Star Line


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