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On This Day… The Sinking Of The Titanic

Written by: George Chittenden : 15 Jul 2019

It was on this day, 15th April, back in 1912 when the British passenger liner, RMS Titanic sank in the North Atlantic Ocean. The Titanic hit an iceberg on its maiden voyage from Southampton to New York, in one of the deadliest peacetime maritime disasters in history. At the time she was the largest passenger liner in service, carrying an estimated 2,224 passengers and crew. Some of the richest people in the world were aboard, as well as emigrants from Great Britain, Ireland and many other European countries.

The Titanic received several warnings of sea ice but was travelling near her top speed when the iceberg was spotted. She was unable to turn quickly enough and suffered a blow on her starboard side that tore open five of her sixteen compartments at 23:40 pm (ship’s time -Titanic's clocks were set to 2 hours 2 minutes ahead of Eastern Time Zone and 2 hours 58 minutes behind Greenwich Mean Time) on Sunday, 14th April. When she finally went under two hours and forty minutes later at 02:20 (ship's time; 05:18 GMT) on Monday, 15th April more than 1,500 people lost their lives.

Over 700 passengers were put into lifeboats, but panic caused many boats to be launched before they were completely full. Tragically the Titanic’s lifeboat system was designed to ferry passengers to nearby rescue vessels, not to hold everyone on board simultaneously, so the ship didn’t have enough spaces on lifeboats.

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