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					RMS Titanic
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"Titanic" redirects here. For other uses, see Titanic (disambiguation).

   RMS Titanic departing Southampton on 10 April 1912.

     Career (
   United Kingdom)                     White Star Line

  Name:                RMS Titanic[1]

  Owner:                    White Star Line[1]

  Port of registry:              Liverpool

  Route:               Southampton to New York City

  Ordered:             31 July 1908[1]

  Builder:             Harland and Wolff, Belfast[1]

  Yard number:         401[3]
Laid down:         31 March 1909[1]

Launched:          31 May 1911[1]

Christened:        Not christened

Completed:         31 March 1912

Maiden voyage:     10 April 1912[3]

In service:        1912[1]

Identification:    Radio Callsign "MGY"
                   UK Official Number: 131428[4]

Fate:              Sank on 15 April 1912 after
                   hitting an iceberg in middle of
                   Atlantic Ocean[1]

              General characteristics

Class and type:    Olympic-class ocean liner[3]

Tonnage:           46,328 gross register
                   tons (GRT)[1]

Displacement:      52,310 tons[3]

Length:            882 ft 9 in (269.1 m)[5]

Beam:              92 ft 0 in (28.0 m)[5]

Height:            175 ft (53.3 m) (Keel to top of

Draught:           34 ft 7 in (10.5 m)[1]
Depth:             64 ft 6 in (19.7 m)[5]

Decks:             9 (Lettered A through G)

                           24 double-ended (six
Installed power:
                            furnace) and 5 single-
                            ended (three furnace)
                            Scotch marine boilers
                           Two four-cylinder
                            reciprocating triple-
                            expansion steam
                            engines each
                            producing 15,000 hp
                            for the two outboard
                            wing propellers at 75
                            revolutions per
                           One low-pressure
                            turbine producing
                            16,000 hp[6]
                           46,000 HP (design) –
                            59,000 HP

Propulsion:                Two bronze triple-
                            blade wing propellers
                           One bronze
                            centre propeller.

Speed:                     21 knots (39 km/h;
                            24 mph)[1]
                           23 knots (43 km/h; 26
                            mph) (maximum)

Capacity:          Passengers and crew (fully
                               3547

                       Staterooms (840 total):

                               First Class: 416
                               Second Class: 162
                               Third Class: 262
                               Plus 40 open berthing

  Crew:                860[1]

       Topics about Titanic

          List of passengers
          List of crew members
          Films about Titanic
          Titanic Historical

RMS Titanic was the largest passenger steamship in the world when she set off on her
maiden voyage from Southampton, England, to New York City on 10 April 1912. Four days
into the crossing, at 23:40 on 14 April 1912, she struck an iceberg and sank at 2:20 the
following morning, resulting in the deaths of 1,517 people in one of the deadliest peacetime
maritime disasters in history.

An Olympic-class passenger liner, RMS Titanic was owned by the White Star Line and
constructed at the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, Ireland. She set sail for New York
City with 2,227 people on board. The high casualty rate when the ship sank was due in part to
the fact that, although complying with the regulations of the time, the ship carried lifeboats
for only 1,178 people. A disproportionate number of men died due to the women and children
first protocol that was followed.

Titanic was designed by some of the most experienced engineers, and used some of the most
advanced technologies available at the time. It was a great shock to many that, despite the
extensive safety features, Titanic sank, and the fact that it sank on its maiden voyage added to
the particularly ironic nature of the tragedy. The frenzy on the part of the media about
Titanic's famous victims, the legends about the sinking, the resulting changes to maritime
law, and the discovery of the wreck have contributed to the interest in Titanic.

        1 Construction
        2 Features
             o 2.1 Lifeboats
             o 2.2 Pumps
             o 2.3 Comparisons with the Olympic
        3 Ship history
             o 3.1 Sea trials
             o 3.2 Maiden voyage
             o 3.3 Sinking
             o 3.4 Lifeboats launched
             o 3.5 Final minutes
        4 Aftermath
             o 4.1 Arrival of Carpathia in New York
             o 4.2 Survivors, victims and statistics
             o 4.3 Retrieval and burial of the dead
             o 4.4 Memorials
        5 Investigations into the RMS Titanic disaster
             o 5.1 SS Californian inquiry
        6 Discovery of the wreck
             o 6.1 Current condition of the wreck
             o 6.2 Ownership and litigation
        7 Possible factors in the sinking
             o 7.1 Construction and metallurgy
             o 7.2 Rudder construction and turning ability
             o 7.3 Orientation of impact
             o 7.4 Weather
             o 7.5 Excessive speed
             o 7.6 Alternative theories
        8 Insufficient lifeboats
        9 Legends and myths regarding RMS Titanic
             o 9.1 Unsinkable
             o 9.2 David Sarnoff, wireless reports and the use of SOS
             o 9.3 Titanic's band
             o 9.4 The stories of W.T. Stead
             o 9.5 The Titanic curse
             o 9.6 Alleged predictions of the disaster
        10 See also
        11 References
             o 11.1 Explanatory notes
             o 11.2 Notes
             o 11.3 Bibliography
        12 External links

Main article: Olympic class ocean liner
Titanic was built at the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, in the UK, and designed to
compete with the rival Cunard Line's Lusitania and Mauretania. Titanic, along with her
Olympic-class sisters, Olympic and the soon-to-be-built Britannic (which was to be called
Gigantic at first), were intended to be the largest, most luxurious ships ever to operate. The
designers were Lord Pirrie,[8] a director of both Harland and Wolff and White Star, naval
architect Thomas Andrews, Harland and Wolff's construction manager and head of their
design department,[9] and Alexander Carlisle, the shipyard's chief draughtsman and general
manager.[10] Carlisle's responsibilities included the decorations, the equipment and all general
arrangements, including the implementation of an efficient lifeboat davit design. Carlisle
would leave the project in 1910, before the ships were launched, when he became a
shareholder in Welin Davit & Engineering Company Ltd, the firm making the davits.[11]

Size comparison with the Airbus A380, a bus, a car, and an average-sized human

Construction of RMS Titanic, funded by the American J.P. Morgan and his International
Mercantile Marine Co., began on 31 March 1909. Titanic's hull was launched on 31 May
1911, and her outfitting was completed by 31 March the following year. Her length overall
was 882 feet 9 inches (269.1 m), the moulded breadth 92 feet 0 inches (28.0 m),[12] the
tonnage 46,328 GRT, and the height from the water line to the boat deck of 59 feet (18 m).
She was equipped with two reciprocating four-cylinder, triple-expansion steam engines and
one low-pressure Parsons turbine, each driving a propeller. There were 29 boilers fired by
159 coal burning furnaces that made possible a top speed of 23 knots (43 km/h; 26 mph).
Only three of the four 62 feet (19 m) funnels were functional: the fourth, which served only
for ventilation, was added to make the ship look more impressive. The ship could carry a total
of 3,547 passengers and crew.


Gymnasium aboard Titanic
The first-class Grand Staircase aboard Olympic

Titanic surpassed all her rivals in luxury and opulence. The First-class section had an on-
board swimming pool, a gymnasium, a squash court, Turkish bath, Electric bath and a
Verandah Cafe. First-class common rooms were adorned with ornate wood panelling,
expensive furniture and other decorations. In addition, the Café Parisien offered cuisine for
the first-class passengers, with a sunlit veranda fitted with trellis decorations.[13] There were
libraries and barber shops in both the first and second-class.[14] The third class general room
had pine panelling and sturdy teak furniture.[15] The ship incorporated technologically
advanced features for the period. She had three electric elevators in first class and one in
second class. She had also an extensive electrical subsystem with steam-powered generators
and ship-wide wiring feeding electric lights and two Marconi radios, including a powerful
1,500-watt set manned by two operators working in shifts, allowing constant contact and the
transmission of many passenger messages.[16] First-class passengers paid a hefty fee for such
amenities. The most expensive one-way trans-Atlantic passage was £875 (£64,204 as of
2011),[17] or $4,375 ($99,237 as of 2011),[18].


For her maiden voyage, Titanic carried a total of 20 lifeboats of three different varieties:[19]

       Lifeboats 1 and 2: emergency wooden cutters: 25'2" long by 7'2" wide by 3'2" deep; capacity
        326.6 cubic feet (9.25 m3) or 40 people.[20]
       Lifeboats 3 to 16: wooden lifeboats: 30' long by 9'1" wide by 4' deep; capacity 655.2 cubic
        feet (18.55 m3) or 65 people.[20]
       Lifeboats A, B, C and D: Englehardt "collapsible" lifeboats: 27'5" long by 8' wide by 3' deep;
        capacity 376.6 cubic feet (10.66 m3) or 47 people.[20]

The lifeboats were predominantly stowed in chocks on the boat deck, connected to the falls of
the davits. All of the lifeboats, including the collapsibles, were placed on the ship by the giant
gantry crane at Belfast. Those on the starboard side were odd-numbered 1–15 from bow to
stern, while those on the port side were even-numbered 2–16 from bow to stern. The
emergency cutters (lifeboats 1 and 2) were kept swung out, hanging from the davits, ready for
immediate use while collapsible lifeboats C and D were stowed on the boat deck immediately
in-board of boats 1 and 2 respectively. Collapsible lifeboats A and B were stored on the roof
of the officers' quarters, on either side of number 1 funnel. However there were no davits
mounted on the officers' quarters to lower collapsibles A and B and they weighed a
considerable amount empty. During the sinking, lowering collapsibles A and B proved
difficult as it was first necessary to slide the boats on timbers and/or oars down to the boat
deck. During this procedure, collapsible B capsized and subsequently floated off the ship
upside down.[20]

At the design stage Carlisle suggested that Titanic use a new, larger type of davit,
manufactured by the Welin Davit & Engineering Co Ltd, each of which could handle four
lifeboats. Sixteen sets of these davits were installed, giving Titanic the ability to carry 64[21]
wooden lifeboats—a total capacity of over 4,000 people, compared with Titanic's total
carrying capacity of about 3,600 passengers and crew. However, the White Star Line, while
agreeing to the new davits, decided that only 16 wooden lifeboats (16 being the minimum
required by the Board of Trade, based on Titanic's projected tonnage) would be carried (there
were also four folding lifeboats, called collapsibles), which could accommodate only 1,178
people (33% of Titanic's total capacity). At the time, the Board of Trade's regulations stated
that British vessels over 10,000 tons must carry 16 lifeboats with a capacity of 5,500 cubic
feet (160 m3), plus enough capacity in rafts and floats for 75% (or 50% in case of a vessel
with watertight bulkheads) of that in the lifeboats. Therefore, the White Star Line actually
provided more lifeboat accommodation than was legally required.[22]

The regulations had made no extra provision for larger ships since 1894, when the largest
passenger ship under consideration was the Cunard Line's Lucania, only 13,000 tons. Sir
Alfred Chalmers, nautical adviser to the Board of Trade from 1896 to 1911, had considered
the matter "from time to time", but because he thought that experienced sailors would have to
be carried "uselessly" aboard ship for no other purpose than lowering and manning lifeboats,
and the difficulty he anticipated in getting away a greater number than 16 in any emergency,
he "did not consider it necessary to increase [our scale]".[23]

Carlisle told the official inquiry that he had discussed the matter with J. Bruce Ismay, White
Star's Managing Director, but in his evidence Ismay denied that he had ever heard of this, nor
did he recollect noticing such provision in the plans of the ship he had inspected.[11][24] Ten
days before the maiden voyage Axel Welin, the maker of Titanic's lifeboat davits, had
announced that his machinery had been installed because the vessel's owners were aware of
forthcoming changes in official regulations, but Harold Sanderson, vice-president of the
International Mercantile Marine and former general manager of the White Star Line, denied
that this had been the intention.[25]


Titanic was fitted with five ballast and bilge pumps, used for trimming the vessel, and three
bilge pumps.[26] Two 10-inch (250 mm) main ballast pipes ran the length of the ship and
valves controlling the distribution of water were operated from the bulkhead deck, above.[27]
The total discharge capacity from all eight pumps operating together was 1,700 tons or
425,000 gallons per hour.[26] During the disaster, the engineers reported that the pumps
succeeded in slowing the flooding of No. 6 boiler room in the first ten minutes after the
collision. The pumps also kept pace with the flooding on No. 5 boiler room. This does not
indicate that the vessel could have maintained buoyancy indefinitely, but as long as the
pumps had steam to power them, the ship could slow down the flooding. Titanic could not
founder until these sections were flooded and the inrush of water overwhelmed the pumps.
This did not happen until 23:50 pm on the night of the sinking.[28]
Comparisons with the Olympic

Olympic and Titanic under construction

Titanic closely resembled her older sister Olympic. Although she enclosed more space and
therefore had a larger gross register tonnage, the hull was almost the same length as
Olympic's. Two of the most noticeable differences were that half of Titanic's forward
promenade A-Deck (below the boat deck) was enclosed against outside weather, and her B-
Deck configuration was different from Olympic's. As built Olympic did not have an
equivalent of Titanic's Café Parisien: the feature was not added until 1913. Some of the flaws
found on Olympic, such as the creaking of the aft expansion joint, were corrected on Titanic.
The skid lights that provided night time illumination on A-deck were round, while on
Olympic they were oval. Titanic's wheelhouse was made narrower and longer than
Olympic's.[29] These, and other modifications, made Titanic 1,004 gross register tons larger
than Olympic and thus the largest active ship in the world during her maiden voyage in April

Ship history
Sea trials

Titanic's sea trials took place shortly after she was fitted out at Harland & Wolff shipyard.
The trials were originally scheduled for 10.00am on Monday, 1 April, just nine days before
she was due to leave Southampton on her maiden voyage, but poor weather conditions forced
the trials to be postponed until the following day.[3]

Aboard Titanic were 78 stokers, greasers and firemen, and 41 members of crew. No domestic
staff appear to have been aboard. Representatives of various companies travelled on Titanic's
sea trials, including Harold A. Sanderson of I.M.M and Thomas Andrews and Edward
Wilding of Harland and Wolff. Bruce Ismay and Lord Pirrie were too ill to attend. Jack
Phillips and Harold Bride served as radio operators, and performed fine-tuning of the
Marconi equipment. Mr Carruthers, a surveyor from the Board of Trade, was also present to
see that everything worked, and that the ship was fit to carry passengers. After the trial, he
signed an 'Agreement and Account of Voyages and Crew', valid for twelve months, which
deemed the ship sea-worthy.[30]
Maiden voyage

Titanic on her way after the near-collision with SS New York. On the left can be seen Oceanic and
New York.

The vessel began her maiden voyage from Southampton, bound for New York City on 10
April 1912, with Captain Edward J. Smith in command.[1] As Titanic left her berth, her wake
caused the liner SS New York, which was docked nearby, to break away from her moorings,
whereupon she was drawn dangerously close (about four feet) to Titanic before a tugboat
towed New York away.[31] The incident delayed departure for about half an hour.[32] After
crossing the English Channel, Titanic stopped at Cherbourg, France, to board additional
passengers and stopped again the next day at Queenstown (known today as Cobh), Ireland.[1]
As harbour facilities at Queenstown were inadequate for a ship of her size, Titanic had to
anchor off-shore, with small boats, known as tenders, ferrying the embarking passengers out
to her. When she finally set out for New York, there were 2,240 people aboard.[33]

John Coffey, a 23-year-old stoker, jumped ship at Queenstown by stowing away on a tender
and hiding amongst mailbags destined for the shore. A native of the town, he had probably
joined the ship with this intention, but afterwards he said that the reason he had smuggled
himself off the liner was that he held a foreboding about the voyage.[34] He later signed on to
join the crew of Mauretania.[35]

Captain Edward J. Smith, captain of Titanic

On the maiden voyage of Titanic some of the most prominent people of the day were
travelling in first class. Among them were millionaire John Jacob Astor IV and his wife
Madeleine Force Astor, industrialist Benjamin Guggenheim, Macy's owner Isidor Straus and
his wife Ida, Denver millionairess Margaret "Molly" Brown (known afterward as the
"Unsinkable Molly Brown" due to her efforts in helping other passengers while the ship
sank), Sir Cosmo Duff Gordon and his wife, couturière Lucy (Lady Duff-Gordon), George
Dunton Widener, his wife Eleanor, and son Harry, cricketer and businessman John Borland
Thayer with his wife Marian and their seventeen-year-old son Jack, journalist William
Thomas Stead, the Countess of Rothes, United States presidential aide Archibald Butt, author
and socialite Helen Churchill Candee, author Jacques Futrelle and his wife May and their
friends, Broadway producers Henry and Rene Harris and silent film actress Dorothy Gibson
among others.[36] Banker J. P. Morgan was scheduled to travel on the maiden voyage, but
cancelled at the last minute.[37] Travelling in first class aboard the ship were White Star Line's
managing director J. Bruce Ismay and the ship's builder Thomas Andrews, who was on board
to observe any problems and assess the general performance of the new ship.[36]

Main article: Timeline of the sinking of RMS Titanic

Further information: Ship floodability

Route and location of RMS Titanic

On the night of Sunday, 14 April 1912, the temperature had dropped to near freezing and the
ocean was calm. The moon was not visible (being two days before new moon),[38] and the sky
was clear. Captain Smith, in response to iceberg warnings received via wireless over the
preceding few days, had drawn up a new course which took the ship slightly further
southward. That Sunday at 13:45,[note 1] a message from the steamer Amerika warned that
large icebergs lay in Titanic's path, but as Jack Phillips and Harold Bride, the Marconi
wireless radio operators, were employed by Marconi[39] and paid to relay messages to and
from the passengers,[40] they were not focused on relaying such "non-essential" ice messages
to the bridge.[41] Later that evening, another report of numerous large icebergs, this time from
Mesaba, also failed to reach the bridge.

At 23:40, while sailing about 400 miles (640 km) south of the Grand Banks of
Newfoundland, lookouts Fredrick Fleet and Reginald Lee spotted a large iceberg directly
ahead of the ship. Fleet sounded the ship's bell three times and telephoned the bridge
exclaiming, "Iceberg, right ahead!". First Officer Murdoch gave the order "hard-a-starboard",
using the traditional tiller order for an abrupt turn to port (left),[42] and adjusted the engines
(he either ordered through the telegraph for "full reverse" or "stop" on the engines; survivor
testimony on this conflicts).[43][44][45] The iceberg brushed the ship's starboard side (right
side), buckling the hull in several places and popping out rivets below the waterline over a
length of 299 feet (90 m). As seawater filled the forward compartments, the watertight doors
shut. However, while the ship could barely stay afloat with the foremost four compartments
flooded, the foremost six were filling with water.[46] The water-filled compartments weighed
down the ship's bow, allowing much water to flood the vessel, accelerated by secondary
flooding as regular openings in the ship's hull became submerged.[46] Additionally, about 130
minutes after the collision, water started pouring from the sixth into the seventh compartment
over the top of the bulkhead in between.[46] Captain Smith, alerted by the jolt of the impact,
arrived on the bridge and ordered a full stop. Shortly after midnight on 15 April, following an
inspection by the ship's officers and Thomas Andrews, the lifeboats were ordered to be
readied and a distress call was sent out.

Photograph of an iceberg in the vicinity of RMS Titanic's sinking taken on 15 April 1912 by the chief
steward of the liner Prinz Adalbert who stated the berg had red anti-fouling paint of the kind found
on the hull from below Titanic's waterline.

Wireless operators Jack Phillips and Harold Bride were busy sending out CQD, the
international distress signal. Several ships responded, including Mount Temple, Frankfurt and
Titanic's sister ship, Olympic, but none was close enough to arrive in time.[47] The closest ship
to respond was Cunard Line's Carpathia 58 miles (93 km) away, which could arrive in an
estimated four hours—too late to rescue all of Titanic's passengers. The only land–based
location that received the distress call from Titanic was a wireless station at Cape Race,

From the bridge, the lights of a nearby ship could be seen off the port side. The identity of
this ship remains a mystery but there have been theories suggesting that it was probably
either SS Californian or a sealer called Samson.[49] As it was not responding to wireless,
Fourth Officer Boxhall and Quartermaster Rowe attempted signalling the ship with a Morse
lamp and later with distress rockets, but the ship never appeared to respond.[50] Californian,
which was nearby and stopped for the night because of ice, also saw lights in the distance.
Californian's wireless was turned off, and the wireless operator had gone to bed for the night.
Just before he went to bed at around 23:00, Californian's radio operator attempted to warn
Titanic that there was ice ahead, but he was cut off by an exhausted Jack Phillips, who had
fired back an angry response, "Shut up, shut up, I am busy; I am working Cape Race",
referring to the Newfoundland wireless station.[51] When Californian's officers first saw the
ship, they tried signalling her with their Morse lamp, but also never appeared to receive a
response. Later, they noticed Titanic's distress signals over the lights and informed Captain
Stanley Lord. Even though there was much discussion about the mysterious ship, which to
the officers on duty appeared to be moving away, the master of Californian did not wake her
wireless operator until morning.[50]

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