One hundred years ago, the ship that had been called ‘virtually unsinkable’ struck an iceberg and sank within three hours, taking many of her passengers and crew with her. When the Titanic left Queenstown, Ireland, on April 11, 1912, with over 2,200 passengers and crew members bound for New York, most of those on board probably believed the common myth that had been floating around for months: the Titanic was unsinkable. When it was built and launched, the Titanic was the largest ship afloat. At 882.5 feet long, 92.5 feet wide, 175 feet high, the ship displaced 66,000 tons of water. It was the largest movable object ever made. With newly-designed watertight compartments and remotely-operated, electronic watertight doors, it's easy to see why engineers believed the ship was practically unsinkable. Titanic’s route carried it through the intersection of the Gulf Stream and the Labrador Current, a place where icebergs congregate.On the night of the disaster, there was an unusually high tide caused by the positions of the sun and moon; this could have given the iceberg additional buoyancy, speeding it southward toward Titanic’s path.
Titanic actually carried more lifeboats than the law required, but the law had not been updated since 1896, while passenger capacity had risen dramatically. The 20 boats could hold less than half the ship’s passengers. During the evacuation, the boats were not filled to capacity. Stronger rivets might have slowed the sinking process, but once water began flooding six of the Titanic's compartments, it was only a matter of time before the ship went down. Along with the material failures, poor design of the watertight compartments in the Titanic’s lower section was a factor in the disaster. The sinking of the Titanic has become one of the most well-known disasters in history. Because of the terrible loss of life and the demise of what everyone believed was an unsinkable ship.
By: Swati Kaushal