On April 14, 1912, the RMS Titanic hit an iceberg in the North Atlantic. In less than three hours, the unsinkable ship sank to the bottom of the sea. A total of more than 1,500 lives were lost.

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The events surrounding the sinking of the Titanic may be more of a reflection of human social ineptitude (to put it kindly) than technological hubris.

Of a total of 2,223 people, only 706 survived; 1,517 perished.[8] The majority of deaths were caused by victims succumbing to hypothermia in the 28 °F (−2 °C) water. Only two of the 18 launched lifeboats rescued people out of the water after the ship sank. Lifeboat 4 was close by and picked up five people, two of whom later died. Close to an hour later Lifeboat 14 went back and rescued four people one of which died afterwards. Other people managed to climb onto the lifeboats that floated off the deck. There were some arguments in some of the other lifeboats about going back, but many survivors were afraid of being swamped by people trying to climb into the lifeboat or getting pulled down by the suction from the sinking Titanic, though it turned out that there had been very little suction. *

Why did the titanic sink? Turns out it was a bad rivet. Oh, and an iceberg…

National Geographic: Titanic Seconds from Disaster in Six Parts:

Comments

  1. #1 peter
    April 14, 2008

    wasn’t there a problem with high sulfur content in the steel that had left it overly brittle? I wish I could remember where I read the article about the questionable metallurgy of the Titanic’s hull.

  2. #2 Greg Laden
    April 14, 2008

    Yes, there was undifferentiated slage in the steel, in the rivets, making those rives act more like iron.

  3. #3 Peter Mc
    April 14, 2008

    Both: yes. There was a lot of slag in the rivets and the plates were of dubious quality. My last ‘command’ was refitted at Harland and Wolff in Belfast and it was with some trepidation I sailed her. (Rightly so: their delicate attentions left my boat’s propshaft bent.)

  4. #4 musa mubeen
    February 18, 2011

    what the fuck,bullshit is this shit