The world's interest in the fascinating history of Titanic has endured for more than 100 years.

The Sinking of the Titanic

1912 sinking of titanic

The sinking of the Titanic is one of the most talked about events of the twentieth century. Yet what really happened on that dreadful night in 1912? Here we will look at the events immediately leading up to and during the sinking of this massive ship.

When did the Titanic sink?

Titanic icebergThe RMS Titanic had received numerous warnings about heavy ice in the area and the need for the Titanic to slow down, all throughout the day by a series of wireless telegrams sent from other ships. The first warning came from the RMS Caronia at 9:00am. Another came from the RMS Baltic at 1:42pm reporting large amounts of field ice. This report was said to have been shown to White Star Line CEO, Bruce Ismay, who was aboard the ship. Unfortunately, the ship's crew ignored the seriousness of the warnings and the Titanic proceeded traveling at full speed on Ismay's orders, so they would reach New York ahead of schedule and surprise everyone. Field ice and even icebergs were not uncommon and were thought to pose very little danger to the large ocean liner.

The date and time of the sinking of the Titanic has become etched in history. On Sunday, April 14, 1912 the RMS Titanic was approximately 300 miles from its final destination of New York City when, at 11:40pm, it struck an iceberg. The iceberg tore six holes into the side of the ship, approximately ten feet from the ship's bottom. Above the waterline, however, there was very little evidence of the impact and reports from passengers reveal that many on the ship felt only a slight bump when the ship hit the iceberg.

How long did it take for the Titanic to sink?

It took nearly three hours from the time of the initial collision at 11:40 pm to finally sink beneath the waves at 2:20am on the morning of the 15th. The lower decks of the Titanic were separated into compartments by bulkheads, which were designed to seal off rising flood waters. Though the bulkheads extended past the water line, they were not sealed at the top. The RMS Titanic was designed to float with a couple of the compartments flooded, however, five compartments had become flooded, which caused the bulkheads to become completely submerged beneath the water. Once this happened, there was no saving the ship. The Titanic would sink.

The final three hours before the ship went down were filled with great panic and the fact that there were not enough life rafts to carry the passengers to safety was a major concern. As there were only 16 lifeboats, the now old-fashioned policy of "women and children first" was put into effect. Though this was so, some men were allowed on the life rafts early in the evacuation proceedings and Ismay made the controversial decision to save his own life by climbing aboard one of the boats, becoming one of the few precious survivors of the Titanic. Even if all 20 boats aboard the ship were filled to capacity, only half of the people aboard the Titanic would have been saved. The Titanic snapped in half at 2:18am and, with the flooded bow weighing her down, fully sank only two minutes later. Those without life rafts froze to death or drowned in the frigid waters of the Atlantic.


Where did the Titanic sink map

View Where the Titanic Sank in a larger map

Rescuing the Survivors

suvivors of the titanic rescued by the carpathia

The Carpathia arrived an hour and a half after the Titanic sinking. Fortunately, it wasn't filled to capacity and was able to rescue the remaining survivors from the lifeboats. It rescued 705 passengers that day.





Changes in safety practices after the sinking of the rms titanic

After the Titanic sunk, there were changes made to the construction of ships. Safety regulations were also put into place so that inadequate lifeboats would never be a problem again. These safety rules and regulations are still used today.

The Titanic sinking has since been the topic of endless books, films, articles, and scholarly papers, and interest in the awful tragedy shows no signs of fading. The story of the Titanic will forever be the cautionary tale that no matter what advancements are made in technology, we remain forever vulnerable to the laws of nature.