Top 10 Facts About the Titanic Shipwreck

The Top Ten
1 The water in the area was -2° Celsius

It was about 28° Fahrenheit. Passengers who were left to float in the cold waters would likely suffer from hypothermia and die in as little as 15 minutes.

2 About 31% of people survived the tragedy

In total, 706 people survived; 492 passengers and 214 crew members. The most likely to survive would have been 1st class women while 1st class in general had about a 61% survival rate. Standard Class had a 42% survival rate while 3rd class just had a 24% survival rate.

3 Only 1 lifeboat returned to tried and save people

There was a general fear that a return toward the sinking ship would result in lifeboats being overwhelmed by desperate victims and capsizing, and a fear also of the risk of a downward suction caused by the sinking Titanic. Apparently 9 people were saved from the water although 3 died from hypothermia.

4 Lifeboat No.1 was called the Millionaire's Boat

Despite it having a capacity of 65, only 12 people were on it. This boat contained 5 first-class passengers (including Sir Cosmo and Lady Lucy Duff Gordon) and 7 crew members, and was named the 'Millionaire's Boat' by the press, who accused the occupants of ignoring cries for help from people in the water.

5 There were only 20 lifeboats on the ship

The Titanic only had 20 lifeboats on board which at the time was somehow technically legal even though they could only fit 1,178 people in total. This was about 1/3 of the total amount of people on board, and if that's not bad enough they launched with significantly less people than they could actually hold. They planned to bring more but they decided not to because they didn't want the decks to be too crowded.

6 The estimated length of the gash was between 220-245 feet

The Titanic could have survived if only 4 compartments were gashed, but this collision was enough to strike through 6. The Titanic would take in about 400 tons of water a minute.

7 Only 18 lifeboats were successfully launched

Two of the lifeboats, collapsible boat A and B, just floated away. However 30 people were able to kneel or sit on the overturned lifeboat B after failing to turn it over. Of the 20 lifeboats, 13 were recovered by the Carpathia where they were taken to New York.

8 It took nearly 3 hours for the Titanic to sink

It sank 2 hours and 40 minutes after the collision while the first lifeboat was launched an hour after the collision. Apparently the musicians played almost the entire time to try and calm the passengers down.

9 They fired the wrong flare signals

The Titanic's crew failed to fire correct distress signals after hitting the iceberg. Random rockets were fired most likely in desperation but according to the British inquiry into the wreck, the message sent by the rockets' pattern never signaled "distress." Instead, the incorrect rocket pattern signaled to any ship in the area the message: "I'm having navigation problem. Please stand clear."

10 They didn’t have binoculars

The ship's lookouts, Frederick Fleet and Reginald Lee, didn't have access to binoculars during the journey, and therefore couldn't see very far. The ship's second officer was wisely replaced at the last minute but forgot to hand off the key to the locker that had the ship's binoculars. So the people who were on lookout duty already had a disadvantage and when they saw the iceberg it was already too late. The ship hit the iceberg Only 30 seconds after first sighting.

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