Titanic: What Happend?
The Titanic was designed to be one of the largest and most luxurious ships to sail the seas at the time. However, despite passing inspections before being set out on its course at sea, there were a number of design flaws that led to the inevitability that was the sinking of the Titanic. Starting with the lifeboats, there just was not enough. The Titanic was designed to hold upwards of 64 lifeboats, but was only equipped with 20 before setting out to sea. This would prove to be a fatal mistake. The lifeboats could hold up to 65 passengers per. Following this number, this means that, in theory, if the boat was fitted with the max amount of lifeboats and the maximum number of passengers per lifeboat, there would be room for over 4,000 passengers to escape and make it to safety. Just for reference, there were only 2,223 passengers aboard the Titanic, which meant all would survive without even having to have 35 passengers per lifeboat, if all 64 were used. If even the Titanic was equipped with 40 lifeboats, which was still not even near the maximum of 64, there would be opportunity for all 2,223 passengers to survive, instead of only 492, which was partially caused by inefficient use of the lifeboats that were equipped.
Moving on to structural design flaws, the bulkheads and rivets that held the ship together were a major part in the sinking of Titanic and the extreme loss of life that occurred during the sinking. Bulkheads are watertight vertical beams, enclosed by the hull, that provide structural support and integrity to the ship. They hold the ship solid and keep its shape throughout the crashing waters and, in event of a crash, help to prevent water leakage onto the ship. The rivets are used to bolt the main parts of the hull, bulkheads, and any other tearing point in the ship together. Rivets are made of a specific kind of iron that is meant to be resistant to snapping, thus allowing it to withstand the pressure of the water in the event of a breach in the hull. However, the rivets that were used on Titanic were changed during the building process as they were unable to find enough rivets of the No.4 quality. No.4 quality iron was supposed to be the iron used for the rivets of Titanic, but was later changed to No.3, considerably less expensive and weaker than No.4. These rivets are to be blamed for the amount of water Titanic had been exposed to after the hull was breached. The rivets were supposed to hold the bulkheads and hull together, but due to the weakness of No.3 iron, the rivets snapped and allowed for water to flow through the hull and past the bulkheads. On the topic of the bulkheads, there were also structural problems stemming from them as well. The bulkheads were only tall enough to stretch up to the 4th of 16 compartments of Titanic. The iceberg that struck the ship managed to breach into the 5th compartment, allowing the water to flow through and past the bulkheads, leading to the ship’s sinking.
Moving over to rescue ships, Titanic was within eye-distance range of the Californian and was horizon away from the Carpathia. The Californian was within 20 kilometers of the sinking ship - and a crew member, after witnessing the distress rockets, informed the captain, Captain Stanley Lord, that Titanic was in need of assistance and was in distress. However, when surrounded by the iceberg-filled waters, Captain Stanley decided not to act or even wake his wireless operator to make the call to other ships that may be nearby. He did not contact Titanic and he did not head anywhere in its direction. If he had gone to Titanic after receiving word of the distress signals present, he may have been responsible for the saving of many, if not all, of the lives that were eventually lost due to the sinking. While Captain Stanley was ignoring the distress signals of Titanic, another ship by the name of Carpathia decided to step in. Carpathia was over 100 kilometers from Titanic when the distress signal was intercepted from the ship’s wireless operator, Harold Cottam. The captain of Carpathia, Captain Rostron, aftering hearing the distress signals, began his race towards the Titanic and even informed his officers to be ready to host as many as 2,000 extra passengers. After reaching the Titanic’s coordinates, confusion rained for a moment as they could not comprehend where the Titanic was. It was only until they realized soon after that the Titanic was gone. For the next 4 hours, Carpathia sailed to all the nearby lifeboats and picked up 705 survivors. Unlike the heroism of Captain Rostran, Captain Stanley Lord of the Californian decided to head to the Titanic’s distress coordinates at daybreak, around 10am, to search for survivors. If the Carpathia had not made its way over and saved the passengers aboard the lifeboats, the Californian would have been wading its way through lifeboats full of corpses. No passengers would have survived until daybreak. Due to the chillin temperatures, all would have died by hypothermia before being reached by the Californian.