When the RMS Titanic set out on its maiden voyage from Southampton, England, to New York City, no one could have foreseen the tragic events that would lead to the deaths of 1,503 of the people aboard.
There were a number of contributing factors to one of the most famous maritime disasters in history. A fire burning for days, the negligence of key crew members, and an iceberg that tore through the ship’s hull and flushed through its decks. With 705 survivors it’s impossible to know all that went on during those final hours.
It’s well known that the shortage of lifeboats was a huge contributing factor in the number of deaths. What many don’t realize is that it was a choice. The Titanic had the capacity to carry 64 lifeboats, which would have carried 4,000 people–more than a number of passengers it actually had. Yet, it was White Star Line’s decision to only put 14 aboard. Which only accommodated 30% of the guests. Every person on that ship could have been saved if they’d packed accordingly.
Captain E.J. Smith had been made aware of icebergs in the area by other ships. In fact, all the officers aboard the Titanic had been warned ice was drifting near the Grand Banks of Newfoundland and yet they continued on and even speed up the pace. Instead, the captain relied on the word of lookouts from the bridge. No one was concerned about ice until it was too late.