RMS Titanic

Lenght: 882 feet 9 inches (269.06 m)           Breadth: 92 feet 6 inches (28.19 m)
Height: 104 feet (32 m)
GT: 46,328
Draught: 34 feet 7 inches (10.54 m) Displaced: 52,310 tons

RMS Titanic was a passenger liner that sank in the North Atlantic Ocean on 15 April 1912 after colliding with an iceberg during her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York City. The sinking of Titanic caused the deaths of 1,517 people in one of the deadliest peacetime maritime disasters in history. She was the largest ship afloat at the time of her maiden voyage. One of threeOlympic class ocean liners operated by the White Star Line, she was built between 1909–11 by the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast. She carried over 2,200 people – 1,316 passengers and about 900 crew.

After leaving Southampton on 10 April 1912, Titanic called at Cherbourg in France and Queenstown, Ireland before heading westwards towards New York. She was sailing about 375 miles south of Newfoundland when she hit an iceberg four days into the crossing, at 11:40 pm (ship's time; UTC-3) on 14 April 1912. The glancing collision caused Titanic's hull plates to buckle inwards in a number of locations on her starboard side and opened five of her sixteen watertight compartments to the sea. Over the next two and a half hours, the ship gradually sank as she filled with water. Passengers and some crew members were evacuated in lifeboats, many of which left the ship only partly full. A disproportionate number of men – over 90% of those in Second Class – were left aboard due to a "women and children first" protocol followed in loading the lifeboats. Just before 2:20 am Titanic broke up and sank bow-first with over a thousand people still on board. Those in the water died within minutes from hypothermia caused by immersion in the freezing ocean. The 710 survivors were picked up from lifeboats by the RMS Carpathia a few hours later.

The disaster was greeted with worldwide shock and outrage at the huge loss of life and the regulatory and operational failures that had led to it. In its aftermath, public inquiries were held in Britain and the United States that led to major improvements in maritime safety. One of its most important legacies was the establishment in 1914 of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), which still governs maritime safety today. Many of the survivors lost all their money and possessions and were left destitute; many families, particularly those of crew members from Southampton, lost their main bread-winners. They were helped by an outpouring of public sympathy and charitable donations. Some of the male survivors, notably the White Star Line's chairman, J. Bruce Ismay, were criticised for perceived cowardice for leaving the ship while women and children were still on board, and faced ostracism and social isolation.

Titanic has become one of the most famous ships in history, her memory kept alive by numerous books, films, exhibits and memorials. The wreck of the Titanic remains on the seabed, gradually disintegrating at a depth of 12,415 feet (3,784 m). Since its rediscovery in 1985 thousands of artefacts have been recovered from the sea bed and put on display at museums around the world.

Titanic was 882 feet 9 inches (269.06 m) long with a maximum breadth of 92 feet 6 inches (28.19 m). Her total height, measured from the base of the keel to the top of the bridge, was 104 feet (32 m). She measured 46,328 gross register tons and with a draught of 34 feet 7 inches (10.54 m), she displaced 52,310 tons.

All three of the Olympic-class ships had eleven decks (excluding the top of the officers' quarters), eight of which were for passenger use. From top to bottom, the decks were:

Boat Deck, on which the lifeboats were positioned. It was from here in the early hours of 15 April 1912 that Titanic's lifeboats were lowered into the North Atlantic. The bridge and wheelhouse were at the forward end, in front of the captain's and officers' quarters. The bridge stood 8 feet (2.4 m) above the deck, extending out to either side so that the ship could be navigated while docking. The wheelhouse stood directly behind and above the bridge. The entrance to the First Class Grand Staircase and gymnasium were located midships along with the raised roof of the First Class lounge, while at the rear of the deck were the roof of the First Class smoke room and the relatively modest Second Class entrance. The wood-covered deck was divided into four segregated promenades, for officers, First Class passengers, engineers and Second Class passengers respectively. Lifeboats lined the side of the deck except in the First Class area, where there was a gap so that the view would not be spoiled.

Dimensions and layout

A Deck, also called the Promenade Deck, extended along the entire 546 feet (166 m) length of the superstructure. It was reserved exclusively for First Class passengers and contained First Class cabins, the First Class lounge, smoke room, reading and writing rooms and Palm Court.
B Deck, the Bridge Deck, was the top weight-bearing deck and the uppermost level of the hull. More First Class passenger accommodation was located here with six palatial staterooms (cabins) featuring their own private promenades. On Titanic, the A La CarteRestaurant and the Café Parisien provided luxury dining facilities to First Class passengers. Both were run by subcontracted chefs and their staff; all were lost in the disaster. The Second Class smoking room and entrance hall were both located on this deck. The raised forecastle of the ship was forward of the Bridge Deck, accommodating Number 1 hatch (the main hatch through to the cargo holds), various pieces of machinery and the anchor housings. It was kept off-limits to passengers; the famous "flying" scene at the ship's bow from the 1997 filmTitanic would not have been possible in real life. Aft of the Bridge Deck was the raised Poop Deck, 106 feet (32 m) long, used as a promenade by Third Class passengers. It was where many Titanic's passengers and crew made their last stand as the ship sank. The forecastle and Poop Deck were separated from the Bridge Deck by well decks.
C Deck, the Shelter Deck, was the highest deck to run uninterrupted from the ships' stem to stern. It included the two well decks, the aft one of which served as part of the Third Class promenade. Crew cabins were located under the forecastle and Third Class public rooms were situated under the Poop Deck. In between were the majority of First Class cabins and the Second Class library.

D Deck, the Saloon Deck, was dominated by three large public rooms – the First Class Reception Room and Dining Saloon and the Second Class Dining Saloon. An open space was provided for Third Class passengers. First, Second and Third Class passengers had cabins on this deck, with berths for firemen located in the bow. It was the highest level reached by the ships' watertight bulkheads (though only by eight of the fifteen bulkheads).
E Deck, the Upper Deck, was predominately used for passenger accommodation for all classes plus berths for cooks, seamen, stewards and trimmers. Along its length ran a long passageway nicknamed Scotland Road by the crew, in reference to a famous street in Liverpool.
F Deck, the Middle Deck, was the last complete deck and mainly accommodated Third Class passengers, with some Second Class cabins as well, plus crew accommodation. The Third Class dining saloon was located here, as were the swimming pool and Turkish bath.
G Deck, the Lower Deck, was the last level that carried passengers and had the lowest level of portholes, just above the waterline. The squash court was located here along with the travelling post office, where mail clerks sorted letters and parcels so that they would be ready for delivery when the ship docked. Food was also stored here. The deck was interrupted at several points by orlop (partial) decks over the boiler, engine and turbine rooms.

The Orlop decks and the Tank Top were at the lowest level of the ship, below the waterline. The orlop decks were used as cargo space, while the Tank Top – the inner bottom of the ship's hull – provided the platform on which the ship's boilers, engines, turbines and electrical generators sat. This part of the ship was dominated by the engine and boiler rooms, areas that passengers would never normally see. They were connected with higher levels of the ship by flights of stairs; twin spiral stairways near the bow gave access all the way up to D Deck.


Titanic was equipped with three engines – two reciprocating four-cylinder, triple-expansion steam engines and one centrally placed low-pressure Parsons turbine – each driving a propeller. The two reciprocating engines had an output of 30,000hp and a further 16,000hp was contributed by the turbine. The White Star Line had previously used the same combination of engines on an earlier liner, the SS Laurentic, where it had been a great success. It provided a good combination of performance and speed; reciprocating engines by themselves were not powerful enough to propel an Olympic-class liner at the desired speeds, while turbines were sufficiently powerful but caused uncomfortable vibrations, a problem that affected the all-turbine Cunard liners Lusitania and Mauretania. By combining reciprocating engines with a turbine, fuel usage could be reduced and motive power increased, while using the same amount of steam.

The two reciprocating engines were giants, each 63 feet (19 m) long and weighing 720 tons. Their bedplates alone weighed a further 195 tons. They were powered by steam produced in 29 boilers, 24 of which were double-ended and 5 single-ended, which contained a total of 159 furnaces. The boilers were 15 feet 9 inches (4.80 m) in diameter and 20 feet (6.1 m) long, each weighing 91.5 tons and capable of holding 48.5 tons of water.


Titanic carried a total of 20 lifeboats: 16 wooden lifeboats with a capacity of 65 people each and four Englehardt "collapsible" lifeboats (identified as A to D) with a capacity of 47 people each. In addition, it had two emergency cutters with a capacity of 40 people each. All of the lifeboats were stowed securely on the boat deck and, except for A and B, connected todavits by ropes.Those on the starboard side were odd-numbered 1–15 from bow to stern, while those on the port side were even-numbered 2–16 from bow to stern. The two cutters were kept swung out, hanging from the davits, ready for immediate use, while collapsible lifeboats C and D were stowed on the boat deck immediately inboard of boats 1 and 2 respectively. Collapsible lifeboats A and B were stored on the roof of the officers' quarters, on either side of number 1 funnel. There were no davits to lower them and their weight would make them challenging to launch.

Titanic had 16 sets of davits, each able to handle 4 lifeboats. This gave Titanic the ability to carry up to 64 wooden lifeboats, which would have been enough for 4,000 people – considerably more than her actual capacity However, the White Star Line decided that only 16 wooden lifeboats and four collapsibles would be carried, which could accommodate 1,178 people, only one-third of Titanic's total capacity. At the time, the Board of Trade's regulations required British vessels over 10,000 tons to carry 16 lifeboats with a capacity of 5,500 cubic feet (160 m3), plus enough capacity in rafts and floats for 75% (50% for vessels with watertight bulkheads) of that in the lifeboats. In principle, the White Star line could even have made use of the exception for vessels with watertight bulkheads, which would have reduced the legal requirements to a capacity of 756 persons only. Therefore, the White Star Line actually provided much more lifeboat accommodation than was legally required.


At 11.40 pm (ship's time), lookout Frederick Fleet spotted an iceberg immediately ahead of Titanic and alerted the bridge. First Officer William Murdoch ordered the ship to be steered around the obstacle and the engines to be put in reverse, but it was too late; the starboard side of Titanic struck the iceberg, creating a series of holes below the waterline. Five of the ship's watertight compartments were breached. It soon became clear that the ship was doomed, as she could not survive more than four compartments being flooded.Titanic began sinking bow-first, with water spilling from compartment to compartment as her angle in the water became steeper.

Those aboard Titanic were ill-prepared for such an emergency. There was only enough space in the lifeboats for a third of her maximum number of passengers and crew, and the crew had not been trained adequately in carrying out an evacuation. The officers did not know how many they could safely put aboard the lifeboats and launched many of them barely half-full. Third-class passengers were largely left to fend for themselves, causing many of them to become trapped below decks as the ship filled with water. A "women and children first" protocol was generally followed for the loading of the lifeboats and most of the male passengers and crew were left aboard.

Two hours and forty minutes after Titanic struck the iceberg, her rate of sinking suddenly increased as her forward deck dipped underwater and the sea poured in through open hatches and grates. As her unsupported stern rose out of the water, exposing the propellers, the ship split apart between the third and fourth funnels due to the immense strain on the keel. The severed bow section headed for the sea bed, while the stern remained afloat for a few minutes longer, rising to a nearly vertical angle with hundreds of people still clinging to it. At 2.20 am, the stern sank, pitching the remaining passengers and crew into lethally cold water with a temperature of only 28 °F (-2 °C). Almost all of those in the water died of hypothermia or cardiac arrest within minutes. Only 13 of them were helped into the lifeboats though these had room for almost 500 more occupants.

Distress signals were sent by wireless, rockets and lamp, but none of the ships that responded were near enough to reach her before she sank. A nearby ship, the Californian, which was the last to have been in contact with her before the collision, saw her flares but failed to assist. Around 4 am, RMS Carpathia arrived on the scene in response to Titanic's earlier distress calls. 710 people survived the disaster and were conveyed by Carpathia to New York, Titanic's original destination. 1,517 people were lost, either drowning inside the sinking ship or freezing to death on the surface (kept from drowning by their lifebelts).

Survivors and victims

Of a total of 2,224 people aboard Titanic only 710, less than a third, survived and 1,514 perished. Second and Third Class passengers were least likely to survive. The highest survival rates were among women and children in First Class. The table below shows the survivors and victims for passengers and crew onboard the RMS Titanic. Passengers are subdivided into men, women and children for each class while crew is divided into men and women.
Person CategoryNumber AboardPercentage SavedPercentage LostNumber SavedNumber Lost
Children, First Class683%17%51
Children, Second Class24100%0%240
Children, Third Class7934%66%2752
Women, First Class14497%3%1404
Women, Second Class9386%14%8013
Women, Third Class16546%54%7689
Men, First Class17533%67%57118
Men, Second Class1688%92%14154
Men, Third Class46216%84%75387
Women, Crew2387%13%203
Men, Crew88522%78%192693
source: wikipedia

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