Today marks the 104th year anniversary of the day the Titanic was struck by an iceberg while on its maiden voyage to New York with over 2,208 passengers on board, all of whom were mostly from the poorest of people that were getting ready for a fresh start in a brand new country. But those dreams of a new life were cut short on this very day on the cold Atlantic water, and only less than half were saved from the proclaimed “unsinkable ship”. Being struck by the iceberg was indeed the main cause for the damage, but other key elements played a part in dooming the ship for disaster.
Before the Titanic had even set sail many things had gone awry for the crew. For one, the original crew that was intended to be on the ship were switched and replaced by other crew members. This caused some confusion since the new crew members were not informed, like the others, on how the ship worked and where things were. And due to all of this confusion, many things were left behind, including the binoculars. This did not raise much concern, however, since it was originally thought that the best way to see upcoming icebergs was through the naked eye. Along with not having the proper crew, many routines were scheduled and were not performed, which included a lifeboat drill before the Titanic sank.
Of course we all know the story that the ship did not have many lifeboats on board, but it actually had more than required since it was regulated by how much tonnage the boat had, not passengers. This was a fatal flaw and it was not until the ship sank that the British Board of Trade changed its rules concerning lifeboats. But since the ship was considering “unsinkable” many people, including Captain Smith, did not think that using lifeboats would be necessary. And since many wealthy people were on board whatever the rich say, the poor must do.
During its voyage, many wealthy people needed to relay their messages and letters to family members or business partners in the United States and Britain. Due to this, Jack Phillips, the wireless officer, had told the radio operator from a nearby ship called the Californian, to “Shut up! I am busy, I am working Cape Race!” after he was interrupted when he was sending the messages given to him by the wealthy passengers on board. He did not know that he was being interrupted to be told that there were icebergs near the ship. Human error is perhaps one of the main causes for the ship’s demise, since on the day the Titanic hit the iceberg the ship was going too fast, and the crew members in the bird’s nest did not spot the iceberg fast enough.
After colliding, the Titanic’s watertight compartments had been flooded, the nearest ship, the Californian, did not respond to the aid of the Titanic since the operator had turned off his equipment, and went to bed after being told to “shut up”, and on April 15th after much hope on being rescued by another ship disappeared, only the silence of the night air heard the screams of those in the water.