While most of the questions that were left unanswered by the sinking of Titanic have been answered today, the answers to some of these haven’t reached the layman as yet. One such question, where did the Titanic sink, continues to elude people even today — a century after the disaster.
When the British passenger steamship, RMS Titanic embarked on its maiden voyage on April 10, 1912, from Southampton, England, little did the passengers on board know that they were heading for a disaster. It was designed by some of the best engineers utilizing the most advanced technology available at that time, but that didn’t come to its rescue as it met its watery grave in the freezing waters of the Atlantic.
RMS Titanic – Where did it Sink?
The Titanic began its journey from Southampton on the afternoon of Wednesday, 10 April, 1912. Its scheduled departure was delayed by an hour as a result of near-collision with SS City of New York; the two vessels missed each other by a distance of 4 feet. After crossing the English Channel, it took its first scheduled halt at Cherbourg, France, on the same day. The next scheduled halt was at the seaport town of Cobh, which was called Queenstown back then, in Ireland. The ship arrived at the Cork Harbor on Thursday, 11 April, at 11.30 am, and departed for its long journey across the Atlantic at 01.30 pm.
At 11.30 pm on the night of April 14, 1912, when the ship was around 400 miles south of the Grand Banks of Newfoundland, the lookouts at the crow’s nest spotted a huge iceberg right in its path. The Titanic had crossed half of its trans-Atlantic route. As soon as the bridge deck was alerted, an attempt was made to steer the ship, and the engines were put into reverse mode. Even though they tried their best to avoid the iceberg, it brushed on the right side of the ship below the waterline.
An illustration showing the location in the Atlantic Ocean where the Titanic sank. It also shows Southampton (from where the ship embarked on its maiden voyage), Queenstown (where the ship took its last halt before beginning its trans-Atlantic journey), and New York (its destination, which was around 900 miles away.) [Map not to be scaled]
The impact was enough to pop out the rivets below the waterline, as a result of which water began to accumulate in the compartments at an estimated rate of 7 long tons per second. That was 15 times the rate at which the water could be pumped out from the ship. In the meanwhile, the crew made several efforts to get help from other ships in the Atlantic, but none of these yielded any results. By 02.05 am, the entire bow of the ship was underwater and by 2.40 am, the entire ship had submerged. After it brushed the iceberg at around 11.40 pm, it took three hours for the Titanic to sink.
Owing to the vastness of the Atlantic ocean, it was difficult to determine exactly where the Titanic sank. The remains of the ship were discovered on the basis of its last distress call, which were traced from 41°46′ N 50° 14′ W coordinates. Eventually, in 1985, the submerged ship was found at a depth of 3,925 meters in the Atlantic Ocean — 13 miles away from the place from where its final distress call was traced. The part of the Atlantic where the wreck of RMS Titanic lies submerged today is located approximately 370 miles southeast of St. John’s, Newfoundland.
RMS Titanic : Fast Facts
✦ Type: Olympic-class ocean liner
✦ Size: 882 ft 9 inches in length, 92 ft 6 inches in width, and a height of 175 ft.
✦ Owner: British shipping company — White Star Line
✦ Built at: The Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, Ireland
✦ Construction Time: 3 years
✦ Cost Incurred: $7,500,000
✦ Passenger Capacity: 2,566 passengers
The sinking of Titanic, wherein 1,517 people lost their lives, is considered the biggest maritime disaster in the world till date. The 20 lifeboats on the ship, which together had a capacity of 1,178 passengers, were used to save as many lives as possible. The disaster could have been averted if there were more lifeboats, or if the ship had not been cruising at 22 knots (25 miles) per hour in the ice field. In the hindsight, it’s easier to say that, but hindsight, they say, is 20/20.