Did you know...
1. Titanic was the largest ship in the world, but she was built as one of three sister ships, the Olympic, the Titanic and the Britannic. Together they were known as the Olympic class trio. Titanic was only marginally larger than her slightly older, twin sister, the Olympic, but she was built from the same plans.
2. Titanic’s maiden voyage was seemingly ill-omened from the outset. Whilst steaming slowly out of Southampton docks she nearly collided with another ship as the force of her wake snapped the moorings on the nearby SS New York.
3. Titanic was on fire when she left Southampton. Unbeknownst to the passengers and the majority of the crew, the fire may have started as early as 2nd April when she was docked in Belfast, in the coal bunker. The fire was not completely extinguished until Saturday 13th April.
4. Titanic was believed to be ‘unsinkable’. This was because she was designed to float with any four of her watertight compartments flooded. According to her chief designer, Thomas Andrews, she could even be cut cross-wise into 3 separate pieces and each piece would still float. Titanic was built to be a lifeboat in herself. Unfortunately, the freak sideswipe of the iceberg on the night of the 14th April 1912, fatally damaged 6 of her watertight compartments, sealing her fate to the pages of history. Yet, the belief in her ‘unsinkability’ was so strong amongst passengers and crew alike, that many were initially reluctant to leave her for the safety of the lifeboats. Ironically if she had collided with the iceberg head on, she would almost certainly have survived.
5. The Press at the time reported that the iceberg ripped a 300-foot gash in the side of Titanic. However, the iceberg actually caused intermittent damage in five main places, along 200 feet of Titanic’s hull.
6. Titanic did not send a distress signal until 47 minutes after the collision. The main reason behind this was that it took designer, Thomas Andrews, the Senior Officers, and the carpenter, John Hutchinson, time to assess the damage.
7. Titanic sank in the freezing North Atlantic Ocean. As a consequence, it was found that the majority of bodies recovered died of hypothermia, as they had no water in their lungs as a result of drowning.
8. During the 1998 expedition to Titanic’s wreck site, a 15-tonne piece of the wreckage was controversially brought up to the surface. The rivet-strewn segment now resides in an exhibition in the Luxor hotel in Las Vegas.