Titanic: The Preventable Disaster Essay

1245 words - 5 pages

The R.M.S. Titanic was said to be unsinkable. This White Star liner was the biggest British ocean liner of its day. It set sail on April 10, 1912 and came to its resting place in the sea just four days later. Crucial events and decisions were made that resulted in the sinking of this great, unsinkable ship. Errors were made that cost many their lives. The sinking of the R.M.S. Titanic could have been prevented.
First, communication errors resulted in Titanic’s fate. Titanic operators failed to relay iceberg telegraphs from other ships. The Titanic received numerous iceberg warnings throughout the day leading up to its final night. According to Susan Wels, author of Titanic: Legacy of the ...view middle of the document...

Miscommunication by the crew members cost many people their lives on the night the Titanic went down.
Second, construction errors resulted in Titanic’s fate. The ship’s bulkheads were not, in fact, watertight as the ship’s builders claimed. “While the individual bulkheads were indeed watertight, water could spill from one compartment into another” (“Titanic” History [2]). “The ship’s builders claimed that four of the compartments could be flooded without endangering the liner’s buoyancy” (“Titanic: The Unsinkable [2]). When the hull was breached, water rushed into the compartments spilling from one ‘watertight’ compartment to the next. Because of this construction error, the hull became too heavy for the rest of the ship to stay afloat. After some tension from the water weight on board, the stern and hull separated into two pieces. This error made the unsinkable ship sinkable.
Also, Titanic’s lifeboats only had the capacity to save less than half of the passengers and crew on board. The ship “carried sixteen wooden lifeboats and four collapsible boats” with “lifesaving capacity for 1,178 people” of the 3,547 on board. (Wels 27). Even though this seems like an obvious error, Titanic “surpassed lifeboat requirements by over 17 percent” (Wels 27). Out of all the passengers and crew members that were on the Titanic; “in the end, only 705 people would be rescued in lifeboats” (“Titanic: The Unsinkable” [4]). Numerous passengers did not even attempt to get into a lifeboat because they did not think it was a serious situation. Others did not get in the boats because wives did not want to leave husbands, and children did not want to leave fathers. In Gavin’s article “They Said it Couldn’t Sink”, she quotes “Several lifeboats launch[ed] that were between half and three-quarters full” ([7]).
Lastly, captain and crew errors resulted in Titanic’s fate. The liner’s crew never had a lifeboat drill. Wels quotes that “before leaving Southampton, the crew had never had more than a cursory lifeboat drill” (91). Because there had been no drill, the crew members were ill prepared to deal with the situation at hand. “Crewmen worried that the davits would not be able to support the weight of a fully loaded boat” (“Titanic: The Unsinkable” [4]). Since they did not know if the boats could support all the weight they was designed to hold, many lifeboats were sent out with few people in them. “Fearful of being swamped, those in the lifeboats delayed returning to pick up survivors” (“Titanic: The Unsinkable” [4]). If there had been a lifeboat drill, the crew would have been more efficient in filling the lifeboats.
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