The largest passenger steamship in the world, the Olympic-class RMS Titanic was owned by the White Star Line and constructed at the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, Ireland. She set sail for New York City on 10 April 1912 with 2,223 people on board. The high casualty rate resulting from the sinking was due in part to the fact that, although complying with the regulations of the time, the ship carried lifeboats for only 1,178 people. A disproportionate number of men died due to the "women and children first" protocol that was enforced by the ship's crew.
Titanic was designed by experienced engineers, using some of the most advanced technologies and extensive safety features of the time. Adding to the ironic nature of the tragedy is the fact that the liner sank on her maiden voyage. The high loss of life, the media frenzy over Titanic's famous victims, the legends about the sinking, the resulting changes in maritime law, and the discovery of the wreck have all contributed to the enduring interest in Titanic.
Titanic was built at the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, in the UK, and designed to compete with the rival Cunard Line's Lusitania and Mauretania. Titanic, along with her Olympic-class sisters, Olympic and the soon-to-be-built Britannic (originally named Gigantic), were intended to be the largest, most luxurious ships ever to sail. The designers were Lord Pirrie, a director of both Harland and Wolff and White Star, naval architect Thomas Andrews, Harland and Wolff's construction manager and head of their design department, and the Right Honourable Alexander Carlisle, the shipyard's chief draughtsman and general manager.[note 1] Carlisle's responsibilities included the decorations, equipment and all general arrangements, including the implementation of an efficient lifeboat davit design. Carlisle would leave the project in 1910, before the ships were launched, when he became a shareholder in Welin Davit & Engineering Company Ltd, the firm making the davits. Size comparison with the Airbus A380, a bus, a car, and an average-sized humanConstruction of RMS Titanic, funded by the American J.P. Morgan and his International Mercantile Marine Co., began on 31 March 1909. Titanic's hull was launched on 31 May 1911, and her outfitting was completed by 31 March the following year. Her length overall was 882 feet 9 inches (269.1 m), the moulded breadth 92 feet 0 inches (28.0 m), the tonnage 46,328 GRT, and the height, from the water line to the boat deck, 59 feet (18 m). She was equipped with two reciprocating four-cylinder, triple-expansion steam engines and one low-pressure Parsons turbine, each driving a propeller. There were 29 boilers fired by 159 coal burning furnaces that made possible a top speed of 23 knots (43 km/h; 26 mph). Only three of the four 62 foot (19 m) funnels were functional: the fourth, which only provided ventilation, was added to make the ship look more impressive. The ship could carry a total of 3,547 passengers and crew.
Why the lack of lifeboats?Edit
The regulations had made no extra provision for larger ships since 1894, when the largest passenger ship under consideration was the Cunard Line's Lucania, only 13,000 tons. Sir Alfred Chalmers, nautical adviser to the Board of Trade from 1896 to 1911, had considered the matter "from time to time", but because he not only assumed that experienced sailors would need to be carried "uselessly" aboard ship only to lower and man lifeboats, but also anticipated the difficulty in getting away a greater number than 16 in any emergency, he "did not consider it necessary to increase [our scale]". However some (like me) believe that because of how fast she sank even if she had enough lifeboats for everyone, they proably would not have time to launch them all. In fact they barely had time to launch the 20 lifeboats they had in the first place.
Nearly fourteen years before Titanic sank, author Morgan Robertson wrote a story called Futility or better known as "The wreck of the Titan". It's about a huge passenger liner called the Titan that was said to be unsinkable and carrying a lot of wealthy people. However it struck an iceberg and sank causing the death of more than half of her passengers because of the lack of lifeboats.