On this day April 15, 1912

The British passenger liner, the RMS Titanic, sinks in the North Atlantic, after hitting an iceberg killing over 1,500 people.

Survivors viewed from the Carpathia

Survivors viewed from the Carpathia

On the night of 14 April 1912, during her maiden voyage, Titanic hit an iceberg and sank two hours and forty minutes later, early on 15 April 1912.

The sinking resulted in the deaths of 1,517 people, making it one of the most deadly peacetime maritime disasters in history.

The high casualty rate was due in part to the fact that, although complying with the regulations of the time, the ship did not carry enough lifeboats for everyone aboard.

The ship had a total lifeboat capacity of 1,178 people even though her maximum capacity was 3,547 people. A disproportionate number of men died also, due to the women-and-children-first protocol that was followed.

The Titanic used some of the most advanced technology available at the time and was, after the sinking, popularly believed to have been described as “unsinkable”.

It was a great shock to many that, despite the extensive safety features and experienced crew, the Titanic sank. The frenzy on the part of the media about Titanics famous victims, the legends about the sinking, the resulting changes to maritime law, and the discovery of the wreck have contributed to the interest in and fame of the Titanic that continues to this day.

Of a total of 2,223 people aboard the Titanic only 706 survived the disaster and 1,517 perished. The majority of deaths were caused by hypothermia in the 28 °F (−2 °C) water. Men and members of the lower classes were less likely to survive. 92 percent of the men perished in second class. Third class passengers fared very badly.

Six of the seven children in first class and all of the children in second class were saved, whereas only 34 percent were saved in third class. Nearly every first-class woman survived, compared with 86 percent of those in second class and less than half of those in third class.

Over all, only 20 percent of the men survived, compared to nearly 75 percent of the women. First-class men were four times as likely to survive as second-class men, and twice as likely to survive as third-class men.

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