Dubbed the "unsinkable" ship, the RMS Titanic captured the world's imagination like no other. When she cast off from Southampton on April 10, 1912, it was to great fanfare as her owner White Star Line had heavily publicized the maiden voyage of this engineering feat.
However, an incident on departure from Southampton was perhaps a precursor of the tragic things to come. As the largest ship on the water, the Titanic's massive propellers managed to suck a smaller ship, the New York, into her wake as she left the harbor, causing a near collision before she had even left UK waters.
Then, four days into her voyage, late in the night of April 14, 1912, despite last minute emergency maneuvering, she struck a massive iceberg. The collision tore a 90 meter hole across the ship's hull, opening six hull compartments to the sea.
From that point on the Titanic's sinking was irreversible. A mayday call was sent out to neighboring ships, but none were able to reach the Titanic before she sank to her watery grave in the Atlantic Ocean, south of Newfoundland, Canada.
Only 711 persons survived the sinking of the ship, out of 2,224 passengers and crew members. Sadly, reports indicate that the Titanic disaster may well have been avoided had the ship's officers paid attention to reports regarding the frozen waters they were approaching.
Earlier in the evening, neighboring ships in the area had reported that the waters ahead contained numerous masses of solid ice and that approaching ships should proceed with caution. The Titanic, however, thought to be unsinkable, ploughed ahead at full speed. This was a mistake that proved to be fatal and undoubtedly led to the tragic loss of those 1,513 lives.
Despite a construction cost of around 7.5 million US-dollars, the Titanic was insured for a hull value of 5 million US-dollars through over 70 co-insurers including Allianz (one of the few non-British insurers to cover this ship). Total claims arising from the disaster are estimated to have totaled around 12 million US-dollars (or at least 278 million US-dollars in 2010 prices adjusted for US inflation).
As with all content published on this site, these statements are subject to our Forward Looking Statement disclaimer.
Link to the disclaimer