Timeline of the sinking of the RMS Titanic

Timeline of the sinking of the RMS Titanic

The timeline of the sinking of the RMS "Titanic" details the events of the night of Sunday 14 April 1912, and into the early hours of the following day, which saw the loss of the ocean liner "Titanic", one of the worst peacetime maritime disasters in history.

At the time of the disaster, "Titanic" was approximately two-thirds of the way through her atlantic crossing bound for New York, having left Queenstown, Ireland, on 11 April.

On the night of the sinking, at 11:40 p.m., "Titanic" struck an iceberg. Just after midnight, preparations for evacuation began. Two and a half hours later, "Titanic" finally submerged. It was not until 4am that the first rescue occurred, with the arrival of the "Carpathia".

1:45 PM - Iceberg warnings

On the night of Sunday, 14 April 1912 the temperature had dropped to near freezing and the ocean was completely calm. There was no moon and the sky was clear. Second Officer Charles Lightoller later wrote, "the sea was like glass." Captain Edward Smith, perhaps in response to iceberg warnings received by wireless over the previous few days, had altered the "Titanic's" course around 10 miles (18 km) south of the normal shipping route. That Sunday at 1:45 p.m., a message from the steamer SS|Amerika warned that large icebergs lay south of the "Titanic's" path but the warning was addressed to the USN Hydrographic office and was never relayed to the bridge. Iceberg warnings were received throughout the day but were quite normal for the time of year. Later that evening at 9:30 p.m., another report of numerous, large icebergs in the "Titanic's" path was received by Jack Phillips and Harold Bride in the radio room, this time from the "Mesaba", but this report also failed to reach the bridge. [ [http://library.thinkquest.org/18626/BIceberg.html Information from the Thinkquest library] ] Although there were warnings, there were no operational or safety reasons to slow down or alter course. The "Titanic" had three teams of two lookouts high up in the crow's nest who were rotated every two hours, and on any other night it is almost certain they would have seen the iceberg in time. However, a combination of factors came into play, and with no moon, no wind, no binoculars and the dark side of the berg facing the ship, the lookouts were powerless. As Lightoller stated at the British inquiry, "Everything was against us." [ [http://www.titanicinquiry.org/BOTInq/BOTInq12Lightoller03.php Lightoller's testimony on Day 12 of British Board of Trade Inquiry] ]

11:39 PM - "Iceberg, right ahead!"

ighting of the Iceberg

At 11:39 p.m. while sailing south off the Grand Banks of Newfoundland, lookouts Frederick Fleet and Reginald Lee spotted a large iceberg directly ahead of the ship. Fleet sounded the ship's bell three times and telephoned the bridge. Sixth Officer James Moody answered. "Is there anyone there?!" shouted Fleet. "Yes, what do you see?" replied Moody. "Iceberg, right ahead!" cried Fleet. "Thank you" was Moody's reply before informing First Officer William Murdoch (the senior officer on duty on the bridge at the time) of the call.

Murdoch's orders

There are varying accounts as to what orders First Officer Murdoch gave in order to avoid collision with the iceberg. It is generally agreed that he gave an order of "Hard a'starboard" (an order which, through rotation of the ships wheel, would work to move the ship's tiller all the way to the starboard (right) side of the ship) in an attempt turn the ship to port (left). Murdoch is reported to have set the ships telegraph to "Full Astern" by Fourth Officer Joseph Boxhall, who saw them at that setting when he entered the bridge some time during the accident. Boxhall’s testimony was contradicted by Greaser Frederick Scott, who stated that the engine room telegraphs showed "Stop", and by Leading stoker Frederick Barrett who stated that the stoking indicators went from “Full” to “Stop” [ [http://titanic.marconigraph.com/grounding2.html titanic.marconigraph.com - STOP Command] ] . During or right before the collision Murdoch may have also given an order (as heard by Quartermaster Alfred Olliver when he walked onto the bridge in the middle of the collision) of "Hard a'port" [ [http://titanic.marconigraph.com/grounding2.html titanic.marconigraph.com - STOP Command / "Porting Around" Maneuver] ] (moving the tiller all the way to the port (left) side turning the ship to starboard (right)) in what may have been an attempt to swing the remainder (aft section) of the ship away from the berg in a common maneuver called a "port around" [ [http://www.geocities.com/murdochmystery/Last_Log_of_the_Titanic.html "Last Log of the Titanic" -Four Revisionist Theories - a "port around" or S-curve maneuver in which "the bow is first turned away from the object, then the helm is shifted (turned the other way) to clear the stern"] ] (this could explain Murdoch's comment to the captain "I intended to port around it"). The fact that such a maneuver was executed was supported by other crew members who testified that the bow of the ship never hit the berg. [ [http://titanic.marconigraph.com/grounding2.html titanic.marconigraph.com - STOP Command / "Porting Around" Maneuver "“SENATOR BURTON: Do you not think that if the helm had been hard astarboard the bow would have been up against the berg? QUARTERMASTER GEORGE ROWE: It stands to reason it would, sir, if the helm were hard astarboard.”"] ] Quartermaster Robert Hichens, who was at the helm, and Fourth Officer Joseph Boxhall, who may or may not have been on the bridge during the collision [ [http://titanic.marconigraph.com/grounding2.html titanic.marconigraph.com - "Fourth Officer Joseph Boxhall reported during the Enquiry that upon arriving on the bridge after the fact..."] ] , both stated that the last command Murdoch gave Hichens was "Hard-a-starboard!" [Encyclopedia Titanica http://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/item/1485/] [Titanic Inquiry Project - United States Senate Inquiry http://www.titanicinquiry.org/USInq/AmInq10Boxhall03.php] .

The collision

The ship made its fatal collision at an estimated 37 seconds [ [http://www.titanic-model.com/db/db-02/rm-db-2.html titanic-model.com, Titanic and the Iceberg - By Roy Mengot] ] after Fleet sighted the berg. The ship's starboard (right) side brushed the iceberg, buckling the hull in several places and causing rivets to pop out below the waterline, opening the first five compartments (the forward peak tank, the three forward holds and Boiler Room 6) to the sea [The whole impact had lasted only 10 seconds. [http://www.pbs.org/lostliners/titanic.html] ] . Although pumps in the sixth compartment (Boiler Room 5) were able to pump the water out as fast as it came in, the first five were riddled with small holes amounting to an area of about 12 square feet (1.1 m²). [http://www.titanic-model.com/articles/Somewhere_About_12_Square_Feet/Somewhere_About_12_Square_Feet.pdf TModel-12sqft-PDF] .] As the forward compartments filled, the watertight doors closed. "Titanic" could stay afloat with four compartments flooded, but the ship was already taking on water in five compartments. Captain Smith, alerted by the jolt of the impact, ordered "all-stop" once he arrived on the bridge. Within ten minutes of the collision the five forward compartments were flooded to a depth of convert|14|ft|m. Following an inspection by the ship's senior officers, the ship's carpenter J. Hutchinson and Thomas Andrews, which included a survey of the half-flooded two-deck postal room, it was apparent that the "Titanic" would sink. Before the clock hit midnight the forward third class sections were beginning to flood. At 12:05 a.m., 25 minutes after the collision, Captain Smith ordered all the lifeboats uncovered; five minutes later, at 12:10 a.m., he ordered them to be swung out; then, at 12:25 a.m., he ordered them to be loaded with women and children and then lowered away. At 12:50, 4th Officer Joseph Boxhall fired the first white distress rocket.

A first class passenger, Edith Louise Rosenbaum Russell, witnessed the immediate aftermath of the collision:

"Just before going to my state room, A11, there was a bump. As I turned the handle of my room [door] there was another bump. As I got into my room, there was a third bump. One of these....one of these bumps [inaudible] ...like little pushes, nothing violent. I slipped on a coat over my white satin evening dress, and went right out from my own state room because my state room had a door leading to the promenade deck. As I got out onto the promenade deck, I saw a large grey, what looked to me like a building, floating by. But that building kept bumping along the rail, and as it bumped it sliced off bits of ice fell all over the deck. We just picked up the ice and started playing snow balls. We thought it was fun. We asked the officers if there was any danger, and they said "no, nothing at all, nothing at all, nothing at all" [repetition in original] . Just a mere nothing. We just hit an iceberg." [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VioW1ReHTa4 interview with Edith Louise Rosenbaum Russell]

12:45 AM - First lifeboat lowered

Before his death, Charles Lightoller gave an interview, describing his encounter with Captain Smith, just before the first lifeboats were lowered:

When the boats were stripped and cleared, they were swung out, lowered to the level of the boat deck. Just a little while before they were ready to swing out, I happened to meet the Captain, and I asked him, by cupping my hands over his ears, and yelling at the top of my voice, "Shall I get the women and children away sir?" He just nodded. So I started to fill the first boat. [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f1borb2_5W0&feature=related Interview with Charles Lightoller]
The first lifeboat launched, Lifeboat #7, was lowered at 12:27 a.m., on the starboard side, with only 28 people on board out of a maximum capacity of 65. The "Titanic" carried 20 lifeboats with a total capacity of 1,178 for the ship's total complement of passengers and crew of 2,228. Sixteen lifeboats, indicated by number, were in the davits; and four canvas-sided collapsibles, indicated by letter, were stowed on the roof of the officers' quarters or on the forward Boat Deck to be launched in empty davits. With only enough space for a little more than half the passengers and crew, the "Titanic" carried more boats than required by the British. At the time, the number of lifeboats required was determined by a ship's gross tonnage, rather than its human capacity. The regulations concerning lifeboat capacity had last been updated in 1894, when the largest ships afloat measured approximately 10,000 tons, compared to the "Titanic"'s 46,328 tons.First and second-class passengers had easy access to the lifeboats with staircases that led right up to the boat deck, but third-class passengers found it much harder. Many found the corridors leading from the lower sections of the ship difficult to navigate and had trouble making their way up to the lifeboats. Some gates separating the third-class section of the ship from the other areas, like the one leading from the aft well deck to the second-class section, are known to have been locked. While the majority of first and second-class women and children survived the sinking, more third-class women and children were lost than saved. The locked third-class gates were the result of miscommunication between the boat deck and F-G decks. Lifeboats were supposed to be lowered with women and children from the boat deck and then subsequently to pick up F-G Deck women and children from open gangways. Unfortunately, with no boat drill or training for the seamen, the boats were simply lowered into the water without stopping. As a result of the segregation of third class, only one of the 29 children travelling in first and second-class (Lorraine Allison, a four year-old Canadian girl) perished in the disaster, compared to 53 of the 76 travelling in third.

The turning point of the disaster came at 1:15 a.m., when the openings at the bow for the anchors went under the water. Before this point, the only area the ocean could enter the ship was the gash from the iceberg itself (given the temperature at the time, no portholes were open). Once the sea water gained entry via the anchor ports, the rate at which the ship sank increased dramatically.. At 1:10 a.m., five minutes prior, Lifeboat #8 departed the port side of the ship with only 28 occupants out of a capacity of 65. When Lifeboat #9 evacuated the ship at 1:20, a mere ten minutes later, it carried 56.

The scene on the boat deck became more chaotic as the moments passed. At 1:25 a.m., Lifeboat #11 was lowered down the starboard side overloaded with 70 passengers and crew. It was almost swamped as it reached the sea as it was lowered next to a discharge pipe where pumps were desperately trying to expel water from the ship and buy more time. Crewmen were able to use the oars to push the boat out of the way only seconds before touching the ocean. Ten minutes later Lifeboats 13 and 15 were lowered one after another, each at capacity. The water being spat out of the discharge pipe pushed #13 aft, directly below the rapidly descending #15. Crewmen frantically severed the ropes that had lowered #13 and were able to manoeuvre it out of the way with only seconds to spare. Around this time, Lifeboat #14 was lowered on the port side, with Fifth Officer Harold Lowe in charge. As the boat began its descent Lowe was forced to fire his gun along the side of the ship to deter passengers on the boat deck from jumping in. By 1:35 a.m. as Lifeboats 15 and 16 abandoned the ship, all of the boats in the second-class portion of the boat deck were gone. Six lifeboats remained on the ship, all in first-class, with a combined capacity of 293 for the estimated 1,800 people who remained on the ship. Lifeboats 2 and 4 were the last ones to leave the ship. Lifeboat 2 left at around 1:45 a.m., closely followed by Lifeboat #4 ten minutes later. These boats were the closest to the ship as it foundered. Lifeboat #4 picked up those who were caught in the freezing ocean. [The Story of the Titanic as Told By Its Survivors; p.198-203]

By 1:45 a.m. the ship's forecastle and forward well decks were underwater and the forward A Deck promenade was barely ten feet above the surface. Around this time, passengers on the deck were greeted with the strange sight of dogs running up and down the deck, including John Jacob Astor's beloved Airedale Terrier, Kitty. The Titanic was equipped with a kennel, and a crewman had unlocked it, figuring there was no point in leaving all the dogs the passengers had brought on board to die locked up.

Wireless operators Jack Phillips and Harold Bride were busy sending out distress signals. The message was initially "CQD-MGY, sinking, need immediate assistance," later interspersed with the newer "SOS" at the suggestion of Bride (CQD was still a widely understood distress signal at the time, and MGY was the Titanic's call sign). Several ships responded, including the "Mount Temple", "Frankfurt", and the "Titanic"'s sister ship, "Olympic", but none was close enough to make it in time. The "Olympic" was over convert|500|nmi|km away. The closest ship to respond was the Cunard Line's RMS "Carpathia", and at 58 nautical miles (107 km) away it would arrive in about four hours, still too late to get to the "Titanic" in time. Two land–based locations received the distress call from the "Titanic". One was the wireless station at Cape Race, Newfoundland, and the other was a Marconi telegraph station on top of the Wanamaker's department store in New York City. Shortly after the distress signal was sent, a radio drama ensued as the signals were transmitted from ship to ship, through Halifax to New York, throughout the country. People began to show up at White Star Line offices in New York almost immediately.

12.30-4.30 a.m. - Thwarted rescue attempt by Mount Temple

The actions of the S.S. Mount Temple are frequently underplayed in written accounts. This ship received the first distress signal at 12.30 a.m. when it was an estimated 49 miles away; Captain Moore "immediately" turned around his ship and proceeded at the ship's maximum possible speed (11.5 knots) with the stokers working flat out, to the location given by the Titanic, but on arrival at the given position at 4.30 a.m. found no ship and was facing an impenetrable wall of ice; it was subsequently shown that the position given by the Titanic was eight miles out, and that it was probably located on the other side of that ice flow. Had Titanic been where stated, Mount Temple would have been the first vessel to arrive, albeit still only after the sinking. Messages from the Titanic were received by the Mount Temple radio operator John Osborn Durrant (1892-c1962); these were relayed to Halifax, and Durrant appeared at the subsequent inquiry in Halifax to give evidence. [John Goodwin]

The nearby "unknown" ship and others that failed to respond

From the bridge, the lights of a ship could be seen off the starboard side approximately 10-15 miles away. Since it was not responding to wireless, nor to the distress rockets being launched every fifteen minutes or so, Fourth Officer Boxhall and Quartermaster George Rowe attempted signalling the ship with a Morse lamp, but the ship never appeared to respond. There has been much speculation about this unknown ship. At the public enquiries, Captain Moore of the S.S. Mount Temple and Captain Rostron of the S.S. Carpathian each gave independent evidence that they had sighted the lights of a vessel, in the general vicinity, during the hours of darkness. There is no certainty that they sighted the same vessel but both of them judged the lights to be those of a sailing ship. Both Rostron and Moore also gave evidence that, later, when daylight came on April fifteenth, they saw a steamship in the vicinity which they identified as having two masts and one funnel. (For reference; the S.S. Californian had four masts.) The SS "Californian" was nearby but had stopped for the night because of ice, and its wireless was turned off because the wireless operator had gone to bed for the night. The "Titanic"'s wireless set had broken down earlier that day and Phillips and Bride had spent most of the day fixing it. As a result, they were extremely backlogged in their sending of messages. Finally, with the set fixed and a strong signal available from the Halifax station, Phillips was getting some work done. Just before he went to bed at around 11:00 p.m. the "Californian"'s radio operator Cyril Evans attempted to warn the "Titanic" that there was a large field of ice ahead, but he was cut off by an exhausted Jack Phillips, who sent back, "Shut up! Shut up! I am busy! I am working Cape Race!" The Third officer of the "Californian" had observed a ship approaching at around 11:00 p.m., he thought it might be a passenger ship but the Captain disagreed because the ship did not appear to have the large number of lights which were characteristic of passenger vessels. Later, they observed that the ship appeared to stop. Then, after midnight, both the Second officer and deck apprentice on the 'Californian' observed rockets in the direction of the unidentified ship. They informed Captain Stanley Lord. The rockets the Titanic sent up had the colour of distress rockets for the White Star Line, but because of a lack of uniformity in Naval regulations at that time, Captain Lord was confused and did not know they were distress rockets. He said, "Keep watching it" and he went back to sleep. Even though there was discussion about the rockets and the unidentified ship, which the officers on duty thought to be moving away before finally disappearing, they did not take take any decisive action to waken the Captain of the "Californian" or the ship's Chief officer, or the wireless operator until the change of watch at four in the morning.

2:00 AM - Waterline reaches forward boat deck

At first, passengers were reluctant to leave the warm, well lit and ostensibly safe "Titanic", which showed no outward signs of being in imminent danger, and board small, unlit, open lifeboats. This was one of the reasons most of the boats were launched partially empty: it was perhaps hoped that many people would jump into the water and swim to the boats. Also important was an uncertainty regarding the boats' structural integrity; it was also feared that the boats might collapse if they were fully loaded before being set in the water, despite being tested with a weight of 70 men. Captain Smith ordered the lifeboats be lowered half empty in the hope the boats would come back to save people in the water, and some boats were given orders to do just that. One boat, boat #1, meant to hold 40 people, left the "Titanic" with only 12 people on board. It was rumored that Sir Cosmo and Lady Duff Gordon bribed the two able bodied seamen and five firemen to take them and their three companions off the ship. This rumor was later proven false. J. Bruce Ismay, managing director of the White Star Line, left on Lifeboat Collapsible C and was criticized by both the American and British Inquiries for not going down with the ship. Other passengers, including Father Thomas Byles and Margaret Brown, helped the women and children into lifeboats. [Encyclopedia Titanica http://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/item/1821/] [Encyclopedia Titanica http://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/biography/43/] Brown was finally forced into a boat, and she would survive. Byles would not.

As the ship's tilt became more apparent, people started to become nervous, and some lifeboats began leaving with more passengers. "Women and children first" remained the imperative (see origin of phrase) for loading the boats. It is often mentioned with reference to this slogan that more first-class men survived than third-class women. This is untrue - the official figures show that the number of third-class women saved outnumbered the number of first-class men, and the proportion of third-class women saved was much greater than the proportion of first-class men saved. [ [http://www.anesi.com/titanic.htm Titanic Disaster: Official Casualty Figures and Commentary ] ]

At 2:05 a.m., the waterline reached the bottom of the bridge rail, all the lifeboats, save for the awkwardly located Collapsibles A, and B, had been lowered. Collapsible D, with 44 of its 47 seats filled, was the last lifeboat to be lowered from the davits. The total number of vacancies was 466.

2:05 AM - Propellers exposed

At this point, Titanic's propellers began to rise above the water line; water was slowly beginning to flood the forward boat deck by entering through the crew hatches on the bridge. At this time, Captain Smith released wireless operators Harold Bride and Jack Phillips from their duties. Bride went to their adjoining quarters to gather up their spare money, as Phillips continued working. When Bride returned, he found a fireman slowly unfastening Phillips' life belt, attempting to steal it without Phillips noticing him. Bride grabbed the fireman, and then the three of them wrestled around in the small room, for a few seconds. At one point, Bride grabbed the man by the waist, while Phillips punched him until he finally fell to the floor unconscious. Seeing water now entering the room, Phillips and Bride grabbed their caps and dashed out on deck, where Bride helped with Collapsible B and Phillips ran aft.

The last two lifeboats floated right off the deck as the icy ocean reached them: Collapsible B upside down and Collapsible A half-filled with water. Captain Smith stood his post on the bridge and was either trapped inside the wheelhouse as the ship went down or was washed clear into the icy sea. Shortly afterwards, the first funnel fell forward, crushing part of the starboard bridge wing, plus killing many people struggling in the water, including John Jacob Astor IV, Charles Williams, and Chief Purser Hugh McElroy. On deck, people scrambled towards the stern or jumped overboard in hopes of reaching a lifeboat. Inside, water crashed through windows and engulfed the elegant first class Grand staircase. Father Byles spent his final moments alive reciting the rosary and other prayers, hearing confessions, and giving absolutions to the dozens of people who huddled around him. [Encyclopedia Titanica http://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/item/1924/] The ship's stern rose to about 15 to 35 degrees, until 2:18 a.m. when the electrical system failed and the lights, which had burned brightly throughout the whole time, flickered once and then went out for good. The Titanic's second funnel then broke off and fell into the water, crushing dozens more people in the water. Seconds later, due to the unsupported weight (and possibly a crudely designed aft expansion joint), Titanic broke in two.

2:20 AM - "Titanic's" final plunge

The ship had broken into two large pieces [Large fragments of the hull discovered proved that the ship broke into three major sections rather than the previously believed two. However, the full analysis will not be published until 2006. [http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/discoveries/2005-12-05-titanic-find_x.htm?csp=34 USA Today's report on the hull fragments] ] between the third and fourth funnels near the aft expansion joint, and the bow section went completely under. The third funnel collapsed shortly after the breakup as the bow sank, and the fourth funnel fell soon after as the stern sank. The stern section was pulled up again by the sinking bow and flooding. The stern reached a high angle and surfaced from the water. The stern was reported to have tipped far on its port side as it began to sink, even turning around on the spot. Some also said the stern eventually reached an angle of nearly 90 degrees. Some reported cries from lifeboats that the ship had returned (shouting, "Look! The men are saved!"). However, after a few moments, the stern section also plunged into the sea, exactly two hours and 40 minutes after the collision with the iceberg.

The White Star Line attempted to persuade surviving crewmen not to state that the hull broke in half. The company believed that this information would cast doubts upon the integrity of their vessels. However, many believe the stresses inflicted on the hull when it was at 12 degrees to the sea line (bow down and stern in the air) were beyond the design limits of the structure, and 45 degrees proved to be the breaking point, and no legitimate engineer could have fairly criticised the work of the shipbuilders in that regard. [ [http://titanic.deep-ice.com/ Titanic Archive] ]

Of a total of 2,208 people, only 711 survived the initial sinking. At least one passenger, William F. Hoyt, died from exposure during the night in lifeboat 14 after being pulled from the water. Five others died aboard the Carpathia, leaving 705 total survivors; 1,496 passengers and crew perished. [ [http://web.titanicinquiry.org:81/USInq/USReport/AmInqRep03.html United States Senate Inquiry into the Titanic] ] [cite web|url=http://www.gov.ns.ca/nsarm/cap/titanic/|title= RMS Titanic: List of Bodies and Disposition of Same|publisher=Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management |accessdate=2008-03-03] If the lifeboats had been filled to capacity, 1,178 people could have been saved. Of the first-class, 201 were saved (60%) and 123 died. Of the second-class, 118 (44%) were saved and 167 were lost. Of the third-class, 181 were saved (25%) and 527 perished. Of the crew, 212 were saved (24%) and 679 perished (Captain Smith, as per naval tradition, went down with his ship). First class men were four times as likely to survive as second class men, and twice as likely to survive as third class men. Nearly every first-class woman survived, compared to 86 percent of those in second class and less than half of those in third class. [ [http://www.anesi.com/titanic.htm Titanic Disaster: Official Casualty Figures and Commentary ] ] Of particular note, the entire complement of the 35-member Engineering Staff (25 engineers, 6 electricians, two boilermakers, one plumber, and one writer/engineer's clerk) were lost. The entire ship's orchestra was also lost. Led by violinist Wallace Hartley, they played music on the boat deck of the Titanic that night to calm the passengers. It will probably forever remain unknown what this orchestra selected as their last piece. Based on evidence from various sources some argue it was "Nearer, My God, to Thee" while others say it was "Autumn." The majority of deaths were caused by victims succumbing to hypothermia in the 28 °F (−2 °C) water. It has been suggested that the fact that only 712 people survived when the lifeboats had a capacity of 1,178 people (54% of those on board) could largely be attributed to the women and children first policy, where the psychological effects and resulting loss of efficiency caused the number of people saved to be only 32% of those on board. Had the lifeboats been filled to capacity, all 534 women and children could have been saved, with enough room left over for an additional 644 men. [ [http://www.anesi.com/titanic.htm Chuck Anesi — Titanic Disaster: Official Casualty Figures with commentary on sex, age, and class variations.] ]

As the ship sank into the depths, the two sections ended their final plunges very differently. The streamlined bow planed off approximately 2,000 feet (600 m) below the surface and slowed somewhat, landing relatively gently. The stern fell straight down towards the ocean floor, possibly rotating as it sank, with the air trapped inside causing implosions. It was already half-crushed when it hit bottom at high speed; the shock caused everything still loose to fall off. The bow section however, having been opened up by the iceberg and having sunk slowly, had little air left in it as it sank and therefore remained relatively intact during its descent.

3:00 AM - Lifeboat rescues

Only one lifeboat came back to the scene of the sinking to attempt to rescue survivors. Another boat, Lifeboat #4, did not return to the site but was close by and picked up eight crewmen, two of whom later died aboard the Carpathia. Nearly an hour after the whole of the ship went under, after tying four lifeboats together on the open sea (a difficult task), Lifeboat #14, under the command of Fifth Officer Harold Lowe, went back looking for survivors and rescued four people, one of whom, first-class passenger William Hoyt, died later. Collapsible B floated upside-down all night and began with 30 people. By the time the Carpathia arrived the next morning, 27 remained. Included on this boat were the highest-ranking officer to survive, Charles Lightoller, wireless operator Harold Bride and the chief baker, Charles Joughin. There were some arguments in some of the other lifeboats about going back, but many survivors were afraid of being swamped by people trying to climb into the lifeboat or being pulled down by the anticipated suction from the sinking ship, though this turned out not to be severe. Only 10 survivors were pulled from the water into lifeboats.

4:10 AM - "Carpathia" picks up first lifeboat

thumb|left|Survivors aboard Collapsible D, one of the "Titanic">'s four collapsible lifeboats. Note the canvas sides.Almost two hours after the "Titanic" sank, RMS "Carpathia", commanded by Captain Arthur Henry Rostron, arrived on scene and picked up its first lifeboat at 4:10 AM. Over the next few hours, the remainder of the survivors were rescued. On board the "Carpathia", a short prayer service for the rescued and a memorial for the people who lost their lives were held, and at 8:50 a.m., "Carpathia" left for New York, arriving on 18 April. Among the survivors were three dogs brought aboard in the hands of the first-class passengers.


((John Goodwin; The Goodwins of Kings Walden; informant Betty Dorothy Gladys Sutherland née Durrant b.1921, grand niece))
* Lord, Walter. "A Night to Remember"
* Ruffman, Alan. "Titanic Remembered"

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