In the World Today


Do you know that: It has been 107 years, (on April 15, 1912,) since the RMS Titanic, a passenger liner carrying 2,223 people, sank in the North Atlantic Ocean after colliding with an iceberg during her maiden voyage from Southampton, United Kingdom to New York City, United States?

The sinking of Titanic caused the deaths of 1,517 people in one of the deadliest peacetime maritime disasters in history. She was the largest ship afloat at the time of her maiden voyage.

Her passengers included some of the wealthiest people in the world, as well as over a thousand emigrants from Great Britain and Ireland, Scandinavia and elsewhere seeking a new life in North America.

The ship was designed to be the last word in comfort and luxury, with an on-board gymnasium, swimming pool, libraries, high-class restaurants and opulent cabins. She also had a powerful wireless telegraph provided for the convenience of passengers as well as for operational use.

Though she had advanced safety features such as watertight compartments and remotely activated watertight doors, she lacked enough lifeboats to accommodate all of those aboard.

Due to outdated maritime safety regulations, she carried only enough lifeboats for 1,178 people – slightly more than half of the number travelling on the maiden voyage and one-third her total passenger and crew capacity.

Passengers and some crew members were evacuated in lifeboats, many of which were launched only partly filled. A disproportionate number of men – over 90% of those in Second Class – were left aboard due to a “women and children first” protocol followed by the officers loading the lifeboats.

When the Titanic broke up and sank bow-first, there were still over a thousand people on board. Those in the water died within minutes from hypothermia caused by immersion in the freezing ocean. The 710 survivors were taken aboard from the lifeboats by RMS Carpathia a few hours later.

Titanic’s building cost in 1912 was $7.5 million, equivalent to $463 million in today’s money.

In 1997, director James Cameron released “Titanic” a fictionalized account of the sinking of the RMS Titanic.

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, the movie won 11 Academy Awards or Oscars. It remained the highest-grossing film of all time for twelve years, until another Cameron film, Avatar, surpassed it in 2010.

Before Titanic left port on its maiden voyage, one of the ship’s employees said “even God cannot sink this ship.”