On April 10, 1912, the Titanic — a ship believed to be “unsinkable” — set off on its maiden voyage from Southhampton, England, to New York. Just four days later, the ship carrying 2,206 people, including a crew of 898, violently scraped the side of an iceberg.
The collision occurred at 11:40 pm, and came as a surprise to the captain and crewmates, as previous messages sent via radio from other ships had not reached the bridge. When the Titanic hit the iceberg, six compartments were ripped open. However, the ship’s design could only withstand four compartments flooding.
Within minutes, the crew radioed for help and sent out an SOS signal. But, it was already too late. Ten minutes after midnight, the orders for passengers to head for the lifeboats was given. As those who have watched the Titanic movie (starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio) know, there weren’t enough lifeboats. Additionally, there had been no instruction or drills regarding an emergency evacuation procedure. This resulted in panic breaking out on deck.
The bulk of passengers who made it on the lifeboats were women who had been traveling in first-class. History reports that third-class passengers weren’t even allowed on deck until the first-class female passengers had departed the ship.
By 2:20 am, the Titanic had sunk. It broke in half, one end plunging downward to the sea floor. Captain Edward Smith remained on the ship. Approximately one hour later, The Carpathia arrived to rescue survivors. In total, 1,517 people had gone down with the ship. 705 people had made it into lifeboats. Reportedly, the ones who were forced into the icy waters all perished.
After the event, officials blamed the tragedy on the captain and the bridge crew — all of whom had died. After the accident, significant effort was given to improve safety measures. For instance, every vessel is now required to have sufficient lifeboat capacity for all passengers.
In 1985, divers were finally able to locate the wreckage of the Titanic on the floor of the North Atlantic. Now that it has been over a century since the ship sunk, we remember the fateful event which has evolved into a legendary story. It teaches about the dangers of hubris and the perils that await many voyagers on the open water.
Following are 28 pictures from the Titanic you’ve probably never seen before: