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Why the Titanic didn't have enough lifeboats

  • Опубліковано 5 лют 2023
  • An outdated safety law may have cost hundreds of lives.
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    Ever since the Titanic sank on April 15, 1912, a major suspected culprit for the high death toll has been that there weren’t enough lifeboats on board. It’s a decision that's been dramatized as hubris on the part of the White Star Line - but the ship actually surpassed safety standards for the time.
    The Merchant Shipping Act of 1894 required the largest-class ships, those weighing over 10,000 tons, to carry at least 16 lifeboats. Even though the Titanic, which launched in 1911, weighed 45,000 tons, that minimum was the same. The Titanic carried 20 lifeboats, with a capacity for roughly half of the people on board the night the ship sank.
    Until the Titanic disaster, lifeboats weren’t seen as a substitute for an entire ship. The giant liner itself, which featured 16 compartments separated by watertight bulkheads, was supposed to stay afloat even after taking on water. Then, using a brand new piece of technology - the Marconi wireless telegraph - signal for help from a nearby ship, using lifeboats to methodically ferry passengers off the sinking ship.
    This scenario played out perfectly just a couple years before the Titanic disaster, when a ship accidentally rammed RMS Republic in 1909. The Republic sank, but nearly everyone on board was safely ferried off. The prevailing thought at the time was that disasters at sea had become a thing of the past.
    When the Titanic went down, that all changed. Just two years later, the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) mandated all passenger ships carry lifeboats for everyone on board. Today, the SOLAS requirement is 125% of a ship’s capacity.
    Further reading:
    Check out Sam Halpern’s work analyzing the permissible flooding conditions on the Titanic:
    Read the 1909 news articles explaining the sinking of the Republic:
    Dive into a wealth of Titanic research in “On a Sea of Glass” by J. Kent Layton, Bill Wormstedt, and Tad Fitch:
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  • Vox
    Vox  Місяць тому +272

    If you want to really get into the nitty gritty of the construction and design of the Titanic and other giant ocean liners, check out www.youtube.com/@OceanlinerDesigns - it’s a great channel with a bunch of interesting stories. Thanks for watching.

    • Anne Woodward
      Anne Woodward Місяць тому

      Every one knows it was just a great Movie. There was never a real Titanic of course.

    • L C
      L C Місяць тому +1

      Great shoutout! Oceanliner Designs is a great channel!

    • jj
      jj Місяць тому

      @Sharptooth Trex it didn't need 100 lifeboats, it just needed enough

    • Sharptooth Trex
      Sharptooth Trex Місяць тому

      Even if the Titanic had 100 or even 300 lifeboats might save many more people in distress.

    • Skarbie Well
      Skarbie Well Місяць тому

      Vox on June 1, 1911, the Irish News and Belfast Morning News contained a report on the launching of Titanic’s hull. The article described the system of watertight compartments and electronic watertight doors and concluded that Titanic was practically unsinkable, also in 1911, Shipbuilder magazine published an article on the White Star Line’s sister ships Titanic and Olympic. The article described the construction of the ship and concluded that Titanic was practically unsinkable. the Titanic Commutator unearthed a White Star promotional flyer for the Olympic and Titanic that claimed "as far as it is possible to do, these two wonderful vessels are designed to be unsinkable.".... it was
      not the selling point, or the biggest advertisement, but it seems it has been mentioned.

  • Random Repairs
    Random Repairs Місяць тому +2762

    It's worth mentioning that the RMS Carpathia was much further out than other ships, and logically they might not have even found survivors. Still, despite having almost no chance of doing so, they pushed their own ship faster than it was rated to go (this can ruin the engine and leave you dead in the water) and found many survivors. They passed out blankets and coffee, and offered support. It's a heroic tale by normal people just doing what they thought was right.

    • Napoleon
      Napoleon День тому

      Yes they managed to reach about 17 knots well beyond the ships usual top speed of 12

    • Museme Me
      Museme Me Місяць тому

      ​@Fluppi how did they finally know it was sinking

    • Fluppi
      Fluppi Місяць тому +115

      not really true. They were the second closest ship yes but they were definitely expecting survivors. In fact they were expecting to find the crippled ship in a bad state. There is no way of knowing how fast ships sink. If they capsize within an hour maybe.
      If they stay upright then possibly for multiple hours or even days. They knew the Titanic was very safe so they didn't think it would be gone.
      heroic yes but all within reason. They did expect survivors and logically they could be expected to find survivors.
      If you want to look at a ship that had no hope to help then Frankfurt is probably a good one. It took them 11h or so and they made the old ship run faster than it ever had with little chance to help.

    • Banerjee Home
      Banerjee Home Місяць тому +8


  • The Socialist Lion
    The Socialist Lion Місяць тому +4256

    Another addition to be made, Life boats were never guaranteed to be safe before 1912. When Titanic sank, the waters were perfectly calm, but this is usually not the case. Those lifeboats were commonly lost in other ship wrecks (For example, the Atlantic in the 1870s). Aside from ferrying, they were essentially added as a hail mary, incase everything went wrong and you were possibly close enough to land to row to shore.
    P.S. Its weird seeing this topic being discussed in the main stream while NOT being handled poorly. Nicely done, Vox.

    • Kenneth VanOosten
      Kenneth VanOosten Місяць тому +1

      @Goon Hee Its also important to note that Lusitania's watertight compartments were longitudinal, which allowed sea water to collect on the starboard side of the ship when it was breach by the torpedo, which quickened her list to starboard and left the portside lifeboats at far too high of an angle to be launched and made loading and launching the lifeboats on the starboard side treacherous at best (not to mention the power went out minutes after being breached, plunging the interior of the ship into darkness and trapping people inside the ships elevators and corridors). Meanwhile Titanic's watertight compartments were horizontal and evenly filled up from front to back, keeping the ship from listing and allowing most of boats to be safely filled and launched. Another ship that had longitudinal compartments and sunk with a terrible loss of life was the RMS Empriess of Ireland which sank in 1914 after being struck by another ship while sailing out of the St. Lawrence river in the fog at night. The ship sank within minutes and more than 1,000 out of the 1,400 people on board perished, with hundreds of passengers below deck drowning while still asleep in their cabins (it also didn't help that the watertight doors had to be closed individually at the doors themselves, while the doors on Titanic could be automatically closed from a switchboard on the bridge). Its because of disasters like these that ships are no longer built with longitudinal compartments or a bow that protrudes out below the waterline.

    • Jack Wein
      Jack Wein Місяць тому +1

      Handled poorly in 1912….. the sinking of the RMS Titanic is why the lifeboat count is higher today

    • iRacing Rookie
      iRacing Rookie Місяць тому +1

      Then how to Shackleton’s crew survive? They crossed one of the most inhospitable areas of ocean on earth in a lifeboat

    • repliesgpt . com
      repliesgpt . com Місяць тому

      Great job 👍! Never dreamed this discussion would actually make slots in social media timelines. 🤔
      ~ repliesGPT ~

    • Adrian Ghandtchi
      Adrian Ghandtchi Місяць тому

      @Bob Custer well not fully but it certainly did it help it either.

  • Haidar Amri
    Haidar Amri Місяць тому +2949

    The irony is that the ship is sinking because it barely hits the iceberg , so it's scrapped the ship on 5 compartments. If the ship hits the iceberg head on even with all of its momentum, then it may just destroy 1 or 2 compartments before its stop.

    • Aaron Timm
      Aaron Timm 15 днів тому

      ​@Connor Limes ok

    • ForeverSweetx3
      ForeverSweetx3 18 днів тому

      But no one would think that is a good idea. Standard practice would be to try and get away from the iceberg.

    • Christian
      Christian Місяць тому

      @Connor Limes There weren't a lot of people below deck in the first couple of compartments. Those were mainly cargo holds.

    • Christian
      Christian Місяць тому

      @SqueakSquawk4 The Inquiry asked why they didn't just run head-on into the iceberg. They even had a term for it. It was called accordioning.

    • Alex Zetsu
      Alex Zetsu Місяць тому

      A ship has a lot of moment that would be dropped to 0 if it hit head on. Analysis showed a head on collision would likely crumple the first 3 compartments (as opposed to merely creating some holes). Think of it like an accordion. And those areas don't have air, there are passengers in there. Trying to avoid the iceberg made sense. It just didn't work.

  • Tarun Kumar
    Tarun Kumar Місяць тому +2410

    The sister-ship RMS Olympic, while not as famous as Titanic, had pretty interesting life of its own: during WW1, it served as a transport for troops and sunk a U-boat by freaking ramming into it head-on, and it also had two collisions of its own in 1911 and 1934. It would enjoy great popularity on the transatlantic route, earning the nickname 'The Ship Magnificent'/'The Old Reliable'.
    Edit: I did a bit of Wikipedia browsing, and yeah it was known as the "Old Reliable" as people mention in the comments below, although I did find another Wikipedia article which mention "the Ship Magnificent" too.

    • laughingvampire
      laughingvampire Місяць тому +2

      it is interesting how the Titanic sank and the Olympic remain, from a Greek Mythological point of view the Olympians defeated the Titans, it was almost like the Titanic was doomed to sink by the name.


      another cool fact is in its last years the grand staircase was painted green

    • pelley 4560
      pelley 4560 Місяць тому +3

      the ship magnificent term was used by White Star

    • Gokul Gopan
      Gokul Gopan Місяць тому +2

      @Lucas O'heyze Olympic is Olympic, Titanic is Titanic.
      If you really believe it was switched, can you explain how it was switched? I mean what components were interchanged or how it was switched in detail?

  • Nicholas Hext
    Nicholas Hext Місяць тому +1181

    It's worth noting that shipping lanes in April 1912 were quieter than usual because many sailings had been cancelled due to a coal strike. Many companies had their smaller liners remain in berth so their prestige ship could keep sailing. Some passengers, like the Hart family, had received tickets for Titanic as compensation for their original passage being cancelled. Under normal circumstances there would likely have been ships much closer and able to render assistance in time.

    • Hugo S
      Hugo S Місяць тому

      @Nicholas Hext i really don't believe Titanic's maiden voyage was already scheduled in september 1911, when the Hawke collision happened.
      The schedule delay you're talking about is when Olympic threw a propeller blade in February 1912, which meant Titanic had to be taken out of dry dock and Olympic put in her place to repair the damage.

    • Strangely Ukrainian
      Strangely Ukrainian Місяць тому +2

      @Brad Sanders
      It’s actually because the radios at the time had no volume control, so when the radio message was sent, it was dependent on the proximity to the receiver, and it was so loud that the Titanic operator allegedly had to borderline throw the headset off his head. Being annoyed, he missed the part where the California said they had stopped in an ice patch.
      It didn’t really have anything to do with trying to make it to New York ahead of schedule, they didn’t know the ice bergs were on the route, they didn’t know why the California stopped, and the California didn’t check in with the titanic until after they were nearly completely sunk, they had ignored the distress rockets, and the California’s captain kept changing his story about what he thought the rockets were.

    • Brad Sanders
      Brad Sanders Місяць тому +3

      @Yacob back then incredibly common. The 1st transatlantic flight ever wasnt until 1919. Hence the reason lifeboats only had to hold a third of the passengers. They stuck to pretty strict shipping lanes. They weren't just out there all willy nilly going where ever the wind blew. The problem was it was late at night and all the ships near them had called it a night because they didn't see any value in going to the bottom of the Atlantic. The titanic told the closest ship to them which was visible to "shut up" when they tried to warn the titanic and I believe this was at 1240. So that dude called it a night as the rest of everyone that wasn't headed to the bottom did that night.

    • Brad Sanders
      Brad Sanders Місяць тому +3

      There was ships close enough. The California was close enough to see. The problem was the captain and the suits at white star wanted to be in New York on time if not early so when they were warned by the California to stop or proceed with extreme caution titanic replied "shut up, I'm busy". So with that and the fact they were stopped for the night the radio operator killed the radio and went to bed.

    • Yacob
      Yacob Місяць тому

      I'm curious, how common would it be to sail past other ships in the middle of the ocean?

  • a
    a Місяць тому +1060

    As a Titanic enthusiast who loves to study about the Olympic class, this is legit some of the few actually decently researched videos about the Titanic. Nice job. Although you forgot to tell how people felt about lifeboats prior to the Titanic disaster


      it was mostly believed that there would always be a ship close enough to save people if a ship sank of course this would be proven false


      he also forgot to mention that there’s no way California could’ve reached titanic even if they knew she was sinking

    • Nikhil Sajwan
      Nikhil Sajwan Місяць тому +2

      @a gives whole new meaning to women and children only

    • Robbie👾
      Robbie👾 Місяць тому +1

      @Kenneth VanOosten wow. that is appalling. my heart goes out to everyone that passed and their families as well. but also, pics or didn't happen.
      sorry, jk.

    • Kenneth VanOosten
      Kenneth VanOosten Місяць тому +3

      @MICHAEL You referring to Titanics sister ship the RMS Britannnic which sunk off the coast of greece after hitting a mine in 1916? Of the 30 people who died, they were all in 3 of the lifeboats that were launched without the captain giving the order to do so and they ended up getting pulled into and minced by the port side propeller blades as the ship listed to starboard.

  • Double D 747
    Double D 747 Місяць тому +550

    Many passengers onboard refused to get into the lifeboats as they felt safer onboard the warm ship with the band playing and lights turned on. Going into a small wooden boat in the dark in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean was only a decision passengers made near the end when the ship was going under.

      MEMES FROM ATLANTA GEORGIA Місяць тому +14

      also a lot of people was scared of heights cause that 3 stories high and the davit would bounce up and down as the life boats lowered

    • Kenneth VanOosten
      Kenneth VanOosten Місяць тому +63

      That was certainly the case for my great great uncle Spencer silverthorne, a first class passenger traveling with several friends and business partners who survived the sinking. He was reluctant to get in a lifeboat at first, but after the rest of his group climbed into lifeboat 5 and begged him to do the same he did just as they were about to lower it, a decision that saved his life. The events of that night haunted him for the rest of his life up to his death in 1964.

    • Maxx
      Maxx Місяць тому +81

      Add that to the fact that the crew did not have trust in the capacity of the lifeboats and only boarded them with little over half their capacity even with the-albeit limited number of-willing passengers waiting on the boat deck and by the time that people realized how rapidly the ship was going down (which was not easy to make out since it was a pitch black, moonless night), most of the boats had gone and refused to come back to the sinking ship in fear of its suction

  • Tom Marshall
    Tom Marshall Місяць тому +336

    Missed out a HUGE detail about how a common belief at the time was lifeboats were MORE deadly than staying on a sinking ship. There had been infamous sinkings and ships stranded on rocks where passengers who entered lifeboats perished in rough seas where those who stayed onboard survived by simply waiting for rescue since the invention of the wireless telegraph. Obviously this wouldn't be applicable to those on Titanic but this was a massive contributer to why the law wasn't updated with larger ships. It was seen (incorrectly) at the time that the future of sea safety was though wireless telegraph and quick rescue rather than lifeboats.

    • Pavel Adamek
      Pavel Adamek 29 днів тому

      Why am I hearing/reading this for the first time just now. Great detail.

    • Larco D
      Larco D Місяць тому +16

      They mentioned the republic. But your right about that they could have mentioned the resulting 'lifeboatphobia'.

  • Desmond Hawkins
    Desmond Hawkins Місяць тому +462

    About the "CQD" message that was sent out: this was used before SOS and had the same meaning. The initials C.Q. are pronounced like the start of the French word _sécurité_ (safety), and D is for distress. SOS was adopted in 1906 but it took a little while for it to supplant CQD. SOS is simpler to send out as ... --- ... (compare to -.-. --.- -..). During the disaster, Titanic radio operator Jack Phillips initially sent CQD. Harold Bride, a junior radio operator, suggested using SOS joking that it might be their last chance to use the new code. They alternated between both while the radio was still operating. Bride survived to tell the story, while Philips died in the sinking. Check out their Wikipedia articles for more details.

    • is
      is Місяць тому +3

      @James S. And it's the same backwards and upside down.

    • Desmond Hawkins
      Desmond Hawkins Місяць тому +2

      @Prabhat Sourya Yes I've read that too about transmission issues. Another benefit of SOS is that its Morse code encoding is widely known, most people know the ...---... sequence even though they don't know any other letters in Morse. This is probably no longer relevant now that radio is everywhere, but for a while it served its purpose as a distress signal that was universally understood and could be sent by almost everyone - be it over telegraph or even light signals and flashing buoys.

    • James Bedu Graham
      James Bedu Graham Місяць тому +1

      @James S. May God keep the souls of those People who died in 1912.

    • Prabhat Sourya
      Prabhat Sourya Місяць тому +14

      @Desmond Hawkins I have read somewhere that CQD wasn't favored by wireless regulators, because a bad reception at the end of the receiver would receive a plain CQ transmission, missing out the D, which would turn a distress call into a non-distress call, potentially turning out to be fatal. On the other hand, there were no half-transmission possibilities for SOS, as the SO term had no meaning in the telegraph. Thus, a bad reception would also make the receiver realize that the ship intended to send an SOS code.
      This is the same reason why airlines have to triple-repeat distress callsigns, such as the disaster callsign, "Mayday-Mayday-Mayday", or the danger callsign "Pan-Pan-Pan", to avoid being confused with the regular radio communication.

    • Desmond Hawkins
      Desmond Hawkins Місяць тому +9

      @CobaltRose249 Some people also find it easy to remember it as "Seek[ing] You, Distress/Drowning", but both are mnemonic devices that someone came up with later, also called backronyms. CQD was standardized by the Marconi Company for maritime use with Circular 57 in 1904: "the call to be given by ships in distress or in any way requiring assistance shall be 'C Q D'", after CQ alone had been in use with land-based telegraphs to mean "general call"/"all stations". There was no general emergency signal on land, so operators understood CQD as "All stations: distress".

  • Oceanliner Designs
    Oceanliner Designs Місяць тому +308

    Possibly the best outlining of the reasoning behind Titanic's lifeboats I've seen in public discourse. Good job Vox!

    • Oceanliner Designs
      Oceanliner Designs Місяць тому +21

      @Vox That's awesome Coleman! Cheers :)

    • Vox
      Vox  Місяць тому +42

      Thanks Mike! I’m a fan of your Titanic videos. Coleman

  • AaronShenghao
    AaronShenghao Місяць тому +574

    Let's not forget, those are not modern lifeboats. There was a case where a ship was beached in rough sea, where women and children boarded lifeboats, only for them being smashed into pieces or overturned in the rough sea. Only men survived because the captain didn't launch more lifeboats.

    • Michael
      Michael 19 днів тому

      Consider it Karma for what women have done, prioritizing themsevs (75% survived) in favor of children (only 50% made it)

    • Me Here
      Me Here Місяць тому

      @Sam Wallace There's not one source on that, just opinions of people on mass, that can be found via searching.
      Not sure which part you're questioning, if it's why they didn't use the rafts or that the rafts were better, if the better is what you're questioning, then you can probably understand that easily with common sense, rather than needing to search all the opinions to confirm it. Apparently the inflatables were basically a raft design, hence why they stayed afloat after capsizing & one was found still afloat months later. Rafts at the time were made of kapok & cork, same as the life jackets. kapok is a pillow stuffing like fibre that is highly buoyant & it can be packed really tightly to give even more buoyancy. It grows natively on trees in Indonesia & that is where it was sourced from

    • Me Here
      Me Here Місяць тому +8

      @AaronShenghao Life rafts of the time were actually a much better option than life boats, but they were seen as something natives in lands they had colonised used, not something the upper class would consider!
      The launch location on the Titanic was actually the problem too, not the life boat numbers, more boats wouldn't have changed anything

    • TangentUSSR
      TangentUSSR Місяць тому +3

      @AaronShenghao I know him, his contents are fantastic

    • AaronShenghao
      AaronShenghao Місяць тому +5

      I recommend Big Old Boats who covered many sinkings at the time. Including the sinking of SS Clallam which is the sinking I was talking about.

  • Ethan Robinson
    Ethan Robinson Місяць тому +310

    Every 90s/00s kid who went through a big enough Titanic phase in their preteen years to make it part of their literal identity thanks you for this video.

    • Eric Connor
      Eric Connor Місяць тому

      I watched the film at the time but it certainly did not lead to any 'phases' it is just a film about a dying rich woman whose best memory in life is having a one night stand in a car with a homeless man. I felt sorry for her husband.

    • kcjdhfjfj
      kcjdhfjfj Місяць тому +1

      i remember going through a titanic rabbithole and listening to all the radio messages that were sent

    • Nigel Bryant
      Nigel Bryant Місяць тому

      Amen brother

    • Quantum Diaming
      Quantum Diaming Місяць тому +2

      Agreed. It made me realize it's okay not to be rich and have fun with it.

    • Ethan Robinson
      Ethan Robinson Місяць тому +14

      @Ash Mein I love this perspective so much and it’s SO true! I think the word for it is “sonder”-the realization that everyone around you leads complex and intricate lives just as much as your own. Such an important part of making history come to life is realizing these weren’t just figures in old photographs but real people with feelings and memories and relationships!!

  • Flarelia
    Flarelia Місяць тому +656

    5:38 - One of the big reasons why some lifeboats were put into the water not all the way full is because they could see the lights of the Californian, and thought they would just be ferrying back and forth.


      @dep73 it doesn’t matter anyways cause there’s no way they could get its engines up and running in time to save people


      that is completely false i have no idea where you’re getting that information because in reality the reason they was actually lowered half empty was cause people refused to get in life boats most people didn’t believe it would actually sink too most people it looked like either stay in my warm room or go out into the freezing cold and be lowered in a life boat over 3 storys of cold water while the life boats bounced up and down a bit while being lowered cause although the davits were extremely safe they did have a tendency to bounce due to them being a little bit flimsy

    • DurosKlav
      DurosKlav Місяць тому +1

      @FORMAT Channel He was also a bit too much of a stickler for women and children first. He could have saved more people.

    • Fluppi
      Fluppi Місяць тому +2

      I have never read that in any of the witness accounts. The main reason why they weren't full seemed to be that they were in a hurry and there simply weren't enough people there that wanted to get in. They wanted to look yes, they were cruious but they didn't want to get in. Add to that that one officer on one side took women and children first seriously by denying men entry and the other one on the other side just put in women and children first and then filled them up with whatever man was there. They had to lower them quickly and since they couldn't get them full, it was better to lower them at half capacity. They could be filled later so they thought.

    • FiringallCylinders
      FiringallCylinders Місяць тому +4

      The Titanic operator also told the Californian to shut up after the Californian told them ice was spotted.

  • joko tri
    joko tri Місяць тому +329

    I never cried watching Titanic for God knows how many times. But I teared up to the last messages before the boat sunk, you can read how desperate they are for help.

    • LadyinRed
      LadyinRed Місяць тому +2

      Weirdly enough, I found myself teary eyed on this video too.

    • VikingTheDude
      VikingTheDude Місяць тому +12

      it's cuz of the violinists bro. They get me every time

    • Archie Soluna
      Archie Soluna Місяць тому +2

      @OrangeLake id love to watch it, do u have a link?

    • OrangeLake
      OrangeLake Місяць тому +24

      There is also a video about the Titanic's communications and the desparation is felt when the operator is asking for help from any nearby ship

  • Lewis Massie
    Lewis Massie Місяць тому +95

    Another thing, while the Titanic did sink, it took a very long time to do so. Most ships of the time would sink within 20 minutes of being struck. The compartmentalised Titanic held on for over 2 hours, which in and of itself is a triumph of the design.

    • Lizzie Johnson
      Lizzie Johnson 29 днів тому

      If most ships sank within 20 minutes, why did their first signal go out after 35 ? (If I heard correctly) just wondering as I don't know all that much about the various circumstances


      @Me Here most ships that stuck out for 20 hours would’ve had small damage most ships wouldn’t have last 20 hours anyways most ships would’ve last more around 5+ hours with less damage that titanic


      @Me Here so nobody knows about lusitania?

    • David Renton
      David Renton Місяць тому +1

      @Me Here most ships would sink with a list, rendering 1 side of the ships lifeboats unusable, the titanic went down pretty much without a list.

    • 221 b
      221 b Місяць тому +1

      @Jodi J I know but the guy said ocean liners didn't sink in 20 minutes and they did, Empress being an example. You can say for any ship if x didn't happen she wouldn't have sunk.

  • Divo Ario
    Divo Ario Місяць тому +356

    Titanic: "We're undefeated, we can hold until 4 compartments breached!"
    Iceberg: "let's try 5"

    • GamingwithArlen
      GamingwithArlen Місяць тому +7

      6 technically

    • Maxx
      Maxx Місяць тому +58

      The tragedy becomes worse when you look at the damage found on the wreck. The hole in the hindmost compartment was mere centimeters long. If the angle of the collision would have been just slightly different the ship might have made it.

  • diego arias
    diego arias Місяць тому +182

    One interesting side note the Marconi operators were employees of the Marconi wireless company that shipping lines would rent out their services. Titanic's Marconi operators were officially second class passengers and there machine broke halfway though the voyage. Per company policy they should have not attempted to repair it instead wait until the next port of call but they fixed it themselves and prevented an even worse disaster from happening.

    • piratesswoop
      piratesswoop Місяць тому

      It was the same for the musicians and the Guarantee Group.

    • joy
      joy Місяць тому +14

      @Me Here they didn’t not “abuse” the other ship? after repairing the wireless and there was pressure on them to send out a bunch of personal messages from first class passengers + receiving more as they were trying to catch up. it’s very understandable that they were stressed and gave the californian attitude. your comment kinda gives off vibes that jack& harold were at fault and they most definitely were not

    • Naenae Gaming
      Naenae Gaming Місяць тому +17

      @Me Here Abused is a strong word, considering Philips and Bride had been working throughout the day and late into the night sending messages back and forth for 1st Class passengers on the maiden voyage, only to be interrupted by the strong and extremely loud warnings from the nearby Californian.
      EDIT: As pointed out by another reply, the pair also had to repair the wireless earlier that day (despite Marconi’s policy being not to until arrival in port, their violation of this policy saving 700 lives), which delayed their ability to convey the many messages sent to and from the ship.

    • Me Here
      Me Here Місяць тому +8

      That's interesting. We all know about how they abused the nearby ship & that that might have helped cause the lack of response, but I've never heard about the broken wireless before. Kinda changes how they should be viewed doesn't it!

  • 123rockfan
    123rockfan Місяць тому +175

    It still boggles my mind that there hasn’t been a drama about the legal repercussions. Would make for a dramatic and emotional film

    • is
      is Місяць тому +1

      I remember the stories of the White Star Line sending bills to the families of their crew that died. Imagine sending a bill to a grieving family...when it was your fault they died!

    • btomimatsucunard
      btomimatsucunard Місяць тому +8

      @Matt van den Ham Oh no not that hogwash

    • Matt van den Ham
      Matt van den Ham Місяць тому +1

      look into the conspiracy behind the titanic and you'll understand why

    • Nathan Seper
      Nathan Seper Місяць тому +2

      The public inquiry was pretty intense.

    • Derek Ninabuck
      Derek Ninabuck Місяць тому +15

      the only one I can think of is a docudrama film called "The Titanic Inquiry" which you can find on amazon video, it focuses on the SS Californian section of the British Inquiry(unfortunately no films have been made of the full inquiry that I no of)

  • Osteo Striga
    Osteo Striga Місяць тому +255

    I can't even imagine the survivor's guilt the survivors must've felt

    • Don Nix
      Don Nix Місяць тому

      @Osteo Striga Encyclopedia Titanica has a bio on him. Also if you feel like, Wikipedia has a page just dedicated to the lifeboat he was on “RMS Titanic lifeboat one.” It goes in on detail about the most controversial lifeboat from titanic’s wreck.

    • Osteo Striga
      Osteo Striga Місяць тому +1

      @Don Nix Oh, wow, that's really cool!

    • Don Nix
      Don Nix Місяць тому +4

      My great grandfather was a crewman on Titanic, he survived thanks to Officer Murdoch, a great man who was falsely portrayed as a murderer in Cameron’s film. Albert Horswill was my great grandfather, he never spoke much or at all regarding Titanic.

    • CrayCray Wolf
      CrayCray Wolf Місяць тому +1

      @Osteo Striga Hindsight is 20/20

    • Blue Bliss Productions
      Blue Bliss Productions Місяць тому

      @kcjdhfjfj That’s what I meant

  • Hi, Im Chase!
    Hi, Im Chase! Місяць тому +104

    The captain of the Carpathia is buried in my village, thank god they were still operating their communications that night, or a great tragedy would have been even more tragic.

    • David Fortier
      David Fortier Місяць тому +30

      Captain Rostron could not have handled the situation better. He turned the ship around, ordered much of the crew to stoking and turned off the heat, the hot water and most of the lights. An RL example of "all power to the engines". The Carpathia was designed to go 15.5kt. During sea trials her top speed was declared to be 14.5kt but that morning she made almost 17kt, getting them there 30min faster that they would have at the ship's usual top speed.

    • Hi, Im Chase!
      Hi, Im Chase! Місяць тому +2

      @Adam Wiethuechter I did not know that! Thanks for the knowledge

    • Adam Wiethuechter
      Adam Wiethuechter Місяць тому +30

      In fact it almost wasn't. The Second Officer of the Carpathia was an enthusiast of the Marconi Wireless and shadowed their operator during his off-times. Wireless operators were contracted out exclusively through the Marconi Wireless Company back then. He had come down after his shift at midnight to the wireless room and asked if the set could be turned on so he could amuse himself and listen to the late night traffic. Thankfully the operator, who was still awake and had been listening to Titanic send messages to Cape Race (a shore relay station for passenger messages) obliged the personal request turning the set on to hear the distress call and jumped into action.

  • Flarelia
    Flarelia Місяць тому +151

    4:33 - Yes, because they had tried and failed to avoid it. No one on the bridge was going to be the guy to go, “hey let’s ram an iceberg head on”, even though in hindsight that probably would have saved the ship.

    • David Renton
      David Renton Місяць тому

      James Cameron did a early 2000's discussion with experts , it's somewhere on the internet. In it , to be fair, he notes he was wrong on several aspects , such as the break and tilt, after careful examination, but one of the proposals I remember, was that had they rammed it on purpose, then there is a good chance it would have not gone down.

    • H.M.A.S. Admiral Superray
      H.M.A.S. Admiral Superray Місяць тому +5

      Assuming they rammed the iceberg head on and survived, the aftermath would be really weird as turning the ship would have been logical at the time.

    • Ron
      Ron Місяць тому +8

      @Will C yeah, they did nothing wrong, they didn't know

    • Will C
      Will C Місяць тому +56

      @Ron Assuming they even had the wherewithall to realise a head-on collision would have saved the ship (which it's unlikely they did, especially given the lack of time to react), it's the classic trolley problem. I can't see they'd ever be able to come to any other decision than to try and avoid the iceberg. Imagine the aftermath when it was revealed they rammed it head-on deliberately. No one would have believed that trying to avoid it would cause more deaths.

  • Hayley Ruth
    Hayley Ruth Місяць тому +40

    Great video! The discussion of why people refused life boats, I think, makes more sense when you consider the SS Claham disaster happened less than 10 years prior to Titanic. In that case everyone who boarded life boats drowned while the men who stayed aboard realized they were sinking slower than they thought and were rescued. That was undoubtedly fresh in people's minds.
    It's logical that many thought they'd be safer onboard than in a tiny boat being lowered 10 stories down to the freezing, wide ocean.

  • bmused55
    bmused55 Місяць тому +55

    I'm glad you covered the changes made to safety at sea in the wake of the Titanic's sinking. So often, documentaries focus on the tragedy, the mistakes and the deaths. They rarely include the positive changes that were made.

  • Derpy Possum
    Derpy Possum Місяць тому +57

    I’m…genuinely surprised.
    Usually mainstream channels like this get at least half of their facts wrong when discussing Titanic, either purposely dramatizing things or buying into myths and legends for a quick turnaround or what have you. But this was very well-researched, by contrast. Aside from the statistics of those aboard (2,208 were on the ship that night, and 712 survived), almost everything was completely correct, and that’s really impeccable when considering that this isn’t a Titanic-oriented channel. Well done indeed! 👍
    For anyone reading this comment, I’d fully recommend checking out the book “On A Sea Of Glass: The Life & Loss of the RMS Titanic” by Tad Fitch, J. Kent Layton and Bill Wormstedt. It’s an extremely extensive book discussing the disaster and it’s surrounding history, with a brilliant collection of information for anyone wanting to learn more about this event :)

  • Samuel Schulthies
    Samuel Schulthies Місяць тому +23

    I think it’s worth it to note too that even if she did have enough lifeboats, would Titanic actually had enough time to deploy all of them? Her last lifeboat was a collapsible, improperly deployed as the bow took its final plunge just minutes before the entire ship was gone. It’s possible that even with plenty of lifeboats, many would have gone down with the ship

  • Joe
    Joe Місяць тому +20

    Also, modern bulkheads are fully enclosed boxes with a “roof” on them that is also watertight. This protects against the spillover shown on the titanic (although the shear weight of fully flooded bulkheads can still pull a ship down). Early bulkheads had open tops, so… not good.

    • Ben
      Ben Місяць тому +2

      Titanic still would've sank with higher bulkheads as 5 compartments would still not give her enough reserve buoyancy to stay afloat.

  • Laura Silva
    Laura Silva Місяць тому +16

    I am actually in the middle of reading Violet Jessop's book - the stewardess who survived both the sinking of Titanic and the Britannic - and it's one thing to read transcripts from the official Titanic inquiries that happened afterward, where they give a rather dry account of the event, it's another thing to read "Nobody, John, was taking the seriousness of anything," from an old plucky Irish immigrant.

  • Davin Peterson
    Davin Peterson Місяць тому +88

    Back in 1912, lifeboats weren't seen as lifesavers, but rather to transport people from a distressed ship to a rescue ship. This is why they didn't think it was necessary to have enough lifeboats for everyone aboard the ship. J Bruce Ismay had ordered extra lfieboats be removed because he though the deck look to cluttered

    • FORMAT Channel
      FORMAT Channel Місяць тому +3

      @David Renton Designer Alexander Carlyle in 1909 developed a variant according to which the Olympic (and later the Titanic) should have had 48 or 64 boats, but this project was not approved. Firstly, this was not indicated by the British Council of Trade, and secondly, the location of the boats turned out to be very inconvenient. The whole deck turned out to be crowded with boats, and not only on the sides, but also in the center. Such a number of boats simply would not have had time to lower.

    • FORMAT Channel
      FORMAT Channel Місяць тому

      @Davin Peterson On any large liner of that time, only half of the people installed boats, it was not only on the Titanic.

    • David Renton
      David Renton Місяць тому +1

      @FORMAT Channel there was a documentary where there was an order with a Swedish company to have 48 , then 32 lifeboats. The design spec was sent to harland and wolff, but it appears the White Star line rejected it.
      The documentation still exist as does the company AB Welin, and would have used double davits.

    • Davin Peterson
      Davin Peterson Місяць тому

      @Jean Scuissiato I wasn't sure about that, but a documentary showed him approving the removal of extra lifeboats

  • monsterq6
    monsterq6 Місяць тому +28

    This video was so beautifully done, I teared up thinking about the desperate signalmen tapping all night long. So terrifying to put yourself in their shoes.

  • David Cordes
    David Cordes Місяць тому +54

    An interesting side note - more lifeboats would not have made a difference. Only 18 of the 20 boats (14 wooden lifeboats, 2 wooden emergency cutters, and 2 collapsibles) were properly launched. More lifeboats in this scenario would have remained in there davits as the ship went down.

    • Hugo S
      Hugo S Місяць тому

      @Lnksy Olympic never got electric davits. She kept the Wellins Titanic also had.

    • Me Here
      Me Here Місяць тому

      @Kenneth VanOosten so transfer people between lifeboats after launch & then rehoist the now empty ones back up to the top of Titanic & refill - as was the purpose of lifeboats back then, except to another ship rather than another lifeboat.
      If the time & difficulty in manually launching weren't issues, this presumably is what would have been done, since it's what's consistent with the protocols they were working to at the time. The first ones weren't fully launched because women were reluctant to board & one of the officers refused to load men, sending them half empty instead, it's been suggested he may have been a little bit Forest Gump like, good at his job, but unable to think beyond following orders to the letter, so he wasn't able to use common sense & realise if no more women wanted to board, logically he should put men on, but whatever the case, once those boats were in the water, away from Titanic, shouldn't have been an issue to put them next to each other & transfer the women between them, telling them they needed to do so, so that the boats could go back for their husbands. Problem of course was there wasn't time for that.
      Additionally, they actually should have transferred them to empty at least one boat in the water anyway, even if not returning to hoist up & collect more, cause crews onboard those lifeboats should have realised there were going to be people in the water they could rescue if they didn't already have passengers onboard they needed to think of the safety of

    • Kenneth VanOosten
      Kenneth VanOosten Місяць тому +1

      Exactly, nearly 500 more people could have been saved that night if the crew had been properly trained to fill and launch the boats. Several of the first ones launched were only filled to between a third and a half capacity (one only had 12 people in it).

    • Maxx
      Maxx Місяць тому +3

      @James S. Some of the boats did end up overloaded and they all made it to Carpathia

    • James S.
      James S. Місяць тому +4

      There just would have been twice as many half filled boats. They didn't even use the boats they had to capacity. With the calm seas they could have probably been overloaded by 10% and been safe.

  • TankNoob
    TankNoob Місяць тому +39

    Surprised to see an actual good Titanic related video. I can see the creator of this video actually made some research and isn't talking non-sense. Good job Vox!! Subscriber earned

    • Bob Custer
      Bob Custer Місяць тому +1

      Very surprising...coming from Vox.

  • Titanic
    Titanic Місяць тому +8

    One addition:
    Not only could the watertight doors be lowered from the bridge, they also automatically closed once a compartment began filling with water due to a mechanism inside the bulkhead itself.

  • Aguilar De Nehra
    Aguilar De Nehra Місяць тому +67

    Just to let everyone know ..there were actually there sister ships nearly identical except for some interior changes
    RMS Titanic
    RMS Olympic
    RMS Britannic
    Which were the reason why lot a of theories were made claiming "Titanic never sank", "they lied about Titanic" etc etc

    • Kyle Englot
      Kyle Englot Місяць тому +1

      Titanic had a completely different B deck configuration compared to the Olympic. The Olympic's B deck was mainly a 2nd passenger promenade that was barely even used as passengers preferred the one on A deck anyways. So when Titanic was being constructed they got rid of the mid deck promenade and instead filled the majority of the deck with extra luxury first class suites that extended to the full widths of B deck. They also installed the Cafe Parisian which was exclusive to Titanic at the time as the Olympic didn't have one at first. They eventually added one to the Olympic years later and in a completely different location more towards the forward part of B Deck. And of course enclosing half of the A deck promenade because it provided more shelter from high winds and sea overspray to keep the passengers more comfortable.

    • Bayous Bambino
      Bayous Bambino Місяць тому

      It was HMHS 'Britannic'. It never went into mail service.

    • Sir Boomsalot
      Sir Boomsalot Місяць тому +13

      “Some interior changes” is a bit of an understatement. Each of the Olympics was larger than the last, and they all had major differences (Britannic was different enough that she could almost be considered half-sister to Titanic and Olympic imo)

  • Dantastic
    Dantastic Місяць тому +11

    I read somewhere that, considering the time it takes for a ship of this size to sink, and the time it takes for a crew to service and deploy a life boat, adding more boats wouldn't really change anything, since you could only deploy so many boats in the time it takes the ship to sink

    • Me Here
      Me Here Місяць тому

      yeh, launching lifeboats from closer to the water, so less time to launch, or using life rafts were the options to genuinely save more lives. If they had had a pile of cheap life rafts stacked up next to the 20 lifeboats, people could have ridden them off the ship, without capsising, like one of the unlaunched lifeboats did

    • Maxx
      Maxx Місяць тому +1

      By the time they were getting the collapsibles ready water was rushing up onto the boat deck and they just floated away (as seen in the movie)

  • Austin Reed
    Austin Reed Місяць тому +19

    Honestly, I completely forgot that Rose and Andrews scene after I watched the movie. It’s wild how tragic that one line really is.

  • Dominion Sorcerer
    Dominion Sorcerer Місяць тому +23

    One vital thing a lot of people forget with the Titanic is that more lifeboats probably wouldn't have saved any more lives. By the time the last real lifeboats had been lowered and it was only the collapsible boats left, the Titanic had less than ten minutes left before it sunk. Those additional lifeboats would have gone down with the ship.

    • Dominion Sorcerer
      Dominion Sorcerer Місяць тому +2

      @221 b most people didn't really panic until the Titanic was about ten minutes into its final plunge, by which point all lifeboats had already been launched. The Titanic had 16 lifeboats and it took them 12:45 am and went down under at 2:20 am, so with the davits they had, it's unlikely they would have been able to launch more. Instead of doing anything with the collapsible they would have continued launching more lifeboats.
      Remember, the Titanic developed a significant list to the port, so significant in fact that the crew working on Collapsible A were in the process of attaching the ship to the davits even as the port side of the bridge deck was beginning to go underwater because they didn't fully realise how much the ship had already sunk.

    • 221 b
      221 b Місяць тому

      Depends... Titanic had the new Davits, they had the feature that they could swing backwards into the deck and easily pick up a boat on a second row, launch that and then launch the outer boat. It took time setting up each davit so by having one set of davits to rig up for two boats would have saved some time and improved efficiency. Especially at first when the deck is level, they launched the boats in fast intervalls. And also one crew can prepare two boats, you stand between the two and you can quickly take the covers off, through in some bread.
      And since both boats are on deck level they are easy to get into, so loading the passengers is the same process, just one boat width further in on the second boat. So I think they could gotten quite a few boats off. You gotta remember those 4 collapsibles especially A and B up on the roof took a long time to launch and prep. So instead of wasting time on those they could have easily launched several boats by davity earlier on before it got as bad as when the collapsibles where being dealt with.
      Also having enough boats the panic could have been controlled better, so people could have boarded more orderly, especially towards the last boats aft and instead of wasting time sorting passengers you just through anyone in there because it doesn't matter.
      So I think it's plausible they could have maybe launched 25-30 boats and filled them up more. Lightoller had hundreds of men on his side he refused to let in a boat.

    • Naenae Gaming
      Naenae Gaming Місяць тому +4

      @Dominion Sorcerer Only Britannic received gantry davits - Olympic would have required an even more extensive refit to reinforce the Boat Deck and A Deck below to support said gantry davits, hence the decision to only fit additional welin davits

    • Dominion Sorcerer
      Dominion Sorcerer Місяць тому +8

      @Lnksy which were only installed on those two in direct response to the Titanic's sinking, as that event fundamentally changed how people thought of sinking ships.

    • Lnksy
      Lnksy Місяць тому +3

      If they had the electric davits they installed on Britannic and Olympic, they would have been able to launch them much faster.

  • Minh Trần Bình
    Minh Trần Bình Місяць тому +3

    We need to appreciate the effort put in by the editors to create such an amazing visual illustrations for this video! Always love Vox's videos

  • Alex Shine
    Alex Shine Місяць тому +3

    They briefly touch on the incredibly interesting involvement of the Californian, and the story about it's captain, his potential negligence and/or laziness, the stigma and ruined reputation that followed him for the rest of his life, and just how differently things might've have gone for the people on Titanic if the Californian had behaved differently.

  • bag3lmonst3r
    bag3lmonst3r Місяць тому +103

    Because "I cannot conceive of any vital disaster happening to this vessel. Modern shipbuilding has gone beyond that." -Captain Smith

    • Sir Boomsalot
      Sir Boomsalot Місяць тому +16

      In his defense, Captain Smith was referring to the RMS Adriatic in that quote, which actually had a very long, successful, and mostly accident-free career (with the exception of a gas explosion in 1922 that killed 5 crewmen). Honestly, all of the big four were absolute beasts of ships; for example, the first ship RMS Celtic took both a mine *and* a torpedo (on separate voyages) and shrugged them off. One can only imagine if Andrews was actually allowed to build the Olympics how he wanted to (with bulkheads going all the way to C deck and a full double hull)

    • Boris Müller
      Boris Müller Місяць тому +7

      “Hubris? What’s that?”

    TESSIE PINKMAN Місяць тому +11

    Fantastic video! I've always had a deep interest of everything Titanic-related, and you made a video that scratched that itch I've had for a while for something *new* that I haven't already seen 3157 times :) *Thank you for always keeping us informed, Vox!*

  • Alexandru Carjan
    Alexandru Carjan Місяць тому +21

    Also at the time the lifeboats weren't made to accommodate the entire passenger capacity of the ships, they were meant as ferry's to transfer passengers from the sinking ship to rescue ships

    • Me Here
      Me Here Місяць тому

      @Jodi J wow, I never realised that. I guess it makes sense. Only thing that doesn't make sense is why more lifeboats didn't use those materials in them

    • Me Here
      Me Here Місяць тому

      @Jodi J what was collapsible A/all the collapsibles made of? I've never actually looked into that. Did it have kapok or other highly buoyant fibres as part of it's make up?

    • Jodi J
      Jodi J Місяць тому +3

      @Me Here, indeed - and in fact, Collapsible A was found a few months later still floating in the water, even though it had been swamped the night of the sinking.

    • Me Here
      Me Here Місяць тому +2

      @Maxx To be clear though, Titanic's life jackets were made of Kapok fibre enclosed in canvas. This same technique was used at the time to make life rafts, that were effectively unsinkable & if they capsised, that just means flipping over & people can sit on the other side just as easily as the first side

  • Maxx
    Maxx Місяць тому +18

    Thank you for this video!! I always roll my eyes at the myth that the titanics lifeboat capacity was just sheer negligence or disregard for 3rd class passengers. Yes health and safety were not nearly what they are today in 1912 but the idea that White Star Line would straight up commit manslaughter is ridiculous - and James Camerons movie didn’t exactly help with debunking that

    • DurosKlav
      DurosKlav Місяць тому +2

      Ya there were no locked gates preventing the 3rd Class passengers from getting to the boats. It was mostly a lot of non english speakers unfamiliar with the boat and unable to navigate the corridors to reach safety.

    • Stephen Arbon
      Stephen Arbon Місяць тому +1

      The 3 ships were designed to have additional life boats to meet a proposed changes to the British regulations.
      But the requirements were delayed, and so shipping company decided not to install them, probably because they didn't have to and they were expensive, although they did of course to the other two, after the Titanic sank.

    • Derpy Possum
      Derpy Possum Місяць тому +1

      It’s also even more ridiculous when considering that the ship had 4 more boats that what it was initially designed with.

  • Trevor Todor
    Trevor Todor Місяць тому +2

    The story of Titanic is a timeless tragedy. Iceberg. Maiden voyage. The band plays on as the ship goes down. RIP to those that lost lost their lives

  • Linus Law
    Linus Law Місяць тому +5

    Oh that makes so much more sense... the titanic book I read as a kid gave me the impression that there were 16 hulls layered over each other or something. I was like "why would you have 16 hulls if breaking to the 11th would sink you? Wouldn't it make more sense to have it only sink when the last hull is breached?" Lol

  • Teet
    Teet Місяць тому +1

    fun fact : Back than, lifeboats were also mainly built to ferry passengers to nearby aiding vessels should a ship run into any troubles on its voyage as ship builders thought that the actual ship would stay afloat long enough to be salvaged and/or brought back to port for repairs.

  • Outcast Redeemer
    Outcast Redeemer Місяць тому +1

    She was built the strongest and fought the hardest and in her memory, the world was changed. Truly the ship of dreams.

  • stolenshortsword
    stolenshortsword Місяць тому +16

    excellent content as always vox. I'm really glad you're here on youtube.

  • HoennMaster
    HoennMaster Місяць тому +11

    If any ship was unsinkable it was Titanic's sister RMS Olympic. She had a secondary career as a demolition derby player and survived a torpedo attack.

    • S_AME
      S_AME Місяць тому

      @Emma Madison not the Olympic

    • Emma Madison
      Emma Madison Місяць тому

      If it can float it can sink

    • HoennMaster
      HoennMaster Місяць тому +2

      @Crissy Dee What can I say. Olympic loved hitting other ships 🤷🏻‍♂️ Collided with three ships in her career plus sank a U-Boat in WW1

    • Jodi J
      Jodi J Місяць тому +2

      @Crissy Dee, rammed and sank a U-Boat during the war, and then rammed and sank a light boat in 1934.

    • Crissy Dee
      Crissy Dee Місяць тому +2


  • Semechki for Putin
    Semechki for Putin Місяць тому

    I feel like even without expecting a sinking, it would havebeen a good idea to pair the titanic's maiden voyage with another ship on the same route in case something didn't work out with the totally untested new ship. though I suppose the public might have paid attention to that, and would have seen it as a sign of low confidence.

  • Steve D
    Steve D Місяць тому +2

    That was just brilliantly done. Thank you for putting this together.

  • Настя Денис
    Настя Денис Місяць тому

    Thank you for your video. Titanic was always a mystery for me. Your video was concise and elaborate. It's such a pity that the milestone happened and such a few amount of people was rescued

  • Tyler Hackner
    Tyler Hackner Місяць тому +4

    Thank you for this historical content. Was thinking if more lifeboats would’ve made the difference

    • Me Here
      Me Here Місяць тому +4

      no, it actually wouldn't have, launch time was the issue - it took too long to launch, cause of their location on the top deck. Rafts that could be thrown into the ocean/ridden off the sinking ship would have made a big difference, as would storing the lifeboats lower on the ship

  • 王ノ山・クロプセ
    王ノ山・クロプセ Місяць тому +34

    To think that the Titanic could've survived had it rammed head-on to that iceberg instead of heeding that emergency manoeuvre.

    • Aaron Wicklam
      Aaron Wicklam Місяць тому +2

      That is a possibility, however without actually evidence as to the size and shape of the iceberg there is no way of knowing if the ship could have. Also without known that actual shape and size of the berg there is also know way of knowing if Murdoch turning the ship would have prevented the ship from striking the berg. But I suspect that Murdoch along with the other officers would have familiarized themselves the pilot card. If he had, he would have known the Titanic's characteristics and maneuverability this aiding his decision to avoid the iceberg.

    • James S.
      James S. Місяць тому +1

      I wasn't being conceited. Wasn't my intention. I agree with you. I also agreed with the one I was responding to.

    • Maxx
      Maxx Місяць тому +12

      @James S. ”People never think of the alternatives” No captain in their right mind would favor a head on collision over a potential near miss, a hit the ship would survive or a hit with a successful evacuation. Before Titanic, no oceanliner had ever hit an iceberg in such a way. You can be conceited as much as you like now, after the fact but Smith made the right call, especially given what little time he had to act.

    • James S.
      James S. Місяць тому +2

      @Sir Boomsalot
      That's the problem. 20-20 hindsight. People never think of the alternatives and maybe things aren't as bad as they could be. Even as bad as it was, it could have been worse. The ship could have lost power and no messages sent. The Titanic would have just been another ship that disappeared in the Atlantic. Lifeboats would have been found eventually. Maybe a few dozen could be saved if discovered in time.
      At least they had the psychological advantage of knowing they tried their best to miss the berg.

    • Sir Boomsalot
      Sir Boomsalot Місяць тому +17

      Of course, had Titanic never turned and hit the iceberg head on, then Murdoch would have been arrested and court martialed for not trying to avoid the iceberg and getting potentially hundreds of passengers in the bow killed.

  • MrOtto
    MrOtto Місяць тому +4

    A wise man once said: "Having too much confidence can often be just as bad as having none at all."

  • Ralph Edison
    Ralph Edison Місяць тому +3

    8:06 I'm glad you gave a quick explanation at the end as to how you generated these visuals. I hadn't thought about it or appreciated it before but I did think they were really well done. Great video!

  • fin screenname
    fin screenname Місяць тому +1

    Couple things, going in life boats back in the day almost meant certain death. Two ships just before the Titanic was built suffered damage and all that took to the lifeboats died and the ships didnt sink so everyone who stayed on the ships were rescued and lived. Even today's cruise ships, everyone sees those big orange and white lifeboat tenders and think that's enough for everyone, it is not. The rest (mostly crew) have to board those large inflatable cubes and deal with the ocean in a giant bouncy house.

  • DavidRGD
    DavidRGD Місяць тому +27

    Nowadays, the term "unsinkable" comes off as sarcasm. One ship they believe that would never sink, had already sank, and that was probably it.

    • Derpy Possum
      Derpy Possum Місяць тому +1

      Interestingly though, several ships were still being called unsinkable after the Titanic’s sinking, oddly enough. Olympic was claimed to be unsinkable after receiving modifications as a result of the Titanic disaster, there were multiple warships that were claimed to be unsinkable, and I think there was even an oil rig that was called unsinkable.

    • Samson Soturian
      Samson Soturian Місяць тому

      @Maxx you should see the level of paranoia around plane crashes

    • Maxx
      Maxx Місяць тому +1

      Back then it would have probably sounded more ridiculous than it does today. Shipwrecks were very common before and at the beginning of the 20th century. People knew that boarding a ship came with a risk. If anything, we overestimate our safety at the hands of nature today

    • Samson Soturian
      Samson Soturian Місяць тому +1

      Except when speaking of Cyprus. When that place is called the unsinkable aircraft carrier, they mean it.

  • James Groccia
    James Groccia Місяць тому +1

    For the time, Titanic’s 20 lifeboats were actually above the regulations of her time. And her Welin quadrant davits could hold extra boats inboard from the set that people could see. Of course that would probably clutter the deck space, and actually end up resulting in more casualties than 1500+ because it took the crew nearly 3 hours to launch all 20 lifeboats. Yes the capacity inside the boats totaled less than Titanic’s total carriage, but at her time it was believed if she ran into trouble there’d be enough ships nearby so the lifeboats could be used as ferries.

  • Farah Ibrahim
    Farah Ibrahim Місяць тому

    Love this a lot! From the wonderfully voiced narration to the use of graphics, what an amazingly informative & engaging piece. Great job!

  • rtyuu999
    rtyuu999 Місяць тому +9

    Even if they had enough lifeboats, they probably wouldn't have had enough time to deploy them all. Lifeboats 19 and 20 weren't deployed in time when the Titanic went down so survivors clinged to the overturned lifeboat

    • Lnksy
      Lnksy Місяць тому +1

      The reason Collapsible A and B weren’t able to be launched quickly was because they were placed on top of the officer’s quarters and there was no easy way to get them down.

    • Me Here
      Me Here Місяць тому +1


  • AlexElectricX
    AlexElectricX Місяць тому +1

    Man I have been obsessed with the Titanic since the early 90s. Great well researched video Vox! Thank you for making this :D

  • jj
    jj Місяць тому

    It's such a shame that by trying to avoid hitting the iceberg they actually made it worse, as it scraped along the side. If it had just been a bit less damage to 4 compartments it would have stayed afloat

  • BroAnarchy
    BroAnarchy Місяць тому +1

    That side by side picture of the Olympic , with the change of the life boats is surprising. Even to this day, its sad to think that it took such a tragic maritime disaster to initiate such change for ships on the open Seas....

  • ᑎOOᑎEᔕᑭEᖇᖴEᑕT
    ᑎOOᑎEᔕᑭEᖇᖴEᑕT Місяць тому +1

    Tragic incident. Sadly, back then requirement of no. of boats was based on tonnage capacity of ship itself and not on the passenger capacity back, so they go by the law (which not always work until something happens like this). Nonetheless lifeboats viewed as transport instead lifesaving or evacuation as whole. Unfortunately other events like communication, warning signals, speed and ramming to iceberg not got in the favor of Titanic as well. James Cameron did quiet well research about technical aspect of these and showed up most of the details very well in the movie. It was always fascinating to watch anything related to Titanic. Great job Vox doing in simple manner.

  • Rachel Broughton
    Rachel Broughton Місяць тому

    Very interesting! From watching the movie (which is reasonably historically accurate in other aspects!) it really makes it seem like they didn’t put more lifeboats due to arrogance. Very interesting to hear some of the context behind it!

  • SiVlog
    SiVlog Місяць тому +12

    There was another, often unspoken aspect with the rules of wireless communication at the time that played a part. Messages from one ship to another, specifically ones intended for the Captain of the ship, such as weather warnings, had to be prefixed with the code "MSG", short for "Master Service Gram". Crucially, while the wireless operator on the Californian, Cyril Evens, did broadcast an ice warning, he didn't prefix his warning with that code, leading to Titanic's operator, John Phillips, to fire back an angry response:
    "Shut up! You're jamming the frequency, I'm working Cape Race [Newfoundland, Canada],"
    It was Evens mistake, but he seemed to have faced no consequences for his mistake (as far as I've seen, having visited Titanic Experience, Belfast, Northern Ireland)

    • SiVlog
      SiVlog Місяць тому

      @Jean Scuissiato given that he had turned off his wireless and went to bed, I'd say that the simple act of doing so meant that his captain's ship couldn't hear the distress calls from Titanic even if they were on the ball waiting for one

    • Jean Scuissiato
      Jean Scuissiato Місяць тому

      Evans also had no blame for the crew being so inactive that they didn't even bothered to wake him up to at least hear what was going on. While I don't think Californian could have reached Titanic anyway because she was surrounded by ice, the lack of action has no excuses on that situation.

    • Derpy Possum
      Derpy Possum Місяць тому

      His snapping back was also largely in part to his sleep-deprivation with the passenger message backlog.

    • SiVlog
      SiVlog Місяць тому +2

      @joywolf83 because Evens' message didn't have the requisite prefix before his ice warning, Phillips was under no obligation to take the message to Captain Edward Smith

    • joywolf83
      joywolf83 Місяць тому +1

      I'm sure he felt it for the rest of his life..... and by that admission wouldn't that have been partially Phillps mistake too

  • S Ewing
    S Ewing Місяць тому +1

    This is - without a doubt - the best and most succinct explanation of why exactly the Titanic sank...and (per the title) why there weren't enough lifeboats. Thank you!

  • Ygor Cortes
    Ygor Cortes Місяць тому

    Absolutely amazing video, if would be great if you made even more videos on the Titanic.
    One important thing about the lifeboat: if the ship had enough lifeboats for everyone, possibly even MORE people would've been killed. That's because the crew didn't even have enough time to launch all of the lifeboats that were there, and if the ship had even more they would just get in the way of the crew.

  • Awesome Aasim
    Awesome Aasim Місяць тому

    Hundred years later in 2012, the _Costa Concordia_ would capsize in the Mediterranean Sea. This necessitated mandatory emergency drills to be conducted before embarking on any cruise, as well as being able to abandon ship within 20 minutes of the muster alarm.

  • pastrami lad
    pastrami lad Місяць тому

    On top of all of this - even if there were enough lifeboats for everyone, the likelihood of getting everyone on those and lowered into the water fast enough wouldn't have been possible due to the time they had to work between the notification to the passengers of the emergency and the ship submerging under the water

  • Action 683
    Action 683 Місяць тому

    A good follow up to this video would be the design lessons they learned from titanic’ s demise that they incorporated into the Olympic and Brittanic, and how it failed to keep one of them from sinking during WW1

    • doveton sturdee
      doveton sturdee Місяць тому

      I suggest the the mine played something of a role in the sinking of Britannic.

  • niki75
    niki75 Місяць тому +5

    I wont lie... I came into this video expecting it to be a crudely thrown together, borderline clickbait-y title packed full of wrong information and conspiracy theories... Only to be absolutely 1000% proven wrong, this is easily one of the best videos outlining the disaster I've seen in a long while, what an absolute delight!

  • Gurren813
    Gurren813 Місяць тому

    I never understood why they didn't have a deck "Cap" on key compartments that would prevent the water from making it over the next bulkheads. Every Third or Fourth compartment being totally sealed could have saved the ship in my estimation.

  • Marta
    Marta Місяць тому

    First of all, great video! Especially from a mainstream channel.
    Second of all and just to add a small detail for those who are interested, even if the Titanic had enough lifeboat aboard before she sank, not everyone would have been saved. The Titanic sank too quickly even for all 20 lifeboats to be properly launched, let alone 30+ lifeboats.

  • Adrian Ghandtchi
    Adrian Ghandtchi Місяць тому +2

    I’m so pleased this wasn’t going to be another bright side misinformation style video, thank you to Mike from OceanlinerDesigns and the guys from TH&G for clearing up many myths from the past.

  • Robert Stark
    Robert Stark Місяць тому +1

    Were people scared of going by boats/ships after the incident? Would be interesting to know!

    • Hugo S
      Hugo S Місяць тому +1

      Olympic had a record year in 1913, so no.

      SQUARE HEAD SAM Місяць тому +1

      After Titanic’s sinking White star entered it twilight years, so it didn’t do good for the companies involved.

  • Skywise
    Skywise Місяць тому

    Good overview of the wreck. I remember watching a video on how Titanic could of survived if it was a head on collision.

  • Pokhraj Roy
    Pokhraj Roy Місяць тому +13

    If the Titanic had sailed smoothly, Patrick Crawley would be the true heir of Downton but the question remains: Would Lady Mary acknowledge the relationship?

  • Dean Stephens
    Dean Stephens Місяць тому +1

    Oceanliner Designs does really good videos on these topics! The whole mindset towards ocean travel was different for people back then I think.

  • neikodemus
    neikodemus Місяць тому +1

    It is interesting how relevant this disaster even after hundred years is, i have seen many videos on that topic and still new ones are popping up, it just shows how it affected safety on boats and ships

  • Ethan Brown Explorations
    Ethan Brown Explorations Місяць тому +1

    I know the answer.
    Lifeboats are designed to ferry people from place to place, and its far easier to reuse the same boats to get everyone off. There wasn't a Titanic like disaster before then, and it was thought to be a busy enough shipping route, there would always be another ship nearby. However, in this case, it was the Californian, which had its Wireless set off, so they had no clue what was happening. They weren't expecting Lifeboats sitting around for 4 hours, either.
    A similar fate was the RMS Republic, which took 4 hours to sink (impressive for a vessel around 1/4 the size of Titanic), and there were nearby ships to save the passengers.

  • Susan M
    Susan M Місяць тому

    I also saw in another documentary that if the Titanic sped up and made a sharp turn coming into the iceberg, it would have done less damage and could have been saved. It was a fatal mistake attempting to stop the ship (and to stop the engine) because the magnitude of the ship wouldn't be able to come to halt in time before colliding with the iceberg. It instead slowed down rather than stopping (which would take some time) and allowed the iceberg to drag across the bottom and cut into all 5 compartments .

  • Knorth Creative
    Knorth Creative Місяць тому

    Very very well done! I always love the Vox videos and appreciate that they’re free. I’m making my gift to Vox to keep the content rolling.

  • Steven Foster
    Steven Foster Місяць тому +7

    It always seems impossible until it happens.

    • Maxx
      Maxx Місяць тому +1

      Similar to how 9/11 changed aviation

  • Alice
    Alice Місяць тому

    Imagine being the crew on the ship that was just 20 miles away knowing 1500 people died because you turned off your wireless radio for the night and you were comfortably asleep while they froze to death...

  • Julio Zabre
    Julio Zabre Місяць тому

    I love how you narrate these stories and history in your videos. Please make more of Darkroom. 🙏

  • Nathan Lerma
    Nathan Lerma Місяць тому +3

    I keep wondering how would the world be if the Titanic had enough lifeboats or if the Californian did hear the distress call but the more I think about it the more I realize it's a lesson that had to be learned the hard way and no way else

    • DurosKlav
      DurosKlav Місяць тому

      @Imperium Californian would have made it earlier but it wouldnt have been early enough to do any good.

    • Imperium
      Imperium Місяць тому +2

      If Titanic had enough Lifeboats it's more likely that more people would of died as just they barely managed to get every lifeboat launched off the ship with the last 2 having to float off, So having more would of mean more time would of been spent preping them rather then filling them.
      As for the Californian, She most likely would arrived at a similar time to Carpathia or after as she had stop dead in the night surrounded by Ice so the crew would've had to of spent time restarting the ship and then carefully making their way through the ice.
      I hope those answer your questions.

  • Leon Agnew
    Leon Agnew Місяць тому +1

    Even if they had enough lifeboats for everyone, they wouldn't have had enough time to load and lower them. It was proven in some James Cameron documentary.

  • Robert Hudson
    Robert Hudson Місяць тому +5

    To summarize: Titanic complied with the rules in force at the time.

  • Billy
    Billy Місяць тому +48

    "hope you've got the headlines you wanted, Mr ismay."
    - Captain Smith (Titanic (1997)).

    • BLUE JDM MR2
      BLUE JDM MR2 Місяць тому +8

      Mr Ismay was actually a hero...but William Randolph Hearst hated him and assassinated his character in the papers. Unfortunately it was included in the film as well.

    • nrsrymj
      nrsrymj Місяць тому +1

      Not even close to the line

    • The Socialist Lion
      The Socialist Lion Місяць тому +2

      God I hate that line

  • Paulo de Tarso Gregorio Pereira
    Paulo de Tarso Gregorio Pereira Місяць тому

    Caramba, que vídeo espetacular!

  • Claire Adams
    Claire Adams Місяць тому +1

    I've said since I was small that if the ship had hit the berg head on, it would have drastically reduced the time it took to sink, if it would at all

  • The Victory Over Himself
    The Victory Over Himself Місяць тому +1

    It didn’t have enough lifeboats becuase they were supposed to shuttle you back and fourth from your ship to another one or to a nearby shore, not be a substitute Ocean going vessel. Ships sinking in an hour or two is extremely rare.

  • Han Xiao
    Han Xiao Місяць тому

    I wonder whether it was possible to fill water into one or two of the compartments near the stern of the ship to balance it. (Just like a lot warships did for damage control)

    • Me Here
      Me Here 16 днів тому

      apparently they have tested that & the ship sunk faster in the experiments

  • Barguy11
    Barguy11 4 дні тому

    Interesting that if Californian had received Titantic’s SQD Signal, she could have gotten to the titanic, at full speed (13 knots) in 45 minutes.

  • Alex Harrison
    Alex Harrison Місяць тому +4

    Would've taken quite a bold call on the bridge to say "Nup, too late to turn, let's absolutely smash that mountain of ice head on" and yet probably would have been the right decision - hindsight makes it so easy

    • Maxx
      Maxx Місяць тому +2

      @doveton sturdee with the information they had it would have been ludicrous. The ship could have narrowly missed, hit without 5 compartments flooding or hit with a rescue ship making it in time. All of those options are much better than killing a hundred or so passengers in their bunks by smashing up the bow like a soda can.

    • doveton sturdee
      doveton sturdee Місяць тому +3

      Of course it would. Can you imagine any naval officer at all deliberately bringing about such a collision?

  • Corey Chambers
    Corey Chambers Місяць тому +1

    Excellent analysis of issues surrounding the Titanic disaster and its insufficient lifeboats.

  • kiwi
    kiwi Місяць тому

    i initially thought they didn't have enough lifeboats because they thought the ship wouldn't need them, but this feature is typically only found on ferry or short distance ships of the time. while the titanic was a long distance and very big ship, they also might have thought the ship was "unsinkable" thus regarding the lifeboats "useless".

    • Derpy Possum
      Derpy Possum Місяць тому

      Then why did they have 4 more than both what the law required and what the ship was initially designed with?

  • TentaclesMod
    TentaclesMod Місяць тому

    I think of the Titanic disaster as in a way inevitable. Even if the Titanic itself never sank, sooner or later a great tragedy would have ocurred for similar reasons and prompted the same changes.