On this date back in 1912 the RMS Titanic sank in the icy waters of the North Atlantic Ocean during her maiden voyage from Southampton, England to New York City. The ship struck an iceberg on the previous evening that damaged the starboard side of the vessel. In a matter of hours, in the early morning of April 15th, the Titanic went down, plummeting to the ocean floor.
The ship, which was heralded as the pinnacle of luxury, was carrying more than 2,200 passengers and 890 crew. More than 1,500 died. The death toll made this one of Americas deadliest maritime disasters. At the time the Titanic entered into service it was the largest ship afloat. Unfortunately the luxury liner carried only twenty lifeboats which could accommodate up to 1,178 passengers and crew in total. A far cry from what would be necessary.
Due to the “women and children first” evacuation protocol many men were left on board. As passengers and crew were frantically piling into lifeboats the ship broke nearly in half and rapidly sank to the ocean floor. The result, a large watery grave for many who were on board. Within two hours of the ship sinking the RMS Carpathia arrived and rescued 705 survivors from the lifeboats. The incident would forever change history and be the catalyst to much maritime safety improvements.
On May 31, 2009 the last survivor of the Titanic disaster passed away at 97 years old. Her name was Millvina Dean and she was just two months old when she was wrapped in a sack and lowered into a lifeboat alongside her mother. Millvina’s father died on board. One of the many who met their demise in the icy waters of the North Atlantic on that fateful day.
Last survivor of the Titanic dies, aged 97. Associated Press. May, 31, 2009
More than 1500 Lives Lost as Titanic Sinks. The Washington Herald. April 16, 1912. Washington, District of Columbia.
Titanic Sinks. April 16, 1912 The Boston Globe. Boston, Massachusetts
Titanic Sinks Four Hours After Hitting Iceberg. April 18, 1912 Republican News Item. Laporte, Pennsylvania