The sinking of the Titanic - 99 years on
- On 14/04/2011
- In Famous Wrecks
By Emma McFarnon - The Independent
Tomorrow will mark the ninety-ninth anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, which killed 1,517 people and remains one of the worst peacetime maritime disasters in history.
The ship, designed by some of Britain’s most experienced engineers, and boasting extensive safety features, sank in the early hours of 15 April 1912, just four days into its voyage from Southampton to New York.
The ill-fated voyage began on 10 April 1912, with Captain Edward J. Smith at the helm. Boasting a swimming pool, gymnasium, squash court and Turkish bath, the Titanic was unrivalled in luxury and elegance.
Compliant with the regulations of the time, the ship set off with lifeboats barely sufficient for half the 2,228 people on board.
Just four days later, at 11.40pm, the ship struck an iceberg 400 miles off Newfoundland, Canada. Less than three hours later the Titanic plunged to the bottom of the ocean.
The overwhelming majority of victims, who died of hypothermia, were crew members and lower-class passengers.
Before survivors even arrived in New York, investigations were underway to discover what had gone wrong. The United States Senate launched an inquiry on 19 April.