The RMS Titanic wiki last edited by BeachThunder on 04/13/14 08:46PM
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The Titanic, the world's largest moving object at the time, was built by the White Star Line and launched from the Harland & Wolff shipyard in Belfast, Northern Ireland. On the night of 14th April 1912, the ship struck an iceberg on her maiden voyage and sank two hours and forty minutes later. The ship's sinking resulted in 1517 fatalities, making it one of the largest Marine disasters in history. The high death rate was largely due to the fact the ship did not carry enough lifeboats for everyone. The Titanic had enough lifeboats for 1178 people, even though her maximum capacity was 3547 people, and 2200 people were onboard. The Titanic did meet and exceed the lifeboat standards at the time; law required 16 lifeboats and Titanic had 20.
Class segregation was an issue for the ship's chaotic lifeboat situation. Third class passengers were kept behind gates until the first and second class passengers were on the lifeboats. This occurred while the ship was sinking and flooding, and this led to most of the deaths on the ship being third class passengers.
When the ship struck the iceberg, it caused several small gashes in the side of the ship. The Titanic was built in such a way that if she had struck the iceberg head on, she would have stayed afloat. Instead, water came in from the side and filled five of the sixteen watertight compartments. She could stay afloat with four full. The water sank the bow first and the water flooded the rest of the ship, filling each compartment and eventually rising the stern from the water. When the weight became too great, the ship split in half and the stern stayed afloat vertically, eventually sinking.
The Titanic's wreckage was found by Robert Ballard in 1985, two and a half miles below the Atlantic Ocean. The original consensus of the wreck was that the Titanic was fully intact when she sank, but Robert Ballard's 1985 expedition proved that she broke in half in the middle as she sank, with the stern being almost completely destroyed since it was the second part to go down.