The Titanic sank in the Atlantic Ocean, having covered half of her trans-Atlantic crossing.
Seconds too late, the two lookouts in Titanic’s crow’s-nest reported an iceberg dead ahead at 11.40pm. The liner swerved but too late to escape what seemed at first to be a close shave, then a glancing blow, and after Thomas Andrews’ expert inspection below, a serious collision whose effects he told Captain Smith would sink the ship within hours, the Titanic’s fate was already sealed.
It was not the collision but the silence when Titanic’s engines were stopped which alerted those passengers still awake to the fact that something was amiss. A sudden panic did not break out, probably because passengers felt they were in a floating town on a calm sea on a starry night. But the ship was holed and down below, the sea was pouring in and boiler rooms were under threat.
Before long, telegraphs were ringing, watertight doors were coming down, the firemen and engineers were struggling to keep the steam pressure up, the pumps working and the lights lit. Captain Smith sent for Thomas Andrews who went below to inspect the damage. His verdict was as chilling as the night around them. The ship could not keep afloat for more than a couple of hours. Two thirds of Titanic’s passengers and crew were lost because there were not enough lifeboats to rescue everyone on board.
Survivors were picked up from the lifeboats by the Carpathia and taken to New York. Over 1500 people drowned.
View images of how the Titanic wreck looks today