Titanic Timeline

The RMS Titanic, the largest and most luxurious ocean liner ever built, strikes an iceberg. It quickly begins to sink.

The crew readies lifeboats. Women and children are urged to board first. Second Officer Lightoller, whose boat is lowered, refuses to disobey the order and offers his seat to Madeleine Astor.

1. March 1912

Designed to be the epitome of luxury, Titanic set sail on her maiden voyage. She boasted an onboard gym, library, swimming pool and exquisite restaurants and cabins. The ship also carried hundreds of emigrants, many from Ireland, seeking a new life in America.

On the first day of sailing, Titanic almost collided with another large liner called New York. But quick action averted a disaster. A few hours later, the ship reached Cherbourg, France. There, 103 people disembarked. During the night, seven iceberg warnings were received. Then at about 11:40 p.m., the Titanic struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic Ocean. The disaster was one of the worst maritime accidents in history. More than 1,500 people died. The event has inspired numerous books, plays and movies. The story of the sinking of Titanic has become an international tragedy.

2. April 1912

April 12, 1912: Titanic departs Southampton, heading to New York City on her fateful maiden voyage.

April 14, 1912: At about 9:20 p.m., a lookout on the ship spots an iceberg. A warning is sent to the bridge by wireless but it is ignored.

At 11:40 p.m., the iceberg strikes the Titanic’s starboard bow. First officer Murdoch orders the ship turned away from the iceberg but it is too late. The collision dents the ship, compromising five watertight compartments.

The ship slowly begins to fill with water and the stern rises to an alarming degree, threatening to crush passengers beneath it. More than 1,500 people remain on board. In accordance with maritime law, women and children are put into lifeboats first. The Carpathia arrives in the area to pick up survivors. The US Senate holds an inquiry into the disaster.

3. April 1912

April 15: The captain orders lifeboats lowered. Women and children are put into the boats first.

Despite outdated British Board of Trade regulations, Titanic had more lifeboats than required. However, they were placed under Welin davits that could only handle two or three boats at a time.

At 10:15 p.m., the ship struck an iceberg and changed course. This change put the Titanic in an area of the gulf stream that was expected to be free of icebergs.

The Carpathia, a Cunard liner that heard the distress call, arrives at the area where the Titanic sank and picks up 705 survivors. Among them is J Bruce Ismay, managing director of the White Star Line. He later heads to New York with his wife, Marjorie. This is the end of the story of the RMS Titanic.

4. April 1912

April 14: Titanic hits the iceberg at about 11:40 pm and eventually sinks. Over 1,500 people died in the accident due to a combination of factors, including the fact that there weren’t enough lifeboats on board.

A lookout reports a large field of ice and the Titanic alters course. Ship designer Thomas Andrews calculates that the ship can remain afloat for two hours, giving time for the lifeboats to be readied.

The first lifeboat, number 3, is lowered. When Madeleine Astor asks to be included in the boat, Second Officer Lightoller, following the protocol of women and children being evacuated first, refuses her. This provokes a furious Brown, who jumps into the boat. The other occupants include lookout Frederick Fleet and his wife Molly. A few minutes later, the collapsible lifeboat D is lowered. It contains more than 20 passengers, including J Bruce Ismay.

5. April 1912

The Titanic’s sinking Timeline has had a lasting impact on people worldwide. Its legacy lives on through the preservation of artifacts from the wreck, the creation of memorials and monuments, and countless books, plays, films, and songs.

At 11:40 pm, lookout Frederick Fleet spots an iceberg directly in the ship’s path. First Officer Murdoch orders a hard starboard (left) turn, but the ship scrapes the berg before it can be steered clear. Two hours later, the last of several iceberg warnings is received in the wireless room. At that time, five hull compartments have already begun to fill with water. A quick calculation by Captain Edward Smith suggests the ship will only remain afloat for an hour or so. The first lifeboat, number 7, is lowered, but it is woefully under-filled, carrying only 27 people when it leaves the ship.

6. April 1912

The United States Senate begins an inquiry into the Titanic disaster.

At 11 a.m., the ship receives its first of seven ice warning messages from the Empress of Britain and La Tourraine. The captain changes course to avoid the ice region but the change puts her on a collision course with an iceberg.

Lifeboats begin to be readied for launch. Lookout Frederick Fleet reports that an iceberg is directly ahead. Captain Smith asks Boxhall to inspect the area.

The lifeboat Number 8 is lowered. Among its occupants are Isidor and Ida Straus. Isidor refuses to obey the order that women and children board first, stating that she will stay with her husband. She will die in the boat. Water is seen at the base of the Grand Staircase.

7. April 1912

April 1912 was a month of events in the process of creating the Titanic. It began with the keel being lathered up, and ended with the ship sinking and destroying more than 1,500 lives.

Senior wireless operator Jack Phillips starts receiving warnings of icebergs from vessels further west. He relays them to the bridge. Lookout Frederick Fleet sees an iceberg directly ahead. First Officer Murdoch orders a hard starboard turn, but the ship scrapes against the iceberg and a number of watertight compartments fill with water.

Captain Edward Smith is told that the ship can only stay afloat for a couple of hours and gives the order to begin calling for help. He also orders that the lifeboats be lowered. The Carpathia, which was nearby and heard the call, heads towards the area. It is later credited with picking up 705 survivors from the disaster.

8. April 1912

The RMS Titanic leaves Queenstown Ireland for New York. The Cunard liner RMS Carpathia arrives in New York with 705 survivors from the sinking of the Titanic.

9:30 – 11:30 AM: Second and third-class boat-trains arrive and passengers board.

At 1:00 AM Boxhall notices water entering forward of the #4 watertight compartment. He informs Captain Smith that he thinks the ship will stay afloat for no more than two hours.

The first lifeboats are lowered. They are mostly full, but a few spots remain open for women and children. J Bruce Ismay gets into lifeboat C. The bow of the ship is underwater, pushing the back out of the water. The water is up to the name plate on the bow. The water is noticeably rising. The radio room loses power. Its lookouts Frederick Fleet and Reginald Lee take over watch duty.

9. April 1912

The “unsinkable” ocean liner Titanic collides with an iceberg and sinks on its maiden voyage. More than 1,500 people die in the icy Atlantic.

Thursday morning: Captain Smith takes Titanic through some additional practice turns en route to Queenstown in order to test her maneuverability. Several iceberg warnings are received by senior wireless operator Jack Phillips, including a report of a growler (a smaller and harder to spot version of an iceberg) spotted about a day’s sailing away.

Lifeboat number 5 is lowered; a dispute over protocol results in only two men being rescued; the remainder of the second-class passengers remain on board. The Carpathia, which has already heard the distress call, picks up the survivors. Several ships head to the area where the Titanic sank to search for bodies. The US Senate holds hearings into the disaster.

10. April 1912

April 15: Titanic strikes an iceberg in the North Atlantic and sinks, killing more than 1,500 people. The disaster raises questions about the safety of modern technology and changes public perception of ships and their ability to withstand accidents.

11:40 pm: Lookout Frederick Fleet spots an iceberg ahead and sends a message to the bridge. First officer William Murdoch orders a hard starboard turn but the ship scrapes the iceberg.

During the voyage, Rose and Cal dined in second class. At that point, they were close friends but not romantically involved. Rose escaped dinner to try to commit suicide but was stopped by Jack. She later wrote that she had been “kept on board by the strong arm of Fate.” The couple would never see each other again.

Conclusion

The Titanic’s tragic maiden voyage in 1912 remains a haunting reminder of the consequences of human error, technological overconfidence, and the importance of safety regulations. The loss of over 1,500 lives dramatically altered maritime practices and highlighted the need for better emergency preparedness and improved ship design, leaving an indelible mark on history.

FAQs:

  1. How did the Titanic sink? The Titanic sank on April 15, 1912, after striking an iceberg during its maiden voyage from Southampton to New York City. The collision caused a series of fatal punctures along the ship’s starboard side, leading to the flooding of several compartments. The massive influx of water ultimately caused the ship to break apart and sink.
  2. Were there enough lifeboats on the Titanic? Regrettably, there were not enough lifeboats on the Titanic to accommodate all the passengers and crew. The ship was only equipped with 20 lifeboats and 4 collapsible boats, which could carry about 1,178 people—far fewer than the number of passengers and crew aboard (approximately 2,224 individuals). This lack of lifeboats contributed to the high number of casualties during the disaster.