It would be interesting to know what the actual odds of hitting an iceberg were in the years noted below and how many ships had gone down due to hitting icebergs prior to Titanic. Head-on vs. side-tearing collisions:

"Collisions with icebergs were common," he says. "[There were] about 15 in 1884, 30 in 1885, 20 in 1890, 16 in 1897. For over 20 years [before the sinking of the Titanic], the editorials in many of the newspapers and shipping journals were highly critical of … the incessant demand for ever increasing speed with ships charging across the North Atlantic with undue care for safety in the hazards of fog and the hidden obstacles of derelicts and ice.

"In other words," Hill concluded, "the Titanic disaster was just waiting to happen … The most shocking thing about it was its inevitability. People knew it would happen sooner or later, but the industry did little about it.

From the Atlantic article "No, The Moon Did Not Sink the Titanic".

On why the iceberg was not seen in advance:

It's been reported that the iceberg warnings were ignored because the wireless operator was too busy sending out passenger messages via the Marconi wireless room.

But more important perhaps was the iceberg itself. What we have here is not the traditional snow-covered glacier but one that had become clear through continuous melting and refreezing, transforming it into a kind of dark mirror against the calm water and the clear night sky.

Read more here


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