There are several contributors to the disaster on April 14th 1912. One was the complete disregard to 7 ice warnings that were received just days before the tragedy! There were only enough binoculars for the crew on the bridge, and not any for the lookouts in the crows nest. There were only lifeboats for half the stated capacity of the Titanic. Captain E.J. Smith was not at the bridge at the most critical part of the voyage. The so called watertight bulkheads only went up to E deck. That is not really water tight, but that's what got Titanic her nickname as unsinkable!
The list could go on and on... unfortunately! But I think the main cause was SPEED!
On the maiden voyage of a ship they usually didn't run the ships at full steam. They would give it a little time to let the engines settle in, let all the machinery get worked in, all this should take place on the maiden voyage! But that was not the case with Titanic. For the first couple of days 4 boilers had not been lit, and the engines were not running to their fullest capacity.
Captain Smith was prepared to make an easy voyage, he was in no hurry. He had crossed the Atlantic hundreds of times with a flawless record. Think about that!!!... This man had been a captain for 40 years, he had spent his whole life at sea... with a perfect safety record! That in and of itself is amazing. That is an incredibly long time doing something, and never mess up. He was a seasoned veteran of the Atlantic Ocean! He knew all the routes, dangers, currents, weather, he knew it all. In fact this was his last crossing as a captain, he had served 40 years with the White Star Line, and was going to retire. It would have been a indescribable career of success! John Edward Smith was the one chosen to captain the Titanic on her maiden voyage. That was an honor beyond comprehension, TITANIC the last word in luxury, the millionaires special, the biggest ship in the world, and he above all else was chosen to captain her on its maiden voyage!
On the other hand we have a man named Joseph Bruce Ismay, the owner of the White Star Line. This man had experience in business, he had made his career of running a fleet of liners across the Atlantic Ocean. Somewhere in the voyage he must have gotten excited and wanted to set a new record. Everybody new of Titanic's size, luxury, magnificence, and grace. But Ismay wanted to see something else in the papers besides how big and impressive she was! He wanted to concentrate on her speed now! The Titanic was scheduled to dock in New York sometime Wednesday morning, but Ismay was pressing Smith hard about lighting the last 4 boilers and getting there Tuesday night, and put the world in shock once more! He wanted to give the papers something new to print, something new to talk about! Well he got his headlines!!!
On Sunday April 14th 1912 he somehow convinced Smith to have the last 4 boilers lit, and put the engines at full speed! Everything I have read which is a considerable amount leads me to believe that captain Smith was not really excited about this change of plans. But he had crossed the Atlantic many times, and what would hurt setting a record on his last voyage, and as Ismay put in "end with a bang eh EJ". Well he got his bang! He must have gone against his gut feeling and ordered the Titanic full ahead, with night approaching!
21 knots equal to 26mph is what doomed the ill fated liner, through a ice-field at night. If you get a Ocean Liner thats weighs over 50,000 tons going 26mph, it takes a whole lot to slow down, much less stop!
Now we can stand back and say how childish is that? They were men! Men like speed! How often do we pull up to a red light, and floor it when it turns green because we can't stand the thought of someone being a little bit ahead of us? The thing is, when we go somewhere we want to get there fast and in style, thats all Ismay wanted. It just turned on him! His passion to offer passengers the best service and speed affected everyone on board! We do things all the time that cause us to speed through life, but when an other man does it, we wonder what was he thinking!? I am quite sure that Ismay was doing nothing that none of us wouldn't have done in his position!
Its something to think about...