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The Titanic's 100th Year Anniversary
The largest and most luxurious passenger liner of its day, the Titanic entered the pages of history when it foundered on its maiden voyage with a loss of more than 1500 lives.
The Titanic, which sailed from Liverpool, England, in 1912 bound for New York, was claimed by its owners to be the safest ship afloat. An innovative safety feature of the four-funneled ship was the division of its hull into 16 compartments up to four of which could be flooded before the ship would capsize. On the night of 14 April, while cruising south of Newfoundland at 22 knots, the Titanic struck an iceberg which tore open five of the sealed compartments.
The 'unsinkable' liner sank quickly in the freezing Atlantic Ocean.
About 2200 passengers were aboard.
There were not nearly enough lifeboats to accommodate them all and more than 1500 lives were lost. Unfortunately radio contact could not be made with a nearby vessel, the Californian, which was never more than 32 km from the Titanic during the tragedy.
Some sound lessons were learned from the sinking of the Titanic. The International Convention for Safety of Life at Sea, set up in 1913, ruled that there should be adequate lifeboats on all liners, that passengers should be versed in their use and that radio contact between vessels must be maintained at all times.