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April 14, 2010


1912 - The luxurious and unsinkable Titanic hit an iceberg, eventually sinking, killing 1517 people. The Titanic departed on its maiden voyage from Southampton, England, bound for New York City, New York, on Wednesday, 10 April 1912. On 14 April 1912, the temperatures had dropped to near freezing. In response to iceberg warnings, Captain Smith altered Titanic's course about 20 km south of the normal shipping route. At 1:45pm, a message from the steamer Amerika warned that large icebergs lay in Titanic's path, but this warning, and others, were never relayed to the bridge. The ship hit an iceberg shortly after 11:40pm on the 14th, buckling the hull in several places and popping out rivets below the waterline over a length of 90 metres. The watertight doors closed as water started filling the first five watertight compartments, one more than Titanic could stay afloat with. The huge volume of water weighed the ship down past the top of the watertight bulkheads, allowing water to flow into the other compartments. In all, 1517 people were lost in the disaster, whilst only 706 survived. Most of the deaths were caused by victims succumbing to hypothermia in the -2°C water.
Visit Titanic: The Artefact Exhibition in Melbourne - 14 May to 17 October 2010.

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