Sort of like Rick saying “Everything’s going to be all right” to Maggie a dozen times in the Season finale of Walking Dead, the Titanic was proclaimed “Unsinkable”.
I cover the event in detail, from the snow falling around 1,000 BC on Greenland that would eventually become the iceberg that sank the Titanic to the Jack sinking into the depths while the girl hogs the wood and has the jewel. In Shit Doesn’t Just Happen: The Gift of Failure I.
Actually, a cook from Titanic stayed alive in the water until he was rescued, so poor Jack. He needed to keep swimming and stopping hanging on to what’s-her-face. One of the things we did in Combat Swim School with the Fromandkorpset in Denmark was fill our dry suits with water to prove they could still float, even completely filled. Technically they do. But North Sea water in winter is COLD. We were doing a pier infiltration one night, nice and stealthy, and I heard this strange noise. I finally realize it was one of team-mater’s teeth chattering.
Off the top of my head, I can think of several things that went wrong from what I wrote: no binoculars for the lookouts. They were on the ship, but the key for the locker wasn’t, and gosh golly, they couldn’t break the lock. So they broke the ship.
Going too fast.
The radio operator focusing too much on getting messages to NY for passengers and not listening to warnings. Interestingly, the wireless operator wasn’t an employee of the ship, but for a different company.
Lifeboats not being filled. Even thought there weren’t enough, many left not filled to capacity.
What’s his name. The bad guy. Who was going to marry what’s her-face.
The bulkheads having no top- Water does flow over things. I’m not a maritime engineer but I do know that.
By the way check who gets top billing above the 1,500 to 1,800 dead. Have things changed that much?
If you want to dip your toe into how I analyze these events, we’ve got two for free for your reading pleasure and they are relatively quick reads, less than an hour
The Donner Party There’s a lot more to this story than just the end, where they ended up eating each other. How they got to that point is intriguing and eye-opening.
The St. Francis Dam Failure where William Mulholland, whose aqueduct still supplies Los Angeles designed a dam that broke and caused one of the worst engineering disasters of the previous century.
Originally published at www.writeitforward.com on April 15, 2016.