Navigation menu button

Five things you might not know about the Titanic

by @JOEdotie
Email author
23318-xlarge

This week marks the 100th anniversary of the Titanic tragedy. If you’re a little late to the party, like all these folks on Twitter, here’s a brief recap of what happened…

Massive “unsinkable” ship is built for a voyage to New York. “Unsinkable” ship hits an iceberg and sinks. Thousands of passengers die because there isn’t enough lifeboats.

Despite popular belief, neither Leonardo Di Caprio or Kate Winslet were on board the ship – mainly due to the fact that the tragedy occurred in 1912. Didn’t know that? Well here’s five more facts about the Titanic that you may have been unaware of…

1. A lifeboat drill was planned for 14 April 1912

Yes, a lifeboat drill was planned for the day that the Titanic ended up hitting the iceberg and sinking. Unfortunately, the drill was cancelled by Captain Edward John Smith before the tragedy occurred. Why did he cancel the (potentially life-saving) drill?

Well, the reasons behind his decision remain unclear. According to historians, Captain Smith cancelled the drill to allow passengers to go to church. Historians believe that if the drill had of gone ahead, many more lives could have been saved.

2. The Titanic almost crashed into another ship

Before it crashed into the iceberg, the Titanic had a near miss with another, smaller ship. The New York steamer ship was sucked into the wake of the Titanic and very nearly collided head-first with the ship.

A nearby tugboat, known as the Vulcan, came to the New York’s rescue by towing it out of the Titanic’s path and away to safety. The two ships avoided a crash by a mere four feet, and the Titanic was delayed for about an hour on its voyage.

3. More people could have been saved

According to various newspaper reports from the year 1912, another ship, the SS Californian was just 8 to 15 miles away from the Titanic. Despite numerous distress calls from the Titanic, the SS Californian failed to respond or come to the aid of the passengers.

Aside from the SS Californian, historians believe that another ship, the Samson (also dubbed “The Mystery Ship”) was located somewhere between the SS Californian and the Titanic when the tragedy occurred.

The crew of the SS Californian claimed that the mystery ship, believed to be the Samson, was steaming away from the scene and it confused them into thinking that the emergency flares were coming from it instead.

4. The richest man on board

Was Lt. Col. John Jacob Astor IV. His family was made wealthy by trading opium, fur and real estate. John Jacob went down with the ship after he helped his pregnant wife to escape into the last lifeboat.

According to his will afterwards, Astor was worth an estimated $150 million (around €11.9 billion in today’s terms). Apparently the Astors were returning from a long holiday in Europe. They had fled to Europe on vacation to avoid gossip about their recent marriage.

5. The lifeboats were not full

We all know that the major flaw with the Titanic was the fact that there weren’t enough lifeboats for everyone on board. However, most of the lifeboats that were launched off the ship after it collided with the iceberg were not even filled to capacity.

The first lifeboat to launch, Lifeboat 7, only had 24 people on board, despite the fact that it had a capacity of 65. Lifeboat 1 only carried 12 people, despite having a capacity for 40.

Competition

Win a €5,000 Full Smile Makeover! Find out more

Chelsea Training Session & Press Conference

News

Video: Jose Mourinho sarcastically hails a ‘fantastic performance’ from ref Mike Dean
S

Competitions

Competition: Fancy winning a brand new Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0? Of course you do…
Joe Brolly 22/3/2013

News

Ding ding! Joe Brolly is not happy with Donal Óg Cusack’s comments about GAA punditry
FC Barcelona v AC Milan - UEFA Champions League

News

Video: Messi stares down abusive Barcelona fan at the airport
sorry-were-closed-sign

Features

10 things you’ll hear Irish people say on Good Friday
Liverpool v Oldham Athletic - FA Cup Third Round

Features

Poll: Vote for this season’s worst Premier League player
Hillsborough memorial anfield

Tweet of the day

Football clubs pay their respects on Twitter on the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough tragedy
DundalkAbbey

TV & Radio

Video: What if Downton Abbey had been based in Dundalk?
rugby

Competitions

Competition: Win tickets for the return to Cork of the JOE Rugby Roadshow next week
murph

TV & Radio

Video: ICYMI: Behind the Blackboard. Second Captains’ Ciaran Murphy recalls his Blackboard Jungle experience
crime

Features

Video: Good to see the Gardaí in Galway have their fingers on the button
soccersaturday

News

Audio: Gift Grub’s take on what Sky Sports’ coverage of GAA might be like is class
Screen shot 2014-04-02 at 17.33.18

News

Video/Pics: Game of Thrones star Natalie Dormer goes topless for GQ
Manchester City v Sunderland - Premier League

News

Chelsea hand title initiative to Liverpool after losing to Sunderland
balegoal2

News

Video: Check out this pitch-level view of Gareth Bale’s spectacular goal v Barcelona
messi house

News

Pictures: Lionel Messi is building a house shaped like a football
FAH

Comedy

Video: We love Irish sketch group Foil, Arms & Hog so here are are five of their best sketches
nickcummins

News

Brian O’Driscoll and Nick ‘Honey Badger’ Cummins’ rugby chat on Twitter today was hilarious
Everton v Liverpool - Premier League

News

Video: Liverpool owner John W Henry confirms intention to rebuild Anfield
ireland video

Home News

Proud to be Irish? Then this is the perfect video for you…
Chelsea Training Session & Press Conference

News

Video: Jose Mourinho sarcastically hails a ‘fantastic performance’ from ref Mike Dean
Paul O'Connell 19/4/2014

RaboDirect PRO 12

Munster climb to 2nd in the PRO12 table following victory over Connacht
Everton v Liverpool - Premier League

News

Video: Liverpool owner John W Henry confirms intention to rebuild Anfield
Sound City Players In Concert - New York, NY

Music

Foo Fighters open up with details of their new album
Manchester City v Sunderland - Premier League

News

Chelsea hand title initiative to Liverpool after losing to Sunderland
DundalkAbbey

TV & Radio

Video: What if Downton Abbey had been based in Dundalk?
balegoal2

News

Video: Check out this pitch-level view of Gareth Bale’s spectacular goal v Barcelona
Hull City v West Bromwich Albion - Premier League

News

Vine: Referee Chris Foy is in the wrong place at the wrong time as the ball whacks him in the face
Joe Brolly 22/3/2013

News

Ding ding! Joe Brolly is not happy with Donal Óg Cusack’s comments about GAA punditry
Celtic v Ross County - Scottish Premiership

News

Vine: We hope Anthony Stokes meant this ridiculous finish against Motherwell
crime

Features

Video: Good to see the Gardaí in Galway have their fingers on the button
CarSaint1

Features

Good Samaritan stops stranger’s car from being towed in Dublin by moving it into nearby street
West Ham v Liverpool - Barclays Premier League

News

Video: Luis Suarez interviewing Paul McCartney is some pretty cringeworthy stuff
FC Barcelona v AC Milan - UEFA Champions League

News

Video: Messi stares down abusive Barcelona fan at the airport
Miami Heat v San Antonio Spurs - Game 5

Random Sports Stuff

Video: Check out the top 10 dunks of the NBA season
HMV

Home News

Pics: HMV finally returns to Grafton Street, over a year after shutting its doors
trick shots header

More Sport

Vine: This guy’s trick shots involve golf, baseball and basketball, and they’re class
facebook nearby

News

Facebook are adding a ‘Nearby Friends’ feature, for meet ups with your mates
mario bros header

Video Games

Video: The Mario Bros theme played on wine glasses is absolutely excellent
meagher header

Life

Husband of murdered Jill Meagher writes touching essay about men’s violence against women
Send in a story and earn some cash