HomeLifestylesFunfactsWhy There Weren't Enough Lifeboats on the Titanic

Why There Weren’t Enough Lifeboats on the Titanic

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Since the Titanic sank on April 15, 1912, a major suspected cause of the high death toll has been a lack of lifeboats on board. The White Star Line’s decision has been dramatised as hubris, but the ship actually exceeded safety standards at the time.

The Merchant Shipping Act of 1894 mandated that ships weighing more than 10,000 tonnes carry at least 16 lifeboats. Despite the fact that the Titanic, which launched in 1911, weighed 45,000 tonnes, the minimum remained the same. The Titanic carried 20 lifeboats, which could accommodate roughly half of the passengers on board the night the ship sank.

Lifeboats were not considered a substitute for an entire ship until the Titanic disaster. The massive liner, which had 16 compartments separated by watertight bulkheads, was designed to float even after taking on water. Then, using a new piece of technology — the Marconi wireless telegraph — signal for assistance from a nearby ship, and lifeboats ferry passengers off the sinking ship methodically.

This scenario played out exactly a few years before the Titanic disaster, in 1909, when a ship rammed the RMS Republic by accident. The Republic sank, but nearly everyone on board was safely ferried off before it did, and the general consensus at the time was that maritime disasters were a thing of the past.

Everything changed when the Titanic sank. Only two years later, the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) mandated that all passenger ships carry lifeboats for all passengers. Currently, SOLAS requires 125 percent of a ship’s capacity.

Info Source – VOX

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