We all know the story of the Titanic, a luxurious ocean liner that set sail from Southampton, England in route to New York but never made it. Titanic was carrying the wealthiest British and American aristocrats and the ship was built with them in mind.[i] This ship was designed for luxury, not safety. The ship and staff were unprepared for the events that would unfold the evening of April 14, 1912. Titanic’s fatal evening was due to a number of careless acts. The fatalities that resulted from these events could have been prevented or at least lessened.
On the night of April 14, 1912, as Titanic was crossing the Mid-Atlantic, Titanic struck an iceberg on its starboard side. Crews tried to avoid the iceberg but there was just not enough reaction time. Passengers aboard the ship said that it felt like the engines started, they had no idea the ship had struck an iceberg.[ii] The crew had met the day they boarded the Titanic for its doomed voyage. They never rehearsed any lifeboat drills nor did they even have enough lifeboats to save nearly half the souls on board.[iii] More than 1500 lives were lost that doomed evening, but the argument of careless is in order.
William Alden Smith delivered a speech before the U.S. Senate on May 28, 1912 to discuss the disaster. He mentions that Captain Edward J. Smith, Titanic’s Captain, was a brilliant man. He knew this route like the back of his hand and has made numerous voyages between Europe and the United States. This knowledge coupled with the ignorance that the ship was “unsinkable” led to an overconfident mind. Captain Smith disregarded any warnings from neighboring ships about the dangers of ice and instead of slowing the engines down, they were reaching top speed.[iv] The New York Sun also argued that the ship was moving at an excessive speed for the dangers ahead.[v]
The Californian was the closet ship to the disaster. That evening, distress calls were sent out but...