TRAGEDY AT SEA

Thou­sands of lives have been lost on the ocean over the years. Here’s a look at a few of the last cen­tury’s most in­fa­mous ship­wrecks

DRUM - - Infographi­c -

PER­HAPS you’ve seen the 1997 movie Ti­tanic about the fa­mous ship that hit an ice­berg in the night, caus­ing 1 503 pas­sen­gers and crew to drown? It’s es­ti­mated that more than 3 mil­lion ships have sunk through the ages. The ocean floor is lit­tered with them, but less than 1% of these wrecks have been ex­plored. Who knows what in­ter­est­ing his­tor­i­cal in­for­ma­tion or even trea­sures still lie at the bot­tom of the ocean?

ROYAL MAIL SHIP (RMS) TI­TANIC

Built 1909-1912. At the time it was the largest pas­sen­ger steam ship in the world.

Maiden voy­age On 10 April 1912 the Ti­tanic left Southamp­ton in Eng­land to sail to New York in Amer­ica. Its builders claimed it was “un­sink­able”, but it sank on its first voy­age.

Where did it sink? The area – about 6OOkm south-east off the coast of New­found­land in Canada – is known as Ice­berg Al­ley be­cause in the warmer months ice­bergs of­ten break off in the Arc­tic and float down this stretch of ocean. What went wrong? Just be­fore midnight on 14 April 1912 the star­board (right) side of the ship struck an ice­berg, rip­ping open and flooding six com­part­ments. The ship had been

de­signed to with­stand four com­part­ments flooding, but not six.

Num­ber of peo­ple on board There were 2 240 pas­sen­gers and crew on board. Deaths A to­tal of 1 503 peo­ple died. There were too few life rafts on board for the num­ber of pas­sen­gers, so women, chil­dren and rich pas­sen­gers were saved first. Wreck­age The wreck lies at a depth of about 3,8km in the North-At­lantic Ocean.

5 NOTE­WOR­THY SHIP­WRECKS OF THE 20TH CEN­TURY

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