Just before midnight in the North Atlantic, the RMS Titanic fails to divert its course from an iceberg, ruptures its hull, and begins to sink.
The Titanic was designed by the Irish shipbuilder William Pirrie and spanned 883 feet from stern to bow. Its hull was divided into 16 compartments that were presumed to be watertight. Because four of these compartments could be flooded without causing a critical loss of buoyancy, the Titanic was considered unsinkable. On its first journey across the highly competitive Atlantic ferry route, the ship carried some 2,200 passengers and crew.
After stopping at Cherbourg, France, and Queenstown (Cobh), Co Cork, to pick up some final passengers, the massive vessel set out at full speed for New York City. However, just before midnight on 14 April, the ship hit an iceberg, and five of the Titanic’s compartments were ruptured along its starboard side.