Titanic and Californian


The Ocean

The Ocean

On April 15, 1912, RMS Titanic sank with the loss of 1500 lives and the destruction of the largest and most luxurious steam-powered ship the world had ever seen. It has been the subject of many books, films and continuing analysis since then. There is even an anniversary ‘voyage’ planned for 2012.

One of the most intriguing parts of the calamity (apart from regulatory failure, which seems to be at the heart of most calamities), is the behaviour of The Californian. This ship, on its way from the UK to Boston was on a parallel course (about 20 miles to the north) of the Titanic, which was on its way to New York. It encountered an ice field and the captain (Lord) decided to stop his ship and wait for first light before proceeding. The Californian sent out radio messages warning others of the ice field. The Titanic received the warning and ‘ignored’ it, the captain (Smith) leaving the bridge to retire for the night as the ship steamed on, at 21 knots, into an ice field.

Which makes one think, the 1% and the 99% were on different ships.

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