The near-miss that could have saved the Titanic

A new book has revealed that the sinking of the Titanic almost never happened.

As the "unsinkable" British ocean liner left Southampton docks to start its maiden voyage, it narrowly missed crashing into another ship, the SS New York, by a mere 2 feet.

Had the collision occurred, the Titanic would not have been able to go on the voyage, thus not sinking on the night of 15th April 1912, after it hit an iceberg, killing 1,517 people.

Near-miss that could have saved the Titanic: Liner nearly crashed leaving docks, which would have prevented doomed voyage

By Daily Mail Reporter
14th April 2010
Daily Mail

It was the worst of omens for the gleaming new ship embarking on its maiden voyage.

As the Titanic left the Southampton docks, it came within two feet of crashing into another liner.

Had the two actually collided, it would have cut short the Titanic's maiden voyage and averted the catastrophe that was to claim 1,517 lives.

Close call: The Titanic (large liner, right) narrowly avoids a collision with the New York (large liner, left) at Southampton docks

The near-miss was down to an accident-prone captain and the narrow channel being cluttered with ships moored due to a coal strike, a new book reveals.

In 101 Things You Thought You Knew About The Titanic ... But Didn't, author Tim Maltin claims Captain Edward Smith, despite being an experienced skipper, was only used to boats half the size of the 50,000-ton Titanic when he brought it perilously close to the SS City of New York passenger liner berthed in Southampton.

Captain Smith had previously crashed its sister ship, the Olympic, into the dock in New York.

The author added: 'The collision was avoided by about two feet, something which obviously is an indicator of the disaster to come. He was the most experienced captain in the north Atlantic by a long way. Anyone with a ship that size would be accident-prone - the world had never seen a ship that big before.'

The liner sank in the Atlantic on April 15, 1912, after hitting an iceberg.

The Titanic was a British ship. She was built by Harland and Wolff in Belfast and was owned by British company White Star Line

At the time of the Titanic's construction, British shipyards built over half of the world's shipping

The Titanic was the largest passenger steamship the world had ever known

The cost to build the RMS Titanic was $7.5 million

RMS stands for Royal Mail Steamer

It took 3,000 men two years to build the Titanic, in Belfast. Three million rivets held its massive hull together

The Titanic was never christened

The ship was the height of an 11 storey building

On the night of the collision, because the moon was not out, and the water was so still, it was very difficult to see the iceberg. A less calm water would have caused breakers around the iceberg making it easier to see it from afar

The iceberg that the Titanic struck was not a very big one. It did not even come up as high as the bridge of the ship

The gash that the iceberg cut into the hull of the Titanic was between 220 to 245 feet long. The total length of the ship was approximately 882 feet

The ship could have stayed afloat had only four compartments flooded... Five became flooded

One of the first lifeboats to leave the Titanic carried only 28 people; it could have held 64 people

Only around 700 people survived

There were many dogs aboard the Titanic. Two of the dogs survived.

Orders from the Captain were that women and children were to board the lifeboats first. One man, Daniel Buckley, disguised himself as a woman to get aboard a lifeboat.

Charles Joughin was the only person to survive the ice cold Atlantic water. He reportedly had been drinking heavily

The Titanic lies over 2.3 miles at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean

The Titanic was rediscovered on July 14th, 1986. 74 years after it sank
now this is actually sorta interesting
I actually saw a documentary that mentioned this near mishap with the ship. Sounds like an interesting read, Blackleaf.
It's amazing how the annals of history could be so drastically changed with such (figuratively speaking) small mercies.

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