Even before the 1997 film adaptation of the Titanic’s story, the tale was compelling. It is one of the deadliest maritime disasters to have occurred during peacetime, with over 1,500 deaths as a result of the sinking.
Many of them died from the shock of the icy water, but how cold was it?
When the Titanic Sank, How Cold Was the Water?
When the Titanic sank, the water was 28°F, or -2°C. This temperature is regarded as fatal because it is below freezing.
The incredibly low temperature is thought to be what caused the majority of those who were in the water to pass away.
The fact that an iceberg struck the ship and caused her to sink indicates that the waters were clearly cold enough to support ice. Because of the significant salt content, the water wasn’t frozen.
The following morning, once the sun had risen, passengers who were saved by the RMS Carpathia described witnessing vast sheets of ice with several icebergs.
There were 20 big icebergs that were at least 200 feet tall, according to the captain of that ship, Arthur Rostron.
What Caused the Extreme Cold When the Titanic Sank?
A high-pressure cold front from eastern Canada contributed to the frigid temperatures in the air and ocean at the time the Titanic fell.
The ship also sank in the middle of the night, hitting the iceberg at 11.40 p.m., contributing to the chilly temperatures of just 39°F (4°C) in the air and 28°F (-2°C) in the ocean.
This wasn’t out of the ordinary because in the early hours of April, the North Atlantic Ocean’s typical temperature in the area where the Titanic sank ranges between -2 and 2 degrees centigrade.
The location when the Titanic was sinking is depicted on this map.
How Much Time Did Titanic Passengers Spend Submerged?
When the Titanic sank, most of those who fell into the ocean perished within 30 minutes.
There is considerable disagreement regarding the cause of death, although it is now generally acknowledged that cardiac arrest or other conditions associated with cold water shock account for the majority of fatalities rather than hypothermia.
Most people would have perished, according to Professor Michael Tipton of Portsmouth University, because the shock of the cold water caused them to hyperventilate, causing them to inhale too much water, or just because their hearts couldn’t handle the additional strain and would have gone into cardiac arrest.
Did Any Titanic Passengers Who Were Submerged Survive?
Between 44 and 48 people are said to have survived out of the hundreds who plummeted into the water when the Titanic crashed. Many of the lifeboats were launched without being fully loaded, which contributed to the important loss of life. Most of them were swiftly pulled into lifeboats.
Charles John Joughin, the ship’s chief baker, is one well-known survivor who has a renowned survival tale.
He played an important role in the lifeboat effort, organizing his baking team to bring vast amounts of bread to load the lifeboats before assisting women and children in boarding the lifeboats, sometimes forcibly when they felt safer on the Titanic.
When he realized that there were already two sailors and a steward on the boat, he rejected to embark on the lifeboat, even though he had been given the position of captain.
Instead, he went below deck to get a drink, came back to the deck, and ultimately went down with the rest of the ship, clutching onto it as it went down, and riding it softly into the ocean.
Joughin remained alive for about two hours, in contrast to the majority of others who plunged into the sea. He was able to swim to one of the lifeboats once the day broke; however, there was no room for him to board, so he had to grasp the hand of a cook until he could see another lifeboat that he could swim to.
According to one theory, Joughin’s prolonged survival was largely due to the alcoholism that he was experiencing.
Alcohol has a soothing effect, which may have prevented Joughin from panicking from the cold water shock and allowed him to tread water for as long as he did, even if it raises the danger of hypothermia.
The fact that Joughin had supposedly been on board the SS Oregon when she went down in 1886 may have also been helpful.
Therefore, he might not have been as terrified as he would have been if it had been his first time experiencing a sinking ship.
What if the Titanic Had Gone Down in Warm Water?
The majority of those in the water would have survived if the Titanic had sunk in warm water. Only a few hours after the ship sank, the lifeboat passengers were rescued. Nearly all of them were wearing life jackets.
However, unless the water is tropical, passengers aboard sinking cruise ships cannot endure for an extended period of time.
If the Titanic had sunk in warmer water, the passengers would not have had cold water shock and would have survived much longer, but hypothermia’s effects can still manifest swiftly.
Hypothermia is a condition in which the body loses heat more quickly than it can produce it. As a result, the body starts to shut down and eventually dies.
Hypothermia will occur if the body temperature drops below 95°F (35°C), which is the usual temperature of the human body at 98.6°F (37°C).
People can pass out in just two hours if the temperature of the water is up to 70°F (21°C) in temperature. The Caribbean typically has water that is between 75 and 85 degrees in temperature.
Therefore, it’s possible that there would have been a large number more survivors if the Titanic had sunk somewhere off the coast of Jamaica.
Given that the Titanic only sank after colliding with an iceberg, it is a weird question even to pose.
There wouldn’t have been an iceberg for the ship to hit if the water had been warmer, preventing the ship from sinking. Let’s go on to the movie’s concluding question, which is crucial to discuss.
Could Jack Have Fit on the Door With Rose?
Jack and Rose might have both physically fit on the floating door debris at the Titanic movie’s conclusion.
They would have needed to utilize life jackets to support the frame because it would not have been buoyant enough to support them.
Fans (and non-fans, to be fair) have been debating whether Jack needed to die ever since the 1997 Titanic movie came out because it appeared that there was plenty of room for him on the broken door that Rose is floating on.
The two of them pass out from the shock of the cold in the movie after Jack tries to hoist Rose onto the door and stay with her. When Rose awakens, she tries to revive Jack but discovers that he has passed away.
There was undoubtedly space on the debris, according to fans. View this recreation to see other scenarios where they might both have had enough space to survive.
James Cameron, the director of the film, has responded by claiming that the film was never about space but rather buoyancy and that Jack’s additional weight would have made the improvised raft sink. That defense also makes logic.
However, people couldn’t leave it alone, and the television program Mythbusters went one step further by reenacting the incident and determining whether Rose’s life jacket tied to the raft’s underside would have been adequate to keep it afloat while carrying both Jack and Rose.
James Cameron responded briefly after seeing this Mythbusters clip: “I think you guys are missing the point here. Jack is supposed to pass away, according to the screenplay. He’s got to go.” The board might have needed to be a tiny bit smaller, so perhaps we made a mistake, but the guy is falling.
Could Jack and Rose have both fit on the door, then? Although Jack is supposed to pass away in the script, technically, the answer is no.
In addition, you could counter that even if the lifejacket had generated enough lift, how would Jack and Rose have known that? And because of the consequences of the cold-water shock, they probably weren’t thinking clearly.
Why Weren’t Jack and Rose Taking Turns?
Both Jack and Rose would have likely perished if they had taken turns using the crumpled door as a raft.
Both would have been tired from the frequent exposure to the cold air and water, as well as the effort it took to climb onto the raft, and would have either drowned or gone into cardiac arrest.
This one is still a hot topic of discussion, but there is much less of it. Although it has been claimed that both might have fit on the raft, it is obvious that simply attempting to switch positions would have been disastrous for the couple.
According to science, Rose was lucky to be alive after falling into the lake because the shock alone could have killed her in the chilly air.
Again, we can refer to James Cameron’s conclusion that everything that occurs in the film happened just as it was intended to.
Despite the fact that Jack had a sizable fan base, he had to pass away for the film to have the same level of emotional resonance.
Who Was the Titanic’s Captain at the Time it Sank?
Titanic sinking as seen by survivors in lifeboats, 1912 digital color image. The Titanic’s skipper, Edward Smith, had been sailing since he was just 12 years old in 1867.
Captain Smith rose through the ranks of his commercial shipping business to become its president in 1875.
The skipper made the decision to transfer from commercial to passenger sailings in 1880 and enlisted with the White Star Line as a junior officer. Captain Smith took charge of his maiden ship, the Baltic, just seven years later.
The White Star Line specifically wanted Smith to represent “The Millionaire’s Captain” for their newest ship, the RMS Titanic, because Smith was so well-liked by wealthy passengers.
Captain Edward Smith was chosen by the White Star Line to lead the Titanic on its inaugural trip in order to give him one last sail before he was to retire.
Although the skipper was aware that this would be his final voyage, he mistakenly believed that he would be returning to his family thereafter.
The British Inquiry discovered that the claims that Captain Smith was driving too quickly because one of his White Star Line bosses was pressuring him were untrue.
Smith, a captain known for his obstinacy, would never jeopardize his ship or his reputation for a business.
Although Commander Smith didn’t have a spotless record, none of his maritime accidents had ever damaged his standing as a captain.
Smith had been in command of the RMS Olympic when it collided with a British warship and sustained significant damage just one year before taking the helm of the Titanic.
Captain Smith went down with his ship, and according to everything he had learned throughout his life, his body was never found.
In recent years, there have been advertising campaigns intended to help people who swim in the ocean water survive if they are caught in a riptide by encouraging them to remain calm and reminding them that the majority of people who drowned did so because they attempted to fight rather than float or tread water.
Imagine how much worse it would have been for passengers who had already begun to fear as the ship they were aboard was sinking and then hit the icy water.
Even if 1,500 individuals were killed simultaneously, it would still be a terrible way for anyone to pass away.
Regarding the well-known film, Jack could not possibly have survived. Even if he had been able to get onto the raft, his weight would have caused it to sink, killing both Jack and Rose.
It’s a little unreasonable to expect Jack and Rose, who are clearly surprised, to know how to tie a life jacket to the door.
The actual sinking of the ship in 1912 will always be considered the true tragedy, but one positive outcome was a revolution in legislation regarding lifeboat capacity and organization, which helped make all subsequent ship sailings significantly safer. Do well to like, share, and comment on this post.