14 April 1912 - 11.39pm

11:40pm - The officers on the bridge hear three clangs on the crow’s nest bell, and the phone on the bridge starts to ring. Sixth Officer Moody answers the phone, and Fleet reports that an iceberg is dead ahead. He thanks Fleet and puts the phone down, but the First Officer Murdoch has already detected the looming danger ahead. Murdoch has already given the order to stop the engines and to put the ship hard to starboard. However, it’s too late, and in about 30 seconds, the iceberg scrapes down the starboard side of the ship. As the iceberg scrapes along the length of the ship, he suddenly changes direction and puts the ship hard to port in order to swing the stern away from it. He also orders the watertight doors to be closed.

11:41pm - Captain Smith comes onto the bridge soon after the impact and asks Murdoch what they have hit. A shocked and grey faced Murdoch tells the Captain that they have hit an iceberg. Captain Smith immediately orders the carpenter to inspect the ship for damage. Boxhall is also sent down to check for damage to the ship.

11:47pm - Captain Smith orders the engines to be started up again to half speed.

12:15-12:40am - Thomas Andrews has returned to the bridge, and he tells the Captain that the ship is going to sink, and that she only has an hour or two to live. The first distress call is sent out, and the lifeboats are uncovered and swung out and prepared for launching. Lifeboat number seven is the first lifeboat to be loaded and lowered with only 28 passengers onboard. The boat has a capacity of 65 passengers. The Titanic has started taking on a starboard list. The men in the boiler rooms are fighting against the incoming water, trying to stop the flooding. Lights are spotted off the port bow on the horizon.


12:40-1:00am - The SS Mount Temple has received Titanic’s distress call and responded to the call alerting Titanic that she’s on her way; this ship is the first to make way for the sinking Titanic. During this time, Carpathia also responds to Titanic's distress calls, and Harold Bride reports this to the bridge while the German ship, Frankfurt, also responds. Lifeboat number four is lowered to A deck. Lightoller orders the crew to open the D deck gangway door on the port side. This door is left open throughout the sinking; it was opened to help in loading the lifeboats. Lifeboat number five is lowered with 35 passengers onboard; the lifeboat has trouble lowering and starts to tilt, scaring the passengers. Harold Bride suggests to Jack Phillips to start sending the SOS distress call, and he makes a joke and remarks 'This might be the last time we get to use it.' Fourth Officer Boxhall fires the first distress rocket in an attempt to get the attention of the ship on the horizon. Some stokers rush up the grand staircase, scaring some passengers. Some crew members on the poop deck telephone the bridge to notify them of the lifeboats in the water. Steam stops venturing from the funnels as lifeboat number nine is lowered to A deck windows. Water has reached the E deck stairs. During this time, lifeboat number three is being launched with only 32 people onboard. The band moves to the boat deck level of the grand staircase.

15 April 1912 - 1:00am

1:00-1:30am - Lifeboat number eight is launched with 27 people onboard, and the sea has reached the Titanic’s name on the bow. Scotland Road is also rapidly flooding. Lifeboat number one is lowered away with only 12 passengers onboard; these include the Duff Gordons. Sea water has also reached the D deck gangway door that has been left open, allowing water to enter through it. Also, the forecastle and forward well deck have started to flood. The ship is also taking on a port list. The D deck reception room and the first-class dining saloon have started to flood. Lifeboat number six is lowered away with 23 people onboard; these include Margaret Brown and Quartermaster Robert Hitchens at the helm. Second Officer Lightoller allows Arthur Peuchen into lifeboat number six. As he climbs down the rope, he drops his wallet. This wallet was later discovered in the debris field of the wreck. He is the only male passenger who was allowed into a lifeboat by Second Officer Lightoller. Lifeboat number 16 is launched with 53 people onboard. Lifeboat number 14 is launched with Fifth Officer Lowe in charge and 40 passengers onboard. Officer Lowe fires three shots from his pistol into the air to stop swarming passengers from jumping into the boat. As the lifeboat passes the A deck promenade, it drops into the sea after suffering some issues with the ropes that were jammed.

1:30-2:00am - Several ships are confirmed to be on the way to Titanic including the RMS Baltic. Lifeboat number 12 is launched with 42 people aboard. Titanic has taken on a severe list to port. Lifeboat number nine is also launched with 40 people aboard. With most of the boiler rooms flooded, the Titanic’s power starts to decrease. Some of the ships that the Titanic is in contact with start to lose contact including losing contact with Cape Race, Canada. Titanic also loses contact with her sister Olympic. Lifeboat number 11 is caught by the bilge discharge, and the boat is nearly swamped, panicking the passengers. Lifeboat number 13 is launched with 55 people aboard; it also gets caught in bilge discharge, pushing the boat aft by the force and jamming it. Panic starts to take place amongst passengers on the decks, and the list to port makes it difficult to launch the remaining lifeboats, especially those lifeboats on the starboard side. Lifeboat number two is launched with only 13 passengers aboard, and Fourth Officer Boxhall is put in charge of this boat. The last message is heard from the Titanic, 'Come quick old man, engine room flooded up to boilers.' Lifeboat number 15 almost comes down on top of Lifeboat number 13. Lifeboat number 13 gets free from the falls release in the boat and manages to get away. The lights on the horizon disappear, and lifeboat number 10 is launched from the A deck promenade with 57 people aboard; lifeboat C is launched. J. Bruce Ismay is on this boat. Lifeboat number four is launched with 30 passengers onboard, including Madeleine Astor. Collapsible lifeboat D is launched with 20 people aboard; this is the last lifeboat to be launched by the davits. Officers try to free the collapsible lifeboats A and B from the officers’ quarters roof. As the water is almost nearing the bridge, the power is becoming weaker. The lights of the Titanic start to change colour and display an orange tinge.

© Copyright Simon Fisher
© Copyright Anton Logvynenko

2:00am - the final plunge 

2:00-2:20am - Just before the bridge went under, Captain Smith and Thomas Andrews were last seen on the bridge together by a few eyewitnesses. Captain Smith was overheard saying to Thomas Andrews: 'There is no point in waiting any longer; she’s going.' They went over the side together at the bridge wing. Water starts to flood the boat deck, collapsible boat B lands upside down and is washed off the deck. Collapsible A is also washed off the deck. Passengers recall hearing explosions coming from inside the ship. The first funnel collapses into the water with a great crash, killing people in its path. The grand staircase dome imploded, funnelling tons of water into the staircase, coursing a whirl of water around it. The second funnel explodes and falls onto the roof of the gymnasium. The stern rises out of the water; passengers still on the ship cling onto the ship screaming and fighting for their lives. All of the grand fixtures inside the ship crash forward as the tilt of the ship grows steeper and steeper.

The ship is bending, and the steel starts to groan. Metallic sounds echo across the dark night from the dying ship as the majestic vessel is pulled under. Close to 1,500 are still left aboard. Titanic’s lights flicker and go out forever, leaving a dark silhouette of the stern.

The ship breaks in half just before the third funnel at the waterline. Lanterns are seen aboard that were used throughout the sinking; some emergency lights stay on for a few seconds as the stern rises. Finally, at 2:20am, the mighty ship slips beneath the waves like a dying beast.

People in the lifeboats can only watch helplessly as the nightmare unfolds on the tilting decks while the ship takes their families with her. Passengers in the lifeboats hear explosions as the stern descends to the sea floor.

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© Copyright Simon Fisher