Want to know how many people survived the Titanic? We’ll find out everything you need to know here plus more in this article.
When most people talk about the Titanic, it’s easy to get caught up in remembering all of those who died while hoping to change their lives on the luxury liner.
Although there could have been many more survivors if the time-honored nautical protocols had been followed, the White Star Line is fortunate that hundreds of its passengers survived to tell the tale of what happened on that fateful night.
Without the survivors, the Titanic would have been just another ship lost at sea.
About the Titanic
The Titanic was a luxury British steamship that sank in the early hours of April 15, 1912, after colliding with an iceberg, killing over 1,500 passengers and crew.
The Titanic, the largest and most luxurious ship ever built, had a double-bottomed hull divided into 16 watertight compartments.
It was considered unsinkable because four of these could be flooded without losing buoyancy. It collided with an iceberg southeast of Cape Race, Newfoundland, shortly before midnight on April 14; five compartments ruptured, and the ship sank. One-fifth of the plane’s 2,200 passengers were killed.
Following the disaster, new rules were enacted requiring that the number of lifeboat places equals the number of passengers (the Titanic had only 1,178 lifeboat places for 2,224 passengers) and that all ships keep a 24-hour radio watch for distress signals (a ship less than 20 miles [32 kilometers] away had not heard the Titanic’s distress signal because no one was on duty).
The International Ice Patrol was formed to keep an eye out for icebergs in shipping lanes.
In 1985, Robert Ballard discovered the Titanic wreck lying upright in two pieces at a depth of 13,000 feet (4,000 m). American and French scientists investigated it with an unmanned submersible.
How Many People Survived the Sinking of the Titanic?
The RMS Titanic sank with only 706 survivors, 492 of whom were passengers and 214 crew members. The tragedy occurred in the early hours of April 15, 1912, and killed the majority of the passengers.
When the passengers bought their tickets, they could choose between first and third class.
The first class offered the finest luxury that the White Star Line had, and it made its debut on the maiden voyage of the RMS Titanic.
Although the first class was the most expensive option, often costing more than most passengers’ life savings, it proved to be a safer option for men, women, and children.
Sixty-one percent of first-class passengers and 42% of second-class passengers survived the Titanic’s sinking.
Unfortunately, third-class passengers were not as fortunate, regardless of their age or gender, with only 24% of third-class passengers surviving. As many third-class passengers as possible were crammed into lifeboats.
This frequently meant that third-class mothers could only bring their youngest children with them and had to leave their older children behind.
Although the Titanic’s crew was unable to evacuate the majority of second and third-class passengers, 75% of all female passengers survived. Only 20% of the male passengers survived.
Despite the fact that only 214 crew members survived, they accounted for approximately 22% of the survivors. Women made up 87% of the crew members who survived.
Four of the eight Navigational Officers were able to board lifeboats, but every single Engineering Officer bravely remained on the sinking ship in order to keep it afloat for as long as possible.
Who was the Youngest Survivor of the Titanic?
Eliza “Millvina” Dean was only nine weeks old when her parents brought her aboard the Titanic as a third-class passenger.
The Dean family was never supposed to board the Titanic, but they were forced to do so due to a worker strike.
The Deans were emigrating from England to Kansas in search of a better life, and they had packed everything they owned. Eliza Dean, her brother, and her mother were rescued by her father, who heard the iceberg’s impact.
He quickly roused his wife from bed and instructed her to prepare their young children for the trip to the top deck.
This allowed the Deans to be among the first few families to board the top deck, pushing his wife and children to the front of a growing crowd.
In the midst of the chaos, Eliza Dean and her mother were able to sneak onto the lifeboat as if they had waited in line and were among the first third-class passengers to get seats.
The Dean family saw no point in going to a place with no support because they knew they would have to brave the seas again on their way back to England without their father and husband.
Despite the despair of the voyages, Eliza Dean had become a beacon of hope for the world, becoming known as the baby who survived the Titanic’s sinking.
Passengers and crew alike were entertained as people took turns holding Dean and taking photos with her that would later appear in newspapers.
Eliza Dean would live until the age of 97 before passing away in 2009. She happily spent her entire life giving interviews about the Titanic.
Who was the Oldest Survivor of the Titanic?
George Harris, 61, was the oldest survivor and one of the few second-class male survivors.
Harris was a retired gardener who had a room at the Titanic’s stern and was fast asleep when the ship hit the iceberg.
According to Harris, it wasn’t the impact that woke him up, but rather an ice storm that began to hit the top deck 10 minutes later.
The roaring ice waves sounded like thunder to the old gardener, prompting him to go investigate the situation.
After there was no response to whether or not there were any more women or children aboard, Harris was given a seat in a lifeboat.
Harris was forced to face the Titanic as it sank while assisting the other men on his lifeboat to row themselves to safety.
Harris described watching the Titanic split in two and sink as “the most agonizing moment of my life.”
Not only did Harris have to witness the horrifying scene, but he also had to hear the screams of those who were unable to board lifeboats.
Harris could clearly see the Titanic’s rail separating from where they were rowing and then saw a group of second-class passengers scrambling for their lives as the icy water inched closer to them.
The entire group was thrown into the water when the rail snapped, and a haunting chorus of blood-curdling screams filled the air.
People clinging to the ship’s pieces for dear life were violently thrown into the ocean as more pieces of the ship broke.
Many of the people Harris saw being swallowed by the sea were much younger than him, and some of the survivors were even children.
What was “The Unsinkable Molly Brown” All About?
Margaret Brown is a Titanic survivor best known as “The Unsinkable Molly Brown” due to her ability to take command and compensate for a lack of leadership aboard her lifeboat.
She is frequently credited with keeping that lifeboat afloat. Brown had had an incredible life before becoming such an important part of the Titanic’s story.
Despite having grown up poor her entire life, Brown was determined to marry for love rather than wealth or reputation, and she married a man who went on to become extremely wealthy.
Not that money was no longer an issue, but Molly Brown spent her days traveling the world, socializing with other socialites, and devoting much of her energy to her philanthropic work.
Brown was known among her friends for getting things done and doing things with her own two hands.
Brown chose the Titanic because her grandchild had become gravely ill and the RMS Titanic was the quickest way for her to return home from her trip to Egypt.
Molly Brown fought tooth and nail to get a spot on a lifeboat to see her sick grandchild as people scrambled to find them.
Brown grabbed an oar and sat in one of the lifeboats as more concerned passengers began to fill the seats.
Throughout, “The Unsinkable Molly Brown” maintained a cool head, even as the crew member in charge of their lifeboat began to panic.
Molly Brown became famous and extremely popular after word of her heroic actions spread. Brown used her newfound platform to advocate for women’s rights and poor children’s education.
Molly Brown ran for Senate in 1914, but her campaign was cut short by World War I. Brown, rather than sitting back, went to help rebuild France.
How “Miss Unsinkable” Violet Jessop Survived Three Ship Accidents
Violet Jessop worked as a nurse for the White Star Line and was one of the female crew members who survived the Titanic sinking.
However, the Titanic was only the first of three White Star Line ship disasters that Jessop would survive. The Titanic wasn’t even Jessop’s first time surviving the unthinkable.
Jessop was the first of her siblings to survive childhood, and she went on to become the eldest of six children. Jessop contracted tuberculosis when she was young, and her doctors predicted that it would be fatal.
She was a survivor from a young age and had enough resilience to get through the illness. The RMS Titanic was built alongside two other sister ships of similar design and size when it was built.
Violet Jessop went on to work on the HMHS Britannic after her time on the Titanic, and she had previously worked on the RMS Olympic before the RMS Titanic.
Only a year before the Titanic’s sinking, the Olympic was involved in an accident as it was leaving Southampton and collided with the British warship, the HMS Hawke.
Fortunately, no one was injured in the accident, and the sink was able to return to the dock without sinking.
During World War I, the White Star Line converted some of their ships into hospitals, and Violet Jessop worked as a stewardess for the British Red Cross on the HMHS Britannic.
Despite not even being at sea, disaster struck on the morning of November 21st, 1916, when an explosion went off. Researchers believe it was a torpedo or a mine planted by German forces.
The Iceberg-Spotting Survivor
Frederick Fleet, a 25-year-old sailor, was one of five RMS Titanic lookouts and was the first to spot the iceberg. It was his first time at sea, and he couldn’t wait to board the Titanic for her maiden voyage.
Fleet had been paired up with fellow lookout Reginald Lee on the night of April 14th, 1912.
Before leaving, the previous lookout team warned Fleet and Lee about the ice chunks they had discovered and reminded them to be cautious. Fleet heeded their advice and waited with bated breath.
As soon as he saw the iceberg, he began frantically ringing the emergency bell and notified the bridge as quickly as he could.
Frederick Fleet is best known for issuing the bridge called “Iceberg! Right ahead!” This warning has even been used in film adaptations.
Although Fleet was quick with his call, he wasn’t quick enough to prevent the Titanic from colliding with the iceberg.
His shift didn’t end until people were already boarding lifeboats, and as soon as he arrived on deck, he was directed to lifeboat number six. He was still panicking on the boat, and “The Unsinkable Molly Brown” took over as captain.
When Fleet returned to land, he was immediately questioned by nearly everyone he encountered.
The majority of people blamed the crew for what happened to the Titanic and all those who died in the sinking.
For decades, Fleet suffered from immense guilt and depression, which eventually became too much for him to bear. Frederick Fleet committed suicide in 1965.
Although Fleet’s body survived the disaster, many parts of him died along with the unfortunate passengers who were unable to board a lifeboat.
The Only Titanic Survivor from Japan
Masabumi Hosono was not only the RMS Titanic’s only Japanese passenger, but he also found a seat and survived. Masabumi, like Frederick Fleet, discovered that surviving that night would result in widespread public outrage.
Masabumi had been working on a research project in Russia and had traveled to England to board the RMS Titanic on his way back to his wife and daughter.
He had been researching Russian railroad operations and had purchased a second-class ticket when he arrived in Southampton.
Masabumi was sleeping when the Titanic collided with an iceberg, causing the ship to sink. A crew member’s loud knocking had jolted him out of his slumber.
Due to his race, Masabumi Hosono was ordered to the lower deck of the ship when he opened the door.
The lower decks, on the other hand, were further away from the lifeboats, leaving him with little to no chance of survival.
Masabumi made his way to the lifeboats, looking for an opportunity to see his wife and daughter again.
Masabumi saw another man jump into the lifeboat after some crew members announced that two spots were available. He quickly decided to follow suit.
Masabumi had no idea how he was going to get home when he was sent to New York with many other survivors.
Masabumi Hosono was able to return to Japan with the help of friends and interviews he gave while in the United States. Masabumi was initially praised for surviving the traumatic event.
However, after one first-class survivor referred to him as a “stowaway,” the American press began to turn against him. The Japanese public quickly questioned his honor for not giving the seat to someone else.
Trouble for the Carter Family
William E. Carter and his wife, Lucille Polk Carter, had traveled to England with their two children, governess, valet, and polo ponies so that Mr. Carter could play polo for the Bryn Mawr Benedicts.
These Baltimore natives were the only ones on the ship who were also prolific socialites in the area at the time.
They brought their brand new French Renault automobile with them as they boarded the RMS Titanic with everything they had brought to England.
Mr. Carter was separated from his wife and children when the Titanic’s crew began to fill and release the lifeboats.
As William Carter lowered his wife and children into their lifeboat, it appeared to be the last time the Carters would ever see each other. He was, however, able to find a seat on another lifeboat that was later released.
Mrs. Carter and her two children were saved by the Carpathia, but they were unaware that William Carter had also been saved on the same ship.
When Lucille Carter went up for some fresh air at 8:00 a.m., she noticed her seemingly deceased husband leaning against the railing.
William Carter casually told his wife that he had a good breakfast and was surprised to see her alive because he didn’t think she and the children would make it.
When Lucille Carter asked her husband how he had survived, he said he was on the same boat as J. Bruce Ismay, a White Star Line executive.
Historians and Lucille Carter, on the other hand, questioned this story because Ismay’s lifeboat had left 15 minutes earlier.
Lucille Carter filed for divorce in 1914, citing “cruel and barbarous treatment and indignities to the person.”
How One Officer Escaped from the Titanic Alive
Charles Lightoller had been sailing since he was 13 years old and had plenty of sea experience by the time he took his job as one of the RMS Titanic’s Navigational Officers who survived.
Lightoller began his career with the White Star Line in 1900 and had advanced to the position of Second Officer by the time he boarded the Titanic.
He had just returned to his room after handing over the shift to the First Officer when the iceberg struck.
He sprang into action after being informed that water had reached the F deck and began handling the lifeboats.
The difficult job required him to ultimately decide who would live and who would have to die.
Lightoller had discovered that the lifeboats could not withstand the weight of full capacity, so he strictly ordered that the lifeboats not be filled to capacity and instead made the decision on when to lower the lifeboats.
Men took over a lifeboat once, and Charles Lightoller had to threaten them with his revolver and remove the troublesome men from the lifeboat to make room for women and children.
Lightoller took two collapsible canvases and made two boats out of them after all the lifeboats had been released.
Although he had no intention of abandoning his men, it was his men who insisted on his survival in order to prevent such a tragedy from happening again.
How Many Survivors of the Titanic are still Alive?
None. Millvina Dean, who was only 2 months old at the time, was the youngest passenger on board. She died in 2009, having lived the longest of any Titanic survivor.
Titanic replica also meets disaster: the iceberg wall at the Titanic museum in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, collapses, injuring three visitors.
Is the Titanic still Afloat?
Yes. The Titanic’s wreckage can still be found at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, though bacteria live in it and will eventually consume it by eating at the iron in the ship’s hull.
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