Atanu Dey On India's Development

HMS Titanic — 3

Those in charge of the Titanic disregarded the warnings. And those who were not in charge were blissfully unaware of the fact that those in charge were not fully competent.

The Titanic had sealed its own fate by the cavalier disregard to those ice warnings by their Marconi operators. Particularly the last two, from the Maseba at 7.30pm and the Californian after 11pm. Had they paid attention to them they would have seen they were heading straight into an icefield.[Source]

The passengers trusted that the captain was competent. The importance of that simple concept called trust can never be underestimated. Without trust, we would accomplish very little. We have to trust that those who are supposed to know, do know; that those who are supposed to do, are capable, etc. We trust that the pilot knows how to handle the craft, and the surgeon the scalpel. We trust that the policy makers know what they are doing.

We only learn of a betrayal of that trust only when it is too late. Whether it is a ship, or a ship of state, some worry whether those whom we trust are worthy of that trust.

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The Titanic was doomed due to a number of factors which were linked into a chain. If any of the links were not forged, it would have avoided that fate. The first link of that chain was the structural link. It was designed such that if a few of its forward water-tight compartments were to get flooded, it would sink.

titanic_schematic
Image source

There must have been some design considerations which dictated why the bulkheads did not go all the way to the ceiling. I am only noting the structural feature which made the Titanic vulnerable to negligent behavior. Perhaps if the Titanic was designed differently, it could have survived the negligent behavior of its crew.

The lesson to me is that the ship had a structural failure that was exposed due to the incompetence of its captain.

[Continue on to part 4 of HMS Titanic.]