Titanic 100th Anniversary Nears
Near midnight on April 14th 1912, the world’s newest and greatest ocean liner, RMS Titanic struck an iceberg. In less than 3 hours, she was plunging to the bottom of the Atlantic nearly 2 miles from the surface.. More than 15oo people perished. The rich and famous were aboard but it was the poor immigrants who died in the greates numbers.
(Affluent) Women and Children First
In 1912, the rule of the seas was women and children to the lifeboats first and this held true for the Titanic. However, when we look at survival rates according to class, we see that the wealthy were at a distinct advantage. Remember, back in the day, ocean liners were segregated by class. Each class ate and were entertained in different parts of the ship. The first class passengers enjoyed opulent surroundings while the steerage had comfortable but very plain accomodations.
It is apparant that most of the first class women and children made it to the lifeboats since 97% of them survived. Third Class woman were not so lucky. Only forty-nine percent survived but the steerage children fared even worse where only 31 percent survived. Even female crew fared better with over 90% reaching safety.
Men (especially steerage men) Go Down with the Ship
Over 80% of the men on the Titanic died but the highest proportion of male deaths was among the steerage passengers where 87% died in the icy North Atlantic.
Overall the survival rate among first, second and steerage passengers was 63%, 43% and 25% respectively. The crews survival rate was 23%.