It's all these human errors that fascinate me. Errors that the directors of the White Star Line couldn't have foreseen when they confidently described their prestigious liner as "virtually unsinkable". The sort of unpredictable blunders that can so easily sabotage years of meticulous planning.
These are the known human errors:
* Iceberg warnings from other ships were either ignored or not seen by senior crew
* Despite the iceberg warnings, on a poor-visibility, moonless night, the ship didn't stop or slow down but continued at its top speed of 21½ knots.
* This was because the captain was determined to reach New York in 6 days
* The lookouts in the crow's nest had no binoculars
* The radio operator told the nearest ship, the Californian, not to send any more messages as he was too busy sending messages for passengers
* When the lookouts saw a dark mass ahead, they spent ten minutes discussing what it was before realising it was an iceberg
* When the iceberg was spotted, the ship steered away from it and hit it side-on. If the collision had been head-on, the reinforced bow would have kept it afloat
Oddly enough, Titanic Belfast, the new building devoted to the Titanic story, has no gallery specifically on the collision with the iceberg, even though the collision is the crux of the story and the single reason why the liner is still so notorious a hundred years later.
I guess they find the human errors too embarrassing to emphasise, despite their importance. You're led to believe that the ship quite suddenly and unexpectedly hit an iceberg. Far from it.
(And that's not all. More human errors added to the high death toll)
Details of human errors are from the TV programme "The Unsinkable Titanic", Channel Four, November 3, 2008