IT"S among the world"s most famous and tragic catastrophes-- however it might have been completely avoided.

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On this day, 109 years ago, thousands of people were fighting for their resides on plank the Titanic.

On the night the April 14, 1912, the RMS Titanic, the Belfast-built ship which was largest and most outstanding ever constructed at the time, crashed into an iceberg as it do its means towards brand-new York City ~ above its maiden voyage.

In the beforehand hours that 15 April, 1912, the huge ship, ironically advertised as "unsinkable", started to drop right into the icy waters the the Atlantic-- in addition to the 2,200 souls on board.

1,500 people perished as soon as the Titanic plunged right into the icy depths of the Atlantic ocean, numerous succumbing come the cold or drowned in the glassy dark waters.

The ill-fated White Star liner RMS Titanic, i m sorry struck an iceberg and sank on her maiden voyage throughout the Atlantic. (Photo by central Press/Getty Images)

The chef Radio Operator, Jack Phillips, was referred to as "the man who conserved us all" as he remained at his write-up sending distress signal to any adjacent ships calling for emergency assistance.

He stayed on board till the water started lapping at his feet, and later came to be one the the 1,500 casualties the the disaster-- however not prior to he properly contacted the Carpathia, which conserved 705 lives.

The Carpathia was stationed 58 mile (107km) away, and travelled at too much speed through the icy waters to save as countless as lock could, regardless of knowing that icebergs to be hiding in the dark sea.

The ship arrived one hour and also 20 minutes after the Titanic sank, and also it was too late because that those who had actually been left in the water-- only those who had regulated to with the lifeboats top top time to be able to be saved.

The tragedy is made all the worse by the knowledge which arised afterwards-- that one more ship was just 20 mile away.

British liner The SS Californian was involved, ~ above the sidelines, in the sinking the the Titanic in an ext ways 보다 one: an hour prior to the Titanic struck the iceberg, the radio operator that the Californian sent a blog post to surrounding ships warning of ice fields ahead.

The Titanic"s radio operator, Jack Phillips, made decision not to alert the ship"s captain come the message as the Californian"s warning did not begin with the prefix MSG (Master"s company Gram), which would certainly have required the captain to confirm he had received the message.

A fateful decision by Jack Phillips, one which can have averted the disaster entirely.

The iceberg believed to be the one i beg your pardon sunk the Titanic (Image: Henry Aldridge and Son, Auctioneers)

But even after the Titanic win the iceberg, hundreds much more lives could have to be saved, as the Californian was just 40 minutes away.

But together Phillips desperately sent out distress signals over the radio also as the Titanic started flooding, the message were not picked up by the surrounding ship as the radio operator who had actually sent the early warning had gone turn off duty.

A later inquiry found that crew on board the Californian would certainly have to be able to see the Titanic"s rockets as the delivery went down, and may even have to be able to see the ship itself-- a carpenter on board the ship, James McGregor, told us newspaper The Clinton daily Item, that he had actually seen both the ship and also distress rockets.

The United says Senate inquiry, and also the British destructive Commissioner"s inquiry, both uncovered that the Californian could have saved many-- or even all-- that the lives lost on the Titanic were it no for the inaction that the crew.

But the ship"s captain, Stanley Lord, questioned the findings-- despite first claiming he had not seen the rockets and then an altering his story to say the rockets to be from a various ship-- and spent the remainder of his life do the efforts to clean his name.

In 1992, the UK"s maritime Accident examination Branch re-investigated the findings, and also still condemned the inaction the Captain Lord and also the crew of the Californian-- yet acknowledged that the time it would have actually taken for the delivery to with the Titanic would most likely still have been too late to save those in the water.

The fates of the two ships to be inseparably bound together-- and also the irony to be not shed when, 3 years ~ the Titanic sunk, the Californian experienced the exact same fate.

In 1915, the Californian to be sunk in the waters of the eastern Mediterranean by German submarines during human being War I; one human being was killed and also another 2 injured.

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Unlike the Titanic however, who wreckage has actually been examined and investigated generally over the past century, the wreckage the the Californian has actually never been found.