Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 12 July 2014

Titanic: Iceberg ahead, but why did no one spot it in time?

Third-class tea cup china used by passengers and the crew, is shown as part of the artifacts collection at a warehouse in Atlanta, Friday, Aug 15, 2008. The 5,500-piece collection contains almost everything recovered from the wreckage of the RMS Titanic, which has sat 2.5 miles below the surface of the Atlantic ocean since the boat sank on April 15, 1912.

One of the most frequent questions asked about the catastrophe is why did no one spot the iceberg before the fatal collision?

Especially as there were known to have been at least six warnings issued on that day.

It's been reported that the iceberg warnings were ignored because the wireless operator was too busy sending out passenger messages via the Marconi wireless room.

But more important perhaps was the iceberg itself. What we have here is not the traditional snow-covered glacier but one that had become clear through continuous melting and refreezing, transforming it into a kind of dark mirror against the calm water and the clear night sky.

It was, you might say, the equivalent of black ice. The Titanic was effectively sailing blind into a trap.

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