• Imagining History

The Sinking of the Titanic – Facts For Kids:

Updated: Apr 22

The Titanic was a luxury ship that famously hit an iceberg and sank on its first ever voyage, despite being marketed as being “unsinkable”. We've already shared with you some fun facts about the construction of this amazing vessel and what life was like on board. Now you can impress your family, friends and teachers with these fascinating facts and figures about the sinking of this ill-fated ship.


Titanic Sinking by Willy Stöwer, 1912
When did the Titanic sink?

The Titanic hit the iceberg at approximately 11:40pm on April 14th 1912. The sinking took just over 2 and a half hours with the last bits of the ship disappearing into the ocean at around 2:20am on April 15th.


Ned Parfett best known as the "Titanic Paperboy", standing outside the White Star Line offices April 16 1912
How many days was it since she set off on her voyage?

The Titanic sank just 4 days into her first voyage.


Where did the Titanic sink?

The North Atlantic Ocean. Approximately 400 miles off the coast of Newfoundland in Canada.


Did the crew receive iceberg warnings?

The crew of the Titanic received 6 iceberg warnings before the collision. A nearby ship called the Californian even sent a message to the Titanic to warn her that they had stopped their ship because of icebergs in the area.


How long did the crew have to react after seeing the iceberg?

30 seconds. That was the length of time between when the iceberg was first spotted and when the ship collided with it.


Did You Know?:

There were around a whopping 300 icebergs crossing the shipping lanes in the Atlantic Ocean that year. Witnesses claimed the iceberg that the Titanic hit was around 15 to 30 metres high and 60 to 120 metres long. That’s like a stack of double decker buses, 6 buses high and 8 buses long! And that’s just the bit that was sticking out of the water. It could have had another 270 metres of it hidden beneath the surface! It was so big that it would have taken another 2 weeks after the collision before the iceberg fully melted back into water again.

Who responded to the Titanic’s call for help?

The RMS Carpathia responded, but it took nearly 4 hours her to arrive at the scene, by which time Titanic had already sunk.


Titanic's hulls scraping along a shelf of ice jutting out beneath the surface of the water.
How many people died when Titanic sank?

Around 1,500 people died in the tragedy. This is was around two-thirds of the people on board. Of the 2,200 people on board, only 700 survived.


How cold was the water?

The water in the Atlantic Ocean when the Titanic sank would have been approximately -2 degrees centigrade. Most of the victims of the tragedy would have died from exposure to the cold conditions in the water rather than from drowning.


Did You Know?:

The high death toll was largely down to the lack of lifeboats on board. Although the original plan was to carry 48 lifeboats, the number was slashed to just 20. These lifeboats could carry around 1,100 people – about half of those on board. Even more tragically, nearly 500 lifeboat spaces went unused. Many of the lifeboats were launched with less than half of the capacity they could carry and two of the collapsible lifeboats were not launched at all.

One of the last lifeboats to be launched from the Titanic - a collapsible lifeboat.
Who was the youngest survivor of the Titanic?

Millvina Dean was just 2 months and 13 days old when she travelled aboard the Titanic. Millvina, her mother and brother made it to safety on a lifeboat. She was also the longest living survivor of the tragedy – living to tell her tale of survival until 2009 when she died at 97 years old.


How far down did the Titanic sink?

The Titanic lies approximately 2 and a half miles below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean. The ship split into two sections during the sinking. The second section hit the seabed at around 50 miles per hour!


The Bow of the Titanic at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.
Who found the wreckage of the Titanic?

Oceanographer Dr Robert Ballard used his robot submarine, the Argo, to search the depths of the Atlantic Ocean to find the wreckage of the Titanic in 1985. This was over 70 years after the sinking.


How many items have been salvaged from the wreckage of the ship?

Around 6000 items have been salvaged from the ship – and in pretty good condition too. Some of the items have been sold at auction for tens of thousands of pounds.