We are currently trialling our new-look independent.co.uk website - please send any feedback to beta@independent.co.uk


Letter : Shipyard never said 'unsinkable'

Sir: In regard to Geoffrey Hodgson's article on the Titanic ("Graves, the new destination", 31 August), it is worth noting that the claim that the Titanic was unsinkable came not from Harland and Wolff in Belfast (the designer and builder) or the White Star Line (the owner), but from the press of the day. The ship was described as "practically unsinkable" in a newspaper article.

It was, however, well known in Harland that if a certain number of the bulkheads were breached, the ship would go down.

The lack of lifeboats was due to standard safety practice of the time, not because anyone thought the ship could not sink. The number of lifeboats reflected the number of first- and second-class passengers the ship could carry. Most who went down with the Titanic were steerage.



Co Fermanagh