Titanic vs. Lusitania: Who Survived and Why?

Both the Titanic and the Lusitania sank, and both lacked enough life boats to shelter everyone on board. But even though the Lusitania sank in 18 minutes and the Titanic sank in 2 hours and 40 minutes, Lusitiana passengers and crew had a higher survival rate. In Smithsonian, Sarah Zielenski explains why:

What happened? The researchers say it all comes down to time.

The passengers of the Lusitania had less than 20 minutes before their ship sank, and in such a life-and-death situation, social scientists say, “self-interested reactions predominate.” It didn’t matter what the captain ordered. The ship was going down and people reacted selfishly, and in such a situation, it would be expected that people in their prime (16 to 35) would be the most likely to win a seat on a lifeboat. In addition, because there were difficulties in launching those boats, people in that age group would have had an additional advantage because they were more likely to have had the strength and agility to stay on board a rocking boat or to climb back in after falling into the water.

The Titanic, though, sank slowly enough for social norms to hold sway. The passengers generally held to the rule of “women and children first” even though they could have easily overpowered the crew. And first- and second-class passengers may have benefited from the extra time in which they may have had earlier or better information from the crew or had other advantages.


Link | Image: NOAA

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The Titanic, I beleive, was an unfortunate accident. I don't beleive it was Captain Edward Smiths fault, or Mr. Thomas Andrews' either. It isn't fair to make an accusation such as " Oh it was the Captains' fault because he was Captain." The poor man was fricken asleep!
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This article leads with the assertion that the Lusitania had a higher survival rate; but the Smithsonian article describes the survival rates as similar--but different groups survived--more women and children and rich people from the Titanic, more young adults and workers from the
Lusitania.
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