Titanic's Timeline

A detailed timeline of the notable events and dates in the history of Titanic. This timeline encompasses everything from Titanic's inception, to launch, the maiden voyage and fateful sinking to the aftermath and eventual discovery and conservation of artifacts.



February 2, 1912:
Milvina Dean, the youngest person aboard the Ship and the last living survivor of Titanic is born.
April 2nd, 1912, 8:00 pm:
The crew of Titanic participates in sea trials before leaving Belfast, where the Ship was built, for Southampton.
April 10th, 1912, 6:00 am:
Just after sunrise the first members of the crew began to board Titanic. All of the officers except Captain Smith had already spent the night on board. Captain Smith arrived later that morning around 7:30.
April 10th, 1912, 12:00 pm:
Titanic starts maiden voyage, leaving Southampton and ventures to Cherbourg, France, and Queenstown, Ireland (this is the official sailing date for the Ship).
April 11th, 1912, 1:30 pm:
Titanic raises anchor for the last time and leaves Queenstown.
April 14th, 1912, Morning:
Lifeboat drills were neglected after church services, although the crew has to complete the procedure.
April 14th, 1912, 10:55 pm:
Californian, completely surrounded by ice, stops for the evening and warns the Titanic of the impending danger.
April 14th, 1912, 11:40 pm:
Frederick Fleet sights an iceberg.

  • First Officer Murdoch gives the "hard a-starboard" order while having the engines stopped and reversed; activates lever that closes watertight doors.
  • The Ship, traveling at approximately 20 knots (26 mph), turned slightly to the left, avoiding a head-on collision. Below the water the iceberg punctures the hull.
  • Five, possibly six of the Titanic's watertight compartments flood.
  • Captain Smith assesses the damage and orders his telegraph operators to send the distress signal, "CDQ," after estimating the ship will remain afloat for two hours.
April 15th, 1912, 12:15 am:
Captain Smith assesses the damage.

  • He orders his telegraph operators to send the distress signal, "CDQ," after estimating the ship will remain afloat for two hours.
  • He gives the order to uncover the lifeboats and evacuate the women and children.
April 15th, 1912, 12:45 am:
First lifeboat leaves the Ship with only 19 aboard, although it could carry 65.
April 15th, 1912, 2:05 am:
Titanic's bow begins sinking as the last of the lifeboats are lowered into the water. An estimated 1,500 people were left stranded on the sinking boat.
April 15th, 1912, 2:20 am:
Titanic sinks.
April- May 1912:
Within weeks of Dorothy Gibson's rescue her studio, Eclair Film Co., capitalized on the connection by releasing a ten-minute feature "Saved from the Titanic." In the film, Ms. Gibson wore the same dress in which she had boarded a Titanic lifeboat. She was actually one of the first in a lifeboat, whereas in the film the heroine helps rescue several people and is one of the last to enter a boat. This film no longer exists and there were undoubtedly several other silent film versions of the Titanic disaster which did not survive.
May 1912:
Coast Guard starts due to Titanic: After the disaster, international demand arose to begin patrolling the ice fields as a preventive measure. In May 1912, two U.S. Navy vessels began patrolling. However, in 1913 the Navy was no longer able to offer its services and the Coast Guard's predecessor, the Revenue Cutter Service, assigned the cutters Seneca and Miami to perform the duties. Then, an international conference for the safety of life at sea convened in London on Nov. 12, 1913. Out of that conference was born an agreement, signed Jan. 20, 1914 to establish and maintain an ice patrol on a continuous basis over the most threatening areas to shipping. On Feb. 7, 1914, the U.S. Coast Guard assumed the duty of running the International Ice Patrol (IIP) and has patrolled this area non-stop with the exception of World Wars I and II. The functions of the IIP are specifically designated by both international treaty and U.S. law.