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Photograph of a Lifeboat Carrying Titanic Survivors, 05/14/1912 (NAI 278337) archives.gov

When the passengers of the ill-fated RMS Titanic boarded her on her maiden voyage, did they notice the life boats? It is unlikely that they did so. After all, a promotional flyer printed by the White Star Line for both the Olympic and Titanic stated that:

…as far as it is possible to do, these two wonderful vessels are designed to be unsinkable” (Robinson and Lynch, 1993).

Contrary to the legends that the Titanic tragedy has spawned, though, Captain Edward J. Smith did not say that even God could not sink the Titanic. Smith had said, concerning the Adriatic, a few years prior:

I cannot imagine any condition which would cause a ship to founder. I cannot conceive of any vital disaster happening to this vessel. Modern shipbuilding has gone beyond that” (PBS, 2000).

This, however, does not mean that people living at the time did not dismiss such qualifying statements such as the one printed in the White Star Line promotional flyer that Titanic was unsinkable only to the degree to which it was possible. They truly believed that man’s ingenuity had created unsinkable ships.

With that thought in mind, then, it is more likely that the passengers boarding Titanic were more keen on viewing the luxuries afforded by the Olympic-class liner than her life-saving features.

What about those of us setting sail on life’s sea for eternity’s shore? Are we concerned by the thoughts of our own salvation or are we more concerned about enjoying the luxuries afforded to us as we make our life’s journey?

I would counsel you to give thought to your soul’s salvation, first, before a life-ending tragedy disrupts your voyage.


Robinson, Geoff and Don Lynch. “The Unsinkable Titanic As Advertised.” The Titanic Commutator. February 1993.

Ballard, Robert D. and Rick Archibold. “The Lost Liners: Titanic” PBS. 2000. 16 April 2012 <http://www.pbs.org/lostliners/titanic.html&gt;