What Time Did the RMS Titanic Really Hit the Iceberg?

April 03, 2012: Barry Cauchon

The triple screws of the RMS Titanic

The triple screws of the RMS Titanic

As the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic approaches, I thought I’d republish an article I wrote back on April 18, 2009. I’ve updated the introduction and clarified some points, but the rest remains intact and is still relevant today. Enjoy. Barry

PS: I have added a TIME ZONE chart at the bottom of this article for people in the United States wishing to commemorate the exact time the Titanic hit the iceberg and sank (for your time zone today).

————————————

April 14 & 15 marks the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the RMS Titanic. If you are like me, I enjoy thinking about events like this in ‘real time’. For instance, Abraham Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth at 10:15 pm EST (Eastern Standard Time) on April 14, 1865. I currently live in this same time zone so on every anniversary (April 14), originally between the hours of 10:00 pm and 10:30 pm, I would imagine the series of events that took place minute by minute. I’ve done this since I was a kid so please don’t assume that I’m certifiable (at least not just yet)! But a few years ago I realized that I had not factored in Daylight Savings Time. For you perfectionists, by considering Daylight Savings Time, the correct tim for these events actually should take place between 11:00 and 11:30 pm EDT.

In the sinking of the Titanic, a number of different factors come into play that mess up my little game so I thought I’d spend a few minutes explaining them to you (lol). The accepted facts about the sinking are this:

  1. The Titanic struck the iceberg at 11:40 pm on April 14, 1912.
  2. The Titanic sank 2 hours and 40 minutes later at 2:20 am on April 15, 1912.

Now here is where it gets tricky.

The times noted above were based on “shipboard” time (the actual time on the ship). Calculating time at sea does not follow conventional land-based time zones. This was certainly the case in 1912. But to truly know what the time difference was, relative to other time zones, requires whose version of the events you use. It has become a puzzle for many, but two main ‘time differences’ are generally considered.

The first is based on the testimony of Titanic’s Second Officer Charles Lightoller who put the time as being 1 hour, 33 minutes ahead of New York City time (Eastern Standard Time)(EST). The other is from Charles Bigham, known as “Lord Mersey” of the High Court of the British Wreck Commissioner’s Inquiry. Bigham indicated that the time difference was 1 hour and 50 minutes ahead of EST. As many of us are not lucky enough to be in the middle of the North Atlantic when the anniversary is celebrated, here are the adjusted times for Eastern Standard Time using both calculations.

Lightoller’s Version (1 hour 33 minutes ahead of EST)(-5)

  1. The Titanic struck the iceberg at 10:07 pm (EST) on April 14, 1912.
  2. The Titanic sank 2 hours and 40 minutes later at 12:47 am (EST) on April 15, 1912.

Lord Mersey’s Version (1 hour 50 minutes ahead of EST)(-5)

  1. The Titanic struck the iceberg at 9:50 pm (EST) on April 14, 1912.
  2. The Titanic sank 2 hours and 40 minutes later at 12:30 am (EST) on April 15, 1912.

But wait, there is more! For the real perfectionists out there, what about Daylight Savings Time in the Eastern Time Zone (EDT)(Eastern Daylight Time)? Well Daylight Savings Time was not a factor in 1912 as it didn’t go into use in England, Germany and the United States until WWI. However, it is in effect today. So if you attempt to reenact the minute by minute events in real time by using the EST calculations listed above you will once again be incorrect. Assuming that you are in, let’s say New York City for example, during Daylight Savings Time (EDT), then these are the correct times to base your ‘real time’ reenactment.

Lightoller’s Version (33 minutes ahead of EDT)(-4)

  1. The Titanic struck the iceberg at 11:07 pm (EDT) on April 14, 2012.
  2. The Titanic sank 2 hours and 40 minutes later at 1:47 am (EDT) on April 15, 2012.

Lord Mersey’s Version (50 minutes ahead of EDT)(-4)

  1. The Titanic struck the iceberg at 10:50 pm (EDT) on April 14, 2012.
  2. The Titanic sank 2 hours and 40 minutes later at 1:30 am (EDT) on April 15, 2012.

Confusing! You bet! But if this kind of perfection turns your crank, then use this last set of calculations above to get as close to the truth (as we know it) as you can get.

titanic

On April 14, 1912 I struck the iceberg at 11:40 pm shipboard time and sank at on April 15, 1912 at 2:20 am shipboard time.

So the next time you think about the RMS Titanic on the evening of April 14 & 15 know what time it really struck the iceberg and when it sank based on the two options above.

Note: If you are not in the Eastern Time Zone (such as New York City) and want to know the Titanic times as listed in the last example for 2012 times, go to any Time Zone Map and calculate the difference in hours between your time zone and the Eastern Time Zone, then either add or subtract the difference to find the correct times. For instance, California (PDT) is three hours behind New York City. Don’t forget about Daylight Savings Time if applicable (in this case, it is).

Lightoller’s Version (3 hours, 33 minutes ahead of EDT)

  1. The Titanic struck the iceberg at 8:07 pm (PDT)(-7) on April 14, 2012.
  2. The Titanic sank 2 hours and 40 minutes later at 10:47 pm (PDT)(-7) on April 14, 2012.

Lord Mersey’s Version (3 hours, 50 minutes ahead of EDT)

  1. The Titanic struck the iceberg at 7:50 pm (PDT)(-7) on April 14, 2012.
  2. The Titanic sank 2 hours and 40 minutes later at 10:30 pm (PDT)(-7) on April 14, 2012.

Best

Barry

QUICK REFERENCE CHART FOR UNITED STATES TIME ZONES
These are the times in your time zone to commemorate the exact moments the Titanic struck the iceberg and sank.

LIGHTOLLER VERSION – TITANIC STRIKES ICEBERG at 10:07 PM EST ON APRIL 14, 1912 (11:40 pm shipboard time)

MODERN DAY TIMES
EDT (EASTERN DAYLIGHT TIME) 11:07 PM (APR 14)
CDT (CENTRAL DAYLIGHT TIME) 10:07 PM (APR 14)
MDT (MOUNTAIN DAYLIGHT TIME) 9:07 PM (APR 14)
PDT (PACIFIC DAYLIGHT TIME) 8:07 PM (APR 14)
AKDT (ALASKA DAYLIGHT TIME) 7:07 PM (APR 14)
HST (HAWAII STANDARD TIME) 5:07 PM (APR 14)
MST (ARIZONA STANDARD TIME) 8:07 PM (APR 14)

LIGHTOLLER VERSION – TITANIC SINKS at 12:47 AM EST ON APRIL 15, 1912 (2:20 am shipboard time)

MODERN DAY TIMES
EDT (EASTERN DAYLIGHT TIME) 1:47 AM (APR 15)
CDT (CENTRAL DAYLIGHT TIME) 12:47 AM (APR 15)
MDT (MOUNTAIN DAYLIGHT TIME) 11:47 PM (APR 14)
PDT (PACIFIC DAYLIGHT TIME) 10:47 PM (APR 14)
AKDT (ALASKA DAYLIGHT TIME) 9:47 PM (APR 14)
HST (HAWAII STANDARD TIME) 7:47 PM (APR 14)
MST (ARIZONA STANDARD TIME) 10:47 PM (APR 14)

———————————————————————————–

LORD MERSEY VERSION – TITANIC STRIKES ICEBERG at 9:50 PM EST ON APRIL 14, 1912 (11:40 pm shipboard time)

MODERN DAY TIMES
EDT (EASTERN DAYLIGHT TIME) 10:50 PM (APR 14)
CDT (CENTRAL DAYLIGHT TIME) 9:50 PM (APR 14)
MDT (MOUNTAIN DAYLIGHT TIME) 8:50 PM (APR 14)
PDT (PACIFIC DAYLIGHT TIME) 7:50 PM (APR 14)
AKDT (ALASKA DAYLIGHT TIME) 6:50 PM (APR 14)
HST (HAWAII STANDARD TIME) 4:50 PM (APR 14)
MST (ARIZONA – STANDARD TIME) 7:50 PM (APR 14)

LORD MERSEY VERSION – TITANIC SINKS at 12:30 AM EST ON APRIL 15, 1912 (2:20 am shipboard time)

MODERN DAY TIMES
EDT (EASTERN DAYLIGHT TIME) 1:30 AM (APR 15)
CDT (CENTRAL DAYLIGHT TIME) 12:30 AM (APR 15)
MDT (MOUNTAIN DAYLIGHT TIME) 11:30 PM (APR 14)
PDT (PACIFIC DAYLIGHT TIME) 10:30 PM (APR 14)
AKDT (ALASKA DAYLIGHT TIME) 9:30 PM (APR 14)
HST (HAWAII STANDARD TIME) 7:30 PM (APR 14)
MST (ARIZONA STANDARD TIME) 10:30 PM (APR 14)

outreach@awesometalks.com

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61 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Hi:
    I can NOT still believe this GREAT LADY, TITANIC went down.
    NO life boat drill, NO paying attention to ALL those warnings of ice. NO slowing down. NO binoculars in the Crows Nest. NOT enough life boats for ALL Crew & Passengers.
    Hubris, can & DOES kill. Gosh how this hurts, even more as time goes on.

    • Hi and thank you for your note.
      It was an era of pride and arrogance indeed (hubris, for those who don’t know the word).
      Thanks again.
      Best
      Barry

    • yes it was worse than what you have mentioned gross incompetance,and stupidity by nearly all concerned and two inquiries,one American and one British,how pathetic that this need not have happened and should not have happened,but it did.

      • whats really sad is the orginal design called for 60 lifeboats but they said it would make the deck to cluttery and they were uneccessary because the ship would be impossible to sink. If only hindsight were foresight.

      • As awful as the Titanic disaster was, we should remember that for all the lives lost it has saved countless more. In the wake of the disaster, both the UK and USA changed their laws to require all ships to carry sufficient lifeboats for all on board (Titanic carried more lifeboats than she was required to by law). It also inspired the establishment of the North Atlantic Ice Patrol (now known as the international ice patrol) which charts the position, speed and direction of movement of all icebergs. Had it not been for Titanic, it is likely that legislation requiring full lifeboat capacity would have taken many more years, even decades, to have been implemented – vastly increasing the overall loss of life. The same goes for the ice patrol.

  2. Yea in that Era there was alot of arrogance! Could you tell me why Ismay demaned more speed? Besides what the movie said, more speed so he could give the newspapers something to write about!

    • Hi Ladybugge. It is a good question. Please look at my latest posting for your answer.
      Best
      Barry

    • ladybugge,thanks for your question and the query why Ismay demanded more speed.I can only go by reports,but it does say in many books and newspapers and by hearsay,reported that Ismay demanded more speed,as he was the managing director of the white star line,who owned the ship,he seemed to be giving the orders not captain smith,it was evident that a record for crossing the atlantic would be set,had titanic not sunk.

      • The Titanic was never designed with speed as any sort of priority. The ship was built with fuel economy, luxury and safety as the main selling points.She could not have set any speed record on that crossing, or at any time. I think Ismay wanted it to arrive in daylight for the publicty. He certainly didn’t want it to be late!

  3. R.M.S Era o melhor navio ,o mais belo e o da mais bela história mais com um trágico final..

    • Thank you Juliane. She was a beautiful ship with beautiful history with tragic finale.
      Best
      Barry

  4. The first picture of the propellor isn’t the one from the Titanic. It’s a picture of the Olympic, the Titanic’s sister ship.

    Titanic: three 3-blades propellors
    Olympic: two 3-blades propellors and one central 4-blades propellor.

    Just to mention. :)

    • Hi Frederic: Numerous photos of the 3 blade + 4 blade propellors are identified as the Titanic. And if your statements are true, I can see why this would be a common misconception. Can you give back up to your statement so that we can set the record straight here. With so much misinformation printed in books and found on the internet, mistakes become perpetual and continue to grow because people believe these as facts.
      I prefer total truth. So send me your sources so I can post them here and then I will gladly change my own references to match.
      Best
      Barry

  5. Frederic said props etc,the question of the propellors and other specifications are interesting attention to detail is good, a pity more was not done in the way of safety,in the end the propellors,did no good except to drive the Titanic to fast to it,s eventual sinking.maybe one day the propellors will also be on display as they would still be able to withstand the erosion?

  6. Why did the shipboard time differ from EST by an hour and 50 minutes? I thought that the way time zones worked is that, when you cross from one into another, the time changed by exactly an hour.

    • Hi Country Mother. It is a good question. I am not an expert in time zones so unfortunately I don’t have a definitive answer for you. I can tell you that not all time zones are on the hour. For instance, in Canada, Newfoundland is 1-1/2 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST). So if it is midnight in Toronto or New York City, it is 1:30 am in St. John’s, Newfoundland. I’m sure it is this way in other parts of the world too. How the shipboard time was 1:50 minutes different is likely a mariner procedure. It has been almost 2-1/2 years since I wrote this piece so I cannot remember my sources but I believed them to be accurate at the time. Can anyone else help ‘countrymother’ and me with the answer to her question?
      Best
      Barry

  7. ALL OF THE FOLLOWING IS TITANIC TIME:

    At: 11:40 P.M. 14 April 1912(Sunday) TITANIC encountered an iceberg with a glancing blow on the StarBoard side.

    At: 2:20 A.M. 15 April 1912 (Monday) TITANIC sank below the North Atlantic.

    ” NEARER MY GOD TO THEE “

  8. Thanks for figuring this out for me. I will be on one of the ships that will be above the Titanic wreck site on the 100th anniversary next month and was wondering how the time change was going to affect everything. I personally do not like DST and never have. I have 12 clocks/watches in my home to change twice a year and it is a major pain.

    • LOL Maggie. It sounds like you are a much more informed expert on ‘time’ than I am. Please write me back if you can and tell me about your experience next month. I’d like to post it.
      Best
      Barry

      • Hi Barry,

        If I remember (and if we don’t hit any bergs);-) I’ll drop you a line about the trip. We’ll be leaving New York Harbor on the 10th and heading up to Halifax where many of the victims are buried, then out to the wreck site and back to N.Y. on the 18th. There will be lecturers on board and a memorial at the site. All, very respectful.

        As for me being a ‘time’ expert (lol), I was referring to the clocks on my stove, microwave, thermostat, car, camera, vcr, camcorder, nightstand, 2 wall clocks, watches, etc., etc. Perhaps, if I ever get to retire I will throw them all away an operate on ‘my own time’.

      • It’s been a few years since I lived in Halifax but I remember the cemeteries (three I believe). Have a great trip and yes, do keep your eyes open for ice bergs. But wouldn’t it be great if you saw some!
        Best
        Barry

  9. I have another question. You give the Lincoln assassination as an example. But that was also before daylight savings time. So wouldn’t that also have to be adjusted by an hour as a result? If we wanted to remember Lincoln at the exact moment, now, when we DO observe daylight savings, wouldn’t we have to do it at 11:15? Just like the Titanic time needs to be adjusted by an hour because the Titanic was before daylight savings but we observe it NOW?

    • Hi countrymother. That is a valid point. On the surface you are correct, although not everywhere in the country, or the world, follow Daylight Savings Time. For those that do, then they would need to adjust their clocks by one hour as you suggest. But as a guide, the times worked out, are based on Standard Time.
      Best
      Barry

  10. Awesome! I have not seen anyone make that 3rd calculation before. We’re having movie night for the 100th, and this info is really helpful. Thanks!

  11. I live in the city Teresina, in the state Piaui in Brazil. Could you, PLEASE, give me the time titanic left Southampton, hit the iceberg and sank in Northeast Brazil time zone?
    Thank you so much!

    • Hi Linda: Thanks for your comment. Help me here a little bit. Does Teresina practice Daylight Savings Time? Let me know and I will be happy to give you the answers to your question.
      Best
      Barry

      • Hi Linda: Your question had me go back and look at the article again and I have updated it since 2009 when I wrote it. There are actually two times that are considered as possible ‘truths’. One is by Lord Mersey (1 hour and 50 minutes ahead of EST) and the other is by Titanic’s Second Officer Charles Lightoller who put it at 1 hour 33 minutes ahead of EST. So to answer your question about the times that are relevant to Teresina, Piaui (in Brazil) these are the answers.

        Titanic’s Launch from Southampton was at noon, April 10, 1912. There is a 5-hour time difference between NY City and Southampton so it would have been 7:00 am New York in 1912. In 2012, both England and New York are on Savings Time so the launch times would actually be Southampton 1:00pm, New York 8:00am. I believe Teresina does not use Daylight Savings Time so if you want to experience the exact time that the Titanic launched from Southampton today in Teresina time on April 10, 2012, you need to deduct 4 hours either from the Southampton time or add 1 hour to the NY time. Therefore, the launch time is 9:00am, April 10, 2012.

        For the times that the Titanic struck the iceberg and sank, you need to choose which version of the time-difference you believe. (I lean towards the Lightoller version myself).

        Lightoller’s Version (27 minutes behind Teresina time)(-3)
        1. The Titanic struck the iceberg at 12:07 am (Teresina time) on April 15, 2012.
        2. The Titanic sank 2 hours and 40 minutes later at 2:47 am (Teresina time) on April 15, 2012.
        Lord Mersey’s Version (10 minutes behind Teresina time)(-3)
        1. The Titanic struck the iceberg at 11:50 pm (Teresina time) on April 14, 2012.
        2. The Titanic sank 2 hours and 40 minutes later at 2:30 am (Teresina time) on April 15, 2012.

        I know it’s confusing but I hope this helps.
        Best
        Barry

      • I’m all confused now. If I want to commemorate the moment the Titanic struck the iceberg in New York, which is in the Eastern time zone, and which observes Daylight Savings Time, when do I do it? Thanks again.

      • Hi Countrymother. It can be a confusing math problem. The problem is that there is no 100% correct answer (at least not officially). Two official times related to the collision and the sinking of the Titanic are in the records. I give you both options to choose from. There is no firm information that I am aware of that gives firm credence to either of the two versions. But luckily for EST (which is now under Daylight Savings Time) the approximate moment of the collision and sinking can be summed up like this. I personally lean towards the Lightoller version, but that is only my interpretation. Each person must decide on their own. For EDT (East coast of the US under Daylight Savings Time) these are the two possible times to consider if you want to commemorate the event in real time today.

        Lightoller’s Version (33 minutes ahead of EDT)
        1. 11:07 pm on April 14, 2012 – This is the moment the Titanic struck the iceberg 100 years ago.
        2. 1:47 am on April 15, 2012 – This is the moment the Titanic sank beneath the surface of the ocean 100 years ago.

        Lord Mersey’s Version (50 minutes ahead of EDT)
        1. 10:50 pm on April 14, 2012 – This is the moment the Titanic struck the iceberg 100 years ago.
        2. 1:30 am on April 15, 2012 – This is the moment the Titanic sank beneath the surface of the ocean 100 years ago.

        SUMMARY: If you use both versions then you can safely say the following:
        1. Sometime between 10:50 pm and 11:07 pm on April 14, 2012, the Titanic struck the iceberg 100 years ago.
        2. Sometime between 1:30 am and 1:47 am on April 15, 2012, the Titanic sank beneath the surface of the ocean 100 years ago.

        Best
        Barry

  12. Hi Barry,

    I appreciate your working out of the times of this tragic occurence, going by your more accurate second calculation the timings in the UK would be :

    Titanic strikes iceberg between 03.50 and 04.07 and tragically plunges beneath the waves between 06.30 and 06.47 on 15th April.

    I shall observe the events at 04.00 and 06.40 respectively, thank you once more for your efforts in researching this.

    Malcolm

    • So glad you did the calculation for your time zone. I hope it inspires many more to do it as well. Thank you so much. Best. Barry

  13. Hi

    I was just wondering – wouldn’t you SUBTRACT an hour for the lack of daylight savings time? Because when they implimented it, as well as the month (April) would mean that they ADDED an hour in 1918? So I would assume that when calculating the actual time in 1912 one would have to subtract the hour, making the time in New York, according to Lightoller’s Version, 9:07? and not 11:07pm? Correct me if I’m wrong, but I just want to make sure.

    Thanks for all your great work! This is really an amazing resource!

    Jon

    • Hi Jon. Thanks for your comment. All the original times and dates I listed were based on the actual times in 1912 first (prior to Daylight Savings Time) and then calculated using the modern day timing. So for instance, the ship struck the iceberg at 11:40 pm (shipboard time), 10:07 (EST – Lightoller version) or 9:50 pm (EST – Mersey version). These times were officially established in 1912.

      For simplicity, let’s use the Lightoller version of 10:07 pm EST. Hypothetically, If Daylight Savings Time had never been accepted in the Eastern Time Zone, then the time would always be 10:07 pm EST. However, since Daylight Savings Time is in use, we have to “SPRING AHEAD” one hour. This makes the time 11:07 pm EDT which is the proper time (Lightoller version) to commemorate the exact moment the Titanic struck the iceberg if it were to happen today.

      Best
      Barry

  14. Oh thank you for this. I was wondering what the times would be where I am (CST). Unfortunately, I wasn’t lucky enough to manage a trip to the actual site. :(

    I wanted to light a candle during the hours of the disaster in remembrance and now I know when to do it.

    Also, I’m participating in a blog challenge, and will be writing about the Titanic tomorrow. I’d like to link to this post so people can have the info. Again, thanks for working this out!

    • Hi Elizabeth. So glad I was able to help. It is wonderful that so many people remember the event and honor the people who lost their lives on the ship. Please feel free to link to this. I am proud to assist in any way I can.
      Best
      Barry

  15. Oh thank you for this. I wondered what time it would be where I was (CST). Unfortunately, I’m not lucky enough to be visiting the site this year. :(

    I wanted to light a candle during the hours of disaster in rememberance. Also, I’m participating in a blog challenge and had planned to write about Titanic tomorrow. I’ll link to your post so other people can do the candle if they want to.

    Thanks again!

    • For the Central Time Zone, this is when you would commemorate the exact moments of the event. Not all states use Daylight Savings Time, but as most do, this calculation is based on that (CDT)(Central Daylight Time). If you are still on standard time (CST), deduct one hour from these calculations.

      CENTRAL DAYLIGHT TIME (CDT)(if you are on Daylight Savings Time now)

      Lightoller’s Version (Central Daylight Time 2012)(CDT)
      1. The Titanic struck the iceberg at 10:07 pm (CDT)(April 14, 2012 real time)
      2. The Titanic sank 2 hours and 40 minutes later at 12:47 am (CDT)(April 15, 2012 real time)

      Lord Mersey’s Version (Central Daylight Time 2012)(CDT)
      1. The Titanic struck the iceberg at 9:50 pm (CDT)(April 14, 2012 real time)
      2. The Titanic sank 2 hours and 40 minutes later at 12:30 am (CDT)(April 15, 2012 real time)

  16. Thanks Barry. This has been a burning question for me as the anniversary approaches. Actually, it just turned midnight PST and is April 14! So it appears that around 8pm PST, I will be commemorating the sinking. Again thank you so much for the calculations as I too want to reflect on this event in “real time” if just for this massive anniversary. It appears we will be “reliving” the event at the same time in different time zones! :) All the best, Dr. Brian Willis

    • Hi Dr. Willis: I have been pleasantly surprised how many people think about this event in real time. Here are the calculations for both PST (Pacific Standard Time) and PDT (Pacific Daylight Time). As I’m not sure if your location uses Daylight Savings Time, I’m posting both options here. Thanks for writing. Best. Barry

        PDT (PACIFIC DAYLIGHT TIME)(if you are using Daylight Savings Time)

      Lightoller’s Version (Pacific Daylight Time 2012)(PDT)
      1. The Titanic struck the iceberg at 8:07 pm (PDT)(April 14, 2012 real time)
      2. The Titanic sank 2 hours and 40 minutes later at 10:47 pm (PDT)(April 14, 2012 real time)

      Lord Mersey’s Version (Pacific Daylight Time 2012)(PDT)
      1. The Titanic struck the iceberg at 7:50 pm (PDT)(April 14, 2012 real time)
      2. The Titanic sank 2 hours and 40 minutes later at 10:30 am (PDT)(April 14, 2012 real time)

        PST (PACIFIC STANDARD TIME)(PST)(this is if you are NOT using Daylight Savings Time)

        Lightoller’s Version (Pacific Standard Time 2012)(PST)
        1. The Titanic struck the iceberg at 7:07 pm (PST)(April 14, 2012 real time)
        2. The Titanic sank 2 hours and 40 minutes later at 9:47 pm (PST)(April 14, 2012 real time)

        Lord Mersey’s Version (Pacific Standard Time 2012)(PST)
        1. The Titanic struck the iceberg at 6:50 pm (PST)(April 14, 2012 real time)
        2. The Titanic sank 2 hours and 40 minutes later at 9:30 am (PST)(April 14, 2012 real time)

        • QUICK REFERENCE CHART FOR UNITED STATES TIME ZONES

        These are the times in your time zone to commemorate the exact moments the Titanic struck the iceberg and sank.

          LIGHTOLLER VERSION – TITANIC STRIKES ICEBERG at 10:07 PM EST ON APRIL 14, 1912 (11:40 pm shipboard time)(/ul>
          MODERN DAY TIMES
          EDT (EASTERN DAYLIGHT TIME) 11:07 PM (APR 14)
          CDT (CENTRAL DAYLIGHT TIME) 10:07 PM (APR 14)
          MDT (MOUNTAIN DAYLIGHT TIME) 9:07 PM (APR 14)
          PDT (PACIFIC DAYLIGHT TIME) 8:07 PM (APR 14)
          AKDT (ALASKA DAYLIGHT TIME) 7:07 PM (APR 14)
          HST (HAWAII STANDARD TIME) 5:07 PM (APR 14)
          MST (ARIZONA STANDARD TIME) 8:07 PM (APR 14)

          LIGHTOLLER VERSION – TITANIC SINKS at 12:47 AM EST ON APRIL 15, 1912 (2:20 am shipboard time)(/ul>
          MODERN DAY TIMES
          EDT (EASTERN DAYLIGHT TIME) 1:47 AM (APR 15)
          CDT (CENTRAL DAYLIGHT TIME) 12:47 AM (APR 15)
          MDT (MOUNTAIN DAYLIGHT TIME) 11:47 PM (APR 14)
          PDT (PACIFIC DAYLIGHT TIME) 10:47 PM (APR 14)
          AKDT (ALASKA DAYLIGHT TIME) 9:47 PM (APR 14)
          HST (HAWAII STANDARD TIME) 7:47 PM (APR 14)
          MST (ARIZONA STANDARD TIME) 10:47 PM (APR 14)

          ———————————————————————————–

          LORD MERSEY VERSION – TITANIC STRIKES ICEBERG at 9:50 PM EST ON APRIL 14, 1912 (11:40 pm shipboard time)(/ul>
          MODERN DAY TIMES
          EDT (EASTERN DAYLIGHT TIME) 10:50 PM (APR 14)
          CDT (CENTRAL DAYLIGHT TIME) 9:50 PM (APR 14)
          MDT (MOUNTAIN DAYLIGHT TIME) 8:50 PM (APR 14)
          PDT (PACIFIC DAYLIGHT TIME) 7:50 PM (APR 14)
          AKDT (ALASKA DAYLIGHT TIME) 6:50 PM (APR 14)
          HST (HAWAII STANDARD TIME) 4:50 PM (APR 14)
          MST (ARIZONA – STANDARD TIME) 7:50 PM (APR 14)

          LORD MERSEY VERSION – TITANIC SINKS at 12:30 AM EST ON APRIL 15, 1912 (2:20 am shipboard time)(/ul>
          MODERN DAY TIMES
          EDT (EASTERN DAYLIGHT TIME) 1:30 AM (APR 15)
          CDT (CENTRAL DAYLIGHT TIME) 12:30 AM (APR 15)
          MDT (MOUNTAIN DAYLIGHT TIME) 11:30 PM (APR 14)
          PDT (PACIFIC DAYLIGHT TIME) 10:30 PM (APR 14)
          AKDT (ALASKA DAYLIGHT TIME) 9:30 PM (APR 14)
          HST (HAWAII STANDARD TIME) 7:30 PM (APR 14)
          MST (ARIZONA STANDARD TIME) 10:30 PM (APR 14)

  17. So if I lived in CST with no daylight savings time, the sinking would be at 11:30 pm or 11:47 pm (CST)?

    • Hi X or Banana. Thanks for writing. Like above, where I’ve shown the calculation for Central Daylight Time (CDT), here is your version for Central Standard Time (CST)(This is if your time zone is NOT using Daylight Savings Time right now).

      Lightoller’s Version (Central Standard Time 2012)(CST)
      1. The Titanic struck the iceberg at 8:07 pm (CST)(April 14, 2012 real time)
      2. The Titanic sank 2 hours and 40 minutes later at 10:47 pm (CST)(April 14, 2012 real time)

      Lord Mersey’s Version (Central Standard Time 2012)
      1. The Titanic struck the iceberg at 7:50 pm (CST)(April 14, 2012 real time)
      2. The Titanic sank 2 hours and 40 minutes later at 10:30 pm (CST)(April 14, 2012 real time)

      Best
      Barry

  18. Thanks for posting this! I was just in the process of trying to figure it out when I managed to find this wonderful analysis of yours. Plus I had never heard the accounts of differences in ship time from land time (I was planning on just using Atlantic time, GMT-3).

    I’m starting the movie right at 9:27 EDT as it’s 1 hour and 40 minutes in. That puts at least the striking time right at the 100th Anniversary mark.

    • Mr. Poland: Thanks for your comment. I love that you have taken my info one step further by calculating when to start the film tonight so that the actual moment of the collision and sinking of the Titanic coincides with the real moment in time 100 years ago. EXCELLENT!
      Best. Barry

    • Just to let you all know…
      I am on the Azamara Journey, sitting above the site right now. It is 8:12 PM (2012 hrs). At 6:00PM this evening, the captain made an announcement that, at exactly 6:27 the ships clocks would turn back to 6:00 PM to accurately reflect the Titanic’s true time. I don’t have time to answer replies, as there is a lot going on here right now in preparation for the memorial and we still have not sighted the Balmoral. Also, it is very expensive to use the internet, as you can well imagine.

      Cheers to you all from the Titanic site.

      Maggie

      • Hey Maggie: Thanks so much for sharing your experience with us. It is very generous of you to take the time to do this. I appreciate it very much.
        A few years ago, I was blessed to meet and travel with a man who had worked as the PR man for the Titanic Exhibit. He was sent to exactly where you are now (but then was sent to the bottom of the ocean to see the wreck). He spent 12 hours down there exploring the entire debris field. It was an awesome story to listen to. I hope you have a wonderful experience. Thanks again. I look forward to hearing how it went.
        Best
        Barry

      • Thanks for sharing Maggie. :) Wonderful to hear that you will be commemorating at the site. Mr. Poland: great idea. I will be starting the film at 6:27pm PST so we will actually be commemorating together! :) As the film takes approx. 90 minutes to sink Titanic, I will take a short break after the iceberg to sync the sinking as closely as possible (it seems the lifeboats were deployed no sooner than 30 minutes after the striking, perhaps 45 minutes). Mostly, I will be thinking of those poor souls who possessed so much courage in such horrendous circumstances. It will be intriguing to actually “feel” 2 hrs 40 mins in real time to consider how incredibly swiftly this disaster occurred.

    • AND: the Cameron “Titanic” commemoration has just begun! 1 hr 40 mins until iceberg…

  19. [...] found this blog post, which Barry Cauchon updated from a previous 2009 article.  He gives the times in two different [...]

  20. Barry, thank you so much for this info. I wanted to post on Facebook the exact time that it hit the iceberg and have thoughts and prayers the following two hours as it went down, and I had no way to calculate it, so I do truly appreciate your work on this. I have been fixated on the Titanic since I was a kid. I was so excited in 1985 when it was found. (I had actually believed for a short time that they had actually brought it up in the film ‘Raise the Titanic’. It is 1000 miles directly (more or less) off Boston, where I live. I also was able to touch and lay my hand on (although I got in a bit of trouble for it) the ‘Big Piece’ that was displayed in a Titanic exhibition in Boston . I think so many of us will have the ship and these souls on our minds tonight.

  21. Tonight we held a Titanic memorial, and at 9:07 we had a moment of silence for the lives of those who died in the great catastrophe. The world learned a great lesson about the hubris of man, and we don’t want to forget that lesson. -The family and friends of the LaPine household of Superior, Wisconsin.

  22. Here in Washington, DC, it is the hour.

  23. Thank you for sharing this with us. Titanic is a legend, and may her memory continue on!

  24. In calculating the exact time to observe the sinking do we need to take into account the leap years and leap seconds that have occurred over the last 100 years. How do we define a year… most of the last 100 years have been 365 days long but a few were 366 days long. Are we even observing this anniversary on the right day?

  25. I’ll add to the chorus of those offering their thanks for your work in sharing your calculations.
    I’m stuck at work tonight, but plan to offer a moment of silence at the time of the sinking…if my duties permit. :(

  26. Barry,

    Thank you so much for the timeline!

    I just followed it here in Los Angeles as I watched A Night to Remember on TCM.

    Regards,

    Peter Aylett

    PS. I preferred the Lightoller version!

  27. i could only imagine how rose felt when jack fell through the surface of the atlantc. i always wonder how life would be if the titanic did not sink. my grandma told me that one of our family members were on the titanic when it sunk but she dosn’t know if they were saved.

  28. all of this is so amazing and learning about this makes me feel so much worse. :( i am actually in the middle of a project on this

    • Hi Emily: Thank you for writing. Yes, I agree it is very sad. We often forget when looking back on history that these events really happened and real people were involved. But by doing research on historical events and then sharing it with others in papers, reports, books and/or presentations, the story can be shared with many others. There is always something new that a person will learn from these. Here is a small, but fascinating story about the Titanic tragedy that not many people know. See if you can find out more about it. There was a perfume salesman named Adolphe Saalfeld on board the Titanic and when it sank, his satchel of samples sank to the bottom of the ocean and was lost. After the Titanic wreck was found years later and salvage operations began, the satchel was found and the little glass viles of perfume were intact. When opened, the sent of the perfume was as wonderful as ever (after being lost for over 90+ years. The touring exhibits for the Titanic that travel around the world usually have a showcase with one of the viles of perfume in it. There are holes in the case which allow the fragrance of the perfume to escape. You can actually smell it. It’s a very powerful exhibit. On a different note, when I speak at schools, I will often bring several artifacts with me so the students can actually touch history. One of the pieces I bring is a piece of coal from the Titanic. I don’t tell them immediately what it is. But you should see their faces change when they know that they touched something that was actually on the Titanic and went down with the ship. But to your earlier point, the tragedy of the human side of the story is lost in the fascination of touching such a relic. That is reality of history…..the emotion of the events are lost and usually replaced with the fascination for the details and the stories that came from them.
      Thanks again for contacting me. Good luck with your report. Do let us know how you do.
      Best
      Barry


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