How Cold Was the Water When the Titanic Sank?


The sinking of the Titanic due to its crash with an iceberg is now common knowledge. However, the temperature of the water also made a difference here, especially when it came to how it impacted the lives of the people.

You can learn more about how cold the water was when the Titanic sank below as well as how this affected the outcome.

  1. How Cold Was the Water When the Titanic Sank?
  2. Did the Water Temperature Affect the Outcome?
    1. Death from Freezing Water
    2. Dying Time
    3. Number of Deaths
  3. The Bottom Line

How Cold Was the Water When the Titanic Sank?

When the Titanic sank, the water temperature was around 27-28℉ or -2.7°C. This was even below the freezing point of water which is 32°F or 0°C. At such cold temperatures, health issues are bound to set in, resulting in almost instant death.

While this water temperature was not directly related to the actual sinking of the ship itself, it certainly had an impact on the number of lives lost in the water. You can see what kind of impact this was through the following section.

Did the Water Temperature Affect the Outcome?

The water temperature was not responsible for the fact that the Titanic sank. However, there were several people that fell into the sea and could not make it into the lifeboats, resulting in almost instant death.

These deaths themselves were due to the below-freezing temperature of the water, preventing them from finding access to nearby support or to even swimming to a certain distance.

There are three main things that we need to keep in mind here that are related to the water temperature and the resulting deaths of the people. These are as follows.


Death from Freezing Water

Due to the fall into the water and the contact with the below-freezing water temperatures, the body can end up experiencing shock with several other bodily failures taking place immediately.

For instance, it can result in cardiac arrest, hypothermia and constant breathing in the freezing water. As a result of this occurrence, deaths took place due to drowning as well as the cold temperature of the water, saving only those who managed to be rescued on time or those who got on the lifeboats.

Dying Time

The deaths of most of the people who fell into the water took place within half an hour, their organs starting to fail almost immediately.

Some managed to survive for up to 10-15 minutes while some for around 30 minutes.

Number of Deaths

More than 1,500 people died due to the sinking of the Titanic, including both passengers and crew members. A little over 700 people survived the crash and managed to come back ashore due to lifeboats and rescue ships.

The Bottom Line

To sum up, the water was around 27-28℉ or -2.7°C when the Titanic sank. This was less than the freezing point, resulting in almost instantaneous deaths of the people due to the consequent failure of the organs due to shock, drowning and hypothermia.

Over 1,500 people ended up dying within 30 minutes while around 700 people managed to survive.

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