notes: The Titanic had plenty of warning. Seven ships had telegraphed iceberg sightings to the Titanic. But Captain Smith only saw one or two; the other messages were scattered among various officers. If Smith had seen all seven warnings, and plotted their locations, he might have recognized that a huge ice field lay just ahead. Instead, he only receive one or two messages, adjusted his course slightly, and steamed ahead full speed into the night.
The last message was sent urgently from the nearby Californian, which saw so many icebergs that it turned off its engine and stopped, surrounded by ice, to await daylight. The Titanic radio operator cut off the Californian, replying "Shut up! Shut up! I'm busy..." What was he busy with? Relaying personal greetings from passengers, and never delivered the last urgent warning to Captain Smith.
Why didn't Smith at least slow down? One reason may have been that the White Line's chairman, Bruce Ismay, who was on board for the maiden voyage, kept pressing Smith to go faster so they could break the record time set by a sister ship. It was Ismay who, during construction, rejected a proposal to outfit the ship with enough lifeboats for everybody on board, since this was not required by regulations and would have been very costly.
Does anything in this story sound familiar?
See also: "But we can't afford to change our ways."
source: Butler, Daniel Allen. Unsinkable (2002).