On 9 October 1912, White Star Line withdrew Olympic (1911) from service, returning the liner to her builder, Belfast’s Harland & Wolff, to be refitted with new safety features inspired by lessons learned from the Titanic disaster six months earlier.
By the time Olympic returned to service in March 1913, she had the following safety improvements:
- Sixty-four lifeboats (up from 20).
- An inner watertight skin in her boiler and engine rooms, essentially creating a double hull.
- Five watertight bulkheads extending up to B-Deck (the bulkheads previously rose only as high as E- or D-Deck, just above the waterline).
- Improvements to the ship’s pumping system that would allow Olympic’s first six compartments to be breached without immediate danger of sinking (a capability that likely would have allowed Titanic to remain afloat at least long enough for rescue vessels to arrive).
Next pages: Rarely seen photos of Olympic in the pre-World War I era.
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