Here's How Many Dead Bodies Have Been Recovered From The Titanic

The sinking of the RMS Titanic is one of the most famous stories of maritime disaster, thanks in part to James Cameron's 1997 movie "Titanic" starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. The RMS Titanic was a luxurious steamship that boasted a swimming pool, elevators, a dining saloon, and even a gym. These facilities were decked with fine furniture and state-of-the-art equipment for the time. The second- and third-class accommodations weren't bad either, and provided entertainment areas and comfortable rooms for those who couldn't afford first-class tickets, per BBC.

Before midnight on April 14, 1912, the Titanic struck an iceberg, which tore into the side of the ship, causing compartments to rupture and flood with water. It would only be a few hours until the Titanic would be completely swallowed by the ocean on the early hours of April 15. The Titanic had a total of 20 life boats, more than the required number by the board of trade, but not enough to rescue all passengers (via Britannica.) The ship had approximately 2,200 passengers and crew, while the 20 life boats could only fit 1,178 people. To add to that, the evacuation was disorganized, and some lifeboats were released without even reaching full capacity. All in all, only 705 people were able to escape the sinking ship.

Body recovery efforts

The CS Mackay-Bennett, from Halifax, Nova Scotia, was tasked to retrieve dead bodies. Halifax was the major port closest to the location of Titanic's sinking, and even then, it took four days for the ship to reach the site. According to Mental Floss, the Mackay-Bennet was loaded with ice, wooden coffins, and embalming fluid. The ship's captain, Frederick Harold Larnder, described the scene and said that the bodies looked "like a flock of seagulls."

The Mackay-Bennett spent a week searching the site and surrounding areas for bodies. After their efforts, they were able to recover 306 victims. Three other ships from Halifax were sent to the site and they were able to recover 22 additional bodies, and other steamers that just happened to pass by the site recovered five dead bodies, per Maritime Museum. Of the 300-plus bodies recovered, 119 were buried at sea, for a couple of reasons. Some were found after the embalming fluid ran out, and other bodies were beyond recognition. According to The Sun, the bodies that were buried at sea were wrapped in cloth and then strapped to weights to make them sink to the bottom of the ocean. Roughly 1,500 people died when the Titanic sank, and of that number approximately 1,160 bodies were never recovered (via The New York Times.)