Mistakes: part two
By John Koski
In this conclusion of a two-part Risk Tip on the subject of mistakes, we look at what we can learn from mistakes.
Everyone knows about the 1912 sinking of Titanic, which resulted in 1,514 deaths among its 2,224 passengers and crew. A mistake or two can be found there, including the ship’s speed in an ice flow, single-hull construction, and only 20 lifeboats. Shipbuilders learned from these mistakes in Titanic‘s sister ship, Britannic, which was still being constructed when Titanic sank. A number of improvements were made before she was launched, including the addition of a double hull and a larger complement of 48 lifeboats.
Britannic needed them. In 1916, while in service as a hospital ship, Britannic hit a mine and sank even faster than her sister, becoming the largest ship lost during World War I. Due to the changes, 1,036 of the 1,066 passengers and crew of Britannic survived. One moral of this story is that it’s good to learn from past mistakes…
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