"It was a classic 'event cascade,'" Corfield told Discovery News.
ANALYSIS: Titanic Wreck Site Mapped
According to two inquiries carried out in 1912, in both the United States and United Kingdom, many circumstances concurred to bring about the disaster: The Titanic had been sailing too fast, Capt. Edward J. Smith had paid too little attention to iceberg warnings, and there had not been enough lifeboats onboard.
The inquiries brought to light other details, such as the absence of binoculars in the crow's nest and the fact that the senior radio operator had not passed on a crucial ice warning received from the British merchantship SS Mesaba.
"Mesaba gave the precise location (42° to 41°, 25' N; 49° to 50°, 30' W) of an area of icebergs that, at the time, approximately 9.40 p.m., was only 50 miles dead ahead of the Titanic," Corfield wrote.
The message, which read "Saw great number large icebergs also field ice. Weather clear," was interpreted as nonurgent as it was not prefixed with "MSG" ("Masters' Service Gram"), which would have required a personal acknowledgement from the captain.