Ever since he was young, Thomas Andrews already loved watching ships sail into the ocean. The fascination that he had for vessels was in his genes. Viscount Pirrie, Andrews’ uncle, who was a shipbuilder, was part owner of Harland and Wolff. Harland and Wolff. Andrews studied to become a naval architect at the age of 16. He began to work with his uncle as a trainee at Harland and Wolff.
During his five year apprenticeship, he really worked hard and ascended in the company ranks. In 1901, he became an associate of the Institution of Naval Architecture. In 1907, he became a managing director and head of the drafting department at Harland and Wolff. He had a very good relationship with his business associates.
He turned his dream into reality as a supervisor for ships on the White Star Line. Thomas Andrews, Alexander Carlisle and William Pirrie all designed the Titanic in 1909. They not only created a majestic vessel. Resembling a floating palace, Titanic was also a work of art.
Andrews was also concerned about safety on the Titanic. He even said that Titanic should have 46 lifeboats rather than only 20 in case of a disaster. The gifted naval architect also believed that the Titanic should be more structurally sound. He recommended that it should have a double framework and waterproof bulkheads that went up to B deck. However, his supervisors rejected his logical advice.
On April 10, 1912, Andrews and workers of the Harland and Wolff group all traveled on the first voyage of the Titanic. At this company, employees traveled on the maiden trip of every ship that they ever built. Andrews was not a passenger on vacation. He was actually working and examining the vessel to see if any upgrades were required.
After observing the Titanic, Andrews told a companion that the Titanic was “as nearly perfect as human brains can make her.” The flawlessness of the Titanic did not stop her from hitting an iceberg on April 15, 1912.
Andrews said that if more than four watertight compartments flooded then the Titanic would sink. Now Andrews’ role on the ship changed. He was no longer just an architect. He also became a hero trying to save every life he could.
Andrews advised passengers to put on their lifebelts. He knew that there were not enough lifeboats available for all of the passengers, but he tried to get many passengers on those lifeboats. Some ladies were hesitant to leave the ship, but he convinced them to go. He even threw deck chairs into the Atlantic Ocean so passengers could cling to them. After saving many passengers, he perished on the ship that he created. He was 39-years-old and left his wife and daughter behind.