A steering mistake caused the Titanic to strike an iceberg and sank quickly because it continued sailing, an author said Wednesday.
In Louise Patten's new book titled Good As Gold she claims the steersman, Robert Hitchins, panicked and turned the wheel the wrong way. She makes note about the two different steering systems used at the time, sail steering and steam steering, which were opposite one another.
Patten is the granddaughter of the Titanic's second officer Charles Lightoller, according to the NY Daily News. Lightoller never spoke about the information to anyone except his wife, who then told Patten, to protect the White Star Line and its employees, Patten said.
Lightoller wasn't present when the mistake was made, but was at the final officer's meeting before the ship sank, Patten said. At the meeting they also learned that the ship continued sailing, as persuaded by J. Bruce Ismay, chairman of Titanic's owner the White Star Line, after hitting the iceberg causing the ocean liner to sink faster.
"If Titanic had stood still, she would have survived at least until the rescue ship came and no one need have died," Patten said, reported by Reuters.