But one prominent theory is that the guy who was in charge of, you know, watching for icebergs didn't have access to a pair of binoculars. That guy was Fred Fleet, who was in fact one of the few crew members to survive. He was the first to spot the iceberg, and he testified to a senate inquiry that, if he'd had access to binoculars, he might have seen it soon enough to avoid it. The ship would have never sunk, and that one guy would have never fallen hilariously onto the propeller on the way down.
Paramount Pictures/20th Century Fox
"Eh, could have been worse."
But here's the thing: the binoculars were on the ship. But they were locked up, and the key to the locker didn't make the trip. That's because right before the Titanic sailed, the company that ran the cruise made a split-second decision to replace the ship's second officer, David Blair, with another guy, Charles Lightoller, who had more experience working on giant ships and was thus less likely to, say, get them all run aground on an iceberg. So Blair missed out on the cruise of a lifetime, but as he waved goodbye to the departing Titanic, he neglected to realize that the locker keys were still in his pocket.
London Evening Standard
Beside a now-useless drink coupon.