When the Titanic sailed on its maiden and final voyage on April 10, 1912, it carried 2,227 passengers and crew. Shortly after midnight on April 15, 1912, the Titanic hit an iceberg and sank in the frigid waters of the North Atlantic; 1,523 perished. The Titanic carried sixteen lifeboats with a capacity of 980 people – nearly 1,250 fewer spaces than needed. But the Titanic was in full compliance with then-current maritime safety regulations, which were set by the British Board of Trade. The Board of Trade's standard had been established in 1884. At that time, the largest vessel afloat was one-quarter of the size of the Titanic. The new generation of superliner – the Titanic, Mauritania, and Lusitania – carried far more passengers and crew than their predecessors. The Board of Trade knew this; it convened an advisory committee in 1911 to consider upgrading the lifeboat standard but took no action. A year later, tragedy stuck.
Now fast-forward to March 2005. Joshua Oukrop, a college student, was on a spring-break trip to Moab, Utah, with his girlfriend. They went for a bike ride, but Joshua soon complained of fatigue, fell to the ground, and died of cardiac arrest. Why? Joshua had a common genetic disorder that causes erratic heartbeats that, if untreated, can trigger sudden cardiac arrest. But Joshua was able to lead a normal life because his doctors implanted a small, pocket-watch-sized, defibrillator into his chest.