Secret blunder may have led to Titanic's sinking

** FILE ** In this April 10, 1912 file photo the Titanic leaves Southampton, England.

September 23, 2010 8:10:54 AM PDT
Did a simple steering error cause the Titanic to sink? An author and granddaughter of a Titanic survivor says that's exactly what happened.

Louise Patten's grandfather Charles Lightoller was second officer on the ship. He told her that steering officer panicked and inadvertently steered into an iceberg in April of 1912 because he wasn't used to the new steering system on the ship.

She says the owner caused the ship to sink faster by continuing to sail rather than stopping.

Lightoller never told anyone to protect the crew's reputation.

Patten's statements coincide with the release of her new novel about the Titanic.