- "About half, actually. Rose,you miss nothing, do you? In fact, I put in these new type davits which can take an extra row of boats inside this one but it was thought by some that the deck would look too cluttered so I was overruled."
—Thomas explaining the lifeboats to Rose DeWitt Bukater.
Thomas Andrews Jr. (February 7, 1873 - April 15, 1912) was an Irish employee for Harland and Wolff who designed and helped build the RMS Titanic. He was very chivalrous and kind-hearted. Andrews was one of the first people certain that the Titanic would, indeed, sink before it became obvious. He was very protective of Rose DeWitt Bukater and found her trustworthy, being that he told her that the Titanic would sink and told no one else (although her fiancée, Caledon Hockley, had incidentally heard this as well). He was also friendly to Rose's friend (later lover) Jack Dawson and was seen saying "Hello" to him a few times despite this being uncommon in first class passengers to converse with third class passenger.
Andrews headed a group of Harland and Wolff workers who went on the maiden voyages of the ships built by the company (the guarantee group), to observe ship operations and spot any necessary improvements.
The RMS Titanic was no exception, so Andrews and the rest of his Harland and Wolff group travelled from Belfast to Southampton on Titanic for the beginning of her maiden voyage on 10 April 1912. During the voyage, Andrews took notes on various improvements he felt were needed, primarily cosmetic changes to various facilities. However, on 14 April, Andrews remarked to a friend that Titanic was "as nearly perfect as human brains can make her."
On 14 April at 11:40 PM, the Titanic struck an iceberg on the ship's starboard side. Andrews had been in his stateroom, planning changes he wanted to make to the ship, and barely noticed the collision. Captain Edward J. Smith had Andrews summoned to help examine the damage. Andrews and Captain Smith discussed the damage to the ship shortly after midnight, after Andrews had toured the damaged section of the ship and received several reports of the vessel's damage.
Andrews determined that the first five of the ship's watertight compartments were rapidly flooding. Andrews knew that if more than four of the ship's compartments flooded, it would inevitably sink. He relayed this information to Captain Smith, stating that it was a 'mathematical certainty', and adding that in his opinion, the vessel had only about an hour before it completely sank. He also informed Smith of the severe shortage of lifeboats on board the ship.
As the evacuation of the Titanic began, Andrews tirelessly searched staterooms telling the passengers to put on lifebelts and go up on deck. Several survivors testify to have met or spotted Andrews several times. Fully aware of the short time the ship had left and of the lack of lifeboat space for all passengers and crew, he continued to urge reluctant people into the lifeboats in the hope of filling them with as many people as possible.
Andrews is seen standing in the first–class smoking room staring at a painting, "Plymouth Harbour", above the fireplace, his lifejacket lying on a nearby table; he gave the life jacket to Rose in hopes that she would survive. He also expressed to her his regrets and seeks her apology saying, "I'm sorry I didn't build you a better ship, young Rose." Then they embrace, as a final farewell.
While the musicians performed Nearer God To Thee, Andrews was carefully correcting the clock on the mantle. Andrews died when the ship split and destroyed the smoking room.