TitanicWhen people hear the name Titanic manyvivid and emotional images come to mind. Visions of the very lastyet frantic final moments titanic spent afloat before sinking to its waterygrave miles below the surface. No one however pictures everythingthat had happened before and after the great liner sank, or the passengersand crew who were doomed to be aboard the massive ship.
Many factors madewhat was titanic, her crew the passengers and the inevitable crash. The story of titanic started in Belfast,Ireland where hundreds of hard working men spent countless hours buildingwhat was at 46,328 gross tonnage the largest moving object at the time. The R. M. S. Titanic was owned by American tycoon J.
P. Morgan, but was beingoperated on the British owned White Star line. The ship was reportedto have cost some where between $7,500,000 – $10,000,000. It wasto be Bruce Ismay’s crowning achievement and at 882 ? feet longand 100 feet high it truly was. Mr. Thomas Andrews the ship designergave her a revolutionary layout, and it appears that titanic was builtto accommodate up to 64 lifeboats yet had only 16 aboard and 4 collapsiblelifeboats were added last minute giving a life boat capacity of only 1,176.
Now we come to the passengers and crewwho were aboard the ill-fated liner. The captain was Edward JamesSmith a very reputable and respected captain. The maiden voyage wasto be Captain Smith’s last and he has even been quoted as saying “nothingexciting ever happens on my trips”. As Titanic was the ship of al shipsher passengers were the whose who of the world. Aboard were Americanmillionaire John Jacob Astor and his wife, Mr. and Mrs.
Isador Strauss,Mr. Benjamin Guggenheim and his mistress, the “unsinkable” Molly Brownand the Countess of Rothes. As it seems the massive liner was doomedto infamy from the very beginning. At on Wednesday April 10, 1912the R. M.
S. Titanic started to depart from Southampton on its way to NewYork City. Just as titanic left port a dangerous suction started and pulledanother ship the New York into a crash course with the immense ship andit wasn’t until the last possible minute that a huge surge of water pushedthe New York out of harms way. Yet just as it seemed that disasterwas averted another major problem started. In coal bunker # 5 spontaneouscombustion caused a very destructive fire that took 3 days to extinguish. Mr.
Andrews was sent to examine the damages and reported that the firecompromised the steel and could have possible damaged the airtight compartments. The next topic needed to cover is the controversial events leading up toand including the crash on April 14, 1912. The day started out withclear weather and with the boat at a full 22 ? knots what seemedto be smooth sailing, but nothing could have prepared them for what wouldhappen later that night. That night the temperature suddenly droppeddown t a chilling 31 degrees Fahrenheit with a wind chill of only 0 degreesFahrenheit in the crow’s nest. Titanic was travelling too fast in conditionso dangerous that other ships had stopped for the night. At 10:00p.
m. Frederick Fleet took his place as look out in the crow’s nest, withonly one problem his binoculars had been missing since leaving Southampton4 days earlier. At 11:40 p. m. that night everything was calm includingthe usually turbulent ocean, but the calm was suddenly shattered by whatis now one of the most famous quotes ever “Iceberg right ahead”. Almost immediately Officer Murdoch ordered the ship to full reverse andhard to port which basically means to turn left.
One major designflaw came into play here, the rudders were too small so the ship did notturn in time and so the ship hit the iceberg on her starboard side leavinga tiny trail of small punctures in the hull. These small breaks wereall that was needed to seal the fate of titanic and her passengers fornow over 400 tons of water was pouring in every minute. As soon asthe reality of everything set in Mr. Andrews was sent to inspect that damagecaused by the iceberg, the results were almost unbelievable.
Theiceberg caused 5 of the 16 airtight compartments to fill with water, onemore that ever imagined in any accident. Mr. Andrews conclusion wasthat the ship everyone said, “G-D himself could not sink” was going tobe at the bottom of the ocean in a matter of hours. With this tragicnews the crew was instructed to start evacuating the boat women and childrenfirst and so a little past mid-night the 1st class was being awaken tohead towards the lifeboats. At 12:10 a.
m. Captain Smith ordered theMarconi operators to send out a distress call that the ship was sinkingby the head. One of the first ships to respond was the German Shipthe Frankfort, but because it was operated by a competitor the operatorsignored all of the Frankfort’s messages. A nearby ship the Californianwas with in eyesight but the operators were off duty and asleep. Finallyat 12:45 a.
m. the Carpathia responded but they were over 4 hours away. By now everyone was aware of their impending doom and chaos was startingto break out, but through it all many people came to terms with their fateand accepted it. Mr. Guggenheim and his valet dressed in their bestan were prepared to go down as gentlemen, Mr. and Mrs.
Strauss laid intheir suite in what was to be a final embrace. Though some found peacemany were frantic and beginning to become desperate, but the ship’s musiciansplayed non-stop in order to calm the passengers. What made all mattersworse was that the life boat capacity was only that of ? the passengersand crew on board. Their was 318 1st class, 262 2nd class, 740 3rdclass passengers and 860 officers and crew on board a total of 2180 souls,2180 and only 1,176 were to be saved if all seats were filled. Thiswas a very scary and confusing time so one cannot put blame on the crewbut they were sending lifeboats able t fit 65 heavy men filled with only12 people in some out to sea. At 2:15 the ship’ stern was submergedat an 80 degree angle in the water and at 2:17 all power to titanic hadfailed.
Just as the horrid sight of the once grand ship adhering straightup sunk in the minds of all watching the sturdy hull began to give wayand the immense body off titanic split in two and the stern came crashingback down to the surface. Slowly the stern began an eerie decent into theocean which some described as similar to an elevator ride. The once loadroaring of the ship’s destruction now turned into the painful cries of1,500 men, women and children who were now battling to stay alive in thefreezing ocean water. As most survivors testified to the most hauntingnoise was not the breaking or even the shrieking of all those waiting todie in the ocean but the unearthly silence once everyone eventually frozeto death. It wasn’t for hours that the Titanic’s sister ship the Carpathiafinally arrived and pulled aboard only a little over 700 survivors.
News headlines around the world soon readof how the Unsinkable titanic perished in the night and how over 1,500souls came to an untimely end in the middle of the North Atlantic. Mostof the blame was placed on Bruce Ismay who was reportedly the man who orderedto ignore the ice warning and for the ship to gain speed. Reportshowever of how the ship sank widely varied, some said the boilers explodedsome said the ship was in one piece and some said that crew men were sopanicked that they were shooting men who got unruly. No one knew what hadhappened or even the exact location of the wreckage until a joint U. S.
? French expedition discovered titanic 1,600 miles NE of New York, 95 milessouth Grandbanks Newfoundland @ 41. 16 degrees N. latitude and 50. 14 degreesW. longitude. The expedition surveyed and photographed the wreckageand reported that the ship had indeed broke in two and laid about ?a mile apart.
In July 1986 a 3-man U. S. exploration team in Alvin submersiblesonce again surveyed and photographed the wreckage. It wasn’t until a controversialFrench salvage team in 1987 began collecting artifacts from the ocean floor. They collected glasses, dishes, jewelry, suitcases, currency, and a bunchof little insignificant objects. This caused a major uproar what the scientistcalled preserving many people considered grave desecration, yet throughall the protests the artifacts were displayed in Paris in September 1987.
Till this day scientist flock to titanic in order to determine what happenedand why, there are even countless movies which depict almost every theoryof what happened out today. With all the pain and suffering that surroundedtitanic no one stops and looks at what good came out of the tragedy. Due to all the faults aboard the Titanic there are now laws which statethat there must be lifeboat seats for all passengers on board. There mustbe full time maintenance and operating crews on radio watch while at sea. There must be lifeboat evacuation drills and there has been an internationalice patrol set up.
So now when people hear the name Titanic they can visionnot only the crash and the anguish it caused but they also can envisionthe what went into titanic, the people who lost their lives that unfortunatenight, and the great achievements that came about because of it.