Thursday, April 10, 2008

Remembering The Titanic.....

On April 10th 1912, the RMS Titanic set sail from Southampton, south England, on her maiden voyage to New York. She had been designed by J Bruce Ismay, the chairman of the White Star Line, and built by Thomas Andrews of Harland and Wolff. At that time, she was the largest and most luxurious ship ever built. When comparing Titanic with her sister ship Olympic, Violet Jessop, a stewardess on both ships said that Titanic was 'decidedly grander and improved in every way.

On departure, Titanic nearly collided with the New York as she left the harbor, causing a delay of an hour. Titanic steamed across the Channel to Cherbourg for embarking and disembarking passengers and mail. The following day, April 11th 1912, she arrived in Queenstown, Ireland – her last port of call before steaming into the open Atlantic.

The following three days showed smooth sailing and good, if cold, weather. Titanic received a large number of ice warnings throughout these days, but Captain Smith, urged by J Bruce Ismay, kept up full steam in order to 'make headlines' about the speed of the ship.

By 11:00 pm on April 14th 1912, the crew had received 7 ice warnings, all of which failed to reach the captain or were ignored. At 11:40 pm that evening Titanic struck an iceberg about 400 miles off Newfoundland, Canada. She had been traveling at near top speed of about 20.5 knots when the iceberg grazed her starboard side.

The next two hours and forty minutes saw the death of the largest, most luxurious ocean liner of her time. At first, few knew of the impending danger, so lifeboats leaving the ship could not find enough passengers to fill them. Lifeboats with room for 65 people left with as few as 12 passengers aboard. As a result, of the 1, 500 lives lost in the tragedy, 600 could have been saved were all the lifeboats filled, giving a death toll of 900.

Initially, lifeboats were filled with only women and children, beginning with first class, the second class and finally third class. However, a staggering percentage of the lives lost were those of third class women and children. Clearly, the first and second class men felt their lives were more important.
As the impending death of the Titanic became more clear, panic ensued, and many souls searched for the few remaining boats. As the stern rose from the water, the luckless people still aboard fled to the highest point, since this was the furthest from the icy water.
At about 2:15 am on the 15th April 1912, the ship's lights, which had been so dutifully kept alight by the faithful crew, went out. Mere seconds later, a tremendous sound of ripping metal was heard as the weight of the stern caused the ship to split down to the keel. The stern fell back level once more. The bow section acted as a level, pulling the stern section vertical once more. As the bow detached, it sank to the ocean floor, arriving about 10 minutes later at 2:30 am, half a mile from the site of the sinking, 2 and a half miles down.

The stern section remained floating on the ocean surface for about a minute, during which time it flooded, causing it to sink. At 2:20 am, the inky black, frozen waters of the North Atlantic closed over the Titanic and 1 500 people were plunged into a coldness so intense it was indistinguishable from fire, approximately -4oC.
14 bodies were pulled from the water alive out of the 1 500 that had entered it, and only 6 of these survived. A total of 705 people survived the tragedy, of the initial 2 227 passengers aboard the Titanic.
At around 4:30 am on 15th April 1912, the Carpathia arrived and picked up the lifeboats containing the survivors. The last lifeboats was taken aboard the Carpathia at 8:30 am, over 6 hours after the sinking of the Titanic, around the same time that the Californian arrived at the scene. No further survivors were found.

The world was stunned to learn of the fate of the unsinkable Titanic. It carried some of the richest, most powerful industrialists of her day. Together, their personal fortunes were worth $600 million in 1912. In addition to wealthy and the middle class passengers, she carried poor emigrants from Europe and the Middle East seeking economic and social freedom in the New World.

The remains of the Titanic were found in 1985 by Dr. Robert Ballard, an oceanographer and marine biologist with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. When he located the Titanic, he saw that, as some survivors reported, the ship had broken apart. He believed the weight of the water-filled bow raised the stern out of the water and snapped the ship in two just before it sank. Debris falling out of the ship was strewn over a 1/2 mile across the sea floor. The bow and the stern were found nearly 2000ft. apart.

Keeping her location a secret, Bob Ballard used GPS to find the Titanic again when he returned the next year. He hoped to prevent treasure seekers from finding her and plundering the ship for booty such as coffee cups inscribed with RMS Titanic. On this second expedition, he visited the ship several times by submarine. On his last descent, he left a plaque honoring the 1500 victims and asking that subsequent explorers leave their grave undisturbed:

I received an e-mail from a lady who did an awesome job on Titanic info and photos. I just wanted to say thank you and share the link, stop by for further info. and awesome photos .


  1. Excellent article & I love your Christian Theme - God Bless you & keep up the good work.

  2. Thought you might like this little vid someone made splicing Ev's song with Titanic scenes.