The RMS Titanic
One of the Deadliest Peacetime Maritime Disasters in History
|The RMS Titanic
One of the Deadliest Peacetime Maritime Disasters in History
The Titanic was an Olympic class ship which struck an iceberg on April 14th, 1912 and sunk two hours and forty minutes later. It is said then when strong emotions and experiences are felt then the chances of experiencing a paranormal experience peaks. Is there ghosts still lingering among the sunken Titanic?
RMS Titanic was the largest passenger steamship in the world when she set off on her maiden voyage from Southampton, England to New York City on April 10th, 1912.
Four days into the crossing, at 23:40 on April 14th, 1912, she struck an iceberg and sank at 2:20 the following morning, resulting in the deaths of 1,517 people in one of the deadliest peacetime maritime disasters in history.
An Olympic-class passenger liner, RMS Titanic was owned by the White Star Line and constructed at the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, Ireland.
She set sail for New York City with 2,227 people on board. The high casualty rate when the ship sank was due in part to the fact that, although complying with the regulations of the time, the ship carried lifeboats for only 1,178 people.
A disproportionate number of men died due to the women and children first protocol that was followed. Titanic was designed by some of the most experienced engineers, and used some of the most advanced technologies available at the time. It was a great shock to many that, despite the extensive safety features, Titanic sank.
The frenzy on the part of the media about Titanic's famous victims, the legends about the sinking, the resulting changes to maritime law, and the discovery of the wreck have contributed to the interest in Titanic.
The vessel began her maiden voyage from Southampton, bound for New York City on April 10th, 1912, with Captain Edward J. Smith in command.
As Titanic left her berth, her wake caused the liner SS New York, which was docked nearby, to break away from her moorings, whereupon she was drawn dangerously close (about four feet) to Titanic before a tugboat towed New York away.
The incident delayed departure for about half an hour. After crossing the English Channel, Titanic stopped at Cherbourg, France, to board additional passengers and stopped again the next day at Queenstown (known today as Cobh), Ireland.
As harbour facilities at Queenstown were inadequate for a ship of her size, Titanic had to anchor off-shore, with small boats, known as tenders, ferrying the embarking passengers out to her.
When she finally set out for New York, there were 2,240 people aboard. John Coffey, a 23-year-old crewmember, jumped ship by stowing away on a tender and hid amongst mailbags headed for Queenstown.
Coffey stated that the reason for smuggling himself off the liner was that he held a superstition about sailing and specifically about travelling on Titanic. He later signed on to join the crew of Mauretania.
On the maiden voyage of Titanic some of the most prominent people of the day were travelling in first class.
Among them were:
- millionaire John Jacob Astor IV and his wife Madeleine Force Astor
- industrialist Benjamin Guggenheim
- Macy's owner Isidor Straus and his wife Ida
- Denver millionairess Margaret "Molly" Brown (known afterward as the "Unsinkable Molly Brown" due to her efforts in helping other passengers while the ship sank)
- Sir Cosmo Duff Gordon and his wife, couturière Lucy (Lady Duff-Gordon)
- George Dunton Widener, his wife Eleanor, and son Harry
- cricketer and businessman John Borland Thayer with his wife Marian and their seventeen-year-old son Jack
- journalist William Thomas Stead
- United States presidential aide Archibald Butt
- author and socialite Helen Churchill Candee
- author Jacques Futrelle his wife May and their friends
- Broadway producers Henry and Rene Harris and silent film actress Dorothy Gibson among others
Banker J. P. Morgan was scheduled to travel on the maiden voyage, but cancelled at the last minute. Travelling in first class aboard the ship were White Star Line's managing director J. Bruce Ismay and the ship's builder Thomas Andrews, who was on board to observe any problems and assess the general performance of the new ship.
Titanic - 1912 Original Video Footage
Original Footage of titanic of 1912 before its departure to its final
This is a Detailed Video showing many parts of titanic and
also the passengers who died.
On the night of Sunday, April 14th, 1912, the temperature had dropped to near freezing and the ocean was calm. The moon was not visible (being two days before new moon), and the sky was clear.
Captain Smith, in response to iceberg warnings received via wireless over the preceding few days, had drawn up a new course which took the ship slightly further southward.
That Sunday at 13:45, a message from the steamer Amerika warned that large icebergs lay in Titanic's path, but as Jack Phillips and Harold Bride, the Marconi wireless radio operators, were employed by Marconi and paid to relay messages to and from the passengers, they were not focused on relaying such "non-essential" ice messages to the bridge.
Later that evening, another report of numerous large icebergs, this time from Mesaba, also failed to reach the bridge. At 23:40, while sailing about 400 miles (640 km) south of the Grand Banks of Newfoundland, lookouts Fredrick Fleet and Reginald Lee spotted a large iceberg directly ahead of the ship.
Fleet sounded the ship's bell three times and telephoned the bridge exclaiming, "Iceberg, right ahead!".
First Officer Murdoch gave the order "hard-a-starboard", using the traditional tiller order for an abrupt turn to port (left), and adjusted the engines (he either ordered through the telegraph for "full reverse" or "stop" on the engines; survivor testimony on this conflicts).
The iceberg brushed the ship's starboard side
(right side), buckling the hull in several places and popping out rivets
below the waterline over a length of 299 feet (90 m). As
seawater filled the forward compartments, the watertight doors shut.
However, while the ship could barely stay afloat with the foremost four
compartments flooded, the foremost six were filling with water.
water-filled compartments weighed down the ship's bow, allowing much
water to flood the vessel, accelerated by secondary flooding as regular
openings in the ship's hull became submerged. Additionally, about 130
minutes after the collision, water started pouring from the sixth into
the seventh compartment over the top of the bulkhead in between.
Smith, alerted by the jolt of the impact, arrived on the bridge and
ordered a full stop. Shortly after midnight on April 15th, following an
inspection by the ship's officers and Thomas Andrews, the lifeboats were
ordered to be readied and a distress call was sent out.
operators Jack Phillips and Harold Bride were busy sending out CQD, the
international distress signal. Several ships responded, including Mount
Temple, Frankfurt and Titanic's sister ship, Olympic, but none was
close enough to arrive in time.
Documentary about the recent attempts to identify some of the victims retrieved from sea after the Titanic was lost.
The closest ship to respond was
Cunard Line's Carpathia 58 miles (93 km) away, which could arrive in an
estimated four hours—too late to rescue all of Titanic's passengers.
only land–based location that received the distress call from Titanic
was a wireless station at Cape Race, Newfoundland.
From the bridge, the
lights of a nearby ship could be seen off the port side. The identity of
this ship remains a mystery but there have been theories suggesting
that it was probably either SS Californian or a sealer called Samson.
it was not responding to wireless, Fourth Officer Boxhall and
Quartermaster Rowe attempted signalling the ship with a Morse lamp and
later with distress rockets, but the ship never appeared to respond.
Californian, which was nearby and stopped for the night because of ice,
also saw lights in the distance.
Californian's wireless was turned off, and the wireless operator had gone to bed for the night. Just before he went to bed at around 23:00, Californian's
radio operator attempted to warn Titanic that there was ice ahead, but
he was cut off by an exhausted Jack Phillips, who had fired back an
angry response, "Shut up, shut up, I am busy; I am working Cape Race",
referring to the Newfoundland wireless station.
Californian's officers first saw the ship, they tried signalling her
with their Morse lamp, but also never appeared to receive a response.
Later, they noticed Titanic's distress signals over the lights and
informed Captain Stanley Lord.
Even though there was much
discussion about the mysterious ship, which to the officers on duty
appeared to be moving away, the master of Californian did not wake her
wireless operator until morning
The first lifeboat launched was
Lifeboat 7 on the starboard side with 28 people on board out of a
capacity of 65. It was lowered at around 00:40 as believed by the
Lifeboat 6 and Lifeboat 5 were launched ten minutes
later. Lifeboat 1 was the fifth lifeboat to be launched with 12 people.
Lifeboat 11 was overloaded with 70 people.
Collapsible D was the last lifeboat to be launched.
Titanic carried 20 lifeboats with a total capacity of 1,178 people.
While not enough to hold all of the passengers and crew, Titanic carried
more boats than was required by the British Board of Trade Regulations.
At the time, the number of lifeboats required was determined by a
ship's gross register tonnage, rather than her human capacity.
was given ample stability and sank with only a few degrees list, the
design being such that there was very little risk of unequal flooding
and possible capsize. Furthermore the electric power plant was operated
by the ship's engineers until the end. Hence Titanic showed no outward
signs of being in imminent danger, and passengers were reluctant to
leave the apparent safety of the ship to board small lifeboats.
Large numbers of Third Class passengers were
unable to reach the lifeboat deck through unfamiliar parts of the ship
and past barriers, although some stewards such as William Denton Cox
successfully led some groups from Third Class to the lifeboats.
result, most of the boats were launched partially empty; one boat meant
to hold 40 people left Titanic with only 12 people on board.
With "Women and children first" the imperative for loading lifeboats, Second Officer Lightoller, who was loading boats on the port side, allowed men to board only if oarsmen were needed, even if there was room. First Officer Murdoch, who was loading boats on the starboard side, let men on board if women were absent.
As the ship's list increased people started to become nervous, and some lifeboats began leaving fully loaded. By 02:05, the entire bow was under water, and all the lifeboats, except for two, had been launched.
Around 02:10, the stern rose out of the water exposing the propellers, and by 02:17 the waterline had reached the boat deck.
The last two lifeboats floated off the deck, collapsible B upside down, collapsible A half-filled with water after the supports for its canvas sides were broken in the fall from the roof of the officers' quarters.
Shortly afterward, the forward funnel collapsed, crushing part of the bridge and people in the water.
On deck, people were scrambling towards the stern or jumping overboard in hopes of reaching a lifeboat. The ship's stern slowly rose into the air, and everything unsecured crashed towards the water.
While the stern rose, the electrical system finally failed and the lights went out. Shortly afterward, the stress on the hull caused Titanic to break apart between the last two funnels, and the bow went completely under. The stern righted itself slightly and then rose vertically. After a few moments, at 02:20, it also sank.
Only two of the 18 launched lifeboats rescued people after the ship sank. Lifeboat 4 was close by and picked up five people, two of whom later died. Close to an hour later, lifeboat 14 went back and rescued four people, one of whom died afterward. Other people managed to climb onto the lifeboats that floated off the deck.
There were some arguments in some of the other lifeboats about going back, but many survivors were afraid of being swamped by people trying to climb into the lifeboat or being pulled down by the suction from the sinking Titanic, though it turned out that there had been very little suction.
As the ship fell into the depths, the two sections behaved very differently. The streamlined bow planed off approximately 2,000 feet (609 m) below the surface and slowed somewhat, landing relatively gently. The stern plunged violently to the ocean floor, the hull being torn apart along the way from massive implosions caused by compression of the air still trapped inside.
The stern smashed into the bottom at considerable speed, grinding the hull deep into the silt. After steaming at 17.5 knots (32.4 km/h) for just under four hours, RMS Carpathia arrived in the area and at 04:10 began rescuing survivors. By 08:30 she picked up the last lifeboat with survivors and left the area at 08:50 bound for New York.
Titanica (1995) IMAX Documentary
The unsinkable ship. The unthinkable tragedy. Discover the Titanic...in a whole new light.
Of a total of 2,223 people aboard Titanic, only 706, less than a third, survived and 1,517 perished.
The majority of deaths were caused by hypothermia in the 28 °F (−2 °C) water where death could be expected in less than 15 minutes. Men and members of the 2nd and 3rd class were less likely to survive.
Of the male passengers in second class, 92 percent perished. Less than a quarter of third-class passengers survived.
Six of the seven children in first class survived, all of the children in second class survived, whereas less than half were saved in third class.
96 percent of the women in first class survived, 86 percent of the women survived in second class and less than half survived in third class.
Overall, only 20 percent of the men survived, compared to nearly 75 percent of the women. Men in first class were four times as likely to survive as men in second class, and twice as likely to survive as those in third. Four of the eight officers survived. About 21 of the 29 able seamen survived and all seven quartermasters and eight lookouts survived.
Three of the 13 leading firemen survived, around 45 other firemen survived and around 20 of the 73 coal trimmers survived. Four of the 33 greasers survived and one of the six mess hall stewards survived. Around 60 of the 322 stewards and 18 of the 23 stewardesses survived.
Three of the 68 restaurant staffs survived. All five postal clerks, guarantee group, and eight-member orchestra perished.
Another disparity is that a greater percentage of British passengers died than Americans; some sources suggest it was because Britons of the time were polite and queued, rather than forcing their way onto the lifeboats. The captain Edward John Smith was shouting: "Be British, boys, be British!" as the liner went down.
- A Swede, Alma Pålsson, was travelling third class to meet her husband with their four children aged under 10; all died. "Paulson's grief was the most acute of any who visited the offices of the White Star, but his loss was the greatest. His whole family had been wiped out."
- The sailors aboard the ship CS Mackay-Bennett, which recovered bodies from Titanic, were upset by the discovery of a 19-month-old boy.
They paid for a monument and he was buried on May 4th, 1912 with a copper pendant placed in his coffin by the sailors that read "Our Babe". The boy was identified in 2007 as Sidney Leslie Goodwin.
- Stewardess Violet Jessop, who had been on board RMS Olympic during the collision with HMS Hawke in 1911, went on to survive the sinking of HMHS Britannic in 1916.
- The last living survivor was Millvina Dean from England, only nine weeks old at the time of the sinking. She died on May 31st, 2009, the 98th anniversary of the launching of Titanic's hull.
- There are many stories about dogs on Titanic. A crewman released the dogs from the ship's kennels before it went down; they were seen running on the decks. Two lap dogs survived with their owners in lifeboats.
Within 24 hours of Titanics sinking the owners of the ship The White
Star Line were rushing to send a team of Canadian sailors to the scene
to retrieve any bodies still floating in the icy waves. The recovery
effort was launched on the 17th of April 1912 from Halifax in Canada as
it was the closest major port to where the Titanic went down.
remains of 150 lost souls that were recovered now lie in Fairview Lawn
Cemetery Nova Scotia, although sadly many were never identified their
grave marked only by numbers.
When Titanic sank, claims were made that a curse existed on the ship. The press quickly linked the "Titanic curse" with the White Star Line practice of not christening their ships (notwithstanding the opening scene of the film A Night to Remember).
One of the most widely spread legends linked directly into the sectarianism of the city of Belfast, where the ship was built. It was suggested that the ship was given the number 390904 which, when reflected, resembles the letters "NOPOPE", a sectarian slogan attacking Roman Catholics, widely used by extreme Protestants in Northern Ireland, where the ship was built.
In the extreme sectarianism of the region, the ship's sinking was alleged to be on account of anti-Catholicism by her manufacturers, the Harland and Wolff company, which had an almost exclusively Protestant workforce and an alleged record of hostility towards Catholics.
(Harland and Wolff did have a record of hiring few Catholics; whether that was through policy or because the company's shipyard in Belfast's bay was located in almost exclusively Protestant East Belfast—through which few Catholics would travel—or a mixture of both, is a matter of dispute.)
In fact, RMS Olympic and Titanic were assigned the yard numbers 400 and 401 respectively.