100 Years after the Titanic Disaster
10 April 2012 marks the 100th anniversary of the Titanic’s tragic maiden voyage from England to New York which they hoped to make in six days. The Titanic struck on the 4th day and iceberg the evening of April 14 1912 (100 years ago). Warnings about icebergs in the area had been ignored. The ship flooded and sank into the deep. When word spread that the technologically advanced, “unsinkable” ship had gone down, the shock was immediate. Some Ocean Photos of the Titanic.
Icebergs are very dangerous objects because they drift, they are not stationary, and in higher wave conditions they can be masked or hidden from a ship’s radar. That’s why they are still a danger today. More info on the RMS Titanic Iceberg can be read here titanic-nautical.com
Titanic was considered as one of mankind’s most remarkable feats of engineering. At the time of her construction, Titanic was the largest ship ever built—882 feet, 9 inches long, and standing nearly 20 stories high. Her weight was over 46,000 tons. Her hull spanned four city blocks. She had nine decks encompassing 370 first-class cabins, 168 second-class cabins, and 297 third-class cabins. Accommodations for up to 3,547 people.
Life on Board
Titanic’s first class cabins rivaled the most exquisite decors of the day. Every effort was made to give the illusion that she was not a ship, but the kind of locale here elite guests were accustomed to. The orrnate Grand Staircase adorned with bronze cherubgs and topped by a massive glass dome and chrystal chandelier is arguably one of the most luxurious spaces aboard. 8 men died during the building of the ship. While 15,000 workers at Harland & Wolff contributed to building the massive ship, these three individuals are most often credited with its design. Click here to read more on Life on board Titanic.
Harland and Wolff’s elite Guarantee Group was a selection of the best men in their fields chosen to represent the shipbuilders on the Titanic’s maiden voyage. Nine men were selected for the honor (None of which survived, sadly). Thomas Andrews, the Naval Architect was also in the Guarantee Group. He headed the group of Harland and Wolff workers to observe ship operations and spot any necessary improvements. On 14 April, Andrews remarked to a friend that Titanic was “as nearly perfect as human brains can make her.” According to John Stewart, a steward on the ship, Andrews was last seen in the first–class smoking room staring at a painting, “Plymouth Harbour”, above the fireplace, his lifejacket lying on a nearby table. The painting depicted the entrance to Plymouth Sound, which Titanic had been expected to visit on her return voyage. Here is an Interesting Timeline on Building Titanic: http://news.yahoo.com/titanic-anniversary-timeline/
Early designs for Titanic included up to 64 lifeboats, but the number were later reduced as it was felt that the Boat Deck where passengers could promenade freely would be too cluttered. In the end, Titanic was equipped with 20 boats in all:
14 Wooden Lifeboats (65-passenger capacity)
2 emergency boats (40 passenger capacity)
4 collapsible boats (47 passenger capacity)
In total, the rescue boat capacity was 1178 passengers.
Titanic’s officers knew how many the lifeboats could seat. They did not fill them to capacity for two reasons. First, Second Officer Charles Lightoller testified the crew doubted that the lowering mechanisms could bear the weight of the full 70 passengers per boat. Second, crew members knew they could not waste time before launching;
On 15 April 1912, 2:20 a.m., Titanic disappeared. All who had failed to find a lifeboat seat went into the frigid water. A life jacket did virtually no good. Smith, Murdoch, Andrews, Phillips, and hundreds of others ranging from millionaires to dirt-poor immigrants drowned or froze.
Miles away, Cunard liner Carpathia received Titanic’s distress calls and got under way—straight into the ice field surrounding the stricken ship’s final radioed position. Normally, Carpathia topped out at 14.5 knots, but Captain Arthur Rostron rerouted every ounce of energy to the engines. At 17.5 knots, Carpathia zipped forward as extra lookouts scanned nervously for bergs. Rostron ordered rockets to be fired every 15 minutes to give hope to survivors, told his medical staff to set up three makeshift hospitals, had chefs prepare hot soup and drinks, and readied the ship for traumatized passengers. Rostron then did one last thing: He stood on the bridge, closed his eyes, and prayed.