The Real Story of the RMS Titanic

May 17, 2010
SOS! SOS! On April 15, 1912, the Titanic frantically summons help as the ship sinks farther and farther in the frigid water. Sadly, all the other nearby ships have their radios off at night and no one answers the Titanic’s call for help. Shortly before midnight, the Titanic struck an iceberg and sank. The wreck changed 706 people’s lives and ended 1,517.
Claimed “Unsinkable”, the Titanic did not live up to its name. However, what made this accident such a big deal was the huge error the White Star Line made. The ship had a lifeboat capacity of 1,178 people, yet carried 3,547 passengers. When the ship started to sink, people panicked and left with the lifeboats only half-full. Many people jumped off the boat, only to catch Hypothermia and die. Surviving passengers, still remember the ghostly wails of the dying passengers.

To truly understand the awful fate of the Titanic you have to go back to the very beginning. The Titanic was christened the Unsinkable ship, but soon proved its nickname to be wrong. The actual voyage of the Titanic got off on the wrong foot. As the Titanic was pulling away from the port for the first time, the suction from its enormous size caused the ropes of a nearby boat to snap. The small boat almost crashed into the Titanic, and took a couple small ships, moving madly to prevent the crash. Some passengers took this to be a bad omen, and coincidentally or not it was. There are a number of odd rumors and legends about the Titanic, but most are false. Among the more popular ones are that the bottle of champagne used to christen the Titanic didn’t break on the first swing. This is untrue however, as the White Star Line did not believe in the custom. Other rumors include the fact that the Titanic had the cursed Hope diamond aboard the ship and that’s why it sank, but this is also false. Another is “One of the ship workers was accidentally sealed in the hull. False” (Globevista par. 3). Silly rumors or not, they seemed to have predicted the Titanic’s future better than we did.

On April 14, 1912 the temperatures where the Titanic was sailing dropped to freezing. The ship’s captain, Captain Smith had received several iceberg warnings in previous days and decided to lead the ship farther south. On the night of the sinking the Amerika and the Mesaba, two nearby ships, messaged the Titanic about warnings of dangerous ice. However, the men on wireless duty chose not to disturb the passengers or captain with “silly” warnings and the messages never reached the ship’s bridge. Had these crucial warnings reached the bridge, the Titanic might still be here today.

At 11:40 pm on April 14, 1912, the two lookouts on duty, Fredrick Fleet and Reginald Lee spotted a large mass of ice and immediately rang the warning bell three times. “DING! DING! DING!” was all that the captain heard as he hurriedly gave the order “hard-a-starboard”, meaning an abrupt turn toward the left. The iceberg managed to brush the right-side of the ship crushing the hull. The Titanic’s safe design included water-tight compartments that would allow the ship to stay floating in case it got in a minor incident. However, the ship could only stay floating as long as less than 5 compartments were filled; 5 compartments were filling fast. Several ships hear the Titanic’s calls for help but are too far away to be of any assistance. The ship’s crew members were given the awful job of trying to persuade reluctant passengers that the boat was really sinking. Many passengers only heard a dull scraping noise as the ice went past the ship’s side and went back to sleep. However, once the decks started tilting, passengers started to worry and come up to the top deck to see what was going on. The ship’s band started to play and real fear set in when the passengers started to realize that there weren’t enough lifeboats for everyone to make it out safely.

Crew members started loading women and children first. In the panic, lifeboats were lowered only half-full. Some people got scared and just jumped straight off the deck. Once on the lifeboats, passengers were forced to listen to the deathly moans of their family, friends and fellow passengers. As described by Ms. Eva Hart, survivor, “The sound of people drowning is something I can not describe to you and neither can anyone else. It is the most dreadful sound and then there is the most dreadful silence that follows it”. Most of the lifeboats got away from the Titanic quickly, worrying about the suction she would cause when she went down. Some people wanted to go back to the wreckage site to look for survivors, but were discouraged by other survivors only wanting to live. Two lifeboats did manage to save a few people. All 705 remaining surviving passengers, climbed onto the Carpathia’s welcoming decks.

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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

enigma99 said...
Jul. 12, 2010 at 1:42 am

Excellently researched! I'm impressed!

I'll fill in a few of the minor gaps, however :)

The fatal mistake that was made was, in fact, the "Hard-a-starboard" command. The ship's rudder was absurdly small in relation to the size of the ship. 

They were already far too close to the iceberg. They couldn't turn in time. Truthfully, if they had allowed the ship to collide head-on with the iceberg, the first watertight compartment would have buckled, and perhaps only about ... (more »)

clairebearpwns replied...
Jul. 16, 2010 at 4:44 pm
hahaha thanks! I'm a huge Titanic geek as really intrests me. I am glad you enjoyed it. :)
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