The Biggest Ship
Even though the Titanic was considered the biggest ship in the world during its time, there are cruise ships sailing the oceans twice the Titanic’s size in today’s world. It was also called the Unsinkable referring that the ship was not able to sink in any circumstance. Unfortunately it did.
The Titan is how the Titanic originally got it’s name. It was the biggest ship in the world at the time and The Titanic started to be built in the year 1911 and was finished in 1912. Therefore it took 3 years for this steamship to be completed. This ship was luxurious, British and it was part of the White Star Line. It took approximately 7.5 million dollars for the Titanic to be built In 1912 and if it was built now it would’ve be around 172 million dollars in total.
The ship was 882.5 feet long and it weighed 46,329 tons (Tikkanen). The nickname the Unsinkable was thought of because the way the ship was built. For example the ship had sixteen watertight compartments(Titanic) and if they started to flood they would close automatically. The steamship would still been able to stay afloat if four of the compartments were filled. Tragically, six of those compartments filled up after crashing into an iceberg and the ship could no longer withstand the weight of the water inside. That is how it got it’s nickname, the Unsinkable (Titanic). Titanic was built by over 15,000 men and at least eight of them died in the process because the conditions were dangerous. The four funnels of the steamship were built in a different location and were later brought to be installed on the ship. Only three of the funnels had a purpose.
The fourth one was added to make the Titanic more powerful. Including that is had three gigantic propellers and were operated by steam. Overall the ship was made out of steal and iron. In today’s world, those materials would be to weak for a ship. (Titanic Construction). As soon the ship was completed it set sail for its maiden voyage. It left Southampton, New England and headed to Cherbourg in France which was the ship’s first stop. Then to Queenstown, Ireland, and the last destination was New York (Tikkanen). She was only four days into the voyage when catastrophe hit. Titanic’s location during the accident was only 1,084 nautical miles northeast of New York City and 325 nautical miles from Newfoundland (Encyclopedia Titanica). Some of the most famous places aboard the Titanic are the Grand Staircase. Edward John Smith was the captain of the Titanic and other vessels that were a part of the White Star Line. The White Star Line was a short and more common name for the brand called The Oceanic Steam Navigation Company.
It was simply just a British shipping company. Captain Smith was 62 years old at the time and it was said that his last voyage was going to be on Titanic before he retired. When the ship went down, he went down with it as well. His body was never retrieved from the Atlantic Ocean (The Titanic). The Titanic was considered a luxurious ship and was also known for how fast it was going to sail the Atlantic Ocean. Considering the enormous size of the Titanic, it took 176 men to shovel 600 tonnes of coal everyday into the furnace to keep the ship moving. Sadly, none of these men survived the ship wreck and that they did not even try to escape because their chances were little since they were on the bottom level of the ship where the boilers were (Smith). Thomas Andrews was the man who designed the Titanic and he was on the ship for the first and last time once it set sail. Since he designed the steamship you would think that he would have the right to say how many lifeboats would have been added to the ship, but that was not the case.
Bruce Ismay, President of the White Star Line, didn’t want more than 16 lifeboats because he stated it would have ruined the beautiful view of the upper deck for the upper-class passengers to take a stroll (Eshner). Not to mention that 16 lifeboats was the legal amount a ship had to have but Mr. Ismay stated they had more than 16 lifeboats on board. Clearly that was not enough. On the night of April 14, 1912, many people lost their life because there was not enough life boats. Including that because of disorderly procedures, the lifeboats were not filled up to their capacity even if there was room left for extra passengers (Titanic). Around 11:40 p.m. is when The Titanic hit an enormous iceberg. It was spotted beforehand and the ship crew did everything they could to prevent my crashing into the iceberg. They tried to reverse the engine and turn the ship port which means left. Unsuccessfully, the ship was still hit and it ruptured along the starboard side(History) causing five of its compartments to fill with the Atlantic Ocean’s freezing water. The rupture was near the bow so after the five compartments were filled, the water was going to start spilling into the remaining compartments. Once it started getting heavy, the bow started to dip (History). Rumor had it that scientists predicted if the ship’s engines were not switched to go in reverse and the ship kept going straight ahead, the port (turning left) would have been faster and the unsinkable ship would not have hit the iceberg avoiding the disaster completely. Even though the Titanic received six ice warnings the steamship continued at full speed at 23 knots. That is only .5 knots below the top speed. Despite the warnings that were sent to the ship, it continued course and as soon as the iceberg was spotted it took exactly 30 seconds for the iceberg and ship to collide ( Titanic Sinking).
Obviously the 30 second warning was not enough time for the colossal ship to steer out of the icebergs way. The moment after the ship was hit, Thomas Andrews, the designer of the ship, right away knew that the ship was sinkable even if said it wasn’t. Titanic sank in 160 minutes. That is exactly 2 hours and 40 minutes after the incident. When word spread that the ship was sinking it took 60 minutes for people to start boarding the lifeboats. Except the woman an children were first and majority of them were from first class. The unlucky people either went down with the ship or fell into the icy waters that was said to be only 28 degrees or -2 Celsius. It was estimated that the people were only going to survive being in the water for 15 to 45 minutes until they would unfortunately die (Titanic Sinking). Estimates of the amount of people that survived from first class were 61%. Second class survived were about 42% and third class was sadly only 24%. In total, there was 706 survivors. 492 were the passengers and the 214 were the ships crew. 20% is the amount of male passengers that survived and 75% is the amount of female passengers that survived as well. Currently, there are 1,160 bodies lost. Would you believe that cheapest tickets to board the Titanic were $15-$40 and the highest class tickets were $150 (Titanic). Today it does not seem like that is a lot, but back then it was pricey for those that could barely afford it.
On April 10, 1912, the Royal Mail Steamer (RMS) (Tikkanen)Titanic leaves Southampton, England and heads to Queenstown, Ireland for its last stop. Then it start its journey across the Atlantic Ocean. There were about 2,200 people on board the Titanic and only 1,200 were passengers. As far as lifeboats, there was only enough for approximately 1,178 people (Tikkanen). The Iceberg that caused the Titanic to sink was approximately 50 to 100 feet tall above the water and it was 200 to 400 feet in length. It is said that the original size of the Iceberg was 1 mile long because it broke off the coast of Greenland (Titanic Iceberg). During the time that the Titanic was sinking, flares were shot up in the dark night sky in hopes someone would see and come to their rescue. Surprisingly there was another ship that was in close range by the Titanic. It was called the SS Californian.
The SS Californian is the ship that radioed the Titanic earlier to warm about the icebergs because they almost crashed into the ice themselves. That was the reason the Californian decided to stop sail for the night. Captain Stanley Lord, the captain of the Californian, stated that he saw Titanic’s lights about 5 miles away. As Titanic was in distress, they too spotted the lights of the SS Californian and that is when they started to fire flares hoping they would be seen. By then Captain Lord had already gone to bed. The second closest ship to the Titanic was the Carpathia. This ship was 58 miles away and luckily they had their radios on so they heard Titanic’s distress call. The Carpathia was ordered to head straight to the wreckage site at full speed and it took them all night to get there. Four hours later the Carpathia rescued the survivors from the lifeboats and left to take the passengers to New York.
The Californian arrived as the Carpathia left but stayed to see if they could find any remaining survivors but all that was left was debris from the ship. Considering how many lives were lost on the night the RMS Titanic sank, it took a few days and four different ships from the White Star Line to recover all the bodies from the water. The names of the four ships are The Mackay-Bennett, the Three Canadian vessels, CS Minia, CGS Montmagny, and SS Algerine. The closest estimate to the number of bodies found in the ocean were 316 to 337. Only 23% of the bodies of the deceased were found. 125 bodies were just buried at sea because they were either severely damaged or decomposition already had started ( Titanic Body Recovery).
Titanic the Unsinkable is now 12,500 feet deep at the bottom of the North Atlantic Ocean 370 miles southeast of the coast of Newfoundland, Canada (Titanic Wreck). Believe it or not the Titanic’s wreck site was not found until September 1, 1985. Robert Ballard and Jean- Louise Michel were the leaders of their American French team that used a remote-controlled deep-sea submersible named Argo (Titanic Wreck). 73 years is what it took for the wreck site It is now 101 years old. Scientists are still exploring the ships wreck in hopes they can learn more than what they already know today. There has been items that were salvaged from the wreck. Not to mention that the ship actually ripped in half. The two pieces of the ship, the bow and the stern. These two main parts are 600 meters apart from each other (Titanic Wreck). Eva Hart was the last living survivor of the tragedy of Titanic. She was 91 years old when she passed away on February 14 in the year of 1996. Eva Hart, experienced something so horrifying at only 7 years old. During the sinking of the ship, the last thing she remembered her father telling her was Hold Mummy’s hand and be a good girl.
After that she never saw her father again. Even a few years before Eva Hart died, she still had a detailed memory of what happened the night the Titanic sank. Other survivors that passed away before her could not remember anything from that night anymore except for Eva Hart. She stated I saw that ship sink, she said in a 1993 interview. I never closed my eyes. I didn’t sleep at all. I saw it, I heard it, and nobody could possibly forget it (qtd. In Thomas Jr.). In conclusion, the dates April 14-April 15, 1912 is when tragedy struck the world out of nowhere. Nobody expected the Titanic to sink considering that it was called the Unsinkable and was also built to not sink even if four compartments in the ship were to fill with water.
Six of those watertight compartments overflowed and more after that. When word spread that RMS Titanic was now at the bottom of the North Atlantic Ocean, there was grief and confusion all over the world. Hundreds of people lost their lives. Families and friends of the deceased passengers never saw them again. It was a tragic night for the Titanic as well. It was a brand new ship on it’s first maiden voyage. Sad to say, it was also its last. At the same time it couldve been many different reasons why the ship sank. It could’ve been the weak materials the ship was made out of, the ignorance of the Captain to stop for the night before heading into icy waters, or when the engine was commanded to go in reverse. It will remain a mystery, but the ship remains at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean slowly deteriorating until one day there will be nothing left of it. Just the memories.
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