The sinking of Titanic in the Atlantic Ocean (April 15, 1912) - History Key

The sinking of Titanic in the Atlantic Ocean (April 15, 1912)

Titanic was the largest ship afloat at that time built by White Star Line. The weight of it was no less than 46,000 tons (100,000,000 lbs.), the length exceeded 260 m (880 ft.) and the height was 53 m (175 ft.). For that time, the capacity crossed the limits of a ship: more than 3,500 people were able to travel comfortably. Titanic was the production of a strong competition between White Star Lane and Cunard. Therefore, White Star Lane spared no expenses in assuring the luxury of it. It was known as the safest ships ever built. However, it was being able to carry only 20 lifeboats, equivalent for just 1,300 passengers. This difference was based on the belief that the construction made Titanic “unsinkable” and the lifeboats weren’t necessary, they were just taking valuable deck space.

Titanic’s propellers
Titanic’s propellers © Image Source: Wikipedia

Titanic hit the iceberg at full speed

On April 10, 1912 Titanic left Southampton England with the final destination at New York City. After four days on the journey, at 11:39 PM Titanic’s crew spotted the iceberg and the engines were turned off. Unfortunately Titanic was a giant ship and it was late in order to avoid the iceberg. A few moments later, Titanic hit the iceberg on its front side. After the hit, Titanic has stopped in order to inspect the damages. In only ten minutes, water had already flowed and risen four meters (13 ft.) on the front part of the ship. Over 3,785,000 litres of seawater have already entered the ship. The situations wasn’t fixable and after past midnight on April 15 the captain gave the order to call for help over the radio, to prepare the lifeboats, wake all the passengers and summon the crew. At 12:20 AM the designer of the ship, Thomas Andrews, confirms the damage is too much for Titanic to survive and he estimates maximum 2 hours before it sinks.

Only women and children

Titanic’s lifeboats
Titanic’s lifeboats © Image Source: Wikipedia

Since there was only room for less than half of the estimated persons on board, lifeboats were loaded with women and children first. Meantime, Carpathia picked up the emergency messages and responded back. The first lifeboat is launched from the ship and with a capacity of 65 persons, only 28 were on board. Distress rockets were fired and messages after messages were sent over the radio in order to help them. At 12:49 AM Carpathia confirms that it is on its way and it should arrive in four hours at Titanic’s position. Because was not enough time to save all the passengers, second officer Lightoller officially adopts “women and children only” policy. More ships confirm they are coming, but unfortunately it was in vain for most of the passengers. At 1:15 AM the water has flooded almost the entire front part, the nameplate on the bow was covered in water.

The “unsinkable” ship has 20 minutes left

By 2:00 AM all the lifeboats left the ship, only a few of them reached the capacity of 65 persons. On the ship were more than 1,500 people left and Titanic started to tilt steeper and steeper. Ten minutes later the last distress message is sent: “We are sinking fast, cannot last much longer.” Because most of the front part of the ship was under water, the stern begun to rise above the ocean. At 2:18 AM the lights went out. After a certain point, the stern cracked and Titanic broke into two pieces between the third and the fourth funnel. The stern settled back into the water and stayed at surface for a few moments until it filled with water. By 2:20 AM the “unsinkable” Titanic slips into the sea and begin its ride to the ocean’s floor. Sadly about 1,500 people died that night. Most of them froze to death before they drowned because the water temperature was 2°C. Only six persons survived and one of them told the entire story about this tragedy. It passed about one hour until Carpathia picked up the first lifeboat. The crew from Carpathia managed to save 705 survivors from the Titanic tragedy and it is considered to the saving ship.
Once the loss of life became known, several monuments were built in the memory of the 1,500 Titanic’s victims. Over the years plans were being made in order to put forward the wreck. None of them were possible because the wreck is too heavy and the location is below 4 km (12,000 ft.). Until September 1, 1985, Titanic wreck was never found. Robert Ballard succeeded to identify the exact location of the wreck. Today, engineers and businessmen plan to build a replica: Titanic II. It was expected to be finished in 2016, but is more likely it will be finished in 2018. Let’s hope that the engineers will not ignore the safety procedures and they will make the Titanic II the Unsinkable Titanic.

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