The Tragedy of Titanic
It was a tragedy that shocked the world as the Titanic was thought to be unsinkable. This was on April 15, 1912. It sank on its first trip in the ocean. The number of lives that were lost on that day are said to exceed 1500 which made it the worst maritime disaster ever known. Due to this tragedy measures were put in place to ensure that ships are safer in terms of passengers safety and staff communication network. The radios were also made to run for 24 hours a day.
It was built by white star line among other three luxury ships. To build the titanic it took almost three years. Upon completion it became the largest object that could actually move. Upon immersion in the water it could displace approximately 66,000 tons of water. It first conducted its trial on April 2, 1912 and on the same day it left for Southampton, England.As it headed for New York on April 11, 1912 it was carrying over 2200 people comprising of passengers and staffs.
In the first two days in the Atlantic ocean it was a successful voyage. The crew worked efficiently as the passengers enjoyed the surroundings which were rather luxurious. Sunday, April 14, 1912 the day started well but was later to become tragic. During the day, other ships tried to warn the titans of the presence of icebergs along the path it was following though most of the warnings did not make it to the bridge. Unwary of the seriousness of what lay ahead, the captain went to sleep after giving the people on the look out to be more keen. Despite the warnings the ship was still cruising at full speed.
The man was not bright during that night and hence the people on the look out were unable to see clearly. In addition they did not have binoculars to supplement their vision. This made them to spot the iceberg when it was directly in front of the ship. The bell was rung to issue a warning. Despite frantic efforts by first officer Murdoch to change the course of the ship it did turn left but that was not enough to avoid collision with the iceberg.
Most of the passengers were asleep and they did not know about the accident. However those who were still, awake felt very little of the incidence. Captain Smith knew that something has gone terribly wrong and therefore went to the bridge. Captain Smith after surveying the ship and he did realize that it was taking in water from the ocean. The ship was built to contain such event but the water was too much. The ship started sinking and therefore the captain ordered the initiation of distress calls and the lifeboats to be uncovered.
Most of the passengers at first did know of the precarious situation they were in. The night was so cold and so the idea of getting inside the lifeboats did not sound good to the passengers. Most of them were reluctant to do so. As it became evident that the ship was actually sinking the passengers started to rush to get in the lifeboats. Children and women were first to be allowed to enter the lifeboats and later some men.
It was then realized that the boats were not enough to save every passenger on-board the Titanic. The water was freezing so some people opted to stay in the ship than freeze to death. Some tried to find anything that could float on the deck so that they can save their lives. Some minutes later the ship snapped into two halves.
Several ships received the distress call from the Titanic and changed their course to offer some help. The first to arrive was the Carpathia. In four hours all the passengers in the lifeboats had boarded and it headed to New York. A total of 705 people were rescued while 1517 perished.
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Author's Note: When she wrote this report, Vicki Bassett was a senior in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Wisconsin. (Back to Beginning)