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The "Unsinkable" Ship
Back in the early 1900's, people only dreamed of ships as phenomenal as Titanic. Then, March 31,1909, construction began for a luxurious ship that would be known world wide as Titanic. The Titanic was built in Belfast, Ireland under the control of J. Bruce Ismay. The price to build the Titanic was $7,500,000. Today, the price would be approximately $400,000,000. Three years after construction began, Titanic was built and all the details were completed. The ship that was once only a dream, was now a reality. The Titanic set sail for her first maiden
voyage on April 10th, 1912
Titanic was 882 feet and 8 inches long (268 meters). It weighed over 46,000 tons. The ship was near 11 stories high. It was an enormous, and not to mention, a lovely ship.
J. Bruce Ismay was filled with pride. He knew Titanic would make history and so would he. The ship was gorgeous from the inside out. The outside was painted with a glossy black with red and white details. The inside of the ship was absolutely beautiful.
The first class cabins were the best. Their cabins consisted of two to three suites. One of these rooms was normally a sitting room with lavish furniture and paintings. Back then a room such as that was consider entertainment. The other room(s) contained the bed(s) and a table and chairs so you could have your breakfast in your cabin. First class service was also topnotch. The passengers were waited on hand and foot by their maids who worked for them throughout their voyage. Their every desire was sure to be fulfilled.
Second class cabins were nice but simpler. They were fairly sized, consisting of only one room. Each had one set of bunk-beds and a single bed. They also had a closet and perhaps a dresser. However, second class passengers did not have maids, although the service for them was pleasant anyway.
Third class rooms were small and plain. All they had were two sets of bunk-beds and a large cabinet that acted as a closet. In some cases third class passengers were forced to share a room with complete strangers. It mainly happened to passengers who were traveling alone or just in pairs.
Other parts of the ship were sensuous or simple depending on the class of the area. Nevertheless, every passenger was pleased no matter what class they were. The Titanic offered many things to entertain passengers such as dinner parties, a swimming pool, bars, a library, art galleries and more!
Although passengers were pleased things weren’t running so smoothly for the captain and crew. They were continuously receiving iceberg warnings. The warnings, however, did not disturb Captain E.J Smith. He believed the ship was “unsinkable” and the only thing that met his concerns was beating the Olympian to New York. So he increased the sped into the dangerous, ice infested waters.
April 14th , 1912
Even though Titanic continued to receive many iceberg warnings throughout the day Captain E.J. Smith was intent on making history once more by reaching New York a day early. The only thing that did disturb him was the fact that their lifeboat drill was scheduled during a dinner party that he wanted to attend. He canceled the drill so he could enjoy the dinner party. He went to bed that night ordering his crew only to wake him if there was an emergency.
The final iceberg warning was sent at around 11:30 pm. It was sent by the Californian, which was 10 miles away. Around that same time, two crewmen in the crow’s nest spotted an iceberg very close. They called down their warning and the word began to spread. First Officer Murdoch commanded that the Titanic slow down and turn. That combination was deadly and made the accident worse than it should have been. They would have been better off ramming the iceberg head on or stopping completely. The combination of slowing down and turning caused the iceberg to jab numerous holes along the front part of the ship. At 11:40 PM exactly, Titanic slowly scraped the iceberg and the front bottom two compartments began to flood quickly.
The crew got a layout of the Titanic where they realized that they only had a couple of hours until the Titanic would reach the bottom of the Atlantic. They quickly began to get the lifeboats ready and send out distress calls, including the first S.O.S. in history. Many passengers became concerned after they heard what sounded like “giant nails scraping” against the ship. Some even saw the iceberg, but didn’t believe they were in any danger. The very few people that believed they were in danger wanted answers. Their questions were answered when crewmen came banging on cabin doors saying to put on their life belts and get up to the boat deck immediately. They were told the Titanic had struck an iceberg.
When passengers arrived at the boat deck, they were informed that only women and children were to board the life boats. For some, it was good bye forever. For others, it was just good bye until morning. Passengers still on board pitied those who board the life boats. They thought they would be spending a very cold night in the boat, only to return in the morning. They still were not convinced that the Titanic would actually sink. Hardly any people boarded the life boats at first because nearly everyone felt that they weren’t in any danger.
During the time that the few first and second class passengers were boarding the life boats, the third class passengers were just being warned. Although, in some third class sections water was already seeping in. The passengers were kept behind a locked gate and were not given the privilege to board the boats. They were told that all the first and second class people were to board the boats first. At this point, many were becoming infuriated and impatient. The ship was tilted forward and the water continued creeping closer. One enraged man rammed his shoulder into the locked gate repeatedly until it broke open. He saved only a few people. Many of the others were at the main gate and were unaware. Unfortunately, most drowned, unable to escape.
At last, due to the fact that the ship was slanted forward and water was quickly flooding room after room, more and more people believed they were at risk. Therefore, many more passengers began boarding the lifeboats. However, there were still people that stood their ground believing that the ship wouldn’t sink. They continued to believe that they were safe
All the Titanic’s lifeboats were lowered into the icy water. Only one was filled to capacity of 65 people. Others only held as little as 12 people or half full. And as surprising as it is Titanic had more life boats aboard than necessary. The law called for 16 and Titanic held 20. Collapsible A, B, C, and D. Every life boat was lowered by 2:00 am.
Also at this time, Titanic’s propellers were raising higher and higher above the water. Many people had already drowned and the ship was dark seeing as the electricity went out. Crew members knew that Titanic would be under water soon and some began to throw chairs, tables, etc. overboard so that the passengers that ended up in the water would have something to float on. Some people had already jumped or slid into the water, but most were still on deck rushing with the crowd of chaotic people, to the ships stern to cling on for as long as possible.
Somewhere between 2:10 and 2:20 am the majority of the passengers were in the freezing water, but some still clung on as the stern rose higher and higher. Then came a low thundering boom from deep inside the ship, along with a loud crack and the screams of horrified people. A shower of sparks spurted from the Titanic as it spilt in two. The front half sped down to the ocean floor. The back half, however, stayed afloat at a ninety degree angle for a few minutes. It soon sunk quickly after the front half sending everyone aboard into the dark sea. The last person aboard Titanic was Charles Jouhin, who escape the sinking Titanic without even getting his hair wet!
Nearly every passenger died from the freezing water, but a few were rescued. Life boat number four found five people in the water. Four of them passed out after being pulled from the water and two never woke up. Life boat number fourteen dropped off its passengers off on other half full boats and began to search for people still alive. Most of what they found were frozen bodies, but they still managed to find four people barely breathing. One of the four survivors died before the night was over. Something that shocked all was that twelve men were balancing on the top of one of Titanic’s four funnels. Then even more men were found standing in a flooded lifeboat. All of the men were saved and soon Carpathia was at Titanic’s rescue
After the sinking of Titanic, many people were desperate to find its remains. For years no one was successful. Then, in 1985, Bob Ballard and his brother Robert Ballard found the front half of the Titanic. They were extremely thrilled. Ever since they were little boys they dreamed of finding the Titanic. At first, they found things like bathtubs, beer bottles, bookshelves, etc. They knew they were in the right spot. Short after the men found the front half of the Titanic. The wooden deck had been eaten by tiny sea worms. Also many remains were blown off when it was sent to the ocean floor. They took many photographs with their “Jason”. The bottom half was found buried in mud.
After finding the Titanic, many visits have been made to its resting place. People have tons of photographs which are posted in books, magazines, the internet, etc. Many books have been published on Titanic, along with many movies as well. The Titanic may have sank in 1912, but I think that it will never be forgotten.
Western Springs, Illinois
NY, New York
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