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Titanic

Titanic

Titanic was the largest ship in the world, built by a workforce of

17,000. The ultimate in turn-of-the-century design and technology. First-class

suites ran to more than $ 55,000 in todays dollars, and when she sailed on

her maiden voyage from Southampton, England on route to NY , she held

among her 2,227 passengers. The cream of industrial society, including

colonel John Jacob Astor. Macys founder; U.S. congressman Isidor Straus

and Thomas Andrews, the ships builder. The ship was built of easily

sealed-off compartments. If, for some unimaginable reason, the hull were

punctured, only the compartment actually ruptured would flood. In an worst

case example - builders figured that the Titanic would take from one to three

days to sink, time for nearby ships to help, because there was only 16

lifeboats. Unfortunately, things didnt work out that way.

On April 14th, 1912 at about 7:30, at the first ominous hint of disaster

has came. Into the earphones of the wireless operator on duty came a

message from the steamer California: Three large bergs five miles southward

from us. But the Titanic continued to rush through the deepening darkness.

The temperature was one degree above freezing. When lookouts Frederick

Fleet and Reginald Lee had come on duty at 10 P.M., the sky was cloudless

and the air clear. At around 11:30 P.M., just half an hour before they were to

be rewired, a slight haze had appeared, directly ahead. And about two points

on either side. Suddenly - his training causing his reflexes to function

instinctively. Fleet gave the warning bell and immediately reached across the

crowns nest to the bridges telephone. In its compartment on the starboard

side. He rang ms bell urgently. Fleet replaced the telephone and gripped the

crowns nest rail.

At 11:40 P.M., April 14 , 1912 ; The lookouts spotted the iceberg a

quarter-mile ahead. Had they not alerted the bridge, the ship would not have

attempted a turn. At 11:40P.M. ; the ship sideswipes the ice. Because of the

steels ductility, it would have absorbed massive amounts of energy. The ice

crashed right through the plating as it grinded along the side, Strinking at an

angle like s 300-foot zipper.

ON midnight, April 14-15; fist six compartments were filling; water

was beginning to slosh over. 12:40.; water filled 2,000 bathtubs 1:20 A.M.;

The bow dipped; water flooded through anchor - chain holes. At 2:10 A.M.;

The Titanic titled to 45 degrees or more and stress reaches nearby 15 tons per

square inch. The keel bends; The bottom plating buckles. At 2:15 A.M.; The

stern grew heavier and until it reached some 16,000 tons of in - water

weight . At 2:20 A.M.; The bow rips went loose. The stern rose sharply , held

and almost vertical position and then, as it filled, faded downward again. At

least one life boat passenger said, look - its coming back!. At 2:30 A.M.;

The bow stroke the bottom , 12,612 feet down, angling downward and

flowing into the mud. Shortly after 2:30 A.M. ships time a green florae was

sighed suddenly, for ahead. In a few seconds it disappeared. At 3 A.M.,

Roston ordered rockets fired at fifteen-minute intervals to let survivors know

help was approaching. The companys night signals were also displayed. By

3:35 carpathia was almost to the position where Titanic, if afloat, would be

seen. But there was only a rast emptiness. Carpathia inched forward. The

lifeboat was alongside.

Some 2,340 passengers and crew were on board the Titanic when the

white star liner left Southampton for its maiden voyage to NY five days ago.

And some 1,595 people perished in the accident. Only 745 were saved.

Many more could have been rescued but there were enough lifeboats for only

half the passengers and crew. Two boats full of people who had escaped from

the ship were sucked beneath the ocean. Most of the passengers were

apparently not aware of the accident when it happened. At first, passengers

were so unconcerned that they remained in their staterooms to dress for

dinner. By 1:30 A.M. panic has begun among some of the passengers.

In the tomb that was once a ship, all that remain are China teacups and

brass latches, porcelain toilets, and perhaps teeth - nearby all else has been

devoured: wooden decks, the rich Victorian woodwork, human beings and

their clothing - all except for shoes protected from scavengers by their tannin.

Some 150 items retrieved by the French sub Nautili went on display at

Londons National Maritime Museum in Oct. 1994. protected too is the

ships steel.

The first memorials to Titanics victims were the church services in

commemoration of the dead and Thanksgiving for the living. As the days

passed the enormity of the loss of life became evident, and relief

programmers were established. The event becomes dim in the minds of new

but the monuments stand, and assurance that - as long as tides flow, as long

as people sail - the memory of Titanics courageous and gallant men and

women will never fade. It is through the appalling tragedy that befell her

during her owe voyage that the world best knows of her today. Perhaps

Historys most famous ship, she is remembered through memories and motion

pictures; through songs and scraps of yellowing newspapers; through

reminiscences of her survivors as recurring anniversary observances as,

fortunately she of remembered through pictures. For during the brief of her

existence, the new hobby and profession of photography ensured a record of

her beauty, her people and their loss. In the disasters aftermath, reaction set

in, reaction which was to change the way people thought about the sea and

the ships that sailed on it.

The sinking of the Titanic remains the most famous of all maritime

disasters. At least in parts because of the mystery surroundings its cause over

an answer - from scientific expeditions in manned submersibles to court cases

and investigative reporting. It took many years and a certain serendipity to

obtain the pieces of the Titanics hull that underwent metallurgical tests at a

candian government laboratory in Nova Scotia late last year. New theories

about ships demise continue to spring up. James G/ Vlary, who specializes in

maritime subjects, believes he too has uncovered some startling new

information about the Titanics last moments. In his book Superstitions of

The sea , clary claims there is : substantial and documental proof 1 that the

engines on the Titanic were restarted and ran for as long as 30 minutes after it

hit the iceberg and stopped. in doing so,[Clary concludes]

, she undoubtedly hastened hull to greatly reduce the precious time she had

left before foundering 2.

She was not the worlds fastest ship. Nor was she the first of a new

class. She was not the largest liner ever built3., nor the most costly. The

documentation of her conception, design and construction has not withstood

the passage of time well. Two world wars. indifference, corporate rivalries,

accident. Reglect and even late 20th century political activity have conspired

to deprive historians of much that might be known about her.

The story of Titanic began in 1867. The final chapter is yet to be

written. As we see boilers, positions and cylinder beds strewn across the

ocean floor of the great engines. Perhaps we might sense the vibrations that

drove the vessel onward. Then, in a sudden burst of reality we might hear

distantly. once again, there rings of the bell :iceberg right ahead.... In the

photographs to come you shall surely see the actual places where the bravest

of the brave newed our their mighty deeds of heroism and self-sacrifice

which shall never fade. Then we shall truly be able to evasion the pride and

splendor, the glorious drama, the terrible tragedy, the legend which has

become - and ever shall be - Titanic.

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