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TITANIC, The legend of all times – January 23rd, 2013

Sockalingam Narayanen

Many ships we see now has gone beyond advanced shipbuilding. We see elevators, swimming pools etc. We think that these were invented in modern ships now but we do not know that these elevators, swimming pool had actually been invented a century ago in a ship which left the world in horror ,shock and in great depression as it faces a forever disaster that will cause this great, grand and luxurious vessel to go to its watery grave with 1514 souls in it, on its maiden voyage. 706 passengers will survive this everlasting disaster. This ship had a Turkish Bath, a salt water swimming pool and elevators. The grand staircase is the crowning glory. Unfortunately, this ship has inadequate number of lifeboats that will modify outdated laws. This ship was the R.M.S. Titanic.

J. Bruce Ismay(chairman of the White Star Line) initiated to build 3 Olympic Class Liners. The first was the Olympic followed by the Titanic then the Britannic. These ships would have a double/Belfast bottom. Titanic’s keel was laid on 33rd March 1909 and it took 3 years. Titanic was completed in March 1912. She was commissioned into service and the maiden voyage was confirmed on April 10th 1912. On the day of the depature throngs of people came to see the Titanic , the greatest ship at her time.

The Titanic departed Southampton, England at noon. On April 11th 1912, some passengers boarded and some alighted. One fireman(who puts coal into the boiler) felt something fishy about the ship that he alighted. Soon Titanic left for New York. Passengers started to use the facilities on board the ship. People called the Titanic unsinkable. Thomas Andrews(Titanic’s designer) and Captain of the Titanic E.J.Smith believed that God can’t even sink this ship. Unfortunately, on the night of April 14th 1912, 4 days into the maiden voyage , the fate nears and the Titanic would be doomed forever. Titanic received a plenty of ice warnings especially from her sister ships, the Olympic and Baltic but Smith never reduced speed .

On the night of April 14th, 11.37PM, Lookout Fredrick Fleet spotted an iceberg on Titanic’s path. He calls the bridge and shouted “ Iceberg, right ahead!”

First officer William Murdoch ordered the ship to turn starboard (right side) but it couldn’t turn. Then the ship was ordered to be turned port( left side ) around the iceberg. As titanic’s rudder( an item to control the direction of the ship) was too small the ship cannot be turned around the iceberg quickly. The iceberg ruptured 5 out of the 16 watertight compartment below the waterline.

Andrews came to the bridge with Titanic’s blueprint and he inspected the damage. The damage was so bad that he said that the ship was doomed and was going to founder. Titanic could survive 4 compartments flooded. The lifeboats were ordered to be launched Passengers were told to put on their life jackets. They were just ignoring the officers who told that Titanic was going to sink.

As Titanic’s bow was nearing the water, passengers realise that the ship was truly sinking. Usually, ships often use a CQD as the distress signal. SOS was usually used rarely but it was used during the sinking. Olympic was too far to assist help to the Titanic. Carpathia would arrive in 4 hours but it was helpless. The lifeboats could carry 1,110 passengers but as they were launched ½ full, only 706 passengers survived. The 1,514 passengers rushed to the stern which was rising higher out of the icy water.

The bridge was underwater and the first funnel snapped and broke. Water flooded the hole of the first funnel accelerating the rate of sinking.

Half of the ship was underwater. The stern was exposing the 3 propellers. Then the lights went out like a shutting down of the computer. Then , as no one would expect, Titanic broke between the 3rd and 4th funnels.

The double/Belfast bottom dragged the stern upright at an angle of 90 degree. Then Titanic’s stern started to sink and the whole vessel sank 2hrs and 40 mins after the iceberg collision at 2.20am on April 15th. Carpathia, a Cunard liner picked up the 706 survivors by 6.30 AM on April 15th 1912.

This disaster will never leave the minds of the survivors and 24 of them are still alive today.

The Titanic had sunk 12,400 feet deep. Technologies did not exist to go down such deep.

On September 1st 1985, the wreck was discovered by Robert Ballard.

Bow section of the Titanic

Stern section of the Titanic
The lesson that everyone learnt was that any ship is not unsinkable. Titanic’s sister ship Britannic sank with a loss of just 30 lives on November 21st 1916. Titanic’s elder and the oldest sister of all the 3 Olympic class liners survived but decommissioned and scrapped along with Cunard liner Mauretina.

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