14
Apr
10

The sinking of Titanic


We’ve all heard about it, we’ve all seen it (in the movie). And hence I remember Apr 14 as the day when Titanic sank. But then why is it such a big deal? Simply because it was supposed to be an “Unsinkable ship” and it sank in its first journey. . One of the other things that makes the Titanic so fascinating is that she represented the best of technology when she set sail on her ill-fated voyage in 1912, and it took the best of technology in the form of sonar, satellite tracking, and deep-dive technology to locate her grave 73 years later. Here’s the story.

On April 10, 1912, the Titanic, largest ship afloat, left Southampton, England on her maiden voyage to New York City. The White Star Line had spared no expense in assuring her luxury. A legend even before she sailed, her passengers were a mixture of the world’s wealthiest basking in the elegance of first class accommodations and immigrants packed into steerage.


The Washington Post announces the disaster

She was touted as the safest ship ever built, so safe that she carried only 20 lifeboats – enough to provide accommodation for only half her 2,200 passengers and crew. This discrepancy rested on the belief that since the ship’s construction made her “unsinkable,” her lifeboats were necessary only to rescue survivors of other sinking ships. Additionally, lifeboats took up valuable deck space.

Four days into her journey, at 11:40 P.M. on the night of April 14, she struck an iceberg. Her fireman compared the sound of the impact to “the tearing of calico, nothing more.” However, the collision was fatal and the icy water soon poured through the ship.

It became obvious that many would not find safety in a lifeboat. Each passenger was issued a life jacket but life expectancy would be short when exposed to water four degrees below freezing. As the forward portion of the ship sank deeper, passengers scrambled to the stern. John Thayer witnessed the sinking from a lifeboat. “We could see groups of the almost fifteen hundred people still aboard, clinging in clusters or bunches, like swarming bees; only to fall in masses, pairs or singly, as the great after part of the ship, two hundred and fifty feet of it, rose into the sky, till it reached a sixty-five or seventy degree angle.” The great ship slowly slid beneath the waters two hours and forty minutes after the collision

The next morning, the liner Carpathia rescued 705 survivors. One thousand five hundred twenty-two passengers and crew were lost. Subsequent inquiries attributed the high loss of life to an insufficient number of lifeboats and inadequate training in their use.

The remains of the Titanic were found in 1985 by Dr. Robert Ballard, an oceanographer and marine biologist with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. When he located the Titanic, he saw that, as some survivors reported, the ship had broken apart. He believed the weight of the water-filled bow raised the stern out of the water and snapped the ship in two just before it sank. Debris falling out of the ship was strewn over a 1/2 mile across the sea floor. The bow and the stern were found nearly 2000ft. apart.

Keeping her location a secret, Bob Ballard used GPS to find theTitanic again when he returned the next year. He hoped to prevent treasure seekers from finding her and plundering the ship for booty such as coffee cups inscribed with RMS Titanic. On this second expedition, he visited the ship several times by submarine. On his last descent, he left a plaque honoring the 1500 victims and asking that subsequent explorers leave their grave undisturbed.

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Another attempt? Well yes. Attempting to figure out another sustainable model (there are some other attempts going on parallel-ly). Well, we have a lot of questions in mind. we read up stuff, we do some research to find answers to these questions. This is an attempt to publish that little 15-20 minute research.

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