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The Titanic - A Historic Tragedy

Updated on May 8, 2014

The Titanic

It was the 10th of April 1912 and "The Ship of Dreams" slipped regally out of Southampton on her maiden voyage to New York.

The Titanic was one of the greatest liners to leave the shores of Great Britain and she was the pride and joy of her owners, the British White Star Lines.

The ship builders and her owners were proud of the fact that their vessel had been designed and built to be "unsinkable" and this was one of the features promoted by them to the public.

The captain of the Titanic, Captain Edward J. Smith, gave everyone an assurance that his luxury superliner was the pinnacle of safety. He said that he could not imagine any conditions that would cause his ship to founder. "I cannot conceive of any vital disaster happening to this vessel. Modern Shipbuilding has gone beyond that."

Even some of the crew who were in awe at the size of the ship assured passengers of the safety of the vessel saying that "Even God Almighty could not sink this ship." Even the name Titanic made it sound as if nothing could harm it.

However, none of the 2,228 passengers and crew suspected that this would be the ship's only voyage - her maiden voyage and last voyage - and that the majority of them would not survive the disaster to come.

Warnings Were Ignored

Some of the richest people in the world at that time were passengers on the Titanic and also some of the poorest, who were setting out to start a new life in America.

The passengers mingled leisurely in luxurious surroundings for four days enjoying everything that the Titanic had to offer. No expense had been spared in the building and fitting of the ship. The rooms were lavish and fitted with all modern facilities of the time.

Both passengers and crew were proud to be on board the Titanic as the huge ship cut through the icy black waters of the North Atlantic Ocean. Nobody knew of the historic tragedy shortly to happen because of warnings that were ignored.

On the evening of the disaster things were as normal, the passengers were dining. The radio operators on the Titanic received six different warnings from other ships of icebergs in the area and were urged to change course to avoid them.

The messages were ignored and a few hours later at about 11.40pm the unimaginable happened, the Titanic hit an iceberg.

On the ships bridge were Captain Smith, Thomas Andrews (the ships builder), and Bruce Ismay (the head of White Star Lines). They stood looking in horror and disbelief at what had happened.

The passengers were unaware at first of the severity of the accident and just carried on with their activities, dancing, eating and drinking and having a good time.

The passengers treated the incident with amusement at first, joking about it, as they thought the ship was unsinkable. They refused to believe that the ship could actually sink and some would not put on their life preservers in case they dirtied their good clothes.

The crew of the Titanic fought desperately to try and stop the ship sinking, but eventually the order was given to uncover the lifeboats.

At 2.20am on the 15th of April 1912, the Titanic hurtled down into a watery grave 12,000 feet below in the North Atlantic. 1,523 souls were lost, only 705 were saved.

When the passengers and crew boarded the ship for that journey, death was the furthest thing from their minds, as they enjoyed the entertainment and luxuries of the new ship.

The brand new luxury liner had everything for the comfort and entertainment of it's passengers, except for one thing, it didn't have enough lifeboats to hold everyone.

The owners and builders of the Titanic were so confident in how the ship had been constructed and considered it so safe that only twenty lifeboats were fitted.


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    • PurvisBobbi44 profile image

      PurvisBobbi44 3 years ago from Florida


      I am sure being on board the Titanic when it went down was terrifying for everyone---and it is still sad to think about even today. I probably would have died of fright, before I left the ship, I cannot wrap my mind around such a tragedy.

      Bobbi Purvis