I have decided to write about something that has always fascinated me, even after studying it in history class, I don’t know why but the story about the sinking of the R.M.S Titanic was always mysterious to me. After 100 years of this historical tragedy, the Titanic or the “Unsinkable Ship” or “The Ship of Dreams” still remains in our hearts, and we pray for those who have lost their lives on what should have been, an “Unforgettable Voyage.”
On April 10th 1912, the largest ship ever built by mankind set to sail for an ineradicable journey from Southampton, England to New York City. It was said that it would take more than a week to arrive to the final destination, therefore for this long journey, the luxurious ship had to contain all the necessities to accommodate and entertain passengers.
The Titanic’s construction was referred to be unsinkable, made from Iron and Steel. Furthermore, it was also known to be very safe, carrying 20 lifeboats, accommodation for 2,200 passengers including crew. The Titanic took all kinds of classes, from the very rich to the very poor, and it had lots of places for all kinds of classes to be entertained ex ball rooms and restaurant services.
Four days after it’s journey, The Captain of the ship got a message that they are going to be meeting an ice berg ahead of them, however, the Captain did not follow orders and decided to set the ship at full speed aboard, and continue its journey. That very cold day at around 11:40 PM, the ship heavily collided with an Ice berg, making the icy water swim into the ship and soon it would be engraved under water.
Clearly there wasn’t enough space for all of the passengers on the life boats, which meant that lots of lives would be lost badly, having to suffering in freezing water that is a couple of Celsius below zero. Each passenger however was issued with a life jacket, and as the front half of the ship sank deeper, people started screaming horrifyingly. A witness, called John Thayer saw the ship sink beneath his eyes on a lifeboat, he said :
“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; 1522 passengers and crew were lost.
I have found this amazing description of how has happened on the day of the sinking from a survivor called Elizabeth Shustes, she was travelling with her parents, and unfortunately has lost them both. This is every breathtaking:
“Now only pale faces, each form strapped about with those white bars. So gruesome a scene. We passed on. The awful good-byes. The quiet look of hope in the brave men’s eyes as the wives were put into the lifeboats. Nothing escaped one at this fearful moment. We left from the sun deck, seventy-five feet above the water. Mr Case and Mr Roebling, brave American men, saw us to the lifeboat, made no effort to save themselves, but stepped back on deck. Later they went to an honoured grave.
Our lifeboat, with thirty-six in it, began lowering to the sea. This was done amid the greatest confusion. Rough seamen all giving different orders. No officer aboard. As only one side of the ropes worked, the lifeboat at one time was in such a position that it seemed we must capsize in mid-air. At last the ropes worked together, and we drew nearer and nearer the black, oily water. The first touch of our lifeboat on that black sea came to me as a last good-bye to life, and so we put off – a tiny boat on a great sea – rowed away from what had been a safe home for five days.
The first wish on the part of all was to stay near the Titanic. We all felt so much safer near the ship. Surely such a vessel could not sink. I thought the danger must be exaggerated, and we could all be taken aboard again. But surely the outline of that great, good ship was growing less. The bow of the boat was getting black. Light after light was disappearing, and now those rough seamen put to their oars and we were told to hunt under seats, any place, anywhere, for a lantern, a light of any kind. Every place was empty. There was no water – no stimulant of any kind. Not a biscuit – nothing to keep us alive had we drifted long…
Sitting by me in the lifeboat were a mother and daughter. The mother had left a husband on the Titanic, and the daughter a father husband, and while we were near the other boats those two stricken women would call out a name and ask, ‘Are you there?’ ‘No,’would come back the awful answer, but these brave women never lost courage, forgot their own sorrow, telling me to sit close to them to keep warm… The life-preservers helped to keep us warm, but the night was bitter cold, and it grew colder and colder, and just before dawn, the coldest, darkest hour of all, no help seemed possible…
The stars slowly disappeared, and in their place came the faint pink glow of another day. Then I heard, ‘A light, a ship.’ I could not, would not, look while there was a bit of doubt, but kept my eyes away. All night long I had heard, ‘A light!’ Each time it proved to be one of our other lifeboats, someone lighting a piece of paper, anything they could find to burn, and now I could not believe. Someone found a newspaper; it was lighted and held up. Then I looked and saw a ship. A ship bright with lights; strong and steady she waited, and we were to be saved. A straw hat was offered it would burn longer. That same ship that had come to save us might run us down. But no; she is still. The two, the ship and the dawn, came together, a living painting.”