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Off The Coast of Newfoundland
Status: Historical Disaster Site; Famous Sunken Wreck
By Unknown author - <a rel="nofollow" class="external free" href="http://www.liners.dk/ship-dk/Titanic/index-titanic-dk.html">http://www.liners.dk/ship-dk/Titanic/index-titanic-dk.html</a>, Public Domain, Link
The Titanic was built by J. Bruce Ismay, the managing director of the White Star Line, and designed by Thomas Andrews. She was constructed in the Harland and Wolff Shipyard in Belfast, Ireland where 3 dry docks were converted into 2 to hold the massive super structure. Her keel was launched from dry dock on May 31, 1911. It took 23 tons of soap, grease and train oil to free her keel from dry dock. Over 11,300 workers built the ship and only 8 workers were killed with a total of 240 accidents occurring. After being launched, she was towed to a fitting berth where it took another 10 months to complete her interior.
Titanic was 883 feet long (the length of 4 city blocks) and had 9 decks. She stood as high as an 11-story building and would have towered above most skyscrapers built during her time period. Despite her immense size, Titanic’s entire hull would have fit inside the Queen Mary which was built in 1936. Her 4 funnels were wide enough to drive 2 trains through and her engines could generate 15,000 horsepower. She could carry 2,500 passengers and a full crew of 900 but only had enough lifeboats for 1,178 people.
She was called “the ship of dreams” and more than lived up to this claim – at least for the First-Class passengers. The First-Class cabins were decorated in expensive and detailed wood paneling and expensive furniture equal the most luxurious hotel rooms of the era. Each First-Class room was also designed to be easily changed to fit the likes and dislikes of passenger staying in it. In comparison, the Third-Class rooms were much smaller and paneled in pine with cheap teak furniture. In public areas the Titanic also was built with the finest of luxuries including Turkish Baths, a swimming pool, a telephone system and, of course, the Grand Staircase. A First-Class ticket on the maiden voyage of the ship cost $4,375 1912 US dollars ($99,237 in 2011 dollars).
The Titanic was officially launched on April 2, 1912 from Southampton, England. The wash from launching was so powerful it tore another liner, the New York, from her moorings and right into the path of the Titanic. Titanic’s Captain. GE Smith successfully avoided the impending collusion using the backwash. The ship’s first stop was Cherbourg, France where most of the ship’s wealthiest passengers would disembark.
After France, the Titanic would sail past the Irish coast and into destiny. She was scheduled to land in New York City where dockworkers worried she was too big to successfully dock. It was never destined to become anything more than theoretical problem. Despite receiving 6 warning of icebergs in his path Captain Smith continued to speed his way across the North Atlantic. His experience told him that any iceberg that could sink a ship as big as the Titanic could be spotted in plenty of time to turn the ship. Unfortunately, no one had experience with a ship the size of Titanic especially with her limited turning radius caused by a small rudder.
At 11:40 pm on April 14, 1912 the Titanic’s look outs spotted an iceberg directly in the path of the great ship. The First Officer, Murdoch, immediately ordered the ship “hard to starboard” and “full reverse” as was standard procedure at the time. This combination of orders may have cut the power the ship needed to turn sharply and, combined with the small rudder, directly led to the ship scraping along the side of the iceberg, The real tragedy is that had the Titanic hit the iceberg directly it probably would not have suffered such catastrophic damage and may have remained afloat for much longer therefore allowing rescue ships to get to the ship before she sank – its also possible the ship wouldn’t have sunk at all.
32 seconds after the warning was first called out the Titanic scraped up against the iceberg which caused 4 watertight compartments to rip open and fill with seawater. The ship was designed to stay afloat with 3 filled compartments; but not with 4. The ship billed an unsinkable would now sink.
The passengers did not believe that the ship could sink and therefore did not take the warnings seriously. They would mill about the ship’s deck instead of following the crew’s orders to get into the lifeboats. Even when the lifeboats were launched most were launched only about a 1/3 or 2/3 filled – a very serious issue as the ship already did not have enough lifeboats to begin with to rescue everyone on board. A strict “woman and children first” rule was followed by the crew as well as “First Class first” which left many of the men, especially the men from Third Class, to die on the ship.
Wireless calls went out to other ships in the vicinity but there was much confusion. Rumors persist of the lights of another ship being seen on the horizon at the time of the collusion that simply sailed away. Even 90 minutes after the collusion the Titanic’s sister ship, the Olympic, was still asking if the Titanic was headed south toward her.
At 2:10 am the Titanic’s stern rose out of the water exposing her twin screws. Quickly the strain on the ship would cause her to buckle and snap in half dropping the stern. The stern then immediately rose again before slipping beneath the waves itself at 2:20 am.
At 4:10 am the “Carpathia” arrived and took aboard the survivors in lifeboats taking them to New York City. Of the 2,224 people aboard the Titanic 1,514 perished; mostly due to hypothermia from the freezing waters. Only 333 bodies were recovered.
In 1986 Robert Ballard discovered the wreck of the ship confirming the stories that the ship split in two before sinking. Seawater has severely corroded the wreck and it is estimated that all signs of the ship will be gone in about 40 years.
There have been numerous sightings of ghost ship resembling the Titanic still sailing the waters near her grave. A German U-Boat commander in WWII even fired on the ship assuming it was an allied troop transport. Most recently a ship was seen from the air apparently awash with debris and covered in injured passengers, some of whom were hanging of the ship. An attempt was made to communicate with the ship but no one showed any sign that they saw the plane.
Phantom screams and yells are still heard in the vicinity of the sinking as well as bright lights skimming over the sea. Apparitions of what is thought to be former Titanic passengers have been reported by people on other ships passing through the area. The apparitions are often reported as crying or in some other form of distress.
It is said the cries of the dead can be heard when you are near the wreck. There was an expedition planned to record these lost voices but the relatives of those that were lost on the ship put an end to that understandably.
Some objects that have been brought up from the wreck are considered haunted including a mirror that once belonged to Captain Smith.
Phantom radio calls have picked as well from a ship who identified herself as the “Titanic” to this day.
The phantom sounds of a band playing are heard over the empty ocean.
In 1986 actress, Kate Winslet, heard a phantom voice whisper the name “Rose” while passing through the area on a ship.
Dockworkers in New York City in 1989 reported a ship approaching the docks on fog shrouded night with a large hole ripped down her side.