Titanic: The Invincible Ship

Introduction

RMS Titanic was a British passenger liner operated by White Star Liner. When it entered in the service she was the largest ship afloat. White star line operated three Olympic class ocean liners at that time and Titanic was the second amongst them. She was manufactured at Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast. Thomas Andrews was the chief naval architect of the shipyard that time.

Approximately more than 100,000 people gathered to watch the launching of the royal mail ship (RMS) Titanic on 31 may,1911 at the dock of Belfast in Ireland. Titanic was phrased as “unsinkable”, she was the most luxurious cruise liner at that time.

But on the night of April 14, 1912 the unsinkable ship struck an iceberg off the coast of Newfoundland on its maiden voyage just 4 days after leaving Southampton and finally on April 15,1912 the giant beauty ran aground. It was considered as the deadliest sinking of a cruise ship to date, more than 1500 lives were lost.

How Big was she: “The Titanic”?

Almost 15,000 workers of the Harland and Wolff shipyard took approx. 26 months for building the Titanic. It was a very difficult task at that time due to less machinery and automation. A lot of workers worked without proper safety gears which results into about 246 injuries, 28 of them were recorded severe.

With 46,000 tons of weight the ship was measured a total length of 882 feet long and height of 175 feet. It had 9 decks with a capacity of 3,500 people.

It has 29 boilers which have capacity of holding more than of 48 tonnes of water and 159 furnaces which burn approximately 825 tons of coal per day. Titanic was fitted with a centrally placed low pressure turbine and 2 reciprocating four-cylinder, triple expansion steam engines. The two reciprocating engines have a combined output power of 30,000 horsepower i.e., 22,000Kw and each one of them weighed 720 tones.

Titanic was equipped with a sophisticated electrical control panel and an advanced wireless communication system which was able to transmit Morse code.

There was a lot do onboard the ship as it was having a swimming pool, a gymnasium, one Turkish bath, photography dark room, three separate rooms for smoking and many other things. She was carrying ample amount of food and beverages for the passengers.

15000 Bottles Beer75000 lbs fresh meat
1500 gallons fresh Milk40 tons Potatoes
800 lbs tea3500 lbs Tomatoes
36000 apples40000 fresh eggs
36000 oranges3500 lbs onions
7000 Heads of lettuce800 bundles of asparagus
Titanic

#Fact: In Titanic only 3 of the 4 smoke stacks were actually functional. That one extra smoke stack was just for more impressive look of the ship.

Crew of The Titanic

Around 885 crew members were there on the ship for the maiden voyage only 23 of them were female remaining were male. The crew of the titanic was divide mainly into 3 sections i.e., the Deck having 66 crew, Engine having 325 crew members and victualling with other 494 members. The crew of Titanic have not only seamen but other employees like engineers, firemen, or stokers, responsible for looking after the engines, or stewards and galley staff, staff responsible for the passengers. In fact the majority of staff were not seamen.

Edward John Smith was the captain, Henry Tingle Wilde took the post of chief mate, William Mcmaster Murdooch and Charles Lightoller took command as first and second officer and Herbert Pitman MBE was at the rank of third officer. Pitman was the second to last surviving officer.

Joseph Bell took the command of the Titanic as the Chief Engineer Officer and his staff includes 24 other engineers, 2 boiler makers, a plumber and a clerk. All the engineers died in this accident as they refused to quit their work and going to the life boats in order to keep the generators working so that other people can get light a can be evacuated safely. Driven back from boiler room to boiler room, fighting for every inch of drought to give time for the launching of the life boats, not one of those officers was saved.

#Fact: Legend has it that engineers wear colour purple, granted by the King (Royal Purple) in honour of the RMS Titanic`s engineers.

Titanic
Titanic

What happened to The Titanic?

On April 10,1912 Titanic departed from Southampton, England for its maiden voyage for New York city, NY the projected arrival was on April 17, 1912 but on April 14, 1912 just after the four days of the voyage, about 600 km south of Newfoundland she hit an iceberg at 2340 hrs ships time. Titanic was cruising at 22 knots that time and the impact cut a hole into the hull between 220 to 245 feet long. Water rushed inside the vessel at an estimated rate of 7 tons per second. At 0220 hrs it was broken into two parts.  Titanic sank in less than 3 hours.

There were 2200 passengers and crew onboard but lifeboat was present only for 1178 people. RMS Carpathia arrived under 2 hours the Titanic sank and brought aboard the 710 survivors. Only about 710 people were saved out of 2200 people. Survival rate of passenger and crew was very less.

SURIVIVAL RATE –

I CLASS PASSENGER- 60%  
II CLASS PASSENGER- 42%  
III CLASS PASSENGER- 25%  
CREW < 25%  

This disaster gave immense shock throughout the world. It is considered as the deadliest misshapen till date. This regulatory operational failure and huge loss of life gave rise to major improvement in maritime safety. In 1914 SOLAS i.e., International convention of Safety Of Life At Sea was established which governs maritime safety.

Why did The Titanic sink?

  • A key warning of iceberg was dismissed by the operator of wireless radio

About an hour before the hitting of titanic with iceberg a ship nearby the Titanic named “SS Californian” gave a radio message to the Titanic’s radio operator jack Philips that they were stopped by the dense field ice but the warning didn’t begin with “MSG” (Master Service Gram) which is required to directly pass the message to the captain, Mr. Philips considered it as no urgent and didn’t pass it along.

  • Builders of the Titanic tried to cut the cost

In various investigation, investigators found that Titanic did not sank intact. It was broken into two parts on the surface of water. Material scientists Tim Foecke and Jennifer Hooper McCarty found that hulls plates which were held by about 3 million rivets brought from the wreck contain heavy amount “slag” i.e., a residue that can make the metal split apart. This made the hull of Titanic week which broke upon the impact caused by hitting the iceberg.

  • Lookouts didn’t have binoculars

David Blair the second officer, has the keys of the Titanic’s store of binoculars in his pocket but suddenly he was transferred off the ship before it left for the maiden voyage from Southampton and he forget to handover the keys. In later enquiries it was discovered that binoculars would have helped the titanic to dodge the Iceberg in time.

#Fact: David Blair kept the keys with him as a memento, later in 2007 it was auctioned off at a price of 90,000 pounds.

Titanic

Captain Edward John Smith told in an interview before the maiden voyage of the Titanic that “if she goes down, I will go with her” and keeping his words he locked himself in the wheelhouse with honor and sank with the Titanic. Before jumping off the Titanic third officer Pitman MBE himself saw the Captain standing with immense pride in the wheelhouse and simply going with her.

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