About the Titanic
The Titanic may be the world’s best-known ship. She sank in 1912 in the North Atlantic after colliding with an iceberg. The Titanic’s hull had a double bottom and fifteen walls that could be closed in an emergency. With the aid of these, the Titanic could be kept afloat with four sections filled with water. Greater damage than that was not considered possible.
Travelling 1st or 2nd or 3rd class
On board there was first, second and third class. First class was incredibly luxuriously decorated and furnished, and a ticket to America could cost more than 100,000 SEK! Second class was also nice, but third class was at the bottom of the ship, in the bow and the stern, and was much more basic. Most people on board travelled in third class.
The Titanic left Southampton in England on 10 April 1912 on its journey to New York. On 14 April, there were six ice warnings on the telegraph. At 11:40 pm, a lookout saw an iceberg directly in front of the ship. They tried steering to the side but instead ended up at a very unfortunate angle: the iceberg damaged a whole 90 metres (of 270 metres) of the ship. That was five and a half sections. The Titanic’s designer, who was on board, explained to the captain that when five sections were filled with water, they would push the bow down so deep into the water that the whole ship would fill with water. In other words, the ship would sink.
The captain gave the order to prepare the lifeboats and for the passengers to put on lifebelts. The Titanic had space for 1178 persons in the lifeboats, but on her maiden and only journey, there were another 1000 people on board.
The telegraphists began sending distress signals, SOSs, so that ships in the region would steer towards the Titanic and rescue people from there.
Confused and half-asleep, the passengers found it difficult to comprehend what had happened. They did not want to leave the ship in small dangerous lifeboats. Lifeboat number seven had space for 65 people but was lowered down with only 28 on board. Life boat number one with space for 40 people rowed away with only 12 persons. But as the lean increased and the bow sank ever deeper into the water, more and more people wanted to leave the ship, but they then discovered that there were no more lifeboats on board! About 1000 people remained on the Titanic, and there were no boats in sight to help them.
The Titanic sinks!
At 02:20 am, the Titanic sank with the stern almost straight up in the air. The panicking people ended up in the water. There were enough lifebelts for everyone, but they soon died anyway as the water was so cold. Only three of those who ended up in the water survived: they were pulled up into the lifeboats.
712 people were rescued
The ship Carpathia, which had heard the Titanic’s distress calls, reached the area around four in the morning. Carpathia rescue 712 people from the Titanic’s twenty lifeboats. Most of those who died on the Titanic had been in third class. They had been at the bottom of the ship with no access to the ship’s deck and had not been allowed up there until most of the lifeboats were at sea. Of the 105 children on board, 73 died, and they all travelled in third class, except one child who travelled in first class! 686 people in the crew died.
Accidents can happen!
The news of the Titanic catastrophe spread around the world and was a shock to many, many people. The Titanic was a symbol of modern technology and had been thought to be unsinkable and to solve many of humanity’s problems. But the Titanic taught us that accidents can still happen despite the latest technology. Many books have been written and films made about the Titanic. In recent years, people have even gone down to the site of the catastrophe and picked up objects. It is 3.8 kilometres deep there.
Facts about the Titanic:
- The Titanic was ordered on 31 July 1908.
- It was built at the shipyard Harland and Wolff, Belfast, Ireland.
- Launched: 31 May 1911
- It sank on 15 April 1912 after colliding with an iceberg in the North Atlantic.
- Length: 269.1 m Width: 28.0 m Depth: 10.5 m Displacement: 52,310 gross tons
- Height from funnel to keel: 54 m
- Propellers: small ones 7 m in diameter, big ones 9 m in diameter