Titanic 1912 Sinking

On April 2, 1912, the Titanic left Belfast, Northern Ireland, for Southampton, England. The 480 nautical mile trip (552 normal miles or 883 km) would have taken more than a full day. Once in Southampton, the Titanic prepared for her fateful voyage. Abundant supplies were loaded. The numbers are staggering: 60 tons of meat and fish products; 5 tons of cereals; 50 tons of fruits and vegetables; 40,000 eggs and nearly 40,000 bottles of drinks including bottled water. Passengers came on board too. First class passengers had to pay $4350 per person; second class passengers $1,750; third class passengers only $30.

Brief Piece of Drama

With supplies and passengers loaded the Titanic sailed at noon, Wednesday, April 10, 1912. Close by two other large ships were docked, the Oceanic and the New York. As the Titanic began to move the large amounts of water displaced came upon the two ships, the New York rose on then dropped with force snapping her moorings. She then began to swing towards the Titanic coming to within 4 feet (just over a meter) of the massive liner! An accident was averted when a tug boat threw a rope and pulled the New York.

The Voyage Begins

With that incident out of the way the Titanic headed south for Cherbourg, France, 84 nautical miles away, arriving approximately 7:00 in the evening. There it stopped for two hours to pick more passengers and departed at 9:00 in the evening for Ireland and the port of Queenstown (currently known as Cobh).near the city of Cork, 306 nautical miles north west from Cherbourg. It arrived at Queenstown about fifteen hours later, around noon on Thursday, April 11 and stopped for less then two hours to pick more passengers. Given that the harbour of Queenstown was too small for the Titanic to dock, she anchored two miles out. Little boats known as tenders, ferried the last passengers and their luggage to the Titanic. By now she had well over 2200 persons on board, crew and passengers, as many as 2240 (http://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/manifest.php?q=1). At 2:00 pm the Titanic set sail never to be in touch with land again.

Three Uneventful Days

As the land of Ireland began to fade on the horizon crew and passengers began to settle into their routines. The last passengers who had boarded at Queenstown were making themselves comfortable in their rooms. Those who had boarded in England and France were, no doubt, in the process of exploring this magnificent piece of maritime engineering with its maze of corridors, multiple decks, imposing figure and luxurious fittings. The first class passengers where certainly planning their social and business meetings given that the Titanic had ample salons for entertainment and plenty of important people on board to facilitate business transactions and meetings. The crew began to settle into their routines, busy but certainly proud and with a sense of history filling their minds knowing that they had the privilege to work on what was then the world’s largest and most luxurious ship on her maiden voyage. Captain Edward Smith, a man of extensive experience at sea must surely have felt at ease in his new job. As he himself had stated, in his 40 years at sea he had never been involved in a serious accident neither had he witnessed any maritime disasters. He believed that the technology of ship building had reached such an advanced level that ships would simply not sink unless sunk by human activity.

For three days the journey progressed without incident. During these three days the Titanic covered more than 1,500 miles. Throughout there were reports coming in from other ships about sightings of icebergs. How seriously would the captain and crew take them?

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