A Night of Horror


Caroline Cooper, journalist

Back in the spring of 1909, construction began on a new ship that would soon become one of the most famous ship sinkings in history. This ship was the Titanic, and would sadly never even make it past its maiden voyage. 


The RMS (Royal Mail Ship) Titanic was built and owned by White Star Line, it was built along with its sister ships, the Britannic, and the Olympic.  These three ships were built due to the White Star Line’s rivalry with Cunard Lines.  


On April 10th, 1912, the Titanic set sail carrying 2,240 passengers, little did these people know that in 5 days, more than half of them were going to meet their fate. The Titanic was considered to be glamorous, with it being the largest ship at the time and having some of the finest luxuries. For first-class passengers, the Titanic included, veranda cafes, a smoking room, restaurants, a dining saloon, and reading and writing rooms. It also had 4 elevators, which at the time was shocking for a boat to have. The Titanic also had a wireless system that could transmit messages for up to 500 miles, this worked both day and night. 

On April 14th, 1912, the Titanic struck an iceberg on its starboard (right) side. The ship immediately began to take on water and the watertight doors were sealed shut. But when the ship collided with the iceberg it caused some of the compartments to break and become utterly useless. This caused the bow of the ship to take on lots of water, and therefore, causing the stern to slowly rise up. This unfortunately renders some of the lifeboats useless. Additionally, the crew, who were tending the lifeboats, not only allowed just women and children on but were fearful to fill them to capacity. Devastatingly many lifeboats were sent out only half-filled. Around 2:20 am the Titanic split in half and sank to the ocean floor. It left survivors in shock at what they witnessed. 


Shortly after the sinking of the Titanic, many design flaws were discovered. The Titanic had a brittle fracture in the steel hull, and rivet failure. One of the biggest problems was in the Titanic’s watertight compartments. The walls of the compartments did not reach the ceiling, causing the water to overflow into the next compartment.  Also, if the bulkheads had been higher, the water rushing into the hull might have been distributed evenly. Then the passengers could have been given more time to escape. 



After the sinking of the Titanic and the loss of 1,500 lives, new safety protocols were put in place to help protect people. One of the biggest safety improvements was making sure there were enough lifeboats for everybody. Another law that was put in place was the ice patrol, scout cruisers from the U.S Navy (later Coast Guard) will monitor iceberg presence and movement at sea. Thankfully today technology has almost eradicated the sinking of ships due to collisions with icebergs. Interesting fact, the Titanic 2 is currently under construction and is due to set sail on her maiden voyage in 2022. Do you have the courage to purchase a ticket? 

The picture is from: https://www.britannica.com/topic/Titanic