Remembering Titanic, The Most Celebrated Ship In History

RMS Titanic in Southampton. On 15 April 1912, this giant vessel became the victim of the most tragic naval accident in history

On 15 April 1912 at 2:00 am, the most famous passenger ship in the history ‘RMS Titanic’ sank into the North Atlantic Ocean, specifically 400 miles south of Canada’s Newfoundland. The giant ship was carrying around 2200 passengers and crews on board while it collided with huge iceberg two and a half hour ago before it drowned.

On 10 April 1912, RMS Titanic started its journey from England’s Southampton port heading to New York over the Atlantic. Titanic was then the largest and most luxurious non-military ship in the world. Irish shipbuilder William Pirrie designed the ship that was built in Belfast. Titanic was also known as the fastest civilian ship at that time. The 883 feet long vessel had 16 compartments, all watertight. Mainly for this exclusive feature, the ship got the tagline, ‘Titanic is unsinkable.’

It is unknown to many that while leaving the port, Titanic was just about to collide with a steamer called ‘New York’, but somehow managed to prevent any incident. However many believe that if something had happened that time, Titanic’s journey would’ve been delayed, and thus the ship could survive the most horrible naval accident five days later.

The 10 April’s departure led Titanic to it’s first official journey. Unfortunately after the tragic accident and death of 2435 passengers and 892 crews, it became it’s last journey too.

After leaving Southampton, RMS Titanic picked up it’s last few passengers from Cherbourg, France, and Queenstown, Ireland. Then gearing full speed, the giant vessel headed to it’s final destination, New York.

At the mid-night of 14 April, the captain and other officials of RMS Titanic were informed about a giant iceberg seen heading towards the ship. With every possible mean, they tried their best to turn around the ship to avoid collision, but failed. Atleast 5 of the 16 compartments were badly hit by the iceberg. Water started to fill up the compartments. One after the next, then to another. Titanic started to loose it’s balance. Within a few minutes, the ship tilted at a side and few moments later started to drown vertically. By the weight of the upper portion that was still above the sea, the ship broke in the middle. It was atlast 2:20 am, when the entire ship, RMS Titanic fully went down to the water.

Partially due to the officials’ over-confidence about the security of Titanic, and also for lack of enough space in it’s design, there were not sufficient number of lifeboats for all passengers and crews. It is still pointed as one of the prime reasons behind such a high number of deaths. Around 1500 people died in that day’s incident. Few renown personalities from USA and Britain were among the dead. About 700 people were rescued, most of whom were women and children.

One hour and twenty minutes after the Titanic was drowned, a passenger steamship called ‘Carpathia’ arrived at the location. It rescued the survivors from the lifeboats, also few from the water floating with life jackets.

Later if was found that a ship named ‘Californian’ was passing just around 20 miles away while the Titanic was sinking. Unfortunately the radio operator of Californian was off duty at that time and the ship missed the distress signals sent from Titanic.

As soon the details of the Titanic tragedy spread out, outrages grew on both sides of the Atlantic. It forced the governments to take necessary actions to prevent further incidents. A convention was organized on safety in naval journeys in 1913. It was made compulsory for all ships to keep necessary number of lifeboats on board that can cover all the passengers and crews in emergency situations. Authorities were asked to perform safety drills on regular basis. An organization named International Ice Patrol was formed to monitor the icebergs floating along the North Atlantic shipping lanes. Rule was made to ensure 24-hour active radio connectivity in every vessel.

Decades later, a joint expedition team of United States and France traced out the wreck of the Titanic 13,000 feet beneath the sea level.