The Rms Titanic Essay Research Paper Just

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The Rms Titanic Essay, Research Paper Just 20 minutes short of midnight, April 14, 1912, the great new White Star Liner Titanic, making her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York, had a rendezvous with ice in the calm, dark waters of the North Atlantic. She brushed the berg so gently that nearly all of the passengers slept through it (Tribute to the RMS Titanic). A look at the Titanic’s catastrophic disaster at sea some 85 years ago, the world has been captivated by the “unsinkable” ship’s history, from the birth of the idea to the aftermath of the crash and sinking. By the turn of the nineteenth century, the race to build the largest and fastest steamship was in full swing. The two leading sea liner competitors in Britain during this era were the Cunard Lines and

the White Star Lines. Both of these companies were striving to become the world leader in sea vessel manufacturing. One summer night in 1907, the managing director of the White Star Line, J. Bruce Ismay, met at the home of Lord James Pirrie, a partner in the firm of Harland and Wolff, the giant Belfast shipbuilder that built all the White Star vessels. They met to discuss the plans for two very large ships, the Olympic and the Titanic. The two ships were almost identical in size, but the Titanic was some 1,000 gross tons larger, due to the more extensive and elaborate interior furnishings. (Gary’s Titanic Page) The hull of the Titanic was finished and launched on May 31, 1911, but it would take another year to complete. With a total of nine decks, the Titanic was divided

somewhat by social classes. Each class, first, second, and third, had two decks for themselves that were separated from the other classes. The first and second class passengers also shared an extra deck. Among them were John Jacob Astor, the richest man on the ship, Isador Strauss, founder of Macy’s department store, and Benjamin Guggenheim, whose family had made their fortunes in the mining and smelting industries (RMS Titanic). When the ship finally set sail for New York on April 11, 1912, the voyage was made even more pleasant for everyone on board by the splendid weather (Lynch 41). For three more days, the ship sailed on without a glitch. The weather had been perfect for crossing the Atlantic (Eaton 114), or so everyone thought. This would prove to be very fatal. On April

14, 1912, at approximately 11:30 P.M., lookout Frederick Fleet spotted something out in the distance. Unfortunately, when he reported it, it was too late. Ten minutes later, a three-hundred foot gash was ripped down the side of the Titanic. Immediately orders were sent to shut the watertight-doors, a safety precaution to prevent sinking, to close off the damaged area so water could not spread to other parts of the ship (Ballard, Exploring 22-23). What the ship’s captain and crew did not know was that there was too much damage to prevent flooding. After the collision with the ice most of the passengers did not know that the Titanic was sinking. As the water steadily rose, word was sent out that the great, “unsinkable” ship was indeed going down. Before the majority of the

passengers knew what was taking place, the crew had started to send distress signals. Messages were sent to the nearest ship, the Carpathia, that the Titanic was mortally wounded. As the tilt of the ship became more severe, all of the passengers began to realize they were in fact in tremendous danger. The lifeboats began to fill more quickly, but by that time, nearly all of them, including the new collapsible boats, had been launched and the Titanic’s entire bow was well submerged in sea water. In the confusion, many of the lifeboats had left half-full, wasting space that could have saved several lives (Lord 115). It became quite clear to those remaining that they were going to die if help did not arrive soon. A normal size ship at that time was 10,000 tons, while the massive