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Titanic Essay, Research Paper

Leaping over the side of the boat, passengers splash into the icy waters below. With one

lifeboat left, proplr are fighting to get on. All of a sudden, a thunderous crack is heard, and

a crewman screams out, “The boat has cracked in two!” Now the frightened travelers are

moving frantically toward the stern. (This might have been the scene 86 years ago.) The

unsinkable Titanic went down catastrophically and the safety on the liner as well as the

prevention of the incident became issues after the sinking and before the discovery of the

ship on the ocean floor.

The luxury liner was constructed with a purpose. It was built to transport

passengers across the Atlantic in a fast, yet extravagant way. The ship was housed to carry

a king. It had every comfort that anyone could ever have imagined. Such as the rooms that

were in the first class. The rooms had the finest quilts, mirrors and even were supplied

with fancy cigars. The Titanic was built at the Harvard and Wolff yard where White Star

liner’s ships were built. The construction began on March 31, 1909. An American

financier, J. Pierpont Morgan, who became interested in large passenger shipping

companies was the builder of the magnificent pleasure ship.

(http://www.fireflyproductions.com/ti5tanic/build.htm) The idea was a good one, little did

he know tragedy loomed ahead.

The massive ship, the crew, and the captain’s desires all added up to trouble. The

crewmen of the Titanic were not prepared for the possibility of a sinking ship because they

thought the vessel was unsinkable, and they didn’t concentrate on safety. For example

wireless operator interrupted the Californians wireless operator by a moderate, “Keep

Out! Shut-up! You’re jamming my signal. I’m working the Cape Race!” The Californian’s

sole operator listened to Titanic’s reply and at 11:30 turned off his set and retired for the

night. The possibility of a problem never entered the Titanic operators mind.

(hhtp://gil.ipswichcity.qld.gov.au/~dalgarry/time.html) In addition the captain’s intentions

were to cross the Atlantic at a record speed, and these wishes were not to be impeded.

White Star’s senior captain and the master of the Titanic, decided to continue on course at

full speed of twenty knots through the ice felds despite daylong warnings of icebergs in the

vicinity. (Brown, Donald pg.3) This decision and the crews carelessness foreshadow

tragedy. Accordingly, the unsinkable luxury liner struck an iceberg towering

approximately fifty to sixty feet at 11:50 P.M. on April 14, 1912.

(hhtp://gil.ipswichcity.qld.gov.au/~dalgarry/time.html) When the vessel hit the iceberg, a

rockhard object sneaking invincibly underneath the ocean’s surface. Struck the ship and

left four gashes on the starboard side and shaking those on board. As the iceberg moved

along the flank of the ship, it scraped the first three hundred feet of the hull way below the

water line. (Tibbals, Geoff pg.70)

Thus, the Titanic was given only was given only a few hours to stay afloat. In this

process, five of the presumably watertight compartments flooded, but five was too much

for her to bear. Although twelve square feet of the hull had been penetrated by the

collision, this was enough to sink her. The adjacent compartments also filled up equivalent

to ice-cube trays do when filled. As each compartment flooded with water, the bow of the

ship sank lower and lower. Just ten minutes after the impact, the water level had risen to

fourteen feet above the keel in the first five compartments. Water was also pouring into

the boiling room. At around 1:15 AM., the Titanic suddenly perched from starboard to

port. She was becoming increasingly rickety; the deck was tilting more and more steeply,

making the removal of passengers out of the boat more difficult. By 2:00 AM., the water

had risen to just ten feet below the promenade deck. At 2:17 AM. the unsinkable pleasure

vessel began to sink into the water, 2:17 AM., the stern flopped back into the water, two

of the four funnels broke off freeing soot into the clear blackness atmosphere. There was a

series of explosions and the immersed forward section broke away from the stern. Finally,

the stern also slide beneath the surface and began it’s two and a half, mile journey to the

ocean’s floor. ( Tibbals, Geoff pg. 72- 84) She sank somewhere around forty one degrees

North and fifty degrees West in the Atlantic. In the two hours it took the ship to sink, the

passengers had two hours to save themselves.

During the sinking of the massive ship, “The passengers acted without dignity.”

Said first-class Steward Edward Brown. But most of the passengers acted like gentleman:

“As I was put into the boat, he cried to me, ‘It’s all right, little girl. You go, I will stay. As

our boat shoved off he threw me a kiss, and that was the last I saw him.” Said Mrs. Daniel

Warner Marvin of New York. She had been on her honey moon, lost her new husband in

the disaster. Another eye-witness account came from a Philadelphia banker, Robert W.

Daniel. He was only wearing a bathrobe, when he leaped from the sinking ship two

minutes before she went down:

“Not until the last five minutes did the awful realization come that the end

was at hand. The lights became dim and went out, but we could see slowly,

ever so slowly, the surface of the water seemed a dream. Deck after deck

was submerged. There was no lurching or grinding or crunching. The

Titanic simply settled. I was far up on one of the top decks when I jumped.

About me where many others in the water. My bathrobe floated away, and

it was icily cold. I struck out at once. I turned my head, and my first glance

took in the people swarming on the Titanic’s deck. Hundreds were standing

there helpless toward off approached death. I saw captain Smith on the

bridge. My eyes seemingly clung to him. The deck from which I had lept

was immersed. The water had risen slowly, and was now to the floor of the

bridge. Then it was to captain Smith’s waist. I saw him no more. He died a

hero. The bows of the ship were far beneath the surface, and to me only the

four monster funnels and the mast were now visible. It was all over in an

instant. The Titanic’s stern rose completely out of the water and went up

thirty, forty, sixty feet into the air. Then, with her body slanting at an angle

of forty five degrees, slowly the Titanic Slipped out of sight.”

On the other hand, some reacted differently. Chief officer Henery Wilde with second

officer Leghtoller were in charge of launching the last lifeboat. Leghtoller had to draw his

pistol to reestablish order among the panicking passengers. He also ordered other

crewman to assemble a human barrier between those who just came from the steerage and

the last lifeboat. The band tried to relate the frantic passengers and crew by playing until

the end. (Tibballs, Geoff pg. 62, 79-81) Many different acts took place during the sinking

of the ship and it was only after all was said and done that safety issues were discussed.

Was safety taken into careful consideration? The supplement of enough lifeboats

would turn out to be one of the most unaffiliated issues. Under the British Board of Trade

Regulations, all British vessels of more than ten thousand tons had to carry at least 16

lifeboats with adequate amount of rafts and floats for seventy five percent of it’s capacity.

The ship weighed forty, six thousand tons and only had to carry just as many lifeboats as a

vessel that weighed ten thousand tons. These regulations meant that the Titanic only had

to carry enough lifeboats for only nine hundred and sixty, two people when she had the

capacity for three thousand, five hundred, and forty seven. Alexander Carelisle evidently

had misgiving’s about the management’s. Alexander’s original layout included sixty four

boats, sufficient for everyone. As discussions carried on the builders and owners started to

decline the amount of lifeboats within the Titanic. They decided first to change the number

of lifeboats to forty, then to thirty two and finally to sixteen, thirty-foot-long boats as well

as four englehadrt collapsible boats. Of course anyone that could do math would know

that sixteen, thirty-foot-long boats also with four englehardt collasspables would not be

enough for all those on-board the Titanic. (Tibballs, Geoff pg. 26) Furthermore, safety

measures were doled out unfairly. Treatment of the people on board the Titanic was

inequitable. In general the third class and second class travelers did not have as good of a

chance of surviving as the first class passengers. The lower class people were ordered to

stay in the lower areas and held by other crewman until the first class could safely

evacuate on lifeboats. Lastly, the factor of the crew’s late reactions might have been the

cause of more deaths. By the way that the crew left some passengers behind during the

sinking. (Titanic. Dir. James Cameron. Perf. Leonardo Decaprio, Kate Winscet, Kathy

Bates, Bill Paxton, Billy Zane, and Frances Fisher. Fox, 1996.) Stating safety issues aside

the next question that comes to mind is:

Could the accident have been avoided?This incident could have been

avoided if there were a sufficient amount of telegraphers throughout the ship, so they did

not have to depend on one person for the only source of communication. For example,

when the young wireless operator, previously mentioned interrupted an important message

and did not heed its warning, the message may have gotten through id there had been

another operator. (http:gil//ipswichcity.qld.gov.au/~dalgarry/time.html) This clearly

displays the need for more telegraphers on-board the liner. Secondly, the question

surrounding the number of lifeboats on the Titanic directly relates to the number of saved

lives. There was space for more lifeboats on the S.S.S Titanic, but the builders and owners

made luxury a priority over safety. More lives could have been saved if only there had

been more lifeboats. Thirdly, weather considerations was another important factor of these

tragic incident. If captain Smith had only stopped and deliberated his decision going

twenty one knots full speed through ice felds, this all could have been precluded. The

accident could have been avoided, but was not and it sank.

The Titanic was found at the bottom of the Atlantic. In the summer of 1985 by.

(Ballard, Robert pg.454) Dr. Robert Ballard, the head of Woods Hole’s Deep

Submergence laboratory. His interest of finding the Titanic dated back to the 1970’s, but

at that time could not, because he could not get financial support. Dr. Ball


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