The RMS Titanic embarked on her maiden voyage from Southampton on the south coast of England on April 10, 1912. The first port of call was Cherbourg on the northern coast of France. Next, she sailed to Queenstown, which is now called Cobh, in Country Cork on the south coast of Ireland. After picking up more passengers there, the Titanic set off to cross the Atlantic. The ship left port at 1:30 pm on April 11th but never made it to New York.
Three days after the ship set off for New York, it struck an iceberg around 375 miles south of Newfoundland. The ship hit the iceberg at 11:40 pm, but the impact didn’t breach the ship’s hull. It did bend the steel plates in the vessels, which created gaps in between them. Five of the ship’s watertight sections began to fill with water. The ship was designed to sail with four of the compartments failing, but not five. This was the beginning of the end of the Titanic.
An Unbelievable Tragedy
It took just 2 ½ hours from the time of the collision for the ship to sink. There were 2,224 people on board of the vessel that was said to be unsinkable. Over 1,500 died. Some died after plunging into the freezing ocean, and some were still on the ship when he fell 12,500 feet to the bottom of the Atlantic.
White Star Line
White Star Line built the Titanic. They wanted to build the largest ship on the planet, which would also be the most extravagant for first-class passengers. The construction began on the last day of March 1909 in the Irish city of Belfast. It took two years to build the ship. The hull was made up of 2,000 steel plates that were six feet across, 30 feet long, and 1 ½ inch thick. They weighed a total of three tons. Building the ship was dangerous, and nine ironworkers died during the construction, and another 246 were injured.
The interior of the first-class and second-class sections was designed to look like a grand hotel. First-class passengers were able to enjoy facilities such as a gym, a swimming pool, and a Turkish bath. They were also able to dine in style on delicacies beyond their wildest imagination. The third-class passengers didn’t have access to all areas, but their accommodations were much better than on other ships.
When the ship was complete, she was 880-feet from bow to stern. There were only 20 lifeboats in place, which could hold a total of 1,178 people, despite the fact that there were 2,224 people on board. It was believed that since the ship was considered, unsinkable, there was no need to litter the decks with too many lifeboats. There were 14 wooden lifeboats, four collapsible boats, and two cutters. If the ship held 64 lifeboats, which the deck could have carried, over 4,000 people could have been saved. Sadly, White Star Line believed that only 20 lifeboats were necessary, which is why so many people died. The regulations at the time required ships of this size to carry only 16 boats with a capacity of 990. After the tragic sinking, these regulations were changed.
The Captain and Crew
Edward Smith was the ship’s senior captain. There were 885 crew members on board. Only 23 of them were women, while 66 worked on deck, and 325 worked below as engineers and stokers. There were also eight musicians on the ship, who went down in history even though they died. When the ship began to sink, first-class passengers were the first to be put in lifeboats. It was supposed to be women and children first. The richest man on the ship, John Jacob Astor IV, was traveling with his wife, Madeleine. Benjamin Guggenheim was also on board with his mistress, Leontine Aubert, and her maid. During the sinking, the women made it, but the men and their staff did not.
Finding the Wreck
In 1985, a French-American team led by Robert Ballard of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution discovered what was left on the Titanic. They used a remote-controlled sub called Argo, to take photos of the ship that were published all over the world. In 2005, the crew of a mini-submarine, Limiting Factor, reached a depth of 12.500-feet to get a look at the mangled remains. Using their high-tech 4K cameras, they got some very stunning photos.
Victor Vescovo was aboard another expedition in August 2019. It had been 14-years since the last time the ship was photographed, and the team found something incredibly shocking. Divers Explored The Titanic For The First Time In 14 Years – And They Made A Haunting Discovery. The Titanic was quickly disappearing. Patrick Lahey, a member of the expedition and the president of the company who owns the Limiting Factor, sent out a press release from the ship. He said, “The most fascinating aspect was seeing how the ocean is consuming the Titanic, and returning to its elemental form while providing refuge for a remarkably diverse number of animals.”
One part of the ship that has disappeared is the “Captain’s bathtub.” It can be seen in the older photos, but not the images that were taken in 2019. It is believed that the ocean currents and the corrosive action of saltwater and bacteria have been eating the metal, and contributing to its disappearance. Eventually, there will be nothing left.