Titanic Essay

Had to do an essay over the Titanic in English III and needed someplace to save the work until I could print it off at school. So I saved it here and decided to post it.

British luxury liner Titanic departed from Southampton,England towards New York April 1912. Not too far from New York, Titanic ignored iceberg warnings and blazed onwards, struck an iceberg, then sank less than three hours later in the North Atlantic. This marked the death of the “Unsinkable” ship and the beginning of new safety precautions for sea travel.



The Titanic, also known to be the greatest ship made in the history of ships, was “unsinkable.” “According to one deckhand onboard to a passenger as stated in (Disasters: Natural & Man-Made Catastrophes Through the Centuries) “Not even god himself could not sink this ship.”” Those words would soon be considered tough talk after the Titanic began her journey across the North Atlantic. The Titanic took 3 years to build with 15,000+ men to construct it, the ship consisted of 26 boilers and each was as tall as a house , three million rivets to hold the steel plates together which were installed by the  newly invented hydraulic machines, but hand hammering was required on the curved bow of the ship. The rivets used on the bow were composed of wrought iron and slag which would later play a very important role in the life of the Titanic. On top of all the rivets and boilers that were used in the construction of the ship, (she) was fitted with  turbo engines that could provide extra power without using more coal, a double bottom hull, and fifteen watertight compartments that could be closed by “Simply moving an electric switch.” (Disasters: Natural & Man-Made Catastrophes Through the Centuries) Although the compartments were designed to make the ship unsinkable by preventing the flow of water, the walls of these compartments did not extend to the next floor, leaving a gap for the overflow of water if it reached to high, a flaw in the ships design by Thomas Andrews.



It may be unknown that the Titanic encountered a serious issue in the departure from Southampton. While cruising out of the harbor the massive ship passed by the New York, which sucked the smaller ship towards the Titanic. The massive ship kicked it's turbines into reverse while Tug Boats pulled against the pull of the New York. As the Titanic reversed, the bow of the small ship swung out in front of the larger ship, the location of where she would have been had she not backtracked. This incident caused great fear among passengers and those on land, they feared that some ships were just to large to handle and serious accidents would result in such great behemoths. After an hours delay the Titanic sailed off towards New York across the North Atlantic without fear, it was the very first journey the ship had ever been taken on. Captain Edward J. Smith was chosen to command the Titanic during her journeys, he had 24 years of experience and was favored greatly by many passengers, but the indecent in the harbor of Southampton caused some passengers fear that he wasn't cut for the job of commanding the Titanic.



April 10th1912 the Titanic begins her journey towards New York after several stops along the way; Cherbourg, France, and Queenstown, Ireland. Over the next few days the passengers experience the calm peacefulness of a smooth and safe journey, some passengers swam in the onboard swimming pool; a first to any ship in the history of the world, a gymnasium, Turkish baths, barbershops, and some even listened to the musicians onboard who played at all times with short breaks besides the night time hours. That Sunday the radio room on the Titanic received multiple warnings of icebergs in the vicinity from a nearby ship the Californian. That night around 10:55p.m the Senior Radio Operator, Jack Phillips received another warning from the Californian stating that she was stopped and surrounded by ice and icebergs. Jack, already bogged down by incomming messages from a nearby station was furious and told the operator aboard the Californian to “Keep out! Shut up” (Disasters: Natural and Man made Catastrophes through the Centuries) and ignored all further warnings. The operator aboard the Californian closed down the operating room around 11:30p.m and went to bed while the Senior Radio Operator was relieved by a Junior Operator; Harold Bride.



The lookouts in the crows nest watched for any obstacles in the North Atlantic waters, but due to the calamity of the water there were no white ripples to be seen therefore it was harder to spot. Yet off in the distance the two lookouts spotted a dark mass that seemed to be approaching them, as the Titanic drew closer they realized it was an iceberg and Frederick Fleet struck the warning bell and telephoned the bridge warning of and iceberg dead ahead and to go hard-a-starboard. (reverse backwards and turn.) Many on the deck thought they had avoided the iceberg and those below deck didn't even feel the slight impact that occurred. The Titanic grazed the iceberg on her starboard side (meaning right-hand side of the ship while facing the bow) and caused the weak rivets used to hold the plates together to pop and form holes beneath the waterline.



Few came out the the deck to see what had transpired, and those that did either thought nothing of it or went about kicking chunks of ice around as if they were soccer balls. Although on the lowest decks the engineers and other workers stationed below heard the sound of rushing water. Thomas Andrews was called to the bridge then went below with the Captain to do a tour of the damage. After seeing that five of the sixteen watertight compartments were already flooded, Andrews did some calculations and estimated the the Titanic had fewer than two hours before she would sink to the bottom of the North Atlantic. He and the Captain quickly ordered all crew members to hand out life-jackets to all aboard the ship and begin filling the life boats. This caused alarm among some, shock among others, and some didn't believe in the seriousness of the situation because they knew the ship was “Unsinkable”.



The Junior Radio Operator in the operating room continuously sent out the CQD signal then switched to newer SOS signal that was easier to identify. Calling for help to any nearby ships, the Californian and the Carpathia were the only two ships in the area, but the Californian didn't get the signal due to its radio operating room being closed and the Carpathia was sixty miles away. Nonetheless she raced towards the Titanic, dodging icebergs along the way. Meanwhile the Titanic began her at first slow decent into the ocean while distress rockets were fired into the night sky. Many passengers and crew members spotted a ship on the horizon with merely one funnel, some thought it to be the Californian, but the ship never responded. Women and children were loaded into the lifeboats first, but none were even close to the full capacity of sixty bodies, the beginning few only held twenty eight at the max because the people onboard didn't see the seriousness of the sinking ship just yet.



By 1:15a.m the tilt of the deck grows much steeper and more passengers realize that the Titanic is surely enough sinking, so they begin to panic and force their ways aboard the lifeboats which were saved for women and children only. Then by 2:05a.m the last lifeboat departs from the sinking ship leaving hundreds left aboard as the Titanic continues to sink lower and lower. Captain Smith tells the crew “It's every man for himself” as the bow of the ship plunges underneath the below freezing temperature waters. Many jump overboard but don't make it far once the forward funnel collapses, crushing many people on board and in the water. Soon the Titanic' bow outweighed the stern and caused the ship to break into two separate pieces and the stern came crashing down onto the water once more, crushing and drowning even more people. After a few seconds of calamity the stern begins to rise straight up from the waters surface and sink downwards, as soon as the stern of the ship disappeared beneath the surface of the water and the suction faded away, the “Unsinkable” Titanic was spiraling towards the bed of the North Atlantic, leaving more than 1,500 people without lifeboats and thrashing in the freezing water.



Only 705 survivors were rescued once the Carpathia arrives an hour after the sinking, and over 1,500 had died from either the sinking itself, or the freezing temperatures of the water. Out of all the people in the water only 13 were saved. This disaster lead to new ways of ocean travel such as an around the clock radio operating room that always had someone stationed in it, more lifeboats so that all aboard would have a place, the Ice Patrol was formed to guard the North Atlantic sea lanes from icebergs, even hold lifeboat drills weekly, travel further South during the Winter season, and above all else; have a “listen out period” where all radio traffic goes silent so that any distress calls may be easily heard. The sinking of the Titanic caused many people worldwide to question whether man could truly conquer all it's obstacles and whether or not technology was as powerful as it had been said to be. Great fear had been struck into the hearts of many who had once thought of sea travel and many were reluctant to travel.



The Titanic now rests at the bottom of the North Atlantic in two separate pieces several miles apart, it has become home to many organisms that are slowly but surely recycling over 24,000 tons or steel back into nature. Many people have become fascinated with the history of the Titanic and how she sank along with the treasures and riches that could reside at the ocean floor with her. The disaster was a very terrifying thing indeed, but it has opened a door to many explorers who are curious to see what has become of the once Unsinkable R.M.S Titanic.

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