The Titanic was a grand and luxurious, British passenger ocean liner, owned and operated by White Star Line. It was 882˝ feet long. It was the largest ship built in its time. Thomas Andrews, the head of Harland & Wolff design department, designed the Titanic. From 1908-1909, over 15,000 Irish shipyard workers built the ship. Each worker was paid about $10 a week. The Titanic was known as the “unsinkable ship”. The Titanic was called “unsinkable” because the ship had a double bottom. The hull was divided up into 16 watertight compartments. The ship was built to stay afloat even if two of the middle compartments, or four of the front compartments flooded. So, the ship was considered “unsinkable”.
Captain Edward John Smith was the captain of the Titanic. Captain Smith had a 12-year-old daughter, Helen, and a wife,
Eleanor. Captain Smith was 63 years
old when he became Captain of the Titanic.
He had been a captain for White Star for 38 years.
He said that this would be his last voyage.
After being the captain for the Titanic’s first voyage, he was to
On April 10, 1912, the Titanic left port, bound for New York.
It was a grand ship. In the
first-class lounge, there was a wonderful, wrought-iron and glass dome.
Under the dome, was the Grand Staircase, where first-class passengers
usually met for dinner. The natural
light from the dome shone down on the beautiful, oak wall paneling and the oak
railings of the staircase. On the
wall, at the top landing of the staircase, were two figures, symbolizing honor
and glory, surrounding a small clock. The
dome shattered during the sinking.
On the second night of its voyage, April 14, 1912, at 11:40 p.m., the
Titanic struck an iceberg off southern Newfoundland.
The Titanic was sailing at 22 knots (25 m.p.h.) when it hit.
At 12:45 a.m., the first lifeboat (Lifeboat No. 7) was launched.
Many of the third-class passengers were not able to get to the
lifeboats. Many could not read the
English signs, so they could not find the way to the lifeboats.
Around 20 minutes after the crash, Captain Smith had an S.O.S. message
sent out. At the time, the S.O.S.
message was not a common distress call. The
Titanic was one of the first ships to use that type of distress call.
At 12:55 a.m., the first distress rocket was fired.
The Californian, a nearby ship, thought that they were shooting off
fireworks for a celebration. At
first, many people thought the Titanic was not going to sink.
But then, at 2:02 a.m., the last lifeboat (Collapsible B) was launched
with 30 people on it. By 2:20 a.m.,
the Titanic was completely underwater.
Seven hundred six people survived, but 1,516 people died along with
Captain Smith. The wreck was
considered the worst in history, which made people agree to improve the safety
The Titanic rested undisturbed at the bottom of the sea in ruins. In March of 1914, a Denver inventor located the site of the Titanic with plans to raise it, but was unable to complete the task. A man named Jack Grimm searched for the Titanic three times, but never found it. Finally, on September 1, 1985, Dr. Robert Ballard and his team discovered the Titanic 12,460 feet down on the ocean floor. After they realized that they had found the Titanic, they had a memorial for all the people that died in the sinking. After the memorial, they looked at what they had found. They reported that the smokestacks were missing, and the ship was in two pieces. About a year later, Robert Ballard made a small submarine named Alvin, and visited the wreck. On their first journey to the Titanic, they saw that it was covered in rust. There was still a bench, a light fixture and even some men’s boots. Robert Ballard left a plaque asking future explorers to leave the Titanic in peace. So, today, it still lies where it sank.