RMS Titanic

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RMS Titanic sea trials April 2, 1912.jpg
The Titanic leaving Belfast for sea trials, 2 April 1912.
Career British Blue Ensign
Owners: White Star Line
Builders: Harland and Wolff shipyard, Belfast
Captain: Edward John Smith
Laid down: 31 March 1909
Christened: Not christened
Maiden voyage (First Trip): 10 April 1912
Fate: Hit iceberg at 11:40 PM on 14 April 1912. Sank on 15 April 1912, at 2:20 AM; wreck discovered in 1985 by Robert Ballard.
Current Location: 41°43′55″N, 49°56′45″W
General characteristics
Gross tonnage (weight): 46,328 GRT
Displacement: 52,310 Long Tons
Length: 882 foot 9 inches (269 m)
Beam: 92 foot 6 inches (28 m)
Draught: 34 foot 7 inches (10.5 m)
Power: Able to reach speeds of 26 miles per hour
Propulsion (energy): Two bronze triple-blade side propellers. One bronze quadruple-blade central propeller.
Speed: 23 knots (26.5 mph; 42.6 km/h)
Passengers and crew (first voyage): Total 2,228
  • First Class: 324
  • Second Class: 285
  • Third Class: 708
  • Crew: 891
    • Passengers and crew who survived: Unknown precisely but estimates place the figure at just over 700
    • Passengers and crew who died: Unknown precisely but estimates place the figure at about 1,500 casualties.

The RMS Titanic[1] was a British passenger ship. It was built by Harland and Wolff ship builders, in Belfast, for the White Star Line company.

Before it sailed, many people thought it would be almost impossible for it to sink.[2]

Sinking[change | change source]

Titanic-New York Herald front page. Wrong numbers were posted the first days after the accident.

At 11:40 PM on 14 April 1912, during Titanic's maiden voyage, she hit an iceberg in the Atlantic Ocean. The iceberg broke the Titanic's hull (bottom) letting water into the ship. The Titanic sank two hours and forty minutes later at 2:20 AM on 15 April.

As she sank, the Titanic split in two. It killed around 1,500 people. Only around 705 people survived. [3] It was one of the worst shipwrecks that was not during a war.

One reason why so many people died was because the ship did not have enough lifeboats. Women and children were allowed on the lifeboats first, and passengers who sailed in first class (which meant that they paid for better rooms on the ship) were allowed on before other passengers. Not many lifeboats had been provided, because the Titanic was said to be unsinkable. People in working class and lower classes did not have much of a chance of getting out safely, but the higher class women and children would have gone out on the first few lifeboats.

Another reason so few people survived was that the radio was off on the SS Californian, the ship closest to the Titanic, and the crew did not hear about the accident.[4] Another ship, the SS Carpathia, did hear about the accident and collected all 705 survivors.

Last survivor[change | change source]

The last survivor of the Titanic disaster to die was a lady named Millvina Dean. She was the youngest passenger on board, as she was then a baby of only nine weeks old. She died in Ashhurst, Hampshire, England on 21 May 2009 aged 97.[5]

Effects[change | change source]

The Titanic disaster changed shipping laws. Changes included requiring all ships to carry enough lifeboats for everyone on the ship, and for ships to have someone at the radio all the time.

Discovery[change | change source]

The wreck was found by a French and American team, led by Robert Ballard, on September 23 1985 at 1:02 in the morning.

In 1986, Ballard returned to the wreck with a submarine. He took many photos and made lots of films.

In 1987, a French team salvaged 900 objects and took them to the surface.

Culture[change | change source]

The story of the sinking has been made into several movies. The most popular film version is a 1997 film starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio called Titanic. It won 11 Academy Awards, tying Ben-Hur for the record for the most Academy Awards won by one movie.

Other movie versions of the story include the 1958 film A Night to Remember, the 1953 film Titanic, the 1979 film S.O.S. Titanic and the 1996 film Titanic.

In the 1980 film Raise the Titanic, salvagers raise the shipwreck from the bottom of the ocean to the surface. However, this is impossible to do in reality. The Titanic broke in two, and the wreck is partially stuck in the bottom. It has been there more than 100 years, and would shatter into many more pieces.

References[change | change source]

  1. RMS is an acronym. RMS stands for Royal Mail Ship or Steamer. RMS is a ship prefix for vessels that carry mail under contract to the British Royal Mail.
  2. http://www.snopes.com/history/titanic/unsinkable.asp
  3. http://www.nationalgeographic.com/media/world/9607/titanic.html
  4. Brett, Allan. "Radio Story". http://jproc.ca/radiostor/titanic.html.
  5. "Millvina Dean – Obituary" The Independent, 16 June 2009, p37