Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Morning Of April 15th

Please forgive my lack of blogging! Hopefully now I can get back on track.

At 2:31, on Monday morning, as the result of the disaster, there were over 1,500 people in near to freezing water, (some dead, some alive) the rest were in the few lifeboats.
Most of the lifeboats were well away when the Titanic sank.
There was the problem of wanting to go back and pick up those struggling and perishing in the water. But there was a fear of doing so, because if they went back to where hundreds of people were in the water, there was a great chance of being swamped or capsized.
The people in the water did not have a chance, most of them did not drown, they died of hypothermia.
Hypothermia is a medical condition in which the victim's core body temperature has dropped to significantly below normal and normal metabolism begins to be impaired. This begins to occur when the core temperature drops below 35 degrees Celcius(95 degrees Farenheit). If body temperature falls below 32 °C (90 °F), the condition can become critical and eventually fatal. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia!!!
A few people were pulled from the water, and saved.
It was a long night for those in the lifeboats, the w
eather was bitterly cold, and the survivors were not prepared for it. [It was a bit below freezing!] Many died from exposure.
The Carpathia was making full steam, by the captain’s orders, heat, hot water, and anything else that took steam, was given to the boilers to power the engines.

Captain Rostern was not one to panic, when he heard the distress call he turned his ship completely around. He also had things organized for the ones that got off the Titanic safely, ordering gangway doors to be opened, have its lifeboats ready if need be, he had saloons and lounges turned into hospitals and living quarters, he had food and drink ready for those that needed it, and had the whole crew be ready to give the survivors service, or anything that they would need.
The ship did have to slow down from 17 knots to a bit less when she entered the
ice field, and sharp lookouts were kept for anything living. When Rostern got to the spot where Titanic gave her last distress call [latitude 41.46 N. and longitude 50.14 W.] there was nothing there but wreckage, the time was 4:00 a.m.. The captain ordered that rockets should begin firing to let lifeboats know that help was finally there. The first lifeboat was picked up at 4:30 am, and the last was picked up at 9:00 am, second officer Lightoller was the last to leave the lifeboats.
For those too young to climb up rope ladders, or too old, they had cargo n
ets swung out over the side of the ship to put the passengers in.
The Carpathia stayed in the area to look for any survivors still in the wat
er, also the Californian came into the area just hearing of the Titanic’s disaster, and asked if they could be of any help. Captain Rostern said, “no, every thing that was humanly possible was done,” not knowing that the Californian set 10 miles through the night ignoring the Titanic’s distress rockets.
When the survivors reached the decks of the Carpathia, they were terror-stricken, and grief-ridden. Many women would not even talk.
People on the Carpathia were moved to tears watching the survivors come on board. As some of the lifeboats came up to the ship they were only half filled, one on
ly had 12 people in it when it had the capacity to sit 42. Titanic’s passengers were in a dreadful state, some were dressed in their nightclothes, and others in their evening clothes, and still others were in raincoats.
After this, the Carpathia made sure there were no more survivors before leaving the area. Survivors were trying to find family
members among the throng. They were treated with the utmost respect from the crew, and the Carpathia’s passengers. They were fed right away and taken care of properly.
The women were stunned beyond belief, and only tears could comfort them, for they watched their husbands and sons die. Two Titanic survivors died on the way back to New York, aboard the Carpathia, from exposure in the lifeboats.
Out of the 2,340 people on the Titanic, only 705 survived, 1,635 people lost their lives.
The first thing that Mr. Ismay required when he put his foot on deck, was food. He dashed into the dining room crashed down into a chair and said “hurry, for God’s sake, get me something to eat; I’m starved. I don’t care what it costs, or what it is; bring it to me.” The man that was partly responsible for the disaster was concerned about his own needs and wants, and not on the needs of the othe
r Titanic passengers.
People in New York found out about the disaster that day, and it hit them like a thunderbolt, but facts were unclear and there were accounts that said the Titanic was damaged but being towed to Halifax. Still others said that every one on board survived. Some radical reports of the Titanic were that it had not even hit an iceberg. All of these of course were from different newspapers in New York, and Europe. New York City was touched to the heart when they found out the real truth. Hotels and city buildings were turned into temporary accommodations for the Titanic’s survivors who had nowhere to go. The streets were filled with onlookers and policemen were trying to keep order.
At St. Vincent’s Hospital, 120 beds were made ready for those who may need it. There was also Red Cross relief for all who needed it.
The Carpathia would not be there till midnight. There were well over 200 people on the docks; it was a grief crazed-crowd that had assembled earlier in the day.
Laborers rubbed shoulders with millionaires.
Rich people that had relatives on the Carpathia had Taxicabs waiting close to the docks. Miss. Hays had a whole special train waiting for her, and Miss. Widener also had a whole train waiting for her.

A limousine was waiting for Mrs. Astor to take her to her home on Fifth Ave.
There were also 35 ambulances waiting to take survivors who needed medical attention to every Hospital in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx; which were represented at the docks.
Also, the Pennsylvania Railroad had nine cars that would take the Titanic survivors anywhere they wanted to go, at no charge.
Waiting for the Carpathia was an intense and painful experience to the ones who had loved ones upon the Titanic.
The sea was rough and choppy with a lively wind blowing from the east. There was also a light fog that limited their visibility to only a few hundred yards, but lifted later in the evening.
Then looming out on the dark sea was the Carpathia, drawing closer with her pitiful cargo.
Liner ahead” cried the lookout! It must be the Carpathia! At first it was just a speck, but as it drew closer the black hull and one funnel made it certain, it was the Carpathia with its sad burden, the Titanic’s survivors. It sent waves of excitement through the packed crowed. More than 10,000 people eventually turned out for the sad homecoming.

A sad moment passed as the ship carrying the Titanic’s survivors rested to a stop at the place where the Titanic would have come to a stop after her maiden voyage.
Women wept silently, a sight not seen at the arrival of a ship coming into
There was no response from the ship as she came to a stop. As the Titanic’s passengers were released from the ship they sought for relatives and loved ones.
Titanic had ruined so many lives, first class passengers coming back from Europe, for different reasons, and now many wives were left widowed. Second class passengers coming back
from Europe maybe from visiting extended family, or other various reasons, but never the less women came back with out husbands, and children came back with out fathers. What about third class? People coming over to start a new life, that would be very hard without the man, how were they to survive now? Just because they were in America does not mean that it was the end of the story. Oh no! People’s lives were changed for the worse, people had to live with the fact that their husbands and sons were dead. Not only did it affect the passengers, but it affected the whole world, how could this happen to the unsinkable??? [This was the first event that ever made world news!!!] This was different than other shipwrecks, because this did not have to happen. This tragedy could have been avoided by a few simple different decisions. People wanted answers. So the American government held inquires, which were very tedious, and mind numbing. The British Government also held their inquires about the Titanic.
Never in history was there a disaster happen that could even equal to the Titanic. Men finally learned the lesson that God and His creation could over come anything that man could build. From then on, all ships were required to have enough lifeboats for everyone on board, and they were required to have non-stop radioactivity, and many other simple things that could have avoided the Titanic’s disaster.
So as a result of the greatest ship sinking, it made sea-lanes much safer, and gave all classes confidence that they had a sure spot in a lifeboat.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Titanic's Sister Ship 'Olympic'

Well we all know the fate of the Titanic, but what became of her sister ships, the Olympic, and Britannic?
We often zone out the Titanic like she was the only glorious ship of the day, but she had two rival sisters. The Titanic was out of a class of liners called the Olympic class, there were three ships in this class. So we'll go down the line in the order that they were built, the purpose that they served, and the fate that they suffered.

1. Though the Titanic and Olympic were built close to the same time, the Olympic was started a few months earlier.
Her keel was laid down December 1907, in shipyard No. 400. Her gross tonnage was 45,342 tons of riveted steel. She was driven by three propellers, and could make 21 knots. H&W built this ship, and she was launched October 20, 1910. She could carry 735 in first class, 674 in second, and 1,026 in third class.
She was the first of the three to cross the Atlantic Ocean, she made the first four trips uneventful, but alas on the fifth crossing she was rammed by the Royal Navy cruiser HMS Hawke. The Olympic stayed afloat and no one was injured, and it seemed to prove the fact that these new class of ships were unsinkable. It took workers two weeks to just patch her so she could return to Belfast to have repairs done, and after that it took six weeks to get her on the seas again.
In February of 1912 she had to return to H&W for repairs, after dropping a propeller blade!
Disasters have a way of getting men's attention to make them see the errors of previous ways. Thus was the case with the Titanic, after the disaster the Olympic again returned to the place of her berth to be 'updated.' The most notable thing was, she had more lifeboats added, as was the law now, but she also had her bulkheads extend all the way up to boat-deck, and she was given another layer of steel all the way around.
World War 1 broke out and the Olympic sailed on as normal, but as the war progressed less and less passengers began crossing the Atlantic fearing that the Olympic would be easy game. But on her return journey she ran across a British Battleship mortally wounded after hitting a mine, the Olympic took off all the crew and attempted to tow the warship into safe waters, but the magazine of the Battleship exploded, and she went to her watery grave.
After this transaction she was intended to be laid up until the war ended, but the Government required her services, as a fast troop transport. She was stripped of all her luxurious fittings, and had the famous 'dazzle paint' job.
She could carry up to 7,000 troops at one time.
The Olympic served proudly through the whole war, rescuing ships crews in distress, and she topped it all by being the attacker, instead of being on the run. During her 22nd troop carrying run the crew spotted a German submarine, the Captain ordered the ship to be turned around in order to ram the submarine, by the time the German crew knew what was happening it was to late, the Olympic tore a whole through the hull of the sub, some of the crew were rescued by a destroyer that was at hand.
The hard earned nick-name "old reliable" was soon put in place by the Captain, crew, and all who sailed on her.
In 1918 she again returned to Belfast too be fitted out to carry passengers again. she was converted to run on oil instead of coal, and this meant that she would need 300 less crew, she would be more efficient this way too. After 2.5 million to the White Star Line she returned to passenger traffic, and was loved, admired, and adored by all.
By 1933 sea travel diminished tremendously, due to several different reasons. The White Star Line, and the Cunard merged together in the early 1930's and began to sell off some of their ships, the Olympic's future seemed doubtful, after all she was 25 years old at this time.
By 1935 her time was up. They tried to sell her, but nobody wanted her, so she was stripped of her fittings, and superstructure, and the rest was sold for scrap.
I guess that's what happens to everything sooner or later, it is just kind of sad to me. She was built at the height of shipping engineering, she was a loved ship by everyone, she served well, and worked hard, and then was sold for scrap! She was built first out of the class, and survived the longest out of the Olympic class. There is just something eerie about that picture above to me.
Since we all know what happened to the Titanic, I'll be posting something on the sister ship Britannic. She as well had an interesting, and short life.