|Facts about the Titanic and the Titanic tragedy Page 2 Page 1 Home
Facts about the Titanic and the Titanic tragedy Page 2
April 15, 2012 marked the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic.
A dim light in the distance - All hope vanished
The Californian incident
"In 1912, as history recalls it, Captain Stanley Lord commander and the crew of the Californian stood idle
by while the Titanic went down with more than 1500 men, women and children. Two commissions investi-
gated the incident and both (The US and British Inquiries) ruled Lord was negligent".
At 12.45 am, it is said that passengers and officers on the Titanic observed a dim light coming from un unknown or mys-terious ship in the distance. 4th Officer J.G.Boxhall began firing distress rockets to attract the attention of this mysterious
ship. Instead of responding to the Titanic's distress rockets, the light went further away until it dissapeared and with it the Titanic's passengers last glimmer of hope.
Was the dim light in the distance coming from the Californian? Or was it the Samson, a Norwegian boat illegally hunting
seals on the night of April 14? Or was it the SS Mount Temple, a Canadian cargo ship. Rumors that Mount Temple under
Capt Moore ignored Titanics distress rockets, abounded at the time and persist to this day. And then there was a ship
known as the Hellig Olav. The Olav docked at New York April 17 and is reported to have encountered an iceberg near
where the Titanic sank. It has been suggested that the Olav may have been the ship whose lights 4th officer Boxhall saw
which he ineffectually tried to signal with distress signals.Official investigations into the Titanic disaster indicated that it
And SS Mount Temple?
Taking direct issues with Captain Moore, Dr.F.C.Quitzman of Toronto, a passenger on Mount Temple, reiterated that he
actually witnessed the sinking of the Titanic from the deck of the Canadian Pacific liner. "The man that says i deliberately refused to go to the aid of the Titanic or disregarded her signals tells a deliberate lie." Declared Captain Moore. "To have
such reports circulated about a seaman is terrible. That passenger who says he saw the sinking of the Titanic from my
ship is either looking for notoriety or trying to get even for something. He would have been below at the time and would
not have known what course i was steering."
"About 9.30 sunday night, April 14, the Carpathia passed us and it was 12.30 when i first picked up a C.Q.D. from the
Titanic. That message gave her position as longitude 50.20 west. I was then 50 miles away from her, westbound.
I immediately altered my course and started back toward the position given me by the ill-fated ship."
Captain Moore said the "ghost ship" seen by the Titanic's survivors may have been a tramp steamer he saw that night,
westbound. He said that the tramp had no wireless and was a foreign ship of 5000 tons. Captain Lord also saw a tramp
steamer sending up white rockets, but not distress signals.
The unsinkable ship was sinking deeper and deeper
The Titanic's orchestra brought their instruments on deck and began performing music intending to calm the passengers,
for as long as they possibly could. Ocean water began creeping up the lower decks and stairways. The unsinkable ship
was sinking deeper and deeper. There were so much noise and confusion. People were running upstairs, running in the
halls, and on the deck. Women had the opportunity to save themselves.
The men did know they may not live. As fewer and fewer lifeboats remained on deck panic ensued. "Because many were
awake they were on deck in time to get into the few lifeboats. There was'nt that much panic until the lifeboats left and
after that when the others started coming out from their cabins and there were no lifeboats there was panic galore. They
were running about on the deck and screaming." Said one survivor.
The Titanic's Last Hero - John Harper, a Baptist pastor from Great Britain.
He was 39, a widower and had a six-years old daughter, Annie Jessie (Nana) and he was at the time
pastor of Walworth Road Baptist Church in London. He received an invitation to preach at the Moody
Church in Chicago. After the Titanic struck the iceberg, he took his daughter to the boat deck, secu-
red her in lifeboat 11 and started shouting, “Women, children and unsaved into the lifeboats!” In those
last moments he preached the Gospel of Christ calling on them to give their lives to Christ. Many jum-
ped into the freezing cold water including John Harper. He was calling on those in the water to accept
Jesus Christ as their Saviour. One survivor, a young man, gave himself to Christ. He became the last convert of John Harper. John died of hypothermia and this young man survived to tell the story of John
Shortly after 2.00 am the last lifeboat was lowered down to the icy water. Many of the boats left the ship with comparatively
few persons in them. No. 1 left with only 12, No. 7 left with only 27, and No. 6 with only 28.
Why? One can only imagine, there was a drop of 65 feet from the Boat deck to the water and the women got scared. Others
simply did'nt want to leave the deck for the boats. Some would'nt do it and stayed behind with their husbands.
The soothing music played by the orchestra soon stopped when the ship's stern began to rise from the water and the
bow started to sink more. In 15 minutes the Titanic would sink. For the 1500 passengers still aboard the doomed ship
the nighmare was just beginning.
Wallace Hartley, bandmaster and violinist on board the Titanic. The last hymn. Though the final song played by
the band is unknown, "Nearer, My God, to Thee" has gained popular acceptance.
Titanic's musicians - George Krins, Wallace Hartley, Roger Bricoux, Theodore Brailey, Percy Taylor, Wesly Woodward,
John Clarke and John Hume.
The ship's eight-member orchestra boarded at Southampton and travelled as second-class passengers.
At 2.10 am, the Titanic's stern continued to rise from the water revealing the ship's three huge propellers. The hull is unable
to withstand the enormous strain and snaps between the third and fourth funnels. Everything loose (furniture and such)
was falling including people. All the machinery dropped out of it. The Titanic made a terrifying noise probably of the escaping steam while it was going down very slowly. People were screaming for help. The ship went down gradually by the bow.
There have been many conflicting statements as to whether the ship broke in two, but the preponderance of evidence is
to the effect that she assumed an almost end-on position and sank intact. United States Senate Inquiry. Survivors gave
details of how they saw the great hulk of the Titanic break in two, the after part sinking first amid a series of explosions,
followed by the sinking of the forward part. The bulkhead system, though probably working, prevailed only to delay the
ship's sinking. The position of the ship's wound on the starboard quarter admitted ice water which caused the boilers
to explode, and these explosions broke the ship in two.
Dr. Washington Dodge who was on the Titanic was confident that the Titanic broke into two, and that was why she sank.
Over 700 passengers escaping in lifeboats watched in horror as family and loved ones still clung onto the doomed vessel,
many jumping from the deck and others screaming and yelling for help. They saw bodies in the water in all directions. They
could not have lived long, for the water was terribly cold. Towering high above the shattered bow of the great steamship
were the glistening pinnacles of the monster iceberg against which the Titanic hurled itself with the force of a hundred
express trains. Then came the shudder of the riven hulk of the once magnificent steamship as it slid back from the shelving
ice upon which it had driven and its bow settled deeply into the water.
"When we began to hear signs of the breaking up of the ship ...the lights of the ship were still on....then there was an explo-
sion, and another. The lights then went out and then those dreadful cries. It frightfully affected all the women in our boats.
At first it was horrible to listen to. But the sounds grew fainter and fainter."
The loss of the Titanic made the Olympic the largest and the most luxurious ship ever launched.
At 2.20 am the Titanic dissapeared beneath the water. Latitude 41.46N. Longitude 50.14W. This point is about 450 miles
south of Cape Race, the most westerly point of Newfoundland and 1150 miles due east of New York.Then hundreds of des-perate voices of those that did'nt go down with the ship started echoing above ocean's surface. They were screaming and
yelling and wanted to get on the lifeboats.
45 minutes after the Titanic had vanished the screams for help stopped. Silence filled the air.
Survivors rescued by the Carpathia
The Carpathia was the first vessel to reach the sinking ship. It received the urgent distress signals at 12.35 am (shipstime).
She was then 58 miles from the Titanic. Captain Rostron immediately ordered the ship to be turned round and driven at her highest speed (17 1/2 knots) in the direction of the "Titanic." She reached the position (41° 46' N., 50° 14' W) of the Titanic
at daybreak, 4.00 am. All they found there, however, was lifeboats and wreckage. He sighted the first boat (No. 2) and
picked her up at 4.10. Eventually, he picked up in all 13 lifeboats, two emergency boats and two collapsible boats, all of
which were taken on board the Carpathia. The other boats being abandoned as damaged or useless. The boats were
scattered over an area of 4 to 5 miles, and it was 8 am. before they had all been picked up.
6 Chinese who were hidden beneath the seats of the Titanic's lifeboats before they were lowered, were among the survivors.
They were undedected until the lifeboats had been taken aboard the Carpathia. Two of their companions were crashed
under the weight of survivors sitting above them.
Of the 30 dogs aboard the Titanic, about half of them had been saved. They were cared for and fed by the ship's butcher and
when the crash came he let them loose to shift for themselves.
The lifeboats had a hard time keeping afloat in the field of ice and many women were rendered temporarily insane by har-
rowing experience. And many of them were dressed in their evening gowns, which afforded but scant protection from the
freezing cold, the chill winds and water. A number of bodies were seen floating about in the ice field. They were evidently
those who had sought refuge on the floating cakes of ice or in clinging to the pieces of wreckage. The cold overcame them
and they perished while the Carpathia and a number of other liners were rushing to their aid. No attempt was made to
recover the bodies.
The Carpathia's operator was able to tell that practically all the survivors, with the exception of the crew, were in serious
condition. Many of the women were hysterical and some in a state of mental collapse.
The Carpathia rescued more than 700 persons and they were taken to New York. Arrived in New York and docked at
the Cunard Pier (Pier 54) three days later at 9.30 pm on 18 April. Thomas Cottam was the wireless operator of the
Carpathia. Once in New York the Carpathia first sailed to Pier 59, the White Star Line Pier, to drop off the lifeboats and
then sailed back to Pier 54, the Cunard Line Pier, with the more than 700 Titanic survivors. Why the Cunard Line Pier 54?
The Carpathia was a Cunard Liner. The White Star Pier 59 is where the Titanic was supposed to have docked. The Titanic
was a White Star Liner. The original Chelsea deepwater piers ran from Pier 54 to Pier 62--along the West Side of Manhattan
from about West 12th Street to West 20th Street on the Hudson River.
When the steamer Virginian first reported catching the urgent distress signals she said she was not likely to be able to
reach the Titanic before 10 o'clock that morning. That would have been nearly 8 hours after the Titanic sank. It was equally doubtful that the Parisian could have reached the scene in time. These two ships were among the first to answer the Titanic's
call for help.
The Olympic was over 500 miles away from the Titanic. The Californian arrived at the scene about 8 o'clock in the morning,
the time when all of the passengers had been rescued from the boats by the Carpathia. Captain Lord said he received a wire-
less message from the Virginian at 5.30 am, monday telling of the Titanic disaster. The Californian was then 30 miles north
of the scene. Intervening were great masses of ice, including large icebergs. And it was such difficult maneuvering that it
took three hours to reach the wreckage. The Californian remained 3 hours in the vicinity. Another ship searching for bodies
in the vicinity was the SS Mount Temple.
The role of the Olympic
It became apparent that authentic news could come only from the Titanic's sister ship, the Olympic. The wireless range of
the Olympic was 500 miles. That of the Carpathia, the Parisian and the Virginian was much less. From the Titanic's position
at the time of the disaster it was doubtful if any of the ships except the Olympic could establish communication with shore.
Commander of the Olympic was Captain Herbert James Haddock. He was the first commander of the Titanic. And Ernest James Moore Wireless operator for the Marconi Co. on the steamship Olympic.
RMS Carpathia and a lifeboat
No one should have died. Had she had enough lifeboats for two and a half hours in a very smooth sea nobody
would have died. (A survivor)
The Marconi was instrumental in the entire operation.
Saved by the wireless - The Titanic disaster and the quick aid brought to the sinking leviathan by the wireless, again brings
forth the name of Marconi, one of the greatest benefactors of mankind. The wireless system has already saved thousands
of lives at sea. Before the echo of the collision between the iceberg had died away, the wireless instrument was sputtering
its call for help - a call that was sent to the north, the east, the west and the south - a call that was picked up and translated
by scores of ships and at numerous land stations. Jack Phillips was the wireless operator and Harold Bride, the junior
This primitive system was the ship's only link to the world and a popular means for passengers to send messages home.
The Baltimore newspaper reported.
Tuesday, April 16, 886 passengers, mostly women and children, were being brought to port by the Cunarder Carpathia.
And it was feared more than 1200 persons were lost. First reports were that the Carpathia had saved but 670 persons
and that 1800 persons on board the Titanic perished.
The number of casualties of the sinking is in fact unclear
The number of dead probably never will be exactly determined, inasmuch as the complete passenger list went
down with the vessel. The number of survivors is fixed at 705 by the report of Captain Rostron of the Carpathia. The White
Star Line officials have the death list totaled approximately 1,635
A number of facts stand out prominently in the sinking of the titanic and the enormous loss of lives
One is had the look-outs in the crow's nest been equipped with binoculars the disaster might have been averted. The
iceberg which sent the great liner to the bottom was sighted when there was yet time to turn the steamship sufficiently
from her course so that the impact of the collision was felt by the liner's starboard bow some twenty feet from the stern.
The warning given a few seconds before probably would have allowed time for the Titanic to have been turned aside beyond
the range of the berg.
The another fact is that many persons, most of them men, lost their lives needlessly. Not one of the lifeboats which pulled
away from the sinking Titanic apparently went with a full cargo. Some of them carried less than half the number which
might have found room in them.
No drills had been held from the time the ship left Southampton. There was one drill at Southampton, of course, but consis-
ted in merely lowering and lifting two lifeboats. The drill was to satisfy the British board of trade.
No fire drills held.
The inadequate number of lifeboats on the Titanic was mainly responsible for the enormous loss of life.
The failure of water tight compartments to protect against speedy sinking.
The inadequasy of wireless telegraphy.
The only hope for her passengers seemed to be from vessels in her immediate vicinity. Among them the mysterious ship
in the distance and the Carpathia.
Atlantic liners were manned not by the best seamen. They seldom received thorough training. Morever, the liners did not
carry enough sailors. The crew was composed of a few real seamen, supplemented by waiters,flunkies, machinists, fire-
The Titanic did not have to go into the iceberg region.
Captain Smith ignored ice warnings and forged ahead at a high rate of speed (23 knots an hour).
What happened to Captain Smith?
G.A. Hogg told of the fate of Captain Smith. As the Titanic sank a big wave washed him over the side and he landed on a
raft carrying 35 persons. The next moment Hogg saw the Captain in the water alongside the raft. "There's the skipper."
He yelled; "give him a hand." And Hogg did. But he shook himself free and shouted to us, "Goodbye, boys. I am going to
follow the ship." This was the last they saw of the skipper.
Captain Larnder and the crew of the CS Mackay Bennett (the morgue-ship or funeral-ship), a cable repair ship, was char-
tered by White Star Line and ordered on tuesday 16 April to proceed to the scene where the Titanic went down to search
for and recover bodies of Titanic victims. And it had been ordered to remain on the scene of the wreck for at least a week.
Wednesday ,17 April, the cable ship was loaded with 100 rude, white pine coffins, ice and embalming fluid. The passenger
list included undertakers, embalmers and a chaplain, Canon K.C.Hind of All Saints Cathedral .
17 April at 2 o'clock she sailed out and arrived on the scene at 8 o'clock on saturday 20 April 1912.
21 April. 51 bodies were recovered that day. One of the first bodies picked up was that of a 2 year old girl (the unknown child) who still smiled.
Night closed down on them with bodies still around them. The steamers Bremen and Rhein sighted numerous bodies with
life preservers on floating in the Atlantic sea in the vicinity of the disaster.
On monday 22 April only 26 bodies were recovered. On this day the cable ship Minia (the second funeral ship) departed
Tuesday morning, April 23, bodies were numerous again. No bodies were found together. All floating seperately. In one
place they found them scattered over the surface, looking like a flock of seagulls. A great many of those recovered were
injured when the Titanic went down. When the water swept the decks many must have been rushed before it and carried
against stanchions, against spars, and other parts of the vessel. All of those picked up wore lifebelts and they rode
UPRIGHT in the waves, the belts carrying them high above the water.
In the following days more bodies were recovered among them John Jacob Astor, he was one of the five richest men in the
world and the largest individual landowner in America. His fortune was estimated at $125,000,000; Isador Strauss, New
York's most prominent Hebrew merchant; and George.D. Widener of Philadelphia.
Friday, 26 April. The Minia arrived about 45 minutes after midnight friday to assist the cable ship Mackay Bennett. The
Mackay Bennett picked up 14 more bodies and then sailed for Halifax. In total 306 bodies were found by the cable ship.
116 were buried at sea and 190 shipped to Halifax.
Tuesday, 30 April, 1912. At Halifax
Morgue-ship Mackay Bennett arrives with 190 bodies. after having buried 116 bodies, many of them identified, at sea.
The result of the Mackay Bennett's voyage for the recovery of bodies of Titanic victims may be summarized as follows:
Number of dead brought to Halifax, 190
Number of identified dead, 130.
Unidentified in morgue, 60.
Identified dead buried at sea, 57. Received the full service for the dead.
Unidentified dead buried at sea, 59.
Total dead buried at sea, 116.
Total dead found by Mackay Bennett, 306.
Of the 17 bodies recovered by the Minia, 15 were brought to port, the other two, the unidentified bodies of firemen, being
buried at sea. Only one of the 17 persons died from drowning, the other 16 perished from exposure.
Two other ships sailed to the scene - lighthouse supply ship Montmagny and sealing vessel Algerine.
Montmagny found 4 bodies and the Algerine 1 body.
After being recovered the bodies were hoisted on board. They were then searched, the contents of the pockets and their valuebles were placed in canvas bags. They had tree burial services at sea - one tuesday night, one wednesday night and
one at noon on thursday. The bodies were sent over the side three at a time. Canon K.O. Hind conducted the services.
All valuables were turned over to the United States consul, who communicated with the state department at Washington
and forwarded with the department's sanction all packages of valuables to the White Star Line in New York.
Passing ships recovered more bodies
The Sardinian - 2 bodies.
The steamer Oceanic reported the picking up of a collapsible boat containing 3 bodies. The boat was found May 13.
The Captain of the steamer Ilford reported having found 3 bodies (3 stewards) 370 miles from where the Titanic sank. The
bodies were buried at sea.
Only 328 bodies of Titanic victims were recovered eventually. 119 of them were buried at sea. Of the remaining 209, 150 were buried in cemetries in Halifax,
Nova Scotia - 121 at Fiarview cemetry, 19 at Mount Olivet and 10 at Baron de Hirsch. 59 were shipped to their familes.
A Grave two miles deep
The RMS Titanic lies two miles beneath the ocean's surface midway between Sable Island and Cape Race.
Halifax, 15 April 1912. The deathbed of the steamer Titanic and of probably
many who must have been dragged with her is two miles, at least, below the surface of the sea. The calculation was made by an official of the government marine department, who finds that depth on the marine chart at a point about
500 miles from Halifax and about 10 miles south of the Grand Banks where he believes the Titanic went down. This location is midway between Sable Island
and Cape Race.
Investigations resulted in many reforms.
Four days after the Titanic sank the US senate held a preliminary investigation
at the Waldorf Hotel in New York.
Investigations led to strict rules of safety at sea and to iceberg patrols.
The disaster, one of the worst in maritime history, prompted important reforms.
The first International Convention for Safety of Live at Sea, held in 1913, passed requirements that ships provide enough lifeboats for all passengers; hold safety drills during voyages; and because a nearby liner hadn't heard the Titanic's
distress call, keep a 24-hour radio watch. And the International Ice Patrol was established to warn ships of ice in treacherous North Atlantic.
All of the survivors have since died. The last survivor Elizabeth Gladys "Millvina" Dean born 7 February 1912 died on 31 May 2009 at the age of 97.
She was 2 months old when she boarded the RMS Titanic. She, her brother Bertram 'Bert' Vere Dean born in London on 21 May 1910 and her mother Eva Georgette ‘Ettie’ Light born 18 May 1879 were placed in lifeboat 10. Alterna-
tively it has been suggested that Ettie and Milvena, and possibly Bertram as
well were all in fact rescued in either 10, 13, or Collapsible C.
They were among the first passengers rescued from RMS Titanic.