RMS Titanic was a British Passenger ship by the white star line. It sank in the North Atlantic Ocean on 15 April 1912 colliding with a big iceberg during her maiden voyage from Southampton, England to New York City, USA. Out of 2224 Passengers and crew members, 1500 died. It was a truly tragic sinking of a ship in peacetime. Titanic sounds like the note of a true tragedy. The whole world was grief-stricken by the ill fate of the Titanic. Till today people are expressing their agony for this unfortunate incident. The builder of the ship had said- it was unsinkable. But that was not to be. It sank into the depths of the Atlantic. Captain was Edward Smith who also met with his nemesis. The ship was carrying some of the wealthiest people in the world. It was a comfortable ship with a gymnasium, Swimming pool, restaurants, Turkish bath, Smoking rooms, and hundreds of cabins. A high-powered radiotelegraph was there. Titanic had safety features also like water-tight compartments and water-tight doors. Despite that, it sank. The Titanic was 882 feet 9 inches (269.06 meters) long with a breadth of 92 feet 6 inches (28.19 meters) Total height was 104 feet (32m) Titanic was built in 26 months. The Titanic had 885 crew members on board for her maiden voyage. It did not have permanent crew members like other vessels of the time. Most of the crew members were casual workers and there by inexperienced. Edward Smith, the captain had been transferred from the Olympic ship to the Titanic. The owner of the Titanic J. P. Morgan was scheduled to travel on the maiden voyage but cancelled at the last minute. The exact number of people aboard is not known as not all of those who had booked tickets made it to the ship. About 50 people cancelled for various reasons and not all of those who boarded Stayed aboard for the entire journey.
Titanic Started her maiden voyage on 11 April 1912 at noon. The first three days of the voyage had passed smoothly. During the voyage Titanic received a series of warnings from other ships of the huge iceberg in the area of the Grand Banks of New foundland. But Captain Smith ignored them. One of the ships to warn the Titanic was Mesaba. But Titanic continued at full speed . At 11. 40 pm (Ships time) on 14 April Frederick’s fleet spotted an iceberg immediately ahead of Titanic and alerted the bridge. First Officer William Murdoch ordered the ship to be steered around the iceberg and the engines to be reversed. But it was too late. The starboard of the Titanic struck the iceberg creating a series of holes below the waterline. It became clear that the Titanic would sink.
Those aboard the Titanic were ill-prepared for such an emergency. Moreover, crew members were not experienced persons. It may here be mentioned that had the Phoenicians been aboard the Titanic, the fate would have been different. Phoenicians were expert sailors. They could have anticipated the presence of icebergs by feeling the coolness of the water. But the Titanic had no such sailor so it sank into the depth of the North Atlantic ocean.
Titanic tragedy is a rare incident in marine History. Whatever happened, should not have happened. We should remember that sea voyages are always risky. The crew members (Sailers) Should not take anything lightly especially warnings by humans as well as the weather condition. Some kind of intuition is necessary when sailing in the open sea where we can not find any shelter. Titanic did mistake in this.
(The views expressed are the writer’s own.)
Radhakanta Seth is a former Income tax officer in Sambalpur. He is a freelance writer and his articles have been published in some Oriya dailies like Sambad, Samaj, Dharitri, and English dailies like The Telegraph and in a sociological journal ‘Folklore’ published in Kolkata.
He can be reached at [email protected]