The disaster makes headlines around the world   Leave a comment

The Titanic disaster makes headlines all around the world.  Big newspapers and small ones alike are scrambling for the latest news of the sinking and the survivors.  In their hurry to be the first to post a piece of news, some papers ultimately publish false information.

The Republic reports 1475 lost souls in the disaster

The Republic reports 1475 lost souls in the disaster


Headline from the Morning Leader falsely reports 1800 lost souls

Headline from the Morning Leader falsely reports 1800 lost souls


The Boston Daily Globe reports 1500 lost souls and 675 survivors aboard the Carpathia

The Boston Daily Globe reports 1500 lost souls and 675 survivors aboard the Carpathia


The Syracuse Herald falsely reports that all Titanic passengers were saved

The Syracuse Herald falsely reports that all Titanic passengers were saved


The New York American reports 1500 - 1800 dead

The New York American reports 1500 - 1800 dead


The Carpathia arrives in New York with Titanic’s victims on board   Leave a comment

On April 18, 1912 Carpathia docked at Pier 54 in New York with the Titanic survivors.  They arrived after dark, and were greeted by a group of thousands. The Travelers Aid Society of New York, the Women’s Relief Committee, and the Council of Jewish Women among other organizations were on hand to provide relief to Titanic’s victims in the form of clothing and transportation to shelters.

Carpathia dropped off the now empty Titanic lifeboats at Pier 59, before unloading the survivors at Pier 54. People were shocked that Titanic could sink with such great loss of life despite all of her technological advances.

The morning after the sinking, the White Star headquarters in Liverpool were filled with press and family members, desperate for word about their relatives. Since the officials were afraid to leave the building because of the emotional crowd, they updated them from the safety of their 4th floor balcony.  Newspapers were full of stories and descriptions of the disaster and were on hand to print the very latest updates.

Titanics lifeboats at the White Star Line pier

Titanics lifeboats are delivered to the White Star Line pier in New York City.


Pier 54 in New York City

Pier 54 in New York City

Of the estimated 2227 passengers onboard Titanic, only 705 survived   Leave a comment

Out of a total 2227 passengers and crew aboard Titanic, only 705 people survived. 3 of the survivors died after being rescued by the Carpathia. These numbers are an estimate, as there are no passenger lists that are believed to be 100% accurate.

I can’t imagine sitting in the water nearby listening to those that were not allowed in a lifeboat die in the freezing water.  They wouldn’t have to listen for long, water that cold works in a matter of minutes.  Four lifeboats were condensed together and one boat returned to search for survivors.

It is not certain how many were rescued from the water after Titanic sank, but these names have been suggested as potential candidates:

W.F. Hoyt, 1st class passenger
Mr. Fang Lang, 3rd-Class passenger who was found strapped to a door
Steward Harold Phillimore
Mr. Emilio Ilario Giuseppe Portaluppi, 2nd class passenger (there is some debate as to the validity of the claim that this person was rescued from the water.)

Charles Jouphlin, Chief Baker who famously drank enough cooking liquor to keep his blood thin enough to beat hypothermia. In actuality, he was able to climb aboard collapsible lifeboat B and this is most certainly what saved his life. He denied the alcohol rumor until his death.

The lifeboats approach the Carpathia, one at a time until they have all been brought on board. First Office Lightoller is the last survivor to embark on the Carpathia.


Two Titanic lifeboats aproach the Carpathia

Two Titanic lifeboats aproach the Carpathia

Posted April 15, 2012 by Joni in Uncategorized

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Sadly, Titanic meets her destiny   Leave a comment

April 15, 1912

12:05 am: Orders are given to uncover the lifeboats and prepare the passengers and crew to board them. If every seat on the lifeboats is filled, there is enough room for 1178 passengers.  Sadly, there are 2227 on board. The squash court is flooded – 32 feet above the keel.

12:10 – 1:50 am: The Californian is only 10 -20 miles away, and several of her crew members report seeing Titanic’s lights. They also report seeing her distress rockets go up, but because they seem low and make no sound, they show no concern. Titanic sends messages to the Californian via morse lamp, but they never respond. The ships move further and further apart until they can no longer see each other. Sadly, had the Californian taken the distress rockets or the morse code message seriously, they could have saved many lives.


12:15 – 2:30 am: Many nearby ships hear Titanic’s distress signals.

The Olympic (Titanic’s sister ship) is 500 miles away

The Mount Temple is 49 miles away

The Frankfort is 153 miles away

The Birma, is 70 miles away

The Baltic is 253 miles away

The Virginian is 170 miles away

and the Carpathia is 58 miles away.

12:15 am: The band plays lively tunes in the 1st class lounge, to keep the passengers spirits up and to prevent a panic. Later, they move up to the boat deck near the entrance to the grand staircase.

12:20 am: The order is given, and the crew begins to load women and children into the lifeboats.

12:25 am: The Carpathia is southeast of Titanic’s position, and is heading full speed to assist.

12:45 am: The first lifeboat to be lowered is #7, and although it can carry 65 people, it leaves with only 28 aboard. The first of 8 distress rockets are fired.  Fourth Officer Boxhall sees a vessel approach Titanic and then turn away, despite their attempts to message the ship via morse lamp. Lifeboat #4 begins loading passengers sometime between 12:30 and 12:45.

12:55 am: The first lifeboat launched from the port side is #6, and it is launched with only 28 aboard including Molly Brown. Lifeboat #5 is lowered, and launched with only 41 aboard.

1:00 am: Starboard lifeboat #3 is lowered with only 32 aboard, including 11 crew members.

1:10 am: Starboard lifeboat #5 is lowered with only 12 aboard, even though its capacity is 40 people. On this lifeboat are 7 crew members, Lady Duff Gordon and Sir Cosmo, among others. The port side lifeboat #8 is lowered with only 39 people on board and is being steered by none other than the Countess of Rothes.

1:15 am: The water reaches Titanic’s name on the bow and she is listing badly on the port side. The tilt of the deck grows steeper.  The lifeboats are now being launched more fully loaded.

1:20 am: The starboard lifeboat #9 is lowered with 56 people on board.  The list is now to starboard, and quite noticeable.

1:25 am: The port side lifeboat #12 is lowered with 40 women and children on board, along with 2 seamen. After the Titanic sinks, this boat is tied together with lifeboats #4, #10, #14 and collapsible D, and the survivors are moved onto lifeboat #14 so the other boats can return to pick up passengers who are by then swimming in the freezing water.

1:30 am: The passengers still on the ship being to panic.  The port side lifeboat #14 is lowered with 60 people on board, including Fifth Officer Lowe.  Some of the passengers are preparing to jump into the already full boat when Lowe fires warning shots into the air. Titanic is still sending out distress calls, and they are getting more desperate.  “..We are sinking fast,..” and “..women and children in boats, cannot last much longer…”

1:35 am: The port side lifeboat #16 is lowered with over 50 people on board.  The starboard lifeboat #13 leaves with 64 people on board, mostly 2nd and 3rd class women and children. Lifeboat #15 is lowered 30 seconds later, with 70 passengers on board, and is nearly lowered on top of lifeboat #13.

1:40 am: Now that most of the forward lifeboats have been loaded and launched, the passengers begin to move to the stern area, hoping to find more lifeboats there.  J. Bruce Ismay boards collapsible lifeboat C with 39 aboard. He will be chastised for this, the rest of his life. The forward well deck is submerged at this time.

1:45 am: The last message from the Titanic was heard by the Carpathia, who is en route to assist the faltering ship. “Engine room full up to boilers.” The port side lifeboat #3 is lowered and leaves with only 25 people on board.  Her capacity is 40.

1:55 am: John Jacob Astor is refused entry to lifeboat #4 by Lightoller, and instead sees his wife off safely.  The boat is lowered with 25 people on board.  In their rush to launch the boat, 20 places on the boat are left empty.

2:00 am: The water level is now only 10 feet below the promenade deck.

2:05 am: There are still more than 1500 people left on the sinking Titanic.  Collapsible lifeboat D is one of the last boats.  It has room for 47 people.  To keep the passengers from rushing the boat, Lightoller waves (and may have fired) his pistol in the air, and crew members surround the lifeboat with their arms locked together.  Only women and children are allowed to board, and the boat is lowered with 44 on board. The forecastle head sinks under water, and her decks tilt even steeper.

2:10 am: Captain Smith releases the wireless operators from duty, but they choose to stay and continue sending distress messages. The last message Titanic sent read: ” CQD, CQD MGY (Titanic’s radio call letters) We are sinking fast – passengers are being put into boats. MGY”

2:17 am: Captain Smith announces that it is now “every man for himself” and returns to the bridge. Thomas Andrews is seen alone in the 1st class smoking room, staring off into space.  The bow plunges under the water, enabling the trapped collapsible lifeboat B to be released. Father Thomas Byles takes confession and gives absolution to over 100 2nd and 3rd class passengers. The band stops playing at this time, and many passengers and crew jump overboard.  The forward funnel collapses, crushing many passengers who were already in the water. Collapsible lifeboat A floats free and 2 dozen people in the water try to hold on to it. It rolls right side up, but is swamped and dangerously overloaded.  .

2:18 am: A roar is heard as the moveable objects on the ship crash toward the submerged bow. The ship’s lights blink once more and then go out for the last time. Many of the survivors in nearby lifeboats report that they saw the ship break into two pieces.  The bow half sinks under the water.

2:20 am: Titanic’s broken stern section settles back into the water, righting itself for a few minutes. It slowly fills with water and then tilts high into the air, before slowly disappearing beneath the waves. Over 1500 souls were lost in what is called the “greatest maritime disaster in history.”

“The sound of people drowning is something I cannot describe to you – and neither can anyone else. It’s the most dreadful sound – and there’s a dreadful silence that follows it.” (Ms. Eva Hart, Titanic survivor)

3:30 am: The Carpathia sends off rockets which are seen by some of the lifeboats.  Her normal speed is 14.5 knots, but she has raced to the Titanic’s aid at 17.5 knots. Lifeboat #14 returns to pick up passengers in the water, but most of them had already died.

4:10 am: Lifeboat #2 is the first one picked up by the Carpathia.  Ice is floating all around the disaster area with debris from the Titanic.

5:30 am: The Californian is advised by the Frankfort of the sinking of Titanic, and heads towards the disaster area.

5:30 – 6:30 am: Collapsible A passengers are rescued by lifeboat #14, and collapsible B by lifeboats #4 and #12.

8:30 am: The last lifeboat, #12, is picked up by the Carpathia. Lightoller is the last survivor to come on board.  The Californian arrives at the disaster area to search for survivors.

8:50 am: The Carpathia leaves for New York City carrying 705 survivors. An estimated 1522 people were lost in the sinking. J. Bruce Ismay wires White Star’s offices in New York, saying “Deeply regret to advise you Titanic sank this morning after a collision with an iceberg, results in serious loss of life. Full particulars later.”

Headlines announce the fate of the Titanic

Headlines announce the fate of the Titanic

The night of the iceberg..   Leave a comment

On this day, 100 years ago, history was in the making.  Titanic has nearly reached her final stop, and the events of this iconic day have been reported and researched over the years.  Typed words tend to lack emotion, so I would like to take this opportunity to say that the tragedy about to unfold affects me in a profound way, and I feel so sorry for those that suffered and lost on this night to remember.

9:00 am: The Caronia sends the Titanic a message warning them of ice and icebergs and relays exact coordinates.

10:30 am: Church is help in the 1st class dining area.

11:40 am: The Dutch ship Noordam sends a message to Titanic reading “much ice” in nearly the same coordinates the Caronia reported.

12:00 pm: Titanic’s officers conduct a meeting on the bridge to calculate their position and determine how far they have travelled using sextants.  They have travelled 546 miles since noon the previous day.

1:42 pm: The Baltic reports “large quantities of field ice” along with the coordinates, while they are about 250 miles ahead of the Titanic on their crossing.  This message is later handed to J. Bruce Ismay by Captain Smith, who puts the message in his pocket.

1:45 pm: The German liner Amerika reports “large iceberg” and its exact coordinates of 41° 27’ N, 50° 8’W. This message would never arrive on the bridge because the Marconi radio operators were busy sending messages from the passengers.

5:00 pm: Over the next few hours, the air temperature drops to around 33° F.

5:50 pm: Captain Smith alters the ship’s course a few degrees, turning slightly south and west of the projected course.  This may have been in response to the numerous ice / iceberg warnings he received.

6:00 pm: Chief Officer Wilde is relieved of his post on the bridge, taken over by Second Officer Lightoller.

7:15 pm: The forward forecastle hatch is ordered to be closed by First Officer Murdoch.  He was concerned that the glow from inside would hinder the watch from the crow’s nest above. The binoculars they would normally use are locked inside a cabinet that no one has a key for.

7:30 pm: The Californian sends 3 messages about large icebergs along with their coordinates of 42° 3’N 49° 9’ W. The message was delivered to the bridge, but it is unknown if Captain Smith was informed because he was attending a dinner party at the time.  The ice field is now only 50 miles ahead of the Titanic.

8:40 pm: An order is given by Second Officer Lightoller to watch over the fresh water supply, as the seawater is now hovering just above freezing.

8:55 pm: Captain Smith leaves his dinner party and reports to the bridge.  He discusses how calm and clear the weather is with Second Officer Lightoller.  They also discuss the visibility of icebergs at night.

9:20 pm: Captain Smith retires to his room, leaving behind an order to wake him “if it becomes at all doubtful…”

9:30 pm: Second Officer Lightoller sends a message to the lookouts in the crow’s nest to watch carefully for icebergs until morning.

9:40 pm: The Mesaba sends out a heavy ice pack and iceberg warning, reporting the location at latitude 42° N to 41° 25’ N longitude 49° W to 50° 30’ W, but these messages are once again overlooked. Combining all the warnings that Titanic received that night, the ice field is nearly 80 miles long and directly in their path.

10:00 pm: Second Officer Lightoller is relieved by First Officer Murdoch and the lookouts in the crow’s nest are relieved by Fredrick Fleet and Reginald Lee. At this time the temperature is 32° F the sky is cloudless and the air is clear.

10:30 pm: The sea water temperature drops to a freezing 31° F.

10:55 pm: 10 – 20 miles north of the Titanic, the Californian is stopped in the ice field and sends out warnings to all ships in the area, including Titanic.  When the Californian’s wireless operator calls Titanic, his ice warning is interrupted by the comment, “Keep out! Shut up! You are jamming my signal. I’m working Cape Race.” The operator aboard the Californian listens to Titanic’s wireless traffic for a bit, and then turns his radio off at 11:30 pm, and goes to bed.  This is standard procedure.

11:30 pm: The lookouts in the crow’s nest, Fleet and Lee, see a haze appearing directly in the path of Titanic.

11:40 pm: Lookouts in the crow’s nest see an iceberg right ahead, 500 yards away.  It is huge, about 60 feet above the water line.  Titanic is traveling at 20.5 knots at the time.  The lookouts ring the warning bell with three rings and call down to the bridge.  They report, “Iceberg right ahead!”  Sixth Officer Moody is on bridge and acknowledges the warning and relays the information to First Officer Murdoch who calls for “Hard a starboard” to the helmsmen, and orders the engines to stop, and then “full astern”.  Murdoch activates the water tight doors. After several seconds, the ship beings to turn to port, but they strike the iceberg on the starboard bow. The impact was felt by most of the crew in the forward area of the ship, but most of the passengers don’t notice.  37 seconds have elapsed from the sighting of the iceberg, to the collision.

11:50 pm: Within 10 minutes, the water is already 14 feet above the keel, and forward.  The first five compartments (with the watertight bulkheads) begin to take on water.  Boiler room #6 is already flooded to the 8 foot mark.

12:00 am: The mail room begins to take on water, 24 feet above the keel, enough for the bags of mail to float. Captain Smith, who is now on the bridge, receives reports of water pouring into number 1, 2, and 3 holds, and boiler room #6.  He surveys the damaged areas with Thomas Andrews, one of the ship’s architects. Andrews calculates that the ship can stay afloat for only 1 to 2 – 1/2 hours.  This is because more than 4 holds are breached, and the water will continue to spill over into the next compartment until all the compartments are flooded. This is the moment in which the gravity of the situation hit the men and they were aware of the tragedy that awaits the ill-fated ship. The bow of the ship begins to sink. Captain Smith sends out the message “CQD” via wireless, which is the distress call of the time (SOS wasn’t used until much later.) Titanic’s estimated coordinates at this time are 41° 46’ N, 50° 14’W. The boilers shut down, and the relief pipes begin to blow off steam, which is quite loud.

While it is uncertain whether this is the exact iceberg the Titanic struck, the red paint marks make it fairly likely

This could be the iceberg the Titanic struck

Every corner of Titanic’s decks were utilized   Leave a comment

On this day 100 years ago, Titanic was still making her way across the Atlantic.  She travelled 546 nautical miles on this day, or 628 miles. They received numerous heavy ice warnings, including one from the Rappahannock as she was passing by. The ship had sustained damage coming through the ice field, and was warning other ships in the area.  Captain Smith altered their course a few degrees to the south, but didn’t slow down.  This was common procedure during this time, because it was believed that ice posed little danger to these new large ships. Before the Titanic set sail, Captain Smith himself said that he couldn’t “imagine any condition which would cause a ship to founder. Modern shipbuilding has gone beyond that.”

The Titanic had 11 decks, not including the officers’ quarters, 8 of which were for passenger use.

The Boat Deck was where the lifeboats were located. They lined the side of the deck except in the 1st Class area, where they left a gap so that their view was not blocked. The bridge and wheelhouse were at the front end, in front of the captain’s & officers’ quarters The entrance to the 1st Class Grand Staircase and gym were located halfway down this deck, along with the 1st Class lounge, the 1st Class smoking room and the 2nd Class area entrance. The wood-covered deck had 4 separate promenades, one for officers, 1st Class passengers, engineers and 2nd Class passengers.

A Deck, (also known as the Promenade Deck) encompassed the entire length of the boat. It was only for 1st Class passengers and housed the1st Class cabins, the 1st Class lounge, smoking room, reading & writing rooms and the Palm Court.

B Deck, (also known as the Bridge Deck) contained some of the 1st Class cabins and 6 of the more expensive staterooms. These rooms had their own private patios. Also on the B Deck, were the A La Carte and Café Parisien restaurants for luxury 1st class dining. Both were run by famous chefs and their staff, all of whom died in the disaster. Both the 2nd Class smoking room and entrance area were located on this deck. The main hatch through to the cargo holds was on B Deck, with various pieces of machinery and the anchor housings. This area was off limits to passengers. The scene in the movie Titanic where Jack & Rose climb the railing and “fly” could never have happened because the entire area was not accessible by the passengers. Beyond the Bridge Deck was the Poop Deck, which was used as a promenade by 3rd Class passengers. This area was where many 3rd class passengers waited, hoping to get into a lifeboat.

The C Deck, (also known as the Shelter Deck) housed the two well decks and served as part of the 3rd Class promenade. Crew cabins were located on this deck, as well as 3rd Class public rooms, which were under the Poop Deck. Deck C also contained the majority of the 1st Class cabins and the 2nd Class lending library.

D Deck, (also known as the Saloon Deck) had three large public rooms – the 1st Class Reception area, the 1st Class Dining Saloon and the 2nd Class Dining Saloon. An open space was also provided here for 3rd Class passengers. All passengers had cabins on this deck, along with berths for firemen located on the bow end.

E Deck, (also known as the Upper Deck) was mostly used for passenger rooms for all the classes and berths for some of the crew. Also on this deck, was a long passageway nicknamed “Scotland Road” which referred to the famous street in Liverpool, England.

F Deck, (also known as the Middle Deck) mainly accommodated 3rd Class passengers. There was also a few 2nd Class cabins and crew berths. The 3rd Class dining saloon was located here, along with the swimming pool and Turkish bath.

G Deck,(also known as the Lower Deck) was the lowest deck that passengers were allowed on and had portholes that were just above the waterline. The squash court was here along with the post office, where clerks sorted letters that would be ready to deliver when the ship docked in New York. Food storage was also on this deck.

The Orlop Decks & the Tank Top were the lowest deck of the ship, well below the waterline. The Orlop decks were used to store cargo, while the Tank Top was where the boilers, engines, and turbines were located. Most of this deck had areas that passengers would never see, even though they were connected with higher decks by several flights of stairs. There were also two spiral stairways that gave access up to D Deck.


1st class dining saloon

1st class dining saloon


The reading & writing room

The reading & writing room

100 years ago today, Titanic is making her way across the north Atlantic   Leave a comment

On this day, 100 years ago, Titanic was on the first leg of her journey across the north Atlantic. Between April 11 and April 12, she travelled 386 miles in good weather and calm seas.  Between April 12 and April 13 she travels 519 miles.  It was on the evening of April 12 that Titanic started getting the first of many ice warnings, but this was not unusual for April.

Meanwhile, the passengers aboard Titanic are enjoying her amenities and socializing on her many decks.  Titanic has some of the finest amenities in existence at that time.  Their goal was to make Titanic look more like a fine hotel than an ocean liner. The First Class section had a swimming pool, a gymnasium, squash court, Turkish bath, electric bath and a Verandah Cafe.  The passengers could also use the telephone system, a lending library and a barber shop.

One of Titanic’s most memorable features was the Grand Staircase or Grand Stairway. It descended through 5 decks of the ship, from the Boat Deck to the Reception Room and the First Class Dining Saloon. It had a dome made of wrought iron and glass that allowed in natural light. Each landing of the staircase accessed numerous halls that were adorned with gold plated light fixtures.  At the highest landing, there was a large wooden panel containing a clock, and figures of “Honor and Glory Crowning Time” around the clock face. The Grand Staircase was destroyed in the sinking and is now just a hole in the ship that is used to access the lower parts of the ship,by those investigating the wreck. During the filming of the movie Titanic in 1997, the detailed replica of the Grand Staircase floated up from its foundations by the water rushing onto the set. Some historians argue that during the sinking, the entire Grand Staircase was thrown upwards and out through the ornate dome.

The Grand Staircase

The Grand Staircase