The Titanic


Bonnie McGuire



On April 10, 1912 the Titanic commenced her maiden voyage from Southampton, England, to New York. At that time, she was the largest and most luxurious ship ever built; a White Star steamship by Harland and Wolff of Belfast, Ireland, costing $7.5 million. The ship stopped at Cherbourg, France and Queenstown, Ireland to take on passengers. The next day at 1:30, she weighed anchor and steamed westward with 2,227 passengers and crew aboard. The sea was calm, and the weather clear, but cool. Many passengers remained indoors, or stayed in the A-Deck enclosed promenade. Wireless operators were trying to catch up with the back-log of passenger's messages. On April 14th they received several iceberg warnings from other ships navigating through the region. It was 11:40 p.m., about 400 miles off Newfoundland, Canada. The Titanic was traveling at near top speed of about 20.5 knots when a large iceberg grazed her side. At 2:20 a.m. she sank, approximately 13.5 miles east-southeast of the position from which her distress call was transmitted. As she sank the band played and the people trapped on board sang "Nearer My God To Thee." The lights continued to burn until she disappeared beneath the water. Hundreds of people remained struggling for their lives in the freezing water. Their screams were unforgettable for those who were in the lifeboats. None of the which rowed back to offer help to the hundreds of men, women and children who froze to death during the next hour. After the terrible cries died down Fifth Officer Lowe transferred passengers out of lifeboat 14 and rowed it back to the Titanic's sinking. There were masses of dead bodies (buoyed by life belts) floating in the ocean. Lowe and Able Seaman Joseph Scarrett found 14 people alive, and of these, only half survived after their rescue. Lost at sea were 1,522 people, including passengers and crew. As dawn broke at 4:30 a.m., the 705 survivors, afloat in the ship's  twenty lifeboats, drifted in rough sea, surrounded by huge icebergs, some of them more than 200 feet high. Slowly they made their way toward a rescue ship that had finally arrived. The Cunard Liner, Carpathia had steamed through the night at 58 miles to the Titanic's position after receiving her wireless call for help: "Come at once. We have struck an iceberg."Four hours later, all 705 Titanic survivors had come aboard the Carpathia, climbing up rope ladders and nets or being hauled up in slings to the ship's deck. The ship's captain ordered the Carpathia's flag lowered to half mast and assembled a memorial service as the ship steamed over the place where the Titanic sank.  Thirteen of her lifeboats were taken aboard, and three survivors who died after the rescue were released into the sea. During the next three days, the survivors were cared for by the Carpathia's passengers and crew. As they steamed towards New York, the ship's wireless operator, Harold Cottam, and the Titanic's rescued Marconi operator, Harold Bride, transmitted the names of the survivors to an anxious press and public. The Carpathia arrived in New York Harbor on Thursday, April 18, and the survivors were greeted by mobs of reporters and photographers for details of the terrible disaster.


Grandfather Wayne was in England. Sir  Hague made arrangements for him to book passage on the Titanic to return to America, but grandfather decided to take the earlier Lusitania so that he could visit grandmother's relatives living on the Isle of Man. When news of the Titanic's disaster reached Boston, where he and grandmother lived, she was among those who feared the worst. Uncle Earl said that our grandmother took the boys down to the office to await news about the Titanic survivors. While they were there....grandfather walked in.


The lucky Earl, grandfather Earl, Grandmother Grace and (our father) Hoval.


And the broken Titanic at the bottom of the Atlantic. Oceanographer and marine biologist Dr. Robert Ballard feels that the weight of the water-filled bow raised the stern out of the water and snapped the ship in two just before it sank. Debris falling out of the ship was strewn over a 1/2 mile across the ocean floor. The bow and the stern were found nearly 2000 ft. apart. Dr. Ballard found the Titanic's remains in 1985.


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