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What happened and why

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Introduction

What happened and why On Sunday morning, April 14, Wireless Operators Jack Phillips and Harold Bride picked up a wireless message from the Cunard liner, Caronia, reporting "bergs, growlers and field ice at 42� N from 49� to 51� W." The ship had previously picked up other ice warnings and would continue to receive more over the course of the day. Bride took the message to the bridge where it was most likely noted on the ship's chart by Fourth Officer Joseph Boxhall. Ice, however, was quite common this time of year in the North Atlantic and the officers were confident that they would have no trouble seeing and avoiding an iceberg in time. The weather was cool but sunny and the sea calm. What danger could a few bits of ice pose to this magnificent ship? More ice warnings were received that day. One received at 11:40 am from the Dutch liner Noordam reporting "much ice" in roughly the same area as the Caronia, apparently never reached the bridge. Out on the Promenade Deck Captain Smith handed J. Bruce Ismay, president of the White Star line, a wireless message from the Baltic reporting ice bergs and large quantities of field ice. ...read more.

Middle

Thomas Andrews, the ship's architect, knew her prognosis first. He estimated that she would go down in an hour, at most an hour and a half. Captain Smith had no time to ponder what mistakes has led to the disaster. His concern now was the orderly evacuation of the ship and trying to keep her afloat as long as possible. In his long and remarkable career at sea, this was the first real crisis he had to deal with. Smith was faced with the reality that the ship only carried enough lifeboats for roughly half the estimated 2,200 on board. Actually, the Titanic carried more lifeboats than was required by the British Board of Trade regulations of the day. At 12:05 am the squash court, 32 feet above the keel, was filling with water. Chief Officer Wilde was ordered by the Captain to uncover the lifeboats. Fourth Officer Boxhall was sent to wake Second Officer Lightoller, Third Officer Herbert Pitman, and Fifth Officer Harold Lowe. Smith then walked the 20 yards to the wireless room to personally give instructions to Phillips and Bride to send out a call for assistance, the CQD distress call. Later on, Bride would suggest that they send out the signal, SOS, as "it may be their last chance to use it". ...read more.

Conclusion

On the port side, however, Second Officer Lightoller was much more by the book and was strictly enforcing the "women and children" only rule. As port-side boat 14 was being lowered, a group of passengers rushed to the rails and threatened to jump in. The boat was loaded with 40 people already. Fifth Officer Lowe inside the boat, fired two shots to warn the crowd on deck away. Wireless operators, Phillips and Bride, meanwhile continued to send the calls for assistance, with Bride occasionally updating the Captain on what ships had answered. As time progressed, Phillips calls became more and more desperate and eventually stopped altogether around 2:15 am. Around 2:18, the Titanic had risen almost completely vertically until she began to split between the 3rd and 4th funnels, from the heavy weight upon her. Funnels were falling and crushing swimming passengers in the water. The first half of the ship split apart and began it's long descent to the bottom of the sea, two miles below. The stern section lowered herself almost to an even keel but then slowly began to rise back up into the air again. The Poop Deck was a mass of humanity, clutching to whatever they could get their hands on, hoping for a miracle that would save them all. A miracle that never came. Slowly the stern section twisted slightly and began its fall the ocean bottom below. ...read more.

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