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“THE UNSINKABLE”

Titanic was one of the most famous tragedies in modern history, which inspired numerous stories, films, and musicals. RMS Titanic, the world's largest and most luxurious passenger liner operated by White Star Line sank on April 14, 1912, during its maiden voyage, from Southampton, England to New York City, killing 1,500 passengers. Many renowned industrialists, actors, and immigrants were on their way to America in search of a better life. It cost $7.5 million to build it which, if inflation taken into account, is $400 million today. Safety features like a double bottom hull and the hull being divided into 16 separate watertight compartments made the ship title “unsinkable”.


The immediate cause of Titanic’s demise was collision with an iceberg that caused thin gashes, and separation of seams in hull plates, which flooded water into the Titanic. Impact was so large that 6 out of 16 compartments were breached, the limit being 4 it was sure for the ship to sink. After much destruction the Captain ordered evacuation of passengers using lifeboats as per protocol women and children were sent first. Passengers were not that scared as most believed that Titanic was unsinkable. First lifeboat went down with only 28 people when it had a capacity of 65.


As time passed the compartments were filling with water and the ship started to tilt. Gradually, passengers realised that the ship could indeed sink; this created chaos, and people began to run around in panic. One of the biggest faults of the ship was that it only had 20 lifeboats having a total capacity of only 1200 when there were 2200 people on the ship. When the last lifeboat was lowered there were 1500 people on the ship, some were fitting for the lifeboats whereas some accepted their fate and stayed back in the ship. The ship soon broke into two halves and didn't even take 3 hours to sink. The 1500 people aboard either drowned with the ship or died from hypothermia. RMS Carpathia, which had set out to save the Titanic reached location an hour late and could only save the people on the lifeboats.

"The Titanic: More than just a shipwreck"

Many investigations followed the tragedy. The captain cancelled safety drills because he thought they were unnecessary since the ship was unsinkable. Ignoring iceberg warnings, he maintained the speed of 22 knots. In order to break a record, the company was under intense pressure to complete its first voyage in 6 days. In panic, steersman Robert Hichens misinterpreted the message and directed the ship towards an iceberg in the opposite direction.


Did the Titanic really sink? It has spawned many theories. Theory is that JP Morgan, White Star Line's owner, purposely caused the Titanic to sink to get insurance money. Rather than sinking the newly made titanic, he scratched the paint and renamed it Olympic, a sister ship owned by the company. Morgan was supposed to be on the ship but cancelled minutes before the sail. Since many of Morgan's rivals died aboard ship, people believed it was an act of insurance fraud and a way for Morgan to ensure his financial success.


Disappearing of the Unsinkable.

In Sept 1985, almost after 70 years an American ocean explorer, Robert Ballad and a French oceanographer managed to find the Titanic 3,800 metres under the sea. Today, after so many years the environment has started to erode the ship. It has been reported that metal-eating bacteria and other organisms are eating away its metal framework. It is expected that by 2030, this ship will completely disintegrate underwater.


  • Simran Kaur Anand

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