April 11, 2012
By Bailie Myers |Ranger Reporter
April 15 will mark the 100th anniversary of the day the passenger liner called the Titanic sank. The event has been investigated again and again, and there are many details that play into the crash and the passengers aboard the ship.
Hannah Kent, a business major, said she learned about the Titanic through personal research inspired by the movie. James Cameron’s hit film depicting the fatal sinking of the Titanic was released in 1997 starring Leonardo Dicaprio and Kate Winslet.
The movie also proved to be the root of understanding for Akey Phongam, an engineering major.
“I liked the movie because it was a really cool story,” Phongam said.
Phongam said the only information he knows about the event came from watching the movie.
After hitting an iceberg, the Titanic sank bow first with more than 1,000 people still aboard in the North Atlantic Ocean the night of April 14, 1912. It took more than two hours for the ship to sink in the early morning hours of April 15. It was making its maiden voyage from England to New York City.
The Titanic was the largest ship afloat at the time. The passengers aboard included some of the wealthiest people in the world as well as immigrants coming to North America for a new life.
The ship included an on-board gymnasium, libraries, restaurants and swimming pool. The price for a single first-class passage in today’s dollars would be equivalent to $50,000.
The ship had many safety features but did not have enough lifeboats to accommodate all the passengers. There were only enough lifeboats for 1,178 people, although that was only a third of the total capacity the ship could hold.
On the day of the collision, the crew had received a total of six ice warnings. P.A S. Franklin, vice president of White Star Line, the company that owned the Titanic, announced when he was informed that the Titanic was in trouble.
”We place absolute confidence in the Titanic. We believe the boat is unsinkable.”
After hitting the iceberg, five of the watertight compartments gave way to the sea, which caused the ship to fill gradually with water. Over the course of 2 1/2 hours, the Titanic sank. Only some of the crew members and passengers were carried to safety in lifeboats.
Some of the lifeboats were dispatched only partially filled. The majority of the people saved were women and children, and the men who were left behind were predominantly second-class.
Those left behind died in the water within minutes from hypothermia. Overall, 1,514 people died that night, including men, women and children, and 710 people were found alive in lifeboats.