On March 25, 1912 all sixteen of the wooden lifeboats were tested. They were each loaded with 65 men and lowered by davits into the water in front of Francis Carruthers, Board of Trade Engineer & Ship Surveyor at Belfast. Titanic had 20 lifeboats in total: 14 wooden lifeboats and 2 wooden cutters that were to be used as emergency boats in case of people in the water. 4 collapsible Engelhardt lifeboats were also aboard as well (they carried up to 47 people each). 1,178 people could be accommodated on the lifeboats, as per Board of Trade regulations at the time (which Titanic exceeded). The total capacity of the ship was 3,547 passengers and crew.
Welcome to Spring everyone! For those of you down under, Happy Autumn. Here are some news stories you may find of interest.
The story of the Sunderland man who survived the Titanic disaster thanks to a game of cards (Sunderland Echo, 21 Mar 2021)
One of the very many stories to be told in its aftermath, is that of a glass worker from Sunderland who was one of the lucky survivors. Had Charles Whilems gone to bed earlier on that fateful night he would never have been heard of again
A widely-shared meme has taken several facts about the Titanic out of context to make unsubstantiated claims that imply the ship’s sinking was a deliberate act. This is not true – experts widely agree the sinking of the Titanic was an accident. The meme was posted?to Facebook?on March 1 and has been shared more than 600 times. It consists of two images: one of the ship and a second of American financier John Pierpont (J.P.) Morgan. These sit alongside a wall of text that suggests Morgan had motive to sink the Titanic?because it was hosting three powerful people who opposed his idea for a centralised banking system, ie: the U.S.?Federal Reserve.
NASA Astronaut and Physician, Dr. Scott Parazynski to Join Titanic Survey Expedition (KHQ.com, 16 Mar 2021 (via PR Newswire)
“Challenging environments are incredible catalysts for innovation,” shares Dr. Scott Parazynski. “Being part of the inaugural expeditionary team for the Titanic Survey Expedition with my friend and colleague, Stockton Rush, is an amazing opportunity. I am looking forward to working with the OceanGate Expeditions team to demonstrate the cutting edge submersible technology that has the power to change the way humans explore our deep oceans, understand our planet, and investigate other planets. Our home planet is extraordinary, and my bucket list will get an additional check mark as part of this ground-breaking OceanGate expedition,” says Parazynski.
Why Was Utah’s Only Titanic Passenger Not Among The Survivors?(Salt Lake Magazine, 15 Mar 2021)
Pulling a treasured artifact from her purse, Liz holds the postcard up against an enlarged copy displayed prominently on one wall. Dated April 1, 1912, the card bears an illustration of London’s Piccadilly Circus on one side and Irene’s gracefully sloping scrawl on the back with her ill-fated words, “Finish London soon—am going to sail on one of the biggest ships afloat: the Titanic, an American Liner.” This was the last dispatch from 30-year-old Irene, the only Utahn aboard the RMS Titanic. She drowned with more than 1,500 passengers hours after the liner struck an iceberg in the early hours of April 15, 1912 sinking to the ocean floor in the frigid north Atlantic on its way from Southampton to New York.
The Daily Mail has an article about a new book by author James Bancroft. This new book, titled ‘Iceberg Ahead,’ contains various survivor accounts to make the tragedy more personal. Some of the accounts are related in the news story. I think what makes this interesting is that it tries to get a good cross section of survivors who each have an interesting story to tell.
Tales of terror from the Titanic: From picture framer awoken by ship hitting iceberg to perfume salesmen hearing ‘pitiful cries’ as his lifeboat sailed away… the horrific 1912 tragedy from the eyes of 10 survivors (Daily Mail, 4 Mar 2021)
The wreck killed more than 1,500 people, and the last survivor who was aboard the Titanic passed away in 2009. While there were many victims taken by the Titanic sinking, history has unveiled that there was just one black passenger aboard the ship. That man was Joseph Laroche. The Noble Maritime Collection, located on the grounds of Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden in Livingston, will virtually present the story of Laroche through a lecture titled “Untold Stories of the Titanic: The Only Black Passenger,” by Dr. Kellie Carter Jackson Saturday, March 6.
The history of the Titanic connected to southeast Iowa (KTVO, 25 Feb 2021)
Research has found that Iowa has ties to the most famous shipwreck in history. Some of the people who were on the Titanic on that fatal day had connections with Iowa. Many of the passengers were immigrants who were coming to the Midwest for opportunity. Some passengers were directly tied to farming while others were looking for job opportunities.Although Iowa story teller Darcy Maulsby knew of a few Iowa families who were on the Titanic, she was surprised to discover that there were even more involved.
Triton’s Titanic Explorer will reach new depths for luxury bubble-subs (newatlas.com, 24 Feb 2021)
The Triton 13000/2 Titanic Explorer will be the deepest diving acrylic bubble sub ever built, by a long way. It’ll be capable of diving to 4,000 m (13,123 ft), making it the only transparent sphere that can take you and a buddy down to the wreck of the Titanic, some 3,800 m (12,500 ft) under the surface. Triton’s dropped in on Jack and Rose’s love nest once before, mind you, back in 2019. But to do so, it needed to use its monstrous 36000/2 sub, which has a titanium sphere hull capable of taking two people to the bottom of the Marianas trench. Indeed, it was the first manned mission to the Titanic wreck in some 14 years, so rather a special achievement.
Discovery Center Of Idaho Opens Titanic Artifact Exhibit
Idaho News 6, 15 Feb 2021
Titanic is one of those stories that’s timeless but also ageless,” said Emily Mahone, Education Director at the Discovery Center. “So we have children here that have already been obsessed with it since first or second grade to those elderly and middle-aged people who have been obsessed with Titanic since it came out in 1997.” You are asked to reserve your admission up to seven days in advance by visiting the Discovery Center of Idaho’s website. Masks are required for your entire visit. Discovery Center: https://www.dcidaho.org/
M*A*S*H’s Jamie Farr Revealed His Mother Almost Bought a Ticket on the ‘Titanic’ Showbiz Cheat Sheet, 14 Feb 2021
Was he going to wait for the cousin or was he going to get back on the ship and go to America? The mother of the cousin pleaded with my grandfather, ‘please you have to take my son to America.’ So my grandfather acquiesced. The ship that my mother, grandmother, and grandfather were supposed to be on was the Titanic. It went from Southampton to Marseille and then Marseille supposedly on to New York,” Farr explained.
Belfast Archive Being Used In Bid To Stem Leaking Shipwreck Off Canadian Coast Hereford Times, 14 Feb 2021
More than 50 years later, an oil leak has been traced back to the wreck (MV Schiedyk). National Museums NI is helping the Canadian coastguard’s operation by supplying plans and images from the building of the 483ft cargo ship in Belfast in 1949. Originally a steamship, it was rebuilt in the 1960s to its oil-fuelled form. These plans will help to build a clear picture of the type of oil used and the location and capacity of its fuel tanks.
Mariner, Titanic Survivor, Cowboy, War Hero: The Epic of Charles Lightoller War is Boring, 12 Feb 2021
Those who do endure and come out as hardier men are often forever marred to some degree- but just as a diamond must be cut and a block of ore must be hammered and shaped into a usable tool, so must a man make many sacrifices to reach his destiny. Charles Lightoller was such a man
Although today is referred to as “President’s Day” it is not a federal holiday by that name. It is officially designated as Washington’s Birthday under federal law. There was a movement to combine both Washington and Lincoln’s birthday (since they occur days apart) or honor the office of president. That never came to be. Instead in 1968 the Uniform Monday Holiday Act was past and came into force in 1971. That shifted most federal holidays to a Monday if it fell during the week. Washington’s Birthday name was not changed and so under federal law it is still Washington’s Birthday. However many states issue their own proclamations celebrating not only Washington but Lincoln and others from their own state. Advertisers have caught on as well. So today many call it President’s Day but who it commemorates beyond George Washington is up to the state governors.
The unity of Government, which constitutes you one people, is also now dear to you. It is justly so; for it is a main pillar in the edifice of your real independence, the support of your tranquility at home, your peace abroad; of your safety; of your prosperity; of that very Liberty, which you so highly prize.
President George Washington,Farewell Address, 19 September 1799.
For more information:
Heritage Groups Advocate To Keep Titanic-Era Boat In Port McNicoll (Global News, 3 Feb 2021 -Video)
This is a follow up on SS Keewatin, and in video only format.
What Happened To The Giant Iceberg That Sank The Titanic?
Explica, 4 Feb 202
What is certain is that it must have remained in the same place for a long time: those huge mountains of ice float adrift until over time, they become part of the liquid water of the ocean.
It was reported today that veteran actor Christopher Plummer passed away at age 91. He was a terrific actor who elevated even ordinary movies. He shot to fame playing Captain von Trapp in The Sound of Music. He did not like how his character was drawn. Nor did the real Trapp family children. Aside from the usual liberties taken with the story (and changing the gender of the two oldest from boys to girls!) they were empathetic that their father was nothing like the stage or the movie presentation. And he certainly did not make them wear sailor’s outfits as well. At any rate, Christopher Plummer will be long remembered for the many roles he played on stage, film, and even on the small screen. RIP Christopher Plummer.
RMS Titanic Inc has formally notified the federal court overseeing the salvage award that it is postponing retrieval of the Marconi wireless from Titanic. However it does plan to eventually do this at some point once logistics and income from exhibitions makes it feasible. There is no date given when they might try again.
Mission To Retrieve Titanic’s Radio From Ocean Is Postponed (MSN, 31 January 2021)
It cited the “increasing difficulty associated with international travel and logistics, and the associated health risks to the expedition team”, as well as a lack of revenue due to visitor numbers to its vast collection of Titanic artifacts plummeting amid the pandemic. RMS Titanic Inc has also had to lay off high-profile experts in the field: Dave Gallo, PH Nargeolet, Bill Sauder and William Lange. The company, however, maintained that it’s financially secure. It said the radio expedition remains a top priority and will “take place as soon as reasonably practicable”. The postponement is likely to increase fears that the priceless artifacts hidden in the wreckage may not survive if left for too long.
LEGO Titanic Set Rumoured For 2021 Release (Brick Fanatics, 21 Jan 2021)
An official LEGO recreation of the Titanic may be on the way later in 2021, according to a new rumour. Eurobricks user VanIslandLego told YouTuber Brother From Another Brick that the second half of 2021 will see the release of a LEGO Titanic set. The same user was apparently responsible for the first rumours around 10274 Ghostbusters ECTO-1 and 10276 Colosseum, lending some veracity to the report.
Titanic Fans Around The World In Awe Of Consett Schoolboy’s Snow Sculpture (ChronicleLive, 21 Jan 2021)
“Awesome” and “fantastic” are just some of the words used to describe a County Durham schoolboy’s snow sculpture after it went viral on social media. During last week’s snow fall, six-year-old Lewis Maddick used his day off from school to create a replica of the Titanic. His recreation of the historical ship was so impressive it immediately attracted attention when his mum Fiona shared a picture of it on Facebook. And fellow Titanic-fanatics were in awe of the snow ship when a Titanic museum in America shared Lewis’ work on their Facebook page, Titanic Museum Attraction.
There have been some news articles of late about Titanic II sailing in 2022. The Standard recently reported it was back on again. It pointed to a posting on Facebook but the Facebook page most recent posting is 2 Feb 2020 where Palmer says to await further announcements later in the year about Titanic II. A check of the Blue Star Line website shows the latest news was from 2018 on CNN where the article states it will launch in 2022. What this looks like is recycling old news or making old news looking like new. So it looks like there is nothing to report here.
‘It’s A Myth!’ Titanic Expert Exposes Damage ‘Greater Than Iceberg’ That Sunk Vessel (Daily Express, 19 Jan 2021)
The British passenger liner, under the captaincy of Edward Smith, had roughly 2,400 passengers on board when it struck an iceberg shortly before midnight on April 14, 1912. The devastating event saw more than 1,500 people lose their lives on the “unsinkable” vessel in one of modern history’s deadliest commercial marine disasters. An official inquiry into the incident by the British Wreck Commissioner found the owners – White Star – were not to blame, but in the years since numerous myths have developed over the story.
According to expert Tim Maltin, one of these surrounds how the vessel went down. Famous sketches over the years have depicted the front of the ship raised, as the back appears to slowly disappear below the waves. But Mr Maltin told historian Dan Snow that “sadly, this is a myth” during his appearance on History Hit’s documentary ‘Debunking the Myths of the Titanic’.