The Titanic wreck has been resting in the same spot since 1912. And until it was discovered in 1985, it was assumed to be in one piece (reports of a breakup were not believed). Various dives have shown it is really a wreck with a debris field between the bow and the stern area. Now people are alarmed at the rapid decay that seems to occurring. Some blame dives to the wreck to be the cause but it could also be nature doing what it is doing. The truth is that Titanic was going to decay at some point leaving only the pictures, artifacts’ and stories of this historic liner.
The Geekwire story on MSN continues this trend of showing-aghast-that the decay has gotten much worse with Captain Smith’s bathtub no longer where it should be. It is still there but what had supported it has rotted away and it fell through. From what OceanGate observed, it appears Titanic is heading into the final stages of collapse. Which means down the road those expensive dives to see the wreck will come to an end.
It is always interesting when you buy a new home or land to find out what is on it. Sometimes the past owners or even more distant ones leave something behind of interest. Finding an old lifeboat from the 1930’s made by the same company that made Titanic’s lifeboats make it worth noting. The old lifeboat they found was in bad shape but perhaps with some good restoration can be made to look what it was like back then.
Okay I get Titanic themed parties. A lot of people did them after that famous Cameron movie. A lot of people dress up in period costumes, drink some expensive alcohol, and enjoy foods they served aboard the ship. It is a popular annual tradition around the anniversary of Titanic sinking. You can go a bit far though when you have a party that seems to make fun or seem to mock the tragedy that happened. Apparently that is what happened when a Titanic themed party was filmed and shown on the Internet. The reaction from many was not only how tacky it was they were making fun of a tragedy. Naturally this is denied by those behind it and the video has been taken down. Still the memory lingers and I bet it is out there somewhere being watched and mocked still.
In the wake of the Titanic sinking, all passenger ships were equipped with lifeboats for everyone aboard. Olympic, like her sister ship, did not have enough lifeboats but they were quickly added for her upcoming departure from Southampton on 24 April 1912. 40 collapsible lifeboats (all second-hand) had come from troopships. However, there was concern amongst the crew that these lifeboats were not seaworthy. A request sent by crewman that they should be replaced by wooden lifeboats was declined by White Star which said that it was impossible to do that and they had passed as seaworthy by the Board of Trade inspector.
Not convinced of this, 284 firemen went on strike delaying the departure. Non-union crew were hired from Southampton and from Liverpool to make up the difference. On 25 April 1912, representatives of the strikers witnessed a test of four of the collapsible boats. One was found unseaworthy. The representatives said they would recommend the strikers return to work as a result. A separate objection about the non-union workers who were hired came up as an issue. White Star refused to fire them. This resulted in 54 crewmembers leaving the ship in protest causing the cancellation of the sailing. Later they would be charged and convicted of mutiny, but no punishment was awarded due to the circumstances. White Star Line hired them back in end fearing a public backlash in support of the strikers. Olympic would sail for New York on 15 May 1912.
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.
RMS Olympic was barred by a shipworkers strike in Southampton, England from departing over insufficient lifeboats. At issue were 40 collapsible boats that were thought not seaworthy. After a test that showed only one was unsuitable, the workers were offered to return but objected to non union workers brought aboard during this time. After 54 sailors refused to work and left, the sailing was cancelled. The 54 sailors were arrested and charged with mutiny. They were found guilty but no penalty was imposed due to the circumstances of the case. They were allowed to rejoin the crew and Olympic set sail on 15 May.
RMS Olympic would be refitted in October and would incorporate lessons learned from Titanic. 64 lifeboats were added along with an inner watertight lining for the boiler and engine rooms. The watertight bulkheads were extended and an extra one added for a total of 17 watertight compartments. Olympic returned to service in March, 1913.