Tag Archives: RMS Titanic

SUNDAY TITANIC NEWS-DID AURORA BOREALIS CAUSE PROBLEMS FOR TITANIC?

Aurora Borealis by Frederic Edwin Church (1826–1900)
Public Domain (Wikipedia Commons)

The Daily Mail had an interesting report about a claim concerning the Northern Lights (aurora borealis). An independent weather researcher is arguing that the presence of the Northern Lights that night contributed in its demise. The compass would have been off by a degree and wireless communication would have affected  as well. It would make receiving them more difficult or not at all. It is certainly interesting and certainly adds something new to the events of that night.

Solar Flare May Have Contributed To The Sinking Of The Titanic By Throwing Off Compass Readings And Causing Radio Interference, Study Suggests (Daily Mail, 15 Sept 2020)

MONDAY TITANIC NEWS

Titanic lost: Belfast Telegraph front page 16 April 1912
Source: Belfast Telegraph

Titanic: One of History’s Greatest Scoops Landed by Belfast Telegraph (Belfast Telegraph 28 Aug 2020)

Even over a hundred years ago, the Belfast Telegraph was first with the news. In 1912 the newspaper reported the sinking of the Titanic on the same day that the liner went down in the north Atlantic — an amazing feat for the time. The Tele was the first newspaper in Europe to report the collision with an iceberg, after a telegram was sent to the newsroom alerting it of the disaster in what remains the earliest documented notification of the disaster.

Irish Hero who saved titanic passengers honored with plaque;Mauritius ecological disaster

Irish Hero Who Saved At Least 50 Lives On The Titanic Is Honoured In Cork (Irish Post, 18 Aug 20)

As the ship began to sink, Mr Foley and his fellow crewmen took charge of Lifeboat 4, guiding dozens of women and children to safety as they awaited rescue, which eventually came in the form of the RMS Carpathia. An estimated 1,500 people died in the disaster, but every woman and child who were guided on to the lifeboat by Mr Jack Foley survived. The plaque to commemorate the native Youghal man was unveiled in the town over the weekend by Mayor Mary Linehan Foley, with Jack Foley’s great-grandnephew Don Mulcahy, and great-great-grandniece Sarah present at the ceremony.

Tanker Breaks In Two, Leaving “Titanic Job” To Clean Oil From Mauritius Coast (CBS,17 Aug 2020)

A ship that has leaked more than 1,000 tons of oil in pristine waters off the coast of Mauritius has split in two. The bulk carrier MV Wakashio ran aground on a coral reef off the southeastern coast of Mauritius on July 25 and began oozing oil more than a week later, threatening a protected marine park boasting mangrove forests and endangered species.Mauritius declared an environmental emergency and salvage crews raced against the clock to pump the remaining 3,000 tons of oil off the stricken vessel.

Titanic news for 25 Jul: Belfast titanic re-opening, RMS Titanic sets date for salvage

Baltic Man’s Huge Titanic Replica Breaks World Record For Largest Amber Sculpture Ever (The First News, 20 Jul 2020)

A Baltic craftsman has broken the Guinness World Record for the largest amber sculpture ever made. Tomasz O?dziejewski from the village of Szutowo on the Baltic coast, spent a month building a massive 1.5-metre-long replica of the Titanic ship. Working around the clock to meet the Guinness World Record attempt regulations, O?dziejewski, who has worked with amber for 32 years, spent 12 to 14 hours a day to complete his biggest work of art. Measuring exactly 1.532 meters long and  36.7 tall, the ship which costs a cool EUR 11,000, was made without any additional metal frames or reinforcements.

Titanic Wreck Bow
Image: Public Domain (NOAA-http://www.gc.noaa.gov/images/gcil/ATT00561.jpg)

Recovery Expedition to Titanic Sets Target Departure Date for 2021 (PR Newswire, 22 Jul 2020)

After lengthy review and expert consultation, the organization has developed a multi-phase, dual ROV, non-evasive method to safely excavate and investigate the Marconi Radio. This new tooling and methodology will allow us to expose the key components in their current resting state and determine if safe extraction and recovery is possible. This unique dual ROV ladder deployment system on the Titan manipulators will allow non-evasive entry to areas of interest without wreck disturbance. Each ROV will be equipped with their respective tooling to first dredge and clean the area for a thorough investigation. Components approved safe for extraction will be gently removed using both ROV’s and collected to salvage baskets for safe recovery to the surface. The organization has also released additional imagery of the custom deep-sea tools that will be used to recover the Marconi.

 

Titanic Belfast (side view)
Image:Prioryman (Wikipedia)

Titanic Reopening… But It’ll Be A Long Way Back For The Tourism Attraction (Irish News, 22 Jul 2020)

And before the facility shut on March 18 as the pandemic took hold, it was still generating around £1 million a week in spend. But with no major corporate events planned for the rest of this year, visitor numbers being restricted, and international or cruise tourists virtually non-existent, income will be a mere fraction of what it has been used to. However, chief executive Judith Owens insists ambition is as big as ever – and is appealing to the home market to lend its support. She said: “Since opening in 2012 we’ve not only became a key economic driver for Northern Ireland, but the symbol of it and its spirit.

 

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TITANIC NEWS 7 JUNE 2020

Irish Diver Rory Golden To Advise Expedition To Locate Titanic’s Radio The Sunday Times, 7 June 2020 (subscription required)

Irish deep sea diver Rory Golden is providing expertise to a new expedition to the Titanic which aims to recover the Marconi radio from the wreck. The ship’s wireless Marconi telegraph was instrumental in saving more than 705 passengers from the freezing Atlantic waters when the Titanic sank after striking an iceberg in April 1912 with the loss of almost 1,500 lives

The Heroic Stories Of The Forgotten Victims Of The Titanic
New York Post, 6 June 2020

In the summer of 1912, weeks after the Titanic sank with her furnace-stoker husband, William, on board, his impoverished widow, Emily Bessant, heard a knock at the door of her tiny row house in Southampton, England. As family lore goes, it was a rich gentleman offering to send Emily’s eldest daughter, Gladys, to private school. He explained that William had helped him to a lifeboat amid the chaos on the fated ship. “It was a story handed down to us younger generations,” William’s great-granddaughter Julie Cook told The Post. “We can’t prove that it was true because Gladys supposedly declined, but it helped ¬everyone believe, in their grief, that William died a hero.”

Titanic Exhibit Delayed Until 2021

WHBY, 3 June 2020

People will have to wait a year to learn about the state’s connections to the Titantic at the Oshkosh Public Museum. Spokeswoman Tammy Malewski says they’re going to delay a special exhibit until July of 2021.
She says about 700 people went through the museum every day, when they had Titanic artifacts on display in 2006. Museum officials are concerned about how to handle that potential demand, during the coronavirus pandemic.

Titanic Court Ruling ‘Disrespects The Dead’
The Southern Star, 1 June 2020

GOLEEN lawyer has said he’s extremely disappointed at the decision by a US judge to allow a salvage operation on the Titanic this summer. Michael Kingston, a London-based maritime expert said the 1,500 people who lost their lives when the ship sank in 1912 deserve more respect. The salvage operation will cut into the wreckage to try to recover a Marconi telegraph.

Titanic books

Welcome to June

Why Titanic’s First Call For Help Wasn’t An SOS Signal (National Geographic, 28 May 20)

But by 1912 when Titanic sailed, there was another, competing distress signal on the scene: “SOS.” There’s a common misnomer that the distress call is short for “Save Our Ship” or “Save Our Souls,” but the letters didn’t stand for anything—it was an adaptation of an existing German radio call. The signal consisted of three dots, three dashes, and another three dots—simple to tap out in Morse code during an emergency and easy to understand, even in poor conditions. An international group including the United Kingdom had ratified SOS as the official international distress signal four years earlier in 1908, but British and Marconi telegraph operators took their time adopting the new signal. (The United States, which resisted early international radio regulation, did not initially sign on to the SOS agreement.)

Cork Historian Teams Up With US Company To Bring Titanic Trail Online (EchoLive.ie, 27 May 20)

Acclaimed historian and lifelong Titanic researcher, Dr Michael Martin is collaborating with American travel experiences company Walks to provide an online tour of Cobh, the Titanic’s last port of call. The Titanic Trail, established in 1998 by Dr Martin is a daily guided walking tour that explores the heritage of Cobh, providing an insight into the maritime, military and social heritage of the town and harbour.  The renowned tour is now going online for a limited time as part of Walks ‘Spotlight Series’ With many walking tours affected as a result of Covid-19, the Spotlight Series brings fascinating tours online, which people can enjoy from the comfort of their own home. 

Bouquet of beautiful red roses
Davidjose365, May 2015
Wikimedia Commons

June is the sixth month on both the Gregorian and Julian calendars. June has the summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere and the winter solstice in the Southern Hemisphere. Traditionally this is on June 21 but that can vary each year.  Ancient Romans thought the period from Mid-March to Mid-June was a bad time to get married. June’s birthstones are the pearl, alexandrite and moonstone. The rose and honeysuckle are June flowers.

Catching up on Titanic News;Court Allows Salvage of marconi radio

[Sorry for not posting sooner-been busy with work!]

Judge Okays Titanic Salvage

Titanic Wreck Bow
Image: Public Domain (NOAA-http://www.gc.noaa.gov/images/gcil/ATT00561.jpg)

A federal judge has ruled in favor of R.M.S. Titanic (RMST)to go on an expedition to recover artifacts from the Titanic wreck. The company had petitioned to court to allow it to retrieve the Marconi telegraph and other artifacts. The company argued that due to deterioration these items had to be removed or they would be lost forever. The company, which has salvor-in-possession status, was seeking a modification of a July 2000 order which forbade it from cutting into the hull.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) opposed by filing an amicus curiae with the court. NOAA challenged the evidence justifying the expedition and arguing it was illegal under a 2017 Commerce Appropriations Act that prohibits this activity unless approved by the Secretary of Commerce. They also argued it was out of bounds due to an international agreement. Judge Rebecca Smith found the only issue before the court was whether RMST had followed the requirements required by previous court rulings. Since NOAA was not an actual party to the case, she did not rule on any of the merits raised in their brief to the court.

Source:

Commentary:

This was not wholly unexpected. While many in the Titanic community were against the salvage, RMST claimed it was trying to preserve important artifacts from being lost as the wreck deteriorated. They were able to show to Judge Smith had to merely determine if this was a proper request, that how it would be done be consistent with previous authorized salvage, and that the items would be properly conserved. She was satisfied with what they presented to her.

NOAA’s involvement with the case was odd. Since they were not an actual party, they could only file a friend of the court brief. Their brief though was clearly meant as if they were an actual party to the case. One gets the distinct impression that folks at NOAA believe the federal government and not the court has jurisdiction here. They argued that the Secretary of Commerce is the one that makes decisions here and that an international treaty was also an issue. Judge Smith acknowledged the treaty but made it clear that NOAA has no seat at the table. They were essentially in the stands looking down waving paper at the judge. This must have miffed those behind it at NOAA. They can choose to appeal but on what grounds? If they go the route the Department of Commerce has authority, it sets up an interesting fight on maritime law. They may very well appeal this to stop the salvage. Providing of course they can convince a higher court to stop it. That may not be so easy as it sounds.

Titanic Chronology Updates

May 16,1912

  • Two boys thought orphaned when Titanic sank-Michel Navratil, Jr., 3, and Edmond Navratil, 2, were reunited with their mother. Their father had placed them in a lifeboat and perished when Titanic sank. A worldwide appeal to find relatives of the two boys led to finding the mother.

May 14,1912

  • Advertisement for the 1912 film “Saved from the Titanic”. This is an EDITED version, it is a simulated color version based on the color version already on Commons.
    1912
    Public Domain

    The first silent disaster movie, Saved From The Titanic, was released. Starring Dorothy Gibson, who had been a passenger aboard Titanic, received positive reviews from critics. Sadly due to a fire in 1914 at the film studio, all prints of the movie were lost. All that we have are production stills and secondary evidence from other accounts of its existence.

May 13,1912

  • RMS Oceanic found the remains three people in a lifeboat from Titanic. The body of passenger Thomson Beattie and two unidentified firemen were recovered. While they apparently survived the sinking, they died from hypothermia or thirst in the collapsible lifeboat. The Canadian ship Montmagny  recovered three victims and brought them to Louisberg, Nova Scotia where they were transported to Halifax.

May 6,1912

  • The cable ship Minia returned to Halifax, Nova Scotia with 17 bodies from Titanic . Only 1 had died from drowning and the rest from exposure.
  • The will of John Jacob Astor IV, who died in the Titanic disaster, was probated. His $150,000,000 estate (worth more than $3.3 billion in 2012)[17] was left to his 22-year-old son, Vincent Astor.[18

Titanic Chronology-April 30,1912:mackay-bennett arrives halifax, nova scotia

CS Mackay Bennett (circa 1884)
Artist Unknown
Public Domain

On April 30. 1912 the cable ship Mackay-Bennett along with RMS Olympic arrived at Halifax, Nova Scotia. 200 bodies of people who had died after Titanic sank. Mackay-Bennett recovered 306 bodies but 116 had to be buried at sea due to insufficient embalming fluid. Of those identified included John Astor and Isidor Straus.  Minia, another cable ship, took over the duties of Mackay-Bennett

Most of the bodies were unloaded at the Coal or Flagship Wharf on the waterfront. Horse-drawn carriages brought the victims to the temporary morgue in the Mayflower Curling Rink. 59 bodies were shipped out by train to their families. The remaining bodies were interred in three Halifax cemeteries three Halifax cemeteries between May 3 and June 12. Burial services were conducted at various churches in Nova Scotia. Flowers and wreaths for victims were provided by local people and businesses. Coffins of the unidentified had lilies on them.

White Star Line paid for many of the tombstones in the cemeteries. Many of the plain block granite ones were replaced by family members and friends with more ornate tombstones.

Titanic Grave markers at Fairview Cemetery Halifax N.S
William B. Grice (Wikimedia)

Sources:

Titanic chronology: april 24, 1912;Olympic departure halted over lifeboats

March 6, 1912: Titanic (right) had to be moved out of the drydock so her sister Olympic (left), which had lost a propeller, could have it replaced.
Robert John Welch (1859-1936), official photographer for Harland & Wolff
Public domain

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.

Titanic Chronology: April 15,1912;Titanic Sinks

Leaving the sinking liner, 27 April 1912
Charles Dixon
Public Domain

When it was determined Titanic would sink, it began transmitting signals by wireless telegraph, Morse lamp, and rockets. The ship nearest by most accounts was SS Californian. Her telegraph operator turned off his equipment at 11:30 pm and never heard the distress calls. Questions linger to this day whether or not they saw Titanic or her rockets being fired. The RMS Carpathia received the SOS and its captain, Arthur Rostron, immediately ordered to proceed directly to the last known coordinates to locate survivors despite having to navigate a dangerous ice field on a moonless night.

Titanic would sink on 15 April 1912 at 2:20 am. Although Titanic met the British Board of Trade regulations and exceeded it for the number of lifeboats required, it did not have enough for the full complement of passengers and crew. As a result over 1,500 men, women, and children would had no means of escape from the sinking ship.

RMS Carpathia (date unknown)
Image: public domain

Carpathia arrives at 4:10 am to rescue survivors who were in lifeboats or able to reach them. 710 survived the initial sinking but the final tally would be 705 due to  death from freezing cold. SS California would arrive later but would find no survivors. At 12 noon Carpathia sounded her horns and began heading back to New York.* It was the moment that many wives knew for certain their husbands had perished.

*It was the moment that many wives knew for certain their husbands had perished.