Category Archives: Titanic

Visiting the Titanic Wreck; Titanic Survivors

Titanic Leaving Queenstown 11 April 1912. Believed to be the last photograph of ship before it sank.
Public Domain

Once you hit December, stories about Titanic tend to thin out. People are more focused on the holidays, so you do not see that much about Titanic. Still there are a few. MSN interviewed Stockton Rush, chairman of OceanGate which dives to Titanic, about people who pay the big bucks to dive down. From the news report, people come for all walks of life who just want the chance to see the wreck. MSN also has a slideshow of various Titanic survivors that is worth a look.

News stories cited above:

Titanic: Visiting the most famous shipwreck in the world
MSN, 27 Nov 2022

Titanic Survivors: Their Extraordinary Stories Of How They Escaped The Disaster
MSN, 2 Dec 2022

Pocket Watch Auctioned Off; Thomas Andrew Considered a Hero

Titanic watch sells for £98,000 at auction
BBC, 20 Nov 2022

A pocket watch belonging to a postal clerk aboard the RMS Titanic has sold for £98,000 – 110 years on. Oscar Scott Woody’s watch is frozen at the time he went into the cold North Atlantic when the ship sank on 14 April, 1912. It was recovered from the ocean and returned to his wife Leila the following month. The watch was sold at Henry Aldridge & Sons in Devizes on Saturday along with other memorabilia from the doomed ship. A first-class menu featuring ‘plover on toast’ sold for £50,000 and a list of first-class passengers went for £41,000.

=

 

Thomas Andrews, 1911
Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

Titanic hero Irishman Thomas Andrews epitomized bravery as ship went down
Irish Central, 26 Nov 2022

After he died on 15th April 1912, his father received a telegram from his mother’s cousin, who had spoken with survivors in New York, seeing news of Andrews. The telegram was read aloud by Andrews Sr. to the staff of their home in Comber: “Interview titanic’s officers. All unanimous that Andrews heroic unto death, thinking only safety others. Extend heartfelt sympathy to all.” The newspaper accounts of the disaster labeled Andrews a hero. Mary Sloan, a stewardess on the ship, whom Andrews forced to enter a lifeboat, later wrote in a letter: “Mr. Andrews met his fate like a true hero, realizing the great danger, and gave up his life to save the women and children of the Titanic. They will find it hard to replace him.”

=

Just for fun:

The history of Macaroni & Cheese

Remembering Britannic (21 Nov 1916)

HMHS Britannic seen during World War I.
Image:public domain

On 21 November 1916, HMHS Britannic was sunk by mine near the island of Kea in the Aegean Sea. The ship sank in 55 minutes and 1,035 people were rescued, only 30 perished. Britannic was the third and last ship of the Olympic class liners built by White Star Line. The other two were Olympic and Titanic. Britannic was launched in February 1914. Many design changes were made prior to launch due to lessons learned from Titanic. Those changes were:

  • Double hull along the engine and boiler rooms raising six of the watertight bulkheads up to B deck.
  • More powerful turbine installed due to increase in hull width.
  • Watertight compartments were enhanced so that the ship can stay afloat with six compartments flooded.
  • Motorized davits to launch six lifeboats (only five out of eight were installed before war service). Manual operated davits were used for the remaining lifeboats. The new design also allowed all lifeboats to be launched even if the ship was listing. There were 55 lifeboats with capacity for 75 each so that 3,600 people could be carried.

When World War I broke out, the ship had to be retrofitted as a hospital ship. Most of the furnishings were stored in a warehouse to be placed back aboard after the war. The Britannic began service as a hospital ship on 12 December 1915. She was sent to the Aegean Sea to bring back sick and wounded soldiers. Her first tour of service was ended on 6 June 1916 and she was sent back to Belfast to be refitted back as a passenger liner. As this was underway, the ship was again recalled to military service on 26 August 1916 and was sent back to the Mediterranean Sea.

On the morning of 21 November 1916, the Britannic under the command of Captain Alfred Barnett was steaming into the Kea Channel when at 8:12 am a loud explosion shook the ship. The explosion, unknown at the time whether it was a torpedo or mine, damaged the first four watertight compartments and rapidly filled with water. Water was also flowing into the boiler room. Captain Bartlett ordered the watertight doors closed, sent a distress call, and ordered the lifeboats be prepared. Unfortunately, while they could send messages, damage to the antenna wires meant they could not hear the responses back from ships responding to their SOS.  Britannic was reaching her flooding limit and open portholes (opened by nurses to ventilate wards) were bringing more water in as well.

As the ship was still moving, Bartlett did not order lifeboats be lowered but two lifeboats were lowered anyway. They were sucked into the ships propellor and torn to bits killing everyone in those two lifeboats. Bartlett ordered the ship stopped to assess the damage. The ship was listing so badly that the gantry davits were inoperable. Thinking the sinking had slowed, he ordered the engines back on to try and beach the ship. The flooding increased as more water was coming in aided by the open portholes the nurses had opened to air out their wards early in the morning. Bartlett ordered the engines stopped and to abandon ship. She would sink at 9:07 am, 55 minutes after the explosion. Thankfully the water temperature was high (70 F), they had more lifeboats than Titanic, and rescue came less than two hours. Nearby fisherman were able to help and at 10:00 am, the HMS Scourge arrived and later the HMS Heroic and later the HMS Foxhound.

1,035 survived. Of the 30 lost, only five were buried as their bodies were not recovered. Memorials in Thessaloniki and London honor those lives lost. Survivors were housed on the warships and the nurses and officers were put into hotels. Most survivors were sent home, and some arrived in time for Christmas. Speculation about whether it was a torpedo or a mine was resolved when it was learned that a German submarine (SM U-73) had planted mines in the Kea Channel in October 1916. The loss of two Olympic class ships was a major blow to White Star Line. They would get, as a result of the Treaty of Versailles, the German ocean liner Bismarck (renamed Majestic), which replaced Britannic. They also got Columbus which was named Homeric.

Britannic has been largely forgotten except when news of expeditions were made to the wreck site over the years. The wreck itself was bought by noted author Simon Mills, who has written two books on the ship. An expedition in September 2003 located by sonar mine anchors confirming German records of U-73 that Britannic was sunk by a single mine. The expedition found several watertight doors open making it likely the mine strike was during a watch change on the ship. One notable survivor was Violet Jessop. She had been on Olympic as stewardess when it collided with the HMS Hawke, aboard Titanic in the same capacity when it sank, and then aboard Britannic as a stewardess with the Red Cross.

Sources:
Britannica
Thoughtco.com
Wikipedia

,

Harland & Wolff Gets Defense Contract; Titanic Watch to be Auctioned Off

Harland & Wolff secures titanic defence contract
Proactive Investors, 16 Nov 2022
https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/998567/harland-wolff-secures-titanic-defence-contract-998567.html

Part of Team Resolute alongside BMT and Navantia UK, Harland & Wolff was selected as the preferred bidder for the Ministry of Defence’s £1.6bn contract to manufacture three vessels providing munitions, stores and provisions to the Royal Navy’s aircraft carriers, destroyers and frigates. Harland & Wolff’s Belfast shipyard will construct all three 216-metre-long vessels, which upon completion, will be the second longest UK military vessels behind the two Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers.

=

Edmund Fitzgerald has become Titanic of the Great Lakes, maritime historian says
Mlive.com, 17 Nov 2022
https://www.mlive.com/news/2022/11/edmund-fitzgerald-has-become-titanic-of-the-great-lakes-maritime-historian-says.html

Stonehouse later recalled that he was neither surprised by the conversation itself, nor really by the fact it happened off the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Because in the last four decades, the Marquette resident has learned that the fate of the Fitzgerald can and probably will be discussed anytime and anywhere.

=

Pocket watch that stopped at the moment its owner went down with the Titanic is set to fetch £100,000 at auction
Daily Mail, 18 Nov 2022
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11439039/Watch-stopped-owner-Oscar-Woody-went-Titanic-set-fetch-100-000.html

A pocket watch that stopped at the very moment its owner went down with the Titanic has surfaced for sale for a whopping £100,000. Oscar Woody perished along with 1,520 others when the ill-fated ship struck an iceberg and sank in the Atlantic in 1912. Mr Woody served as the postmaster on the Titanic. As the liner started to sink he and four colleagues made a futile attempt to save hundreds of mailbags by carrying them to the upper decks. Andrew Aldridge said: ‘We are getting a considerable amount of interest in this item already.This is probably one of the most iconic and important items of Titanic memorabilia offered for auction in recent years.”

=

For your weekend:

New York Titanic Exhibition; Rare Titanic Postcard Up for Auction

 

Titanic:The Exhibition Logo
Image: 2022 Musealia All Rights Reserved

Titanic: The Exhibition to Display Items from The Doomed Ship
Silive.com, 9 Nov 2022

Opening Nov. 11, 2022, in Manhattan, this exhibit will feature life-size replicas of the Titanic, allowing you to slip into the depths of history. The free audio tour will guide you through this internationally known exhibit, which lasts about 80- to 90-minutes.

For tickets, hours of operation and other information, click here.

=

 

RMS Titanic pictured in Queenstown, Ireland 11 April 1912
Source:Cobh Heritage Centre, Cobh Ireland/Wikimedia Commons

Doomed Titanic passenger’s postcard up for auction with heartbreaking message to wife
The Mirror, 10 Nov 2022

A postcard where a passenger on the doomed Titanic tells his wife ‘this is the last thing you will hear from me’ is to go under the hammer. The message was written by second class passenger Jacob Milling from his hotel room in Southampton and was sent the day before he boarded the ill-fated liner. Mr. Milling, an engineer who was travelling to America to study railway machinery for two months, described to wife Augusta how he could see the world’s biggest passenger ship from his window. He wrote: “Dear Augusta! This is the last thing you will hear from me from this side of the Atlantic.

The auction is being held by Henry Aldridge & Sons on 19 Nov 2022. The offering price is £7,000.

=
Just for fun

It turns out some well known things other than Titanic came from Belfast. Here is an article you might find interesting and amusing.

10 things you didn’t know came from Belfast
Meanwhile in Ireland, 7 Nov 2022

 


Titanic News: Bouncy Castle Causes More Friction, Message in a Bottle, Titanic Reunion, and Mastery Solved at Wreck

When the Titanic bouncy castle first appeared, it was not warmly received by many in the Titanic community. It trivialized a terrible tragedy into a children’s slide. Not as tacky of some other things out there, but still tacky.

Once again it is back in the news in the Irish Sun. Looks like people are still upset with it.

People Left Divided Over Titanic Bouncy Castle As Kids Slide Down Sinking Ship In Bizarre Footage (Irish Sun, 10/21/22)

=

A kid sends a message in a bottle from the US and it ends up in Ireland. It had a phone number and a $1 bill in it. It took some doing but the sender was found, An interesting story to read.

US Teen Travels To Donegal After His Message In A Bottle Discovered On Remote Beach (Irish Central, 21 Oct 2022)

=

A survivor of the Titanic goes to an invited showing of a new movie of the same name and meets someone who was aboard Carpathia. Now that is quite remarkable.

When A Leeds Titanic Survivor Met One Of His Rescuers (Yorkshire Evening Post, 23 Oct 2022)

=

A mystery solved! There was something the scans around the Titanic wreck were picking up. They were not sure what it was till recently. Turns out to be an underwater volcanic formation.

Mysterious ‘Large Object’ Detected Near Titanic Wreck Finally Identified (Yahoo News, 25 Oct 2022)


Woman Saves Up For Titanic Dive; Cruise and other Ship Disasters

According to the BBC, a woman saved for thirty years to afford the cost of diving to the Titanic wreck.

Woman ‘saves for 30 years’ to see Titanic shipwreck – BBC News
16 Oct 2022

=

7 Maritime Disasters More Tragic Than The Titanic
World Atlas, 16 Oct 2022

The tragic sinking of the Titanic in 1912 is undoubtedly the most famous maritime disaster to date. However, there are plenty of other instances that either rival or even dwarf the Titanic in terms of destruction or human loss. Here are seven maritime disasters more tragic than the titanic.

=

10 Major Cruise Ships And Passenger Vessels That Sank
Marine Insight, 17 Oct 2022

The Titanic might seem the worst passenger ship accident. However, many historic cruise ships met the same fate, though they were not as famous as the RMS Titanic. The earliest cruise ships were constructed in the 1850s but gained prominence after the World Wars ended when vacationing on the seas seemed attractive. Cruise ships were also constructed before that and targeted the affluent section of society. Also, cruise voyages in the 19th and 20th centuries were fraught with many dangers compared to present-day journeys, which have become relatively safer, thanks to advancements in maritime technologies.


Titanic Thursday: Survivor Account, Titanic II Ferry, Tacky Titanic

Well this is interesting. Apparently these guys from Saturday Night Live bought a decommissioned ferry and decided to rename it Titanic II. What could go wrong?

“Saturday Night Live” star Colin Jost revealed this weekend that the decommissioned Staten Island Ferry he purchased with fellow Staten Islander Pete Davidson will be named “Titanic 2.” “This is why idiots should not be allowed to do things,” Jost said on Late Night with Seth Meyers Friday night.

Unfortunately they have run into problems getting their ferry insured. Seems insurers are not keen on its name.

Source:

SNL’ Star Colin Jost Names New Staten Island Ferry After The Titanic
New York Post, 3 Oct 2022

=

 

Titanic advertising from New York Times, 10 April 1912.
Public Domain (Wikimedia)

Titanic Survivor Who ‘Dropped In’ Freezing Water Recalls Moment He Cheated Death
Times Now, 7 October 2022

Prentice recalled the moment the ship struck the iceberg and said that there was “no impact as such” but it just felt like “jamming your brakes on a car.” He continued, “We had a porthole open and I looked out and the sky was clear, stars were shining, the sea was dead calm and I couldn’t understand it. So I came out of the cabin and I thought I’d go forward.” Prentice went to the “well deck on the starboard side” where he could see ice, but there was “no sign of damage above waterline.” However, he soon realised that the ship had “slipped over the iceberg.”

=

Tacky Titanic:

 

Titanic Bouncy Slide
Photo:public domain

Video Showing Bouncy House Shaped Like Sinking Titanic Goes Viral
NDTV, 8 October 2022

Internet users were recently left shocked after a video showing a bouncy house in the shape of the ill-fated Titanic ship surfaced on social media. The clip was shared on Instagram by user Tara Cox. It showed the tragic ship replica tilted to look like it was sinking, and the bouncy house also had inflatable icebergs attached to it for the full effect. “Omg is it just me or is this morbidly wrong. (But it does look hella fun!)” Ms Cox captioned the post.

=


Chinese Titanic Survivors; Little Known Ferry Disaster

 

Collapsible lifeboat D photographed by passenger on Carpathia on the morning of 15 April 1912.
Public Domain(Wikipedia)

6 Titanic Survivors Who Were Refused Entrance Into the US
History of Yesterday, 30 Sept 2022

Once they had reached the shore of New York on the 18th of April, the six Chinese men were pulled apart from the other survivors and detained based on the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. This act was implemented back in the late 19th century due to the United States wanting to maintain white “racial purity” despite Chinese people within America making up only 0.002% of the whole American population at the time.

=

 

MV Le Joola at Ziguinchor in 1991
Photo: Yamboo via Wikimedia Commons

It Was Worse Than the Titanic. You Likely Haven’t Heard of It
Newser, 2 Oct

As far as maritime disasters go, the Titanic stands alone—at least in our minds, but not in the history books, at least as far as victims go. In a piece for the New York Times, Elian Peltier revisits the Joola, the passenger ferry that departed on a 17-hour journey along Senegal’s coast toward the capital of Dakar on Sept. 26, 2002. It wouldn’t make it. Passengers streamed below deck as rain started that evening. Then the ferry listed toward the left and capsized. There were just 64 survivors among the 1,900 aboard; every baby and toddler perished. (Roughly 1,500 people died on the Titanic.)

Joola Disaster Books

Wreck of SS Mesaba Found

The only picture of the Marconi radio room onboard the Titanic. Harold Bride is seated at his station. Photo was taken by Father Francis Browne, SJ, while aboard Titanic.
Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

The ship that sent the iceberg warning to Titanic has been located according to the BBC. The SS Mesaba was crossing the Atlantic Ocean on April 1912 and sent a wireless message to the Titanic about the ice it had spotted. The warning never reached the bridge. The SS Mesaba was sunk by a German torpedo in World War I and her remains in the Irish Sea were not located until recently. “ Now using state-of-the art multibeam sonar, Bangor University researchers have been able to identify the Mesaba’s wreck and pinpoint her final resting place.”

Source:

Titanic: Ship that sent iceberg warning found in Irish Sea
BBC, 27 Sept 2022