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Told And Untold Stories Of R.M.S. TITANIC (Part I)

October 23, 2011  by: S. Chowdhury  Points: 12   Category: Others  Earning $0.60   Views: 848

The sinking of the Ship R.M.S. Titanic is the most famous Maritime disaster of all time and the hype surrounding it has not stopped even after almost a Century. Here is a look back at the incidents and some of the prominent people related to it that made this real-life tragedy into a legendary epic.

         

It has been almost a Century since the most famous Maritime disaster of all-time took place yet the speculations and hype surrounding it has not dipped one bit. It still intrigues millions around the World even to this day. Be it a scientist, an historian, a researcher or an ordinary individual, the fanatics related to the events of this colossal tragedy are varied and vast. The happenings of the night of April 14-15, 1912 have walked through the corridors of doomsday into the pages of history for eternity.


Titanic on her Maiden Voyage

The ghost of 'R.M.S. Titanic' now lives as a wreck in shambles 12,500 feet below the chilly waters of the North Atlantic Ocean whereas its legend still lives and breathers through millions of articles, blogs, books, periodicals, collected artifacts on display in several museums, memorials and cemeteries in several parts of the World and off course in form of an multiple academy award winner movie.

The tragedy of Titanic has attracted so much attention over the years as its final hours has been shrouded by a mist of many incidents and actions that creates an aura of it and gives it the form of any great timeless epic. Some of those happenings remain mystery till this day evoking more speculation. Also the various collages of contrasting emotions that could be seen out of one single major disaster make it extra-ordinary. Some of the most intriguing elements in the collages are blatant carelessness and callousness, heroic tales of bravery and courage in extreme conditions, heart-rending stories of separation from loved ones, utmost desperation for survival in the face of eminent death, survivor accounts of miraculous escapes from the jaws of certain death, absolutely bizarre acts of people in their final moments and the eventual horrifying death of a large number of people. All the survivors are dead by now but their written accounts are an integral part of Titanic history to know and understand the fateful events of that night.

R.M.S. Titanic was owned by the British Steamship Company 'White Star Line' and it took almost three years to manufacture it at the Harland & Wolff Shipyard in Belfast, Ireland. Lot of toil and diligence was put in over the years by a huge army of labourers to create the wonder piece by piece under the watchful eyes of the 'Head Ship Building Designer' Thomas Andrews and a few other efficient engineers and craftsman. I read a small report published in a Newspaper in 2002 about the celebrations of ninety years of the embarkation of Titanic in Belfast where a man by the name of John Parkinson - a former shipyard joiner - shared his story. His father was also a joiner like him and spent three years working on Titanic in the Harland and Wolf Shipyard in Belfast. Parkinson recollected, "I was nearly six-years-old when I watched Titanic sail away; I remember it as if it was yesterday". He also reminisced that the ship was so big that it seemed to reach up to the sky and he asked his father in utter amazement and confusion, "But dad how can that big ship stay up in the water?"


Titanic being manufactured at Harland and Wolff Shipyard

During its time 'R.M.S. Titanic' was the largest passenger steamship in the World with the luxurious arrangements absolutely stunning and unmatchable. Its opulence meant that the prices of the first class tickets were very much exorbitant for those times but it was also an opportunity for the rich and elite class people to show-off their financial might. Sadly to woo this bunch of wealthy people and make good money as well as fame the owners put the overall safety of the passengers at stake by reducing the number of lifeboats to be carried on the ship enough to accommodate only half the number of total passengers on board to give the promenade decks a more spacious look and hence heighten the overall ostentatious beauty on those parts specially reserved for the affluent. As far as the reports suggest the second class was also much better and comfortable than those of her rivals and predecessors. Among the greatest artistic and decorative attractions of the ship was a Grand Staircase which has been so much obsessive to many that several replicas of it has been produced in several places over the years of commemoration and public exhibition. The vast dining hall for the first class passengers, the swimming pool, the gymnasium, the special bathing areas (included Turkish bath), the squash court, the electric elevators, etc. gave all the pleasures and facilities any top-notch five-star hotel would render while seafaring.

The term 'unsinkable' was coined specially for 'R.M.S. Titanic' as its safety mechanisms were surmised to be robust enough to thwart any danger that the sea could pose on its way. Ironically it foundered in calm waters with a mere grazing of an Iceberg making the claims one of the most inane and outrageous ones of all time. Actually the fault was more with the quality of steel and rivets available at that time - which became weak very easily under icy chill conditions - rather than the safety mechanisms. Modern technological tests carried out on raised parts of the wreck have vindicated this fact many times. I believe personally that the owners, their stakeholders and loyalists circulated such tall claims in the press to generate more hype and sensation surrounding the Titanic raising its worth and ticket prices manifold therefore.


Titanic Wreck

On April 10,1912 'R.M.S. Titanic' sailed on her maiden voyage from Southampton, England to New York City, U.S.A. - where she never reached. Before embarking on her maiden voyage Titanic did go through some trial runs for about a year and one of them almost proved fatal as she was about to collide with the American vessel 'S.S. New York' but was saved at the very last moment. Probably this accident was welcome considering what she was to go through sometime later but that's how things happen in life!

There are lots of black and white photographs of the Titanic, its interiors, its rooms and all other sections of the ship but there is only one footage of the real ship just as it was ready to leave the dock for the first and sadly the last time. I have seen the footage in several documentaries telecasted on various TV Channels over periods of time. It showed people waving goodbyes to each other from the dock as well as the ship to their near and dear ones. Little did all of them realize that it'd be the last time they'd see each other in this World!

Reference:

Wikipedia.
Encyclopedia Titanica.
Several other websites.

(To be Continued)




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