FC: The Titanic; a retelling
1: This will be a retelling of the night the Titanic crashed. This will only cover the last moments of the crash.
2: “It was a dark night as well, with no moonlight... And the lookouts had no binoculars; the only pair was left back at Southampton.” Lookout Reginald Fleet. (Testimony at US Senate Inquiry investigation of "The Wreck of the steamship Titanic.") | Start of the "crash night"
3: Sunday Night 11:35 PM - April 14, 1912 - 400 miles off the Grand Banks, New Foundland At the last minute, the binoculars of the lookout crew had disappeared. Any high-tech equipment such as infrared technology, sonar, global positioning systems, and radar were sadly years from being made. Peering into the inky black darkness... Reginald Fleet peered into the darkness to see if he could identify the large mass that was getting closer by the second. "My God!" he yelled, as he reached over to grab the bell mounted on mast, Fleet gave it the traditional three rings, telling he had sighted something. He grabbed the Crow's Nest phone to hear the voice of the ship's 6th officer in the bridge that was below them. "What did you see?" asked the anxious and worried voice. "Iceberg right ahead!" was Fleet's reply. The officer quickly acknowledged with a "thank you," and the phone was hung up. This officer knew things were soon to get rough.
5: "Iceberg right ahead!" was repeated over and over to the bridge. The first officer, on instinct, looked out of the ship's bridge windows. He gasped, seeing the Gigantic Iceberg looming over the bow, dangerously close, he turned and shouted "Hard astarboard!" to the quartermaster tending the ships wheel in the wheelhouse. At the same time, the officer reached over to the ship's telegraph and rang in the order "all stop" and then "all reverse full." The quartermaster now had the ship's wheel spun over as far as it was possible. The men in the bridge were peering forward to see if the helm would respond in time. The Titanic avoided a head-on collision, thanks to the quartermaster.But there was a collision without a doubt. As the ship collided, the entire ship shuddered and vibrated. A passenger later told," It felt like we were rolling over a million marbles." Tons of ice, literally, fell on the deck. | The start of the crash night
6: Titanic's captain, Edward J. Smith, had been napping but was now on deck. "What have we struck?" "An iceberg sir. A big one at that" was the reply. The captain summoned his carpenter Thomas Andrews, one of Titanic's Designers from Harland & Wolf Shipbuilders. Andrew was accompanying the Titanic on its maiden voyage, to work out any "Bugs". Twenty minutes later Captain Smith was quite aware of his ships condition. He also had noticed the lifeboat capacity and lifeboats were both too tiny.
7: A picture of Thomas Andrews
8: Start of the crash night.
9: Now, at the hour of 12:05 AM., being only 30 minutes after the initial sighting of the Iceberg. Lifeboats were uncovered, and the Titanic was taking a considerable dip forward. The squash courts have been completely covered in water. Passengers (mostly first class, being closest to the boat deck) were beginning to appear on deck, many having just slipped a coat on over their night clothes and not realizing the seriousness of the situation. Titanic's small band, under the leadership of Wallace Hartley, came out on to the boat deck and began playing a medley of cheerful ragtime tunes to keep spirits up.Lifeboats were now lowering, the first few but half full. Passengers were hesitant to climb in, thinking the whole procedure was unnecessary. People were saying "This ship can't possibly sink, It's supposed to be unsinkable" This dreadful fact was becoming more apparent however as time passed.A deafening roar was present as coal stokers were drawing out the fires and relieving pressure from the boilers to prevent an explosion from the cold seawater rushing in from the bowels of the ship. The hiss of distress rockets being fired way up into the darkness overhead amused the children as their parents were trying to get them aboard lifeboats.
11: Mid-wreck | Titanic's bow section was now completely underwater. There were very few lifeboats left now, and women and children were now to go first. Some men stepped aside, while others jumped into the icy water. Titanic was assuming quite a terrible situation. It was quite evident that titanic was going to sink. Captain Smith went to the operators shack and told the operators, Bride and Phillips, to send a distress call out. The Cunard ship, Carpathia, said they were in route but were 4 miles away, Long after the titanic would be gone. Items in the ship were heard crashing toward the bow which was sinking. The boilers smashed through the ship after they became unbolted. They say it could be compared to the sound of distant thunder.
12: Slowly, the mammoth liner now began her final dive in an almost vertical position. Her lights flickered a couple of times, then went out for good as the stern disappeared from the surface. Screams and moans could be heard from those struggling in the frigid water. Some passengers in the lifeboats wanted to return to retrieve these poor souls but were quickly told by others that they would surely be swamped if they tried. Amazingly, some of the very same women that protested to officers on the boat deck about their husbands not being allowed to board, were the very same that protested returning to rescue those in the water. The yells quickly faded out one by one as the victims lost consciousness and succumbed to their fate. Two boats, one boat under the command of surviving 5th officer Harold Lowe did manage to pick up a few from the water after transferring passengers from one lifeboat to two other boats. Another boat, under the charge of Seaman Perkis, managed to pick up three victims from the frigid water.
13: The wreck/The rescue
14: A few hours later the remaining passengers in the lifeboats spotted green colored rockets going up in the distance. It was the Carpathia, she was signaling that she was near. Of approximately 2,227 passengers on board Titanic, only 705 survived. After all of this, the first to see the Iceberg, Reginald Fleet, losing his wife and his home took his own life.