~April 10, 1912 - Sailing Day~
Captain Edward J. Smith boards the Titanic at 7:30 in the morning with a full crew.The captain then receivs the sailing report from chief officer Wilde and a half an hour later, part of the crew perform a brief lifeboat drill using starboard lifeboats 11 and 15. The second and third class passengers board the ship between 9:30 and 11:00. After they had all boarded, the first class passengers started boarding and were being escorted to their cabins.
It's now noon and the Titanic is cast off from dry dock by tugs. During down stream passage, the water displacement by the Titanic's movement cause six mooring ropes on the R.M.S. New York to break and her stern swings toward the Titanic. Quick action narrowly averts a collision by only four feet - departure is delayed for an hour.
An hour later and the Titanic resumes a 24 mile trip down stream to the English Channel on her way to Cherbourg, France. At 5:30 p.m. she arrives at Cherbourg, France and the passengers board. Anchor is raised (at 8:10) and the Titanic leaves for Queenstown, Ireland taking her through the English Channel.
The Titanic arrives in Queenstown Harbor about two miles from land at 11:30 in the morning. Seven passengers disembark as one hundred and thirteen Third class and seven Second class passengers board from 2 ferry tenders with 1385 bags of mail. The anchor is raised for the last time at 1:30 p.m., and the Titanic departs on her first and final transatlantic crossing. The Titanic covers 386 miles in fine, calm, clear weather.
~April 12 - 13~
The Titanic covers 519 miles in fine, calm, clear, weather conditions. Various ice warnings are received which is nothing uncommon for April crossings.
That Fateful Night
Sunday at 9:00 a.m, the Titanic picks up a wireless message from the S.S. Caronia warning the Titanic of a field of ice at 42`N from 49` to 51`W. Soon after being sent, the Caronia's message is received by Captain Smith. It reads as follows:
West-bound steamer reports bergs growers and field of ice 42°N from 49° to 51°W
West-bound steamer reports bergs growers and field of ice 42°N from 49° to 51°W
At 10:30 in the morning, passengers from all classes gathered in the First-Class Dining room for Divine Services. Captain Smith led the shipboard congregation, reading from White Star Line's own prayer book. Although Sunday services were usually followed by a lifeboat drill for passengers and crew, Captain Smith elected to forgo this formality on Titanic's first Sunday at sea.
However, things were hectic in the Titanic's Wireless room. The ships Macroni, John Phillips and his young assistant Harold Bride, were receiving and transmitting private telegrams across the ocean for the Titanic's wealthy guests. At nine o'clock in the morning, the Carolina had signaled: "Bergs, growlers and field ice 42 degrees to 51 degress W." At 11:40 AM, the Noordam imformed the Titanic of "Much ice", and around 1:45 PM the Baltic cautioned: "Bergs, and large quantites of field ice in 41 degrees 51' N, 40 degrees 52' W," a position close to Titanic's route. At 5:03 PM, Phillips intercepted another ice warning from the Amerika, "2 Icebergs in 41 degrees 27'. 50 degrees 8' W on April 14."
To most on board, the warnings meant nothing becuase the Titanic couldn't sink. But by 5:30 PM, the temperature had rapidly dropped to 39 degrees. Many of the passengers fled from the deck for the warmer conditions inside the ship.
At 5:50 p.m, Captain Smith alters this ship's course slightly to the south and west of the normal course possibly as a precaution to avoid ice.
At 7:35 the temperature again took a dive, dipping down to 33 degrees and at 8:45, the cold temperatures had alarmed Second Officer Lightoller sent the ships carpenter to look over the ships fresh water supply, becuase he was worried it would freeze.At 7:30 PM they intercepted yet another caution from the nearby Californian whice read, "Three large bergs southward of us." Captain Smith never recieved this navigational warning because he was the guest of honor at a dinner party. The last ice warning was received at 9:40 PM by the Mesaba, "Ice warning, saw much heavy pack ice and a great number of large icebergs; also field ice." The Californian had tried to signal the Titanic that it was completly surronded by ice but the Titanic's wireless officer Phillips told the Californain to shut up becuase he was busy. The Californain then turned off her Macroni set and no more ice warnings were sent.
The Titanic cruises at 20 1/2 knots when the ship's lookout (Frederick Fleet) sees an iceberg dead ahead (11:40 p.m.), 500 yards away towering 55 to 60 feet above the water. Fleet immediately sounds the warning bell with three sharp rings. Then he calls the bridge and says "iceberg dead ahead." First officer Murdoch calls a hard a starboard. After a few seconds, the Titanic begins to veer to port, but the iceberg strikes the starboard bow side and brushes along side of the ship.
During the first 10 minutes after impact, water rises 14 feet from the bow and the first five compartments begin to take on water.
It's now midnight and Captain Smith asks Thomas Andrews (ship's designer) for his assessments. He accumulates that the ship can stay afloat for 1 to 1 1/2 hours only. The ship is doomed. Captain Smith orders C.Q.D. (S.O.S. now), a distress call. Fifteen minutes after the ship struck the iceberg orders are given to uncover lifeboats and muster the crew and passengers.
Between 12:10 and 1:50 a.m., several crew members on the S.S. Californian, which is positioned some 10 to 14 miles away, ignore the Titanic's rockets and the lookout comments "They don't seem like distress signals."
The Titanic's band begins to play lively Ragtime tunes in the first class lounge on A Deck at about 12:15. Later, they move to the Boat Deck near the port entrance to the Grand Staircase.
At 12:25 a.m. the order is given to start loading the lifeboats. The strict tradition of "women and children first" is strongly used. The Carpathia, steaming southeast some 58 miles away receives the distress call and immediately heads full speed to the rescue. The first lifeboat (No. 7) is safely lowered on the starboard side (12:45 a.m.) and was safely lowered away. It can carry 68 people but leaves with 28 people aboard. Ten minutes later the first port side lifeboat (No.6) is lowered down with only 28 aboard including the famous Molly Brown and Major Peuchen. At 1:15 a.m. the water begins to reach the Titanic's name on the bow and she lists to port. An hour and forty minutes after the Titanic struck the iceberg, the third lifeboat, starboard lifeboat No. 9, leaves with 56 people. At this point, the ship has developed a noticeable list to starboard. Signs of panic begin to appear among some of the passengers on the ship and crew members get worried themselves. Port side boat No. 16 is lowered with 50 people at 1:35 a.m. and starboard boat 15 follows 30 seconds later with 70 aboard. Most of the forward boats have now been cast away and remaining passengers begin to move to the stern area. Ismay leaves on collapsible C with 39 others aboard and the last lifeboat on the starboard side is launched.
It's now 2:00 a.m. and the sea is only 10 feet below Promenade deck and there are still 1500+ people left on the sinking ship. Five minutes later the Titanic's forecastle deck sinks underwater and the tilt begins to grow steeper. Captain Smith releases wireless operaters Bride and Phillips from their duty at 2:10. Disregarding Smith's command, Phillips continues to send C.Q.D.'s.
Phillips sends the last radio message at 2:17 while Captain Smith tells the remaining crew members, "It's every man for himself." Smith then returns to the bridge where as most cases have it, he is never seen again. A minute later a huge roar is heard as all movable objects inside crash toward the submerged bow. The ship's lights blink once and then turn off for good. The R.M.S. Titanic break's apart.
Now at 2:20 a.m. and the Titanic's broken stern section settles back into the water righting itself for a moment. It slowly fills with water and tilts its stern higher in the air before sinking into the sea. In the short period of about 2 hours following this, the remaining 1500+ souls drown or freeze in the icy cold waters. The Titanic disaster becomes one of the greatest maritime tragedies in history.
In the end, the Titanic had recieved six ice warnings and ignored every one of them!