Sunday, April 15, 2012

Titanic - 100 years ago

Titanic, leaving Southampton, April 10, 1912
It was exactly 100 years ago that the Titanic sank in the Atlantic ocean. The last survivors are now all gone, but the memories and stories that have been told, will be re-told again and again. The loss of over 1,500 lives was one of the deadliest peacetime maritime disasters in history. Four days into her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York, Titanic – at the time the world's largest ship – struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic off Newfoundland. Five of her watertight compartments were holed, causing the ship to flood deck by deck. She carried too few lifeboats for her 2,223 passengers and crew, and many seats were left empty due to a poorly managed evacuation. Titanic's officers loaded the lifeboats "women and children first", leaving most of the men aboard the ship. 

"The sinking of Titanic, from a painting by Billy Stower
Two hours and forty minutes after the collision, Titanic sank with over a thousand people still aboard. Almost all those who jumped or fell into the freezing water soon died of hypothermia or drowned. The RMS Carpathia rescued the survivors from the lifeboats a few hours later. Public outrage at the loss of life led to tougher maritime safety regulations. Titanic's wreck was not found until 1985. The disaster has inspired a wealth of popular culture including many films, most notably James Cameron's ‘Titanic’ in 1997, winning 11 Oscars and grossing over $1.9 billion in the first 12 years since its release.
The Titanic bow, photographed in 2004
Please note that I will be on retreat with the Baker Diocese priests all this week. So there will not be any new posts until Friday.

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