A Trip to Remember

By | Apr 10, 2012

It was on April 10, 1912 that the unsinkable Titanic left Southampton England on it’s maiden voyage in route to New York City. It crossed the English Channel to take on additional passengers at Cherbourg, France and again on the 11th at Queenstown (presently known as Cobh), Ireland.

The night of April 14th was cold, clear, but dark, there was no moon, with calm seas when at 11:40 PM the lookouts Fredrick Fleet and Reginald Lee spotted an iceberg directly in front of the ship.

Despite the actions of 1st Officer William Murdock to avoid the iceberg, the ship collided with the iceberg just 37 seconds after the sighting. By 2:20 AM, less than three hours later, the ship sank into the ocean.

How many people died that night all depends on how many people were actually on the ship. In Walter Lord’s A Night to Remember, still considered a definitive resource on the accident, he says that there may have been as many as 1635 deaths with an American inquiry saying 1517 and two different British inquiries having the number at 1503 or 1490. The only known number is the survivors and that was 705, less than a third of the number on the ship. Among the survivors were both of the lookouts, Fleet and Lee, who crewed lifeboats.

For the few days that it carried passengers the Titanic was the world’s largest passenger ship having a length of 882 feet 9 inch and 92 1/2 feet wide. The rated capacity was listed as 3547 passengers and crew.

Milvina Dean was only two months old when along with her parents, Bertram and Georgette Dean and brother Bertram boarded the ship to emigrate to Witchita, Kansas. She was the youngest passengers on the ship. She along with her mother and brother survived that night. When she died last year on May 31st she was the last living survivor of the Titanic.


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