In 1912, the Titanic hit the iceberg on its first trip across the Atlantic, and it sank four hours later. At that time, The Titanic was the largest ship that had ever travelled on the sea. It was carrying 2207 people, but it had taken on enough lifeboats for only 1178 people.
When the passengers tried to leave the ship, only 651 of them were able to get into lifeboats.
The Carpathia was 58 miles away when the Titanic called on its radio for help. It arrived two hours after the great ship had gone down, and it saved 705 people. Some of the survivors had been in the icy water for hours when they were saved.
Most of the passengers hadn’t lived that long; 1502 people had lost their lives.
Through the whole tragedy, the California was only ten miles away. Its officers were close enough to see the Titanic, but they didn’t understand the situation. They never received the Titanic’s call for help, and they didn’t come to the rescue until too late.
Why was there such a great loss of life? Why were so few survivors? Why didn’t the Californian come to help?
First of all, nobody had prepared for such a tragedy. Nobody had believed that the Titanic could sink. The steamship company had thought that its ship would be completely safe in all situations. They’d followed an old rule for the number of lifeooats, so they’d supplied lifeboats for only half the people.
The passengers had not yet received their lifeboat numbers, nor had they practiced lifeboat drill before the accident. Many of them had not even dressed warmly, for the ship had hit the iceberg late at night, and they didn’t believe they were in danger.
The ship had already received six ice warning on its radio when it struck the iceberg. Nevertheless, it had not changed its direction or its speed.
It was impossible to change direction quickly enough when the iceberg came in sight. When the Titanic hit the iceberg, the radio officer on the Califomian had just gone to bed. He’d tried to warn the officers on the Titanic about ice before he’d gone to bed, but the officers hadn’t listened.
After this accident, ocean travel changed. Now there are always enough lifeboats for everybody. Ships don’t go so far north in winter, and they watch carefully for ice. Radio officers work 24 hours a day.
A tragedy like the sinking of the Titanic should never happen again.
Proverbs and Sayings
The earlier we start, the better. One doesn ‘t carry coals to Newcastle. Well begun is half done.
East or West home is best. Nothing venture, nothing have. A great ship asks deep waters. All roads lead to Rome.
So many countries, so many customs. Every bird likes his own nest. If you can’t see the bottom, do not cross the river. What must be, must be.
All is well that ends well. There is no place like home.