The Sinking of the Titanic

Essay by jessicagodboutHigh School, 10th gradeA, April 2004

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Carlisle built the Titanic (Baldwin, 484), a great passenger liner, for eight million dollars. Its crew claimed, "God Himself could not sink this ship;" they believed it was unsinkable. On her maiden voyage, the Titanic carried 2,207 people-many of whom were important names at the time, and 706 of whom were immigrants-and $420,000 worth of cargo (Baldwin, 485).

Before it sank, the Titanic received six separate ice warnings, all of which the crew let by paying minimal attention to the icebergs in plain view of both crew and passengers. One message received from the Californian was as follows:

"Californian: '[W]e are stuck here, surrounded by ice!'

Titanic: '[S]hut up; keep out…[Y]ou are jamming my signals.'"

(Baldwin, 487)

These facts make the sinking of the Titanic even more ironic.

At 11:40 pm on April 13, 1912 in the cold waters of the North Atlantic, the Titanic hit an iceberg and three hundred feet of the ship's hull was ripped open.

At first, people were not worried. They didn't bother to go on deck, and stewards told the passengers, "I don't suppose it is anything much" (Baldwin, 487). But then things started looking bad. "[W]ater was pouring [in,]…in ten minutes there were eight feet of water in [boiler room] No. 6" (Baldwin, 488).

The Titanic went down head first, "upend[ing] to fifty-to sixty degrees" (Baldwin, 490-2). When the ship finally sank at 2:20 on the morning of April 14, the Californian stood about ten miles away. During the sinking, the crew of the Californian had ignored rockets fired off by the Titanic because they thought the passengers were celebrating. The only radio operator had been asleep and did not respond to distress signals sent out by the Titanic. First playing ragtime and then religious hymns, the ship's band...