The RMS Titanic went to her watery grave on April 15, 1912. The death toll from the sinking of this ship was 1,503. Only 705 people survived. The day before she sank to the bottom of the Atlantic, this ship that was supposed to be unsinkable, collided with an iceberg that ripped a hole in her side.
White Star Line, a company owned by tycoon J.P. Morgan, had built this wonder ship at a cost of $7.5 million. Called the The Millionaires' Special, The Wonder Ship, The Unsinkable Ship, and The Last Word in Luxury by newspapers around the world, the cost of a first-class ticket was $4,700. That was quite a large sum of money in 1912. Today that same ticket would cost $50,000.
Only moments after the Titanic pulled out of the dock, she almost collided with another ship. Was this an omen of a disaster waiting to happen?
Maybe if they had been better prepared or maybe if the warnings of ice had been heeded, this disaster could have been averted. The lookouts did not have any binoculars, nor was a lifeboat drill ever held. You would think that those operating this huge ship had no idea that they were approaching an iceberg. They would have turned back if they had known, right? But they were traveling through a part of the ocean that was known for icebergs at almost maximum speed. The wireless operator had received not just one, but six warnings of ice ahead. He simply ignored them.
The compartments in the hull of this gigantic ship were supposed to be waterproof. This probably should have been tested before her maiden voyage. After they collided with the iceberg, it was discovered that they were not waterproof. That was not a good time to find out this important fact. Still, if only four of the compartments became flooded, she could have stayed afloat. Unfortunately, five compartments flooded.
The Titanic sent a final message. It said, “We are sinking fast. Passengers being put into boats.”
325 of the world's richest people were on the maiden voyage of this ship. Twelve of the world's richest men went down with the boat. The Countess of Rothes was one of the wealthiest of these passengers, and she was the only one with a title. One of the bravest passengers, she was put into lifeboat 8 where she not only helped to calm down the other passengers, but also rowed the lifeboat and contributed to saving the lives of everyone on board her lifeboat.
You always hear about the rich people on board this ship, but there was also one black family on board. The Laroche's tickets had been purchased by the husband's mother as a gift to this struggling family. The wife and the two children were put on a lifeboat and survived. The husband went down with the ship.
There were also dogs aboard the ship. One account I read said that two of them survived, another account said three of them made it.
So, the ship you are on is submerging into an icy ocean? How do you pass the time while waiting on this to happen? It is reported that the band on board played cheerful music until up until just a few minutes before the ship went completely under. None of them survived. I wonder if there were people still dancing to the music they played? Others were in the gymnasium riding the exercise bikes until the last possible moment.
The temperature of the Atlantic when the ship went down was an icy 31 degrees. A lot of people, even though they were wearing life jackets, simply froze to death and floated away. There was one person who survived being in the icy water for such a long period of time. Charles Joughin, one of the bakers aboard the ship, was the lucky survivor. Why did he survive? He had been drinking alcohol pretty heavily right before the ship went down. His blood alcohol level was so high that it enabled him to survive the icy Atlantic waters.
The New York Evening Sun made a huge mistake in their headline on April 15, 1912. It read All Saved From Titanic After Collision. I wonder how such a terrible mistake was made. Could it have been their rush to be one of the first to report on this tragedy?
The Titanic now rests on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean. The ship went down nose first, so her bow plunged 60 feet beneath the ocean floor.
What would it have been like to be a passenger on this famous ship? I'm sure you can find a writing prompt somewhere in all of the above information.
You could create a character who was one of the 3,000 men that built this massive ship.
Your character could have been on the dock watching as the Titanic pulled out on her only voyage. What was your characters reaction when she almost collided with another ship?
Your character could be the wireless operator who ignored the warnings about ice. Or your character could try and have the wireless operator alert the captain.
Your character could be aboard the same lifeboat as the Countess of Rothes.
There are many more writing prompts you could pull from the above information, and all kinds of scenarios that could take place. Feel free to share any writing prompts ideas you have in the forum.