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Sinking of the Titanic – The Survivors

May 12th, 2010

Titanic 1912 Model Ship

Out of the 2,223 people aboard Titanic, only 706 people survived the disaster. Most of the deaths were caused by hypothermia from floating around in the 28 degree water. With water at this temperature, the human body can usually withstand no more than fifteen minutes. The least likely to survive were the men of the 2nd and 3rd class, and 92 percent of male passengers in second class died. Overall, only 20 percent of men survived.  The men in first class survived at a rate four times higher than men in second class, and twice as high as men in third. As for the third-class, less than half survived.

The children and women on board Titanic survived in greater numbers, but they were not without their deaths. In the first class, six of the seven children survived, 100% of the children in second class survived, but less than half survived in third class. 96 percent of women survived in first class, 86% in second class, and less than half in third class. Out of the officers on board Titanic, four of the eight survived; twenty-one of the twenty-nine seamen survived; all of the seven quartermasters and 8 lookouts survived; three of the thirteen leading firemen survived, with forty-five other firemen surviving; twenty of seventy-three coal trimmers survived; four of thirty-three greasers survived; one of the six mess hall stewards survived; sixty of the three-hundred and twenty-two stewards survived; eighteen of the twenty-three stewardesses survived; three of the sixty-eight restaurant staff members survived; and all of the postal clerks, guarantee group, and eight-member orchestra died.

Furthermore, more British passengers died in relation to American passengers. The reason for this is unknown, but some speculate that it was due to the British being more polite than American’s who were thought to be selfish and brutish. According to witnesses, Captain Edward John Smith shouted out as the Titanic sunk to “be British, boys, be British!”.

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Sinking of the Titanic – The Carpathia and The Rescue (Final Minutes)

May 10th, 2010

Model Titanic

By 2:10 am, Titanic’s stern began rising from the water, exposing its propellers, and the waterline had reached the boat deck by 2:17 am. The last two lifeboats were taken off the deck with Collapsible B upside down, and Collapsible A half filled with water. Soon, the forward funnel collapsed, and smashed into the bridge and onto many people frantically floating around the water. Panicked, several passengers on the deck began jumping overboard in attempts to reach lifeboats, while others made way for the stern. As the stern began to rise ever higher into the air, unsecured objects began falling toward the dark ocean water below, striking passengers on their way. As the stern climbed into the air, the electrical system flickered in its final moments before giving out completely, leaving the remaining passengers in total darkness. The stress from the sinking Titanic caused the ship to break into two parts between the last two funnels as the bow became went underwater completely. The stern became adjusted, but then began another vertical fall into the ocean, and shortly after 2:20 am, the entire ship was beneath the ocean.

Of the eighteen lifeboats that made it off of Titanic, only two of them came back to rescue the people dying in the freezing Atlantic waters. Lifeboat 4 came back to rescue five people, two of which died eventually. And about an hour later, Lifeboat 14 came back to rescue four more people, one of which died. Others managed to make it onto the last two lifeboats that floated off of the deck. The sixteen other lifeboats that did not come back for other passengers cited reasons such as a fear of people swamping the boat and capsizing it, and worry of being pulled under by the suction of the sinking Titanic. RMS Carpathia arrived on the scene at 4:10 am and began rescuing survivors from their lifeboats. By 8:30 am, Carpathia had rescued the last of the survivors in the lifeboats and left for New York at 8:50 am.

Carpathia docked at Pier 54 on Little West 12th Street in New York, greeted with thousands of people who heard of the Titanic’s fate, and came to comfort the survivors. The news of the Titanic sinking brought great shock to people who were confused that so many people could die aboard a ship with such advanced technology. Newspapers began filling with stories of the Titanic, and charities popped up to help victims and their families cope with the disaster. Southampton was deeply affected by the Titanic’s sinking, and according to Hampshire Chronicleon nearly 1,000 local families were affected directly by the sinking of Titanic. More than 500 households lost a member on Titanic, and nearly every street in the Chapel district lost more than one resident.

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