April 15: TODAY in Irish History (by IrishmanSpeaks)
1912: After hitting an iceberg at twenty minutes to midnight on April 14th, the Titanic is fatally damaged. The demise of Titanic was partly due to hubris (an “unsinkable” ship would not need to slow down in iceberg infested waters and would never need sufficient life boats for all passengers), poor design, lack of discipline (Titanic had lifeboats for 1,176 passengers) and fatigued or careless crew members who either ignored warnings or failed to pass them on.
Exact numbers on board Titanic are difficult to determine, but a U.S. Senate report states that there were 2,233 people on board, “1517 were lost and 706 were saved.”
Stories (myths) about heroism and cowardice dominated the newspapers and media.
The White Star line (owner of Titanic) in a cable from New York dated April 21, commented on the ship’s designer Thomas Andrews:
“After accident Andrews ascertained damage, advised passengers to put on heavy clothing and prepare to leave vessel. Many were sceptical about the seriousness of the damage, but impressed by Andrews’ knowledge and personality, followed his advice, and so saved their lives. He assisted many women and children to lifeboats. When last seen, officers say, he was throwing overboard deck chairs and other objects to people in the water, his chief concern the safety of everyone but himself.
Within about twenty minutes of impact, Andrews was advising Captain Smith that the ship would sink in two hours.
At 12.25, orders are given to load the lifeboats. It appears only one lifeboat drill ever took place prior to the accident. This was at Southampton when two lifeboats were dropped and raised by Titanic crewmen.
At 2.20am, Titanic would slip under the water.
The Carpathia, the first ship to arrive on the scene picks up first survivors at 4.10am.
The Guardian newspaper later quoted one of the Titanic stokers who survived the disaster:
“I was on the eight to twelve o’clock watch … there would be 83 men on that watch. Eight of us out of the 83 are here. The rest of the 83 were drowned. We were working away, and thinking our watch was nearly up, when all of a sudden the starboard side of the ship came in on us.
“It burst in like big guns going off, and the water came pouring in. It swilled [around] our legs, and we made a dash into the next section and slammed the watertight door to quick. There was no time to waste. Then all of a sudden the water came with a rush into where we were. How it came in I don’t know, and Harvey, the engineer, said to me ‘Get up on deck.’ I was nearly swilled off my feet, but I managed to get out. I knew then that ship must sink.”
Want to learn more about Ireland? See these images and more in the acclaimed For the Love of Being Irish
For the Love of Being Irish written by Chicago based Corkman Conor Cunneen and illustrated by Mark Anderson which is an A-Z of all things Irish. This is a book that contains History, Horror, Humor, Passion, Pathos and Lyrical Limericks that will have you giving thanks (or wishing you were) For the Love of Being Irish
This history is written by Irish author, business keynote speaker and award winning humoristIrishmanSpeaks – Conor Cunneen. If you spot any inaccuracies or wish to make a comment, please don’t hesitate to contact us via the comment button.
Visit Conor’s YouTube channel IrishmanSpeaksto Laugh and Learn. Tags: Best Irish Gift, Creative Irish Gift, Unique Irish Gifts, Irish Books, Irish Authors, Today in Irish History