The Waiters of the Titanic (1912)

the waiters of the titanicThis is how the history of the waiters of the titanic begins

From the beginning, the maiden voyage of the Titanic is marked by tragedy. It is said that, as the immense 46,329-ton ship moved majestically from its berth in Southampton, it was next to the ocean liner New York, that was anchored. Suddenly voices of alarm were heard as the thick mooring ropes of both ships became tangled like a cord, and then began to be dragged together by some unknown force.

El Titanic was stopped just in time after the strange “suction stopped, and immediately the tugs slowly made their way to the New York to take it back to the mooring. An identical situation arose only a few minutes later, when the Teutonic also tangled in the ropes of the Titanic and he followed closely several degrees until the Titanic managed to slide.

Subsequently, the ocean liner was towed out to the open sea and tranquility returned the crew to its captain, Edward-Smith. The deck shook almost imperceptibly under the thrust of her mighty turbines: she was the biggest, best, and safest ship ever built. To guarantee that fullfilment of security requirements15 transverse partitions subdivided it from bow to stern and a double bottom meant a further guarantee against accidents. It was, in the minds of everyone on land and on board, the ultimate: the unsinkable ship.

After a brief visit to Cherbourg, the Titanic he left Queenstown (now Cobh), Ireland, on the night of Thursday, April 11, 1912, and entered the Atlantic, in waters that veteran Captain Smith knew very well. He sailed steadily west without incident; The sea was calm and the weather was clear, although very cold, to the extent that the temperature dropped dramatically during the morning of Sunday, April 14, and several messages received by the radio operator of the Titanic warned about the danger of finding icebergs.

The ship continued its march at full speed, its lights flickered on the dark and calm water: its engines propelled it at a constant speed of knots. Suddenly, just before midnight, a lookout yelled, "Iceberg ahead!"

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They gave orders desperate to turn the ship into port, but it was too late. As it began to turn, a huge iceberg scraped its starboard all along and then slid to the stern and was lost into the night. Captain Smith was on the bridge before his first mate Murdoch could communicate the order to "Stop engines!" He ordered all watertight compartments to be hermetically sealed, then asked Fourth Officer Boxhall to probe. The young officer was about to leave when the ship's carpenter came to the bridge to report: "It's leaking fast!"

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The passengers who were still awake did not realize what was happening, because the impact had been soft. Lawrence Beesley, one of the survivors, stated that “there was no crash or other noise; no shock was felt, no jolt of a heavy body colliding with another ... "

On the deck, and despite the intense cold, some enthusiastic passengers had a “battle” with snowballs, using the ice that the deadly iceberg had deposited during the brief encounter with the ship, while another passenger, who did not want to leave the comfort of the living room, he held out a glass and asked a friend to "see if any ice had arrived on board."

Some passengers asked the waiters why the machines had stopped, and they assured them that there was no cause for alarm. The waiters acted in good faith, since until now they really believed that everything was under control. Down there, however, the story was different. The men in the first boiler room were swimming in strong torrents of water rushing through a huge crevice in the side of the ship. They managed to reach the next boiler room, and then the next, until they entered number 4, which was almost halfway up the ship and where the water still did not reach.

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Realizing that the damage was serious, Captain Smith went to the radio room, where the two radio operators, Jack Phillips and Harold Bride, were ready to receive or transmit signals, and told them that the ship had collided with a iceberg and wanted them to be ready to send a distress call.

When he returned to the bridge it was obvious that the Titanic se sinking slowly. The iceberg had cut a third of the ship's length in the starboard bow, and the icy Atlantic water was pouring in uncontrollably and copiously.

At 00:25 a.m., a few minutes after the collision, Captain Smith ordered the boats to be discovered. Ten minutes later he returned to the radio room to order the operators to start broadcasting, adding disturbedly: "It could be the last chance." Immediately, the urgent call crackled into the night broadcasting what had happened, giving the ship's MGY call sign and its position, and calling for urgent help.

La signal was captured by two ocean liners, the Frankfort and Carpathia, and the captain of the latter asked his operator twice if he had read the message correctly, as he did not believe that the "unsinkable" Titanic could be in trouble. When the call for help was confirmed, he ordered his operator to respond that he would come to the rescue at full speed, and asked his engineers to give him "all the information they had."

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Meanwhile, the waiters of the Titanic They went from cabin to cabin, knocking on doors and asking the occupants to put on clothes suitable for the cold and to go to the boat stations with their life jackets. Still unaware of the seriousness of the situation, most of the passengers did as asked, although some refused to leave the heat of their cabins for what they considered simply an unexpected and inconsiderate evacuation training exercise.

The boats were hung and the order was given: "Women and children only!" At first there was a reluctance to abandon ship because it seemed so safe, so comfortable compared to the fragile boats. Beesley later declared: “The sea was calm as an inland lake, except for the gentle swell that could not cause any movement to a ship the size of the Titanic. Staying on deck, many meters above the water that was beating indolently against the side, gave a wonderful feeling of security ... "

They were all being calm, almost indifferent. Until that moment the panic that reigns in other ships in similar circumstances had not appeared in the face of the danger of drowning; there was only one unpleasant scene among the third-class passengers, which was quickly controlled by the officers.

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Finally, the boats began to be loaded with passengers and lowered slowly, although they did not actually drop them at sea, because Captain Smith received the responses to his distress signal, especially from the Carpathia who reported being only 60 miles away and assured that he would arrive in four hours.

However, the captain soon realized that his ship was sinking more with each passing minute, and he knew that as the bow sank and the starboard rose it would be more difficult to lower the boats, some of which were only half full. of her ability, as many women refused to leave their husbands. Isador Strauss's wife was one of them and firmly expressed: "Wherever you go, I go." Thus, they stayed together ... and died together.

As the boats splashed down, the notes from Nearer My God to Thee they floated into the night, emitted by a group of musicians from the ship who had gathered on the deck with their instruments. Some passengers joined in the chant, others stared over the side of the ship for one last long look at the faces of their loved ones before they became indistinguishable in the dark.

Almost all of the lifeboat crews were made up of waiters and firemen, as the officers and almost all the sailors remained on board to help those who remained.

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Two hours after the ocean liner crashed, Captain Smith ordered: “Abandon ship! Every man for himself! " He remained on the bridge and was not seen again. Despite the order, Phillips and Bride were still transmitting, urging the ships coming to their rescue to hurry, until the power failed and they took to the deck.

Those in the boats were looking back at the mighty sinking ship. The ship, nearly 300 meters long with four huge smokestacks and still shining in the blazing light from skylights and lounges, was now low by the bulwarks and sinking slowly but noticeably. The angle widened as the starboard rose, then tilted to a near vertical position and stood for a few moments, almost motionless.

As it swayed, all its lights suddenly went out and there was a deep crash as tons of machinery fell over and smashed towards the bow. At once the huge ocean liner slid forward and down, the waters closing over it like a shroud.

Shortly after 04:00, the Carpathia that he made a dangerous race in the waters at a hitherto unknown speed (to him) of 17 knots, he arrived at the scene of the tragedy at 08:00 hours and had rescued the occupants of all the boats. With him was the California, an ocean liner that had stopped overnight less than 10 miles from Titanic and whose captain would be severely criticized for not observing the rescue rockets of the crashed ship.

The whole world was shocked when the final balance of the disaster was provided. Of the 2,206 people on board, 1,403 died or disappeared; most were male crew members and passengers from the greatest maritime disaster of all time.

The research resulted in the creation of the International Ice Patrol (International Ice Patrol) as well as stricter regulations regarding the provision of sufficient lifeboats to accommodate all persons on board ships.

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