A little about the Titanic….
Posted by Niamh Allabyrne on the 20th of September 2012 at 10:47:33
In light of the Titanic Exhibition in Belfast, celebrating its 500,000 visitor this week, I thought I would take a look at the Titanic and some interesting facts about the ship, her passengers and crew.
The story of the Titanic and its tragic demise captures peoples imagines no less today than it did when it was launched and lost 100 years ago this year. This magnificent ship was testament to both the skills and innovation of the day and was thought to be indestructible. It was the largest ship on the seas at the time and was the optimum in comfort, luxury and style with a gym, swimming pool, libraries and an impressive high-class restaurant. She even had her own newspaper the Atlantic Bulletin! Titanic had advanced safety features such as watertight doors and cabins, but crucially and to her detriment, only had enough lifeboats for half of her passengers.
This floating town set sail amidst great fan-fare with hundreds of people lining the piers to not only watch friends and family board but just to simply see this ship which they had heard so much about. Titanic docked in first Southampton, England, Cherbourg, France and then lastly - her final stop before her fateful journey Queenstown (Cobh today) in Cork Ireland.
The ship captured the imagination of so many people – from those who built her admiring her perceived endurance and speed, to those seeking a new life in the Americas, and to those who were simply wealthy enough to enjoy her first class standards and wished to boast that they had sailed on Titanic’s maiden voyage.
However, only 4 days into her voyage, she hit an iceberg at 11.40pm on April 14th 1912, and sunk within two hours with the loss of 1,517* souls, the vast majority of whom were made up of the 2nd and 3rd class passengers.
*there are discrepancies in the actual number of casualties as some passengers had cancelled their voyage, other may have been counted twice –
Some Titanic Facts....
- Built in Belfast’s Harland and Wolff’s shipyard in Northern Ireland for the White Star Company it took 3 years to build at a cost of $750,0000 to build( $400,000,000 today)
- Approximately 20% of Harland and Wolff’s staff were engaged in building the Titanic with an average weekly wage of £2
- The Titanic was just over 882 feet and 92 feet wide
- The total weight of the passengers’ luggage and freight was 900 tonnes
- There were 9 decks - A-G
- There were only two bath-tubs on the Titanic
- The Titanic was not at full capacity when she left her last stop in Ireland with 2,223 people (passengers and crew) on board out of a possible 3,547 – there could have been ever greater loss of life had she been
- There were 13 honey-moon couples on board
- 61% of First Class passengers survived compared to only 24% of Third Class Passengers
- Out of the crew – of which there were 885 -214 survived - ironically all the look-outs survived the tragedy
- While there were not enough life-boats, those that were launched were not full to capacity – one of the first to be launched had only 12 people aboard – it had a capacity of 40.
- The youngest victim was aged just 19th months old, with 49 children dying from Steerage and only 1 from First Class
- The water killed many people due to the below freezing conditions of-2°C
- Jim Cameron’s movie Titanic has grossed some $2.18 billion world-wide
Titanic’s legacy has remained strong – and indeed the number of people visiting the Titanic Belfast Exhibition is a testament to this. And while so many were lost, there were survivors – people who were determined to follow their dreams and ensure that this tragedy would not happen again. Indeed, in the aftermath, changes to safety laws changed in regards to life-boats, life-jackets and safety drills were made………
So have we tempted you into learning more about the Titanic!? Visit the Titanic Exhibition and see its 9 galleries, interactive displays and full-scale reconstructions, retelling her story from her conception to her demise in a refreshing, sympathetic and informative way – why don’t you see it for yourself! Book our Touch of Northern Ireland 8 Day Tour today and read our blog on what other Northern Ireland attractions there are!