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Exactly a hundred years ago, the biggest and most luxurious British passenger ocean liner, RMS Titanic, begun its maiden voyage after leaving Southampton, England on 10 April 1912. Unfortunately, in five days the world was shocked by the news that the Titanic sank in the North Atlantic Ocean on 15 April 1912 after colliding with an iceberg.
Nowdays, we used to a countless companies which offers a different ocean trips on their liners, whatever sea rout you will choose. It is a big part of travel industry today. But a century ago, a voyage on the ocean liner was more a question of the transport rather than a touristic vacation or spending a holiday time.
Become it more safe to sail now after the Titanic's tragedy? A 100 years later it is obvious that "no", after crashing on January 13, 2012, near the Italian coast the Costa Concordia, the modern Titanic - a symbol of human's carelessness. But back to Titanic.
On Monday, April 15, 1912, it became known in London that the Titanic, the largest and most luxurious ship in the world, had sunk in the Atlantic Ocean just five days after leaving Southampton on its maiden voyage to New York. Shortly after 11.40 p.m. on Sunday the 14th, the great ship had struck an iceberg a few hundreds miles south of Newfoundland; it sank at 2.20 a.m. on Monday morning.
The luxury liner had over 2,200 people on board, and all the reports agreed that most of them had lost their lives. This was, unfortunatly, true. When, a few days later, more exact information was available, it was found that only about 700 passengers and crew had survived.
The world was deeply shocked by the disaster. The Titanic, regarded as the greatest engineering feat of its time, had been considered unsinkable. "Don't worry! God Himself could not sink the ship", a sailor had told an anxious passenger on embarkation. People's confidence in technology, almost boundless before the disaster, was badly shaken.
Soon critical questions were being asked. Why had the Titanic beeing going at full speed in spite of warnings that there were icebergs in the area? Why was there lifeboat space for only half the people on board? Why were some of the boats only partly filled? Then there were reports that said that a vessel passed quite close to the Titanic when it was sinking and ignored its distress signals. What vessel was this? It turned out it had been the Californian, another British passenger liner, which had been waiting with its engines stopped because of the icebergs. How far away had the Californian been? Some witnesses said that the distance was not more than 10 miles, but the Californian's capitan claimed that his ship had been more than 19 miles away from the Titanic. Was it true that all the people on board the Titanic could have been saved if the Californian had reacted to the distress signals and come to the sinking ship's rescue?
Those who survived were later picked up by the passenger liner Carpathia and taken to New York. As a result of the disaster, stricter safety regulations were introduced and an international iceberg patrol was established.
The sinking of the Titanic is now past history, but the story - told in dozens of books and at least eleven films - has lived on into our time. Adventurers dreamt of finding and raising the wreck, and in 1985 a team of American and French scientists actually discovered and first photographed it 2 and 1/2 miles, down on the North Atlantic Ocean floor. The great ship that sank quietly into the calm sea on that icy night in 1912 had stopped being a ghost and was becoming real again. Did it have any secrets, and if so, would it give them up? It looked that at least one important question could now be answered: that of the ship's exact location when it sank. In other words, how close to the Californian had it been? The scientists' answer was that the distance had actually been less than ten, possibly only five miles. Their conclusion: "The passengers could have been rescued. No one need have died."
Today, around the world a number of museums have their displays on Titanic. Among others, the most interesting exhibitions has: The Ulster Folk and Transport Museum ( Cultra, Northern Ireland wich is a few miles from the Harland and Wolff shipyards, a place where Titanic was constructed );
The Titanic Belfast visitor attraction which has 12,000 square metres of floor space of interpretative and interactive galleries (the Titanic Quarter in Belfast, Northern Ireland, known as Queen's Island);
The SeaCity Museum in Southampton, England; the Merseyside Maritime Museum in Liverpool.
To mark the 100th anniversary of Titanic's maiden voyage a number of activities has been planned. The SeaCity Museum in Southampton, Hampshire opened on 10 April 2012; The Sea Odyssey: Giant Spectacular, a three-day outdoor performance art on the streets of Belfast (20-22 April); re-release of the 1997 feature film, Titanic in 3D; a four-part Titanic mini-series, broadcast on ITV1; The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra performed The Titanic Requiem in London; the BBC World Service broadcast, on 10 April 2012, a radio documentary entitled Titanic - In Her Own Words; two ships participated in memorial services at the spot where Titanic sank, R-class Azamara Journey (Azamara Cruises) and cruise ship Balmoral (Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines). Also, Britain's Royal Mail and Canada Post have been issued a Postage stamps dedicated to the Titanic's 100th anniversary.
img source: nmni.com, wikipedia.org
in this article, partly was used materials by H. Hoffmann