Saturday, April 14, 2012

100th Anniversary of Titanic Sinking

RMS Titanic Remembered
Events Around the World

Events across the world are marking the Centenary of the Titanic Sinking in the Atlantic.  The RMS Titanic was a British steamliner built by the White Star Line. For her time, she was the largest passenger steamship in the world. It employed the latest technology available at the time, and was thought to have been "unsinkable". Unfortunately, as you know, that wasn't the case.

The Titanic left Southampton, UK on April 10, 1912, with 2,200 passengers and crew onboard. This was the maiden voyage of this amazing new steamship. Four days after leaving Southampton, the Titanic collided with an iceberg and sank. Over 1500 people perished making it one of the most deadly peacetime disasters in history. The high casualty rate was later believed to be due to the insufficient number of lifeboats onboard, something that has been corrected in modern day cruise liners.
Titanic Belfast - Opened March 31, 2012
Just in time for the Centenary of the Titanic sinking,  a large interactive exhibit, Titanic Belfast®, has opened in Northern Ireland.  It extends over nine galleries, complete with special effects, dark rides, full-scale reconstructions, and other interactive features for the visitor to explore everything about the Titanic.
Your visit starts with the conception in Belfast in the early 1900s, through her construction and launch, to her infamous maiden voyage and catastrophic demise. The journey goes beyond the aftermath of the sinking, to the discovery of the wreck and continues into the present day with a live undersea exploration centre.  This will surely be a must-see attraction for years to come.  
Harland and Wolff Shipyard - builder of the Titanic
For most of the century following the Titanic disaster, it was a taboo to mention the "T-word" in Belfast, Northern Ireland, site of the shipyard that built that ship and her two sister ships, Olympia and Britannic.  It was a reminder of the industrial failure that followed the disaster.
The cranes are silent now in the shipyard, as their focus shifted to servicing ships and marine infrastructure.  They are staying out of the spotlight on the anniversary of the Titanic.  The only involvement is sponsoring a requiem mass.  Some 16,000 people packed the Belfast slipways where the Titanic was built for a free, open-air concert Friday ahead of the 100th anniversary of the luxury liner’s sinking.

Observances in Belfast include a choral requiem at the Anglican St. Anne's Cathedral and a nationally televised concert at the city's Waterfront Hall on Saturday, where  thousands were expected to attend.


Southampton, England was the departure port for the ill-fated Titanic.   The anniversary is being marked by an orchestra which will play composer Gavin Bryars' work "The Sinking of the Titanic".

About 600 of the Titanic's approximately 900 workers hailed from Southampton, a port city in England. More than 500 from the city died.

Maritime Museum, Southampton

The Maritime Museum, Southampton hosts a permanent exhibition featuring the story of Titanic’s crew.  Visitors can find out about the Titanic crew roles onboard and personal stories.  The Museum has collections of audio of crew member’s memories of the night Titanic struck the iceberg and the consequences for them and their families.  

Titatnic distress call

At Sea in Atlantic

The MS Balmoral and Azamara Journey are enroute to the spot where Titanic sank (41°43'57"N, 49°56'49"W) where a memorial service will be held some 400 miles (640 kilometers) off the coast of Newfoundland.   Miles Morgan Travel offered two cruises, Anniversary Cruise from New York on the Journey, and  Memorial Cruise from Southampton on the Balmoral.
According to details released by Miles Morgan, at 2:20 a.m. ship's time on Sunday — 0547 GMT or 12:47 a.m. EDT — a minister will lead prayers, floral wreaths will be thrown into the sea and a shipboard band, which has been entertaining guests in the evenings during the cruise, will play "Nearer My God To Thee," the tune the Titanic's band kept up as the vessel went down.

In 1912 "ship's time" was determined by predicting when the sun would be at its highest point and making that moment midday. On some vessels the clocks were constantly updated.

It is an outdated practice but to ensure that the memorial is held at exactly the right time, the Balmoral's clocks have been put back to four hours and 27 minutes before BST. That means the ship is now effectively on Titanic time.


Halifax, Nova Scotia, has a grim connection with the Titanic disaster.  The White Star Line chartered several ships to assist in recovery efforts following the sinking of the Titanic. Two Halifax-based ships, the MacKay-Bennett and the Minia, were part of that recovery fleet. The ships' crews recovered 328 bodies, with 209 being returned to Halifax. The badly damaged or deteriorated bodies were buried at sea. Of the 119 buried at sea, 60 were unidentified at the time and 49 remain unidentified today.

The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic has an extensive exhibit, Titanic: The Unsinkable Ship and Halifax, which was recently updated. The exhibit, recognized as the world's finest collection of wooden artifacts from the vessel, has 20 artifacts and dozens of photographs, including many that had never been published or displayed before. Two well known articles in the exhibit are the only intact Titanic deck chair and the shoes of the Titanic unknown child. Consult the museum's Research Page for more Titanic information.

Besides the exhibit at the museum, visitors to Halifax can also visit the graves of the Titanic victims buried there. Read more

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