April 14, 1912: The TITANIC hit an iceberg at 11:40 p.m. Part 1 What Really Happened that Night… would you have survived?
Posted by Jina Bacarr
TITANIC Week here on ‘Once Upon a Story‘.
What Really Happened that Night…
Today on April 14, 1912, the Titanic struck an iceberg at 11:40 p.m. and sank at 2:20 a.m.
Would you have survived?
What were your chances?
Find out in my posts today (3 more following throughout the day) as we experience what it was like that night through the eyes of a first class lady, a second class gentleman, and an Irish family in steerage class.
You might be surprised.
Crossing the English Channel has always held a wildly mystical attraction for me, whether it was war-weary soldiers returning home from battle or long-suffering French aristocrats escaping Madame Guillotine. There was something brave and noble about standing on the deck of a ship with a fierce wind blowing in your face, angry waves crashing against the hull and sea spray wetting your lips with a briny taste.
Or so I believed. I had my own narrow escape from the ravages of the cold sea on such a trip. I never forgot it.
Boarding the ship at Oostende, Belgium with only my naïveté for company, I was eager to get to London to visit a friend studying there. So what if the ferry was overbooked and the weather was stormy? I was tough, I could take it.
I nearly froze to death when I lost my balance as the ship rolled on the swell of the sea and I slid across the deck like a greased seal. I ended up cold and wet and hanging onto the rail for dear life.
I never forgot my youthful folly and many times while writing about the sinking of the Titanic, I pulled up those emotions to try to understand what my characters were experiencing on that fateful night, April 14, 1912, when the ship hit an iceberg.
Bitter cold, calm sea and freezing water.
Let me recreate the scene for you at 11:40 p.m. that night.
Contrary to what some films and TV shows have depicted, most passengers were asleep or reading in their cabins when the Titanic hit the iceberg. They were not enjoying a party-like atmosphere in the dining saloons drinking champagne and dancing. The public rooms closed down around 11 pm in all classes. It is true that diehard poker players like my hero in The Runaway Girf, Captain Lord Buck Blackthorn, were busily engaged in a game of poker or bridge whist in the smoking room.
The Titanic glided as smoothly as a haughty swan over the sea on that starlit night. No moon. Which is why it has been speculated that the two lookouts didn’t see the one-hundred-foot tall iceberg until the last minute (they had no binoculars—a ship’s officer was transferred at the last moment and took the key to the locker with the binoculars with him).
‘Iceberg right ahead!’ shouted the lookout into his telephone to the bridge. He rang the bell three times.
For thirty-seven seconds the two lookouts waited as the ship appeared to be heading straight for the iceberg. The ship’s first officer tried to avoid the berg and ordered the ship turned to port (left). What happened next no one saw coming . . .
The Titanic was cruising close to top speed in spite of the iceberg warnings. This was not unusual. According to the thinking of that time, Captain Smith was justified in getting through the ice region as quickly as possible. What he didn’t know was that the ship was on a direct collision course with the berg, a huge mass of ice that had traveled farther south than was ever thought possible.
The cold Labrador Current swirled around the iceberg to form a protective layer, which insulated it from the warming effects of the Gulf Stream and prevented it from melting.
Pushing the iceberg into the shipping lanes.
The Titanic never had a chance.
The White Star Line ship smashed into the iceberg along her starboard (right) side, slashing open a 295 foot gash that doomed the ship. The passengers snug in their beds or enjoying a hot whiskey and water in the smoking room had no idea that five possibly six of her sixteen compartments were flooded.
Or that the mail hold down on G deck was rapidly filling with water. Or that down in the boiler rooms the air was heavy with steam as the engineers tried to pump out the water in boiler room 5, praying the bulkheads would hold. (The hull plates of the Titanic were held in place with 3-lb. rivets—three million rivets total.)
Thomas Andrews, the ship’s designer, did a quick assessment of the damage—the Titanic could float with two, three, even four of her first watertight compartments gone, he said, but not five. The ship had an hour, no more than two to survive.
After conferring with Mr Andrews, Captain Smith ordered the wireless operator to send out the distress signal CQD (the British landline operators’ signal “CQ” was for “all stations” with the addition of “D” by the Marconi company for added emphasis—danger ). He added an “SOS” (adapted because of its distinctive Morse Code pattern of three dots . . . three dashes…three dots) with the Titanic’s call letters: ‘MGY’.
Where are Ava and Buck my heroine and hero in The RUNAWAY GIRL when first class passengers feel a ‘jar’ in their staterooms?
I wish I could tell you…but I can’t or I will spoil the romance. I will say that Ava and Buck experience all the fear and dread of the passengers that night when the Titanic hits the iceberg.
To give you a feeling of what happened during those last hours, we’ll go through what a first cabin lady experienced, then a second class gentleman, and finally, a family in steerage.
Coming up next: FIRST CLASS LADY
Join me April 10-15th when I take you aboard the ship of dreams and we explore what happened during that fateful voyage…
Ongoing: Be sure to check out the wonderfully moving Titanic photos on the TITANIC LIGHTHOUSE Instagram page!
Join Ava O’Reilly in this #sweeping, #emotional #historicalromance set aboard the Titanic
The Runaway Girl by @JinaBacarr is the perfect escape for your Friday evening! #availablenow on @audibleuk 🎧https://t.co/wub4BeAOiC pic.twitter.com/e6afE4jBUJ
— Boldwood Books (@BoldwoodBooks) March 27, 2020
Ava is a fine lass on the run from the law… find out why in this terrific audio excerpt.
I love Laurel Lefkow’s reading of my nasty villian, Lord Emsy…
Then see what happens when Ava runs away and boards the Titanic in Queenstown, Ireland in my video below.
Her sailing to America is a stormy one… one filled with adventure and romance with the dashing Captain Lord Buck Blackthorn…
Two women hold the keys to his heart. Only one will survive that fateful night…
When Ava O’Reilly is wrongly accused of stealing from her employer, she has no option but to flee Ireland. The law is after her, and she has only one chance at escape – the Titanic.
Aboard the ship of dreams, she runs straight into the arms of Captain ‘Buck’ Blackthorn, a dashing gentleman gambler who promises to be her protector. He is intrigued by her Irish beauty and manages to disguise her as the maid of his good friend, the lovely Countess of Marbury. Little does he realise, that the Countess is also in love with him.
As the fateful night approaches, tragedy strikes further when Ava is separated from Buck, and must make a daring choice that will change her life forever…
A sweeping, emotional historical romance set aboard the Titanic, perfect for fans of Gill Paul and Suzanne Goldring.
This is a revised and fully updated edition of a novel previously published as Titanic Rhapsody.
What readers are saying about The Runaway Girl:
‘A fantastic Titanic take woven in with a great portrayal of love, friendship, and even forgiveness. I would have rather seen this as a movie than the Jack and Rose story!!!’
‘Oh how I adored this story… From start to finish I was enchanted with the story and the characters and all the finer details describing the ship, clothes and scenery.’
‘This book was so well written and such vivid descriptions were used that I really did feel as though Jina had put me in a time machine and sent me back to 1912,’
‘A breathtaking romance that is sure to stay with you long after reading’
‘Perfect for historical fiction and romance fans.’
‘A mesmerizing romance that is sure to sweep you off your feet and take you away to another place, another time.’
‘A fabulous book you won’t want to miss’
THE RUNAWAY GIRL:
Posted on April 14, 2021, in 1912, Amazon, audio, author, Boldwood Books, books, bookstore, drama, e-Books, heroine, historical, iceberg, Ireland, Irish, Kindle, KindleUnlimited, love, romance, Titanic, Uncategorized, women, writer, Writing, writing and tagged 1912, audio, audio book, Cape Race, cinema, class, corset, Edwardian, film actress, first class, historical romance, iceberg, Ireland, Irish, lifebelt, lifeboat, London, love story, manifest, Marconi, NetGalley, passenger, romance, second class, ship of dreams, society, SOS, steerage, Titanic, Titanic 108, video, voyage, wireless. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on April 14, 1912: The TITANIC hit an iceberg at 11:40 p.m. Part 1 What Really Happened that Night… would you have survived?.
Comments are closed.