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Novelle satt i forbindelse med Titanic-ulykken.
The next day, Thursday April 11th the Titanic arrived at Queenstown in Ireland around lunch time. Since there was no dock large enough, we were ferried from shore. That afternoon we sailed from Ireland on a direct collision course with many large icebergs. The westward voyage from Queenstown was uneventful during the first several days. From Sunday morning, our wireless operators were receiving many warnings of iceberg ahead. At 10.00 pm that evening the bridge watch changed and the new crew was headed by First Officer Murdoch, who had severed the Olympics. At 11.40 pm a call came from the crows nest. Iceberg right ahead. I arrived on the bridge a short time later. Murdoch ordered full stop, then full astern. At the same time he ordered a hard turn to port. Keep in mind that this order actually made the collition more certain. The greater the forward motion the more quickly she turned, so each second that the propellers reduced her speed was absolutely important. Who knows how many inches were required for her to miss completely or even parially. I asked Murdoch what she had hit. He answered, an iceberg sir. I also ordered the water-tight doors closed and asked Murdoch if the warning bell had been rang. Murdockh confirmed it had. Then I ordered various officers to check for damage assessment. A few minutes later damage reports started coming in. Disastrous news for me, at least five, possibly six of the water-tight compartments were flooding. Thomas Andrews, the ship designer had also made his way to the bridge and did not take long to confirm that she could not survive and would inevitally sink within few hours.
Most passengers at this point were anaware of the seriousness of the collision or even that a collision had occured. As her list became more prominent it became easier to find people who were willing to get into a life boat, but officers were reluctant to fill them in the early stages, just in case the boats buckled under the stress of a full load.
On the boat deck men began to clear the sixteen wooden lifeboats. There were eight on each side- a cluster of four towards the bow, ghen an open space of 190 feet, then another four towards the bow, then another four towards the stern. Port boats had even numbers, starboard odd. They were numbered in sequence, starting from the bow. In addition, four canvas collapsible lifeboats. -known as Englehardts- were stowed on deck. These could be fitted into the emty davits after the two forward boats were lowered. The collapsibles were lettered A, B, C and D.
All the boats together could carry 1178 people. On this Sunday nigt there were 2207 people on board the Titanic. This mathematical discrepancy was known by none of the passengers and few of the crew, but most of them would not care anyhow. The Titanic was unsinkable. Everybody said so.
Little knots of men swarmed over each boat taking off the canvas covers, clearing the masts and useless paraphernalia, putting in lanterns and tins of biscuits. Other men stood at the davits, fitting in cranks and uncoiling the lines. One by one the cranks were turned. The davits creaked, the pulleys squealed, and the boats slowly swung out free of the ship. Next, a few feet of line were paid out, so that each boat would lie flush with the boat deck... or, in some cases, flush with promenade deck A directly below.
Only when a few boats remained the were filled to capasity. At 12.15 or so I ordered the wireless operator to start sending distress signals. We sent the CQD signal Later the newer distress call SOS was used too. Some officers on the bridge and I saw the lights of ship, most believed it was it wat the Leyland Liner Californian. I had the radio room too try to rach it, but there was no response. I also tried the morse lamp, but still no response. For the next hour or so I tried a total of eight rockets in an attemt to attract its attention, but no response was received.
Titanic`s situation was getting progessively worse as the bow sank lower and lower. After all the lifeboats has gone, the remaining 1500 passengers or so must have started to come to terms with their fate and I am sure the panic by this stage was hectic. Unlike the Lusitania. A few years later it was known that power on the Titanic stayed on until the very last moment, due mainly to the bravery of the firemen and associated crew staying at their posts. All the lights remained aglow and reports suggest that drinks in the smoking lounge were free. The ship`s orchestra continued to play throughoat the entire ordeal and perished along with everyone else.
At 2.05 the last lifeboat departed and 2.17 the stern rose high in the air, a thundering crash was heard obviously when the ship broke into pieces. The light flickered once, went out, came on again, briefly, then went out for the very last time for the rest of the eternity. The stern setteled back then almost immediately stood vertically on end spun around 180 degrees, stayed there for a short time then plunged from view. The time was 2.20am April 15th 1912.
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