It was almost midnight. I was on deck. Suddenly there was a terrible crash. I fell and hit my head. People were screaming and shouting for help. I felt something cold and sticky under my hand. It was a block of ice, covered with blood, my blood. Then I realised what had happened. We had struck an iceberg.
The Titanic had become the biggest, fastest, and most luxurious ship in the world since it made, carrying over 2,200 people, both passenger and crew. It has 16 watertight compartments so that the newspaper had called her unsinkable.
It departed from Southampton to new york. On the captains order the ship was travelling at top speed. Some of the ship’s officers had warned the captain about icebergs and asked him to slowdown, but he wanted to beat the records time for the atlantic crossing.
Many of the passenger were dancing, some of them were drinking, and the rest were playing cards when the ship suddenly struck an enormous iceberg. The impact ripped a huge hole in her side. Great blocks of ice flew across the deck, killing a number of people. Captain Smith had given the order to abandon ship: “Women and children first!” less than three hours later the Titanic had sunk.
Evidence later had shown that there were only enough lifeboats for 1,200 people, about half number on board.
The captain used the new SOS distress signal. There was a ship only 15 kilometres away, and the crew saw rockets, but thought they were sent up from the Titanic. Two hours after the Titanic had sunk, another ship arrived, and 705 people in lifeboats were saved. They were mainly women and children. Most of those left on board when the ship sank. It is said that the orchestra, which was playing on deck to keep the passengers calm, carried on until the ship went down.
1513 persons died in the worst maritime disaster, including the american millionaires John Jacob Astor, Benjamin Guggenheim, and Isidor Straus.
The sinking of Titanic led many reforms, such as lifeboat space for every person on a ship, lifeboat drills, the maintenance of a full-time radio watch while at sea and an international ice patrol