The 100th anniversary of the ship they said would never sink has been remembered in a number of special events this week.
It was on the night of April 15th 1912 that the world's largest ship, Titanic, struck an iceberg on her maiden voyage.
The owners of the huge vessel, White Star Line, had said the ship was "designed to be unsinkable" but people interpreted this as proof that it was completely invincible.
But sadly this wasn't the case and more than 1,500 people perished in the icy cold waters of the Atlantic Ocean. It was a tragedy that is still remembered today and a story that has become part of the popular imagination.The Titanic is a symbol for the most epic and glamorous failure.
Myths and legends surround the story but the only real first-hand account of what happened can be discovered from the collection of wireless messages sent between the Titanic and the other ships which hurriedly tried to organise a rescue operation.
It is a telegraphic narrative showing how the Titanic had been given warnings of ice by other ships and which records the increasingly frantic calls for assistance after the collision with the huge iceberg.
"Come at once. We have struck a berg. It's a CQD, [an official distress signal] old man," the Titanic called to another ship, the Carpathia. It was like trying to organise a rescue by Twitter, with operators on other ships trying to make sense of the stream of sometimes contradictory information.
The Titanic, as the showcase of an ambitious, optimistic era, had the biggest and best wireless equipment in the world but investigations after the sinking would never satisfactorily establish why these warnings had been ignored.
Its sinking may have happened 100 years ago, but the ship's legacy still plays an important role in the way the maritime industry works today. International safety regulations became far stricter following the disaster and these rules are still governing the way ships are built.
- 1. Is this statement true, false, or not given? The Titanic was on its first trip when the disaster happened.
- 2. What did the owners of the Titanic say it was designed to be?
- 3. How did ships communicate with each other when they were at sea?
By wireless or telegraphic messages
- 4. What word describes the current interest of an event that happened in the past?
- 5. What has the maritime industry done to the international safety regulations since the disaster?
Made them stricter