Liner Titanic strikes iceberg, sinking head down (1912)

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Thousands in dire peril on the Atlantic

Largest vessel afloat reported sinking head down; women put off in boats

Wireless call for help responded to by several ships, including Olympic

Cape Race, Newfoundland; April 15 [1912] –– At 10:25 o’clock last night, the White Star steamship Titanic called “C Q D” and reported having struck an iceberg. The steamer said that immediate assistance was required.

Half an hour afterward, another message came, reporting that they were sinking by the head and that women were being put off in the lifeboats.

The Sinking of the TITANIC and Other Great Sea Disasters

The weather was calm and clear, the Titanic’s wireless operator reported. He gave the position of the vessel 40:46 north latitude and 50:14 west longitude.

The Marconi station at Cape Race notified the Allen liner Virginian, the captain of which immediately advised that he was proceeding for the scene of the disaster.

The Virginian at midnight was about 170 miles distant from the Titanic and is expected to reach that vessel by 10 am Monday.

The Olympic at an early hour Monday morning was in latitude 40:43 north and longitude 61:18 west. It was in direct communication with the Titanic, and now is making all haste toward the endangered liner.

The steamship Baltic also reported itself as about 200 miles east of the Titanic and was making all possible speed toward the other.

The last signals from the Titanic were heard by the Virginian. At 12:27 am, the wireless operator on the Virginian says these signals were blurred and ended abruptly.

MORE: 1,492 go down to their death in loss of the Titanic (1912)

Largest vessel afloat

The Titanic, the largest vessel afloat, left Southampton April 10 on its maiden voyage for New York. It is a vessel of 46,338 tons, is 382 feet 6 inches long and displaces 60,000 tons. The Titanic carried about 1,300 passengers, of whom 350 were in the first cabin.

Among these are D Millet, the artist and president of the Consolidated American Academy at Rome; Major Archibald Butt, military aide to President Taft; C M Hays, president of the Grand Trunk railway; J Bruce Ismay, chairman and managing director of the White Star line; Henry B Harris, the American theatrical manager; W T Stead, Mrs Isidor Strauss, Mr and Mrs John Jacob-Astor, Mr and Mrs C D Widener, Benjamin Guggenheim and Mr and Mrs Harry Widener. Captain E J Smith is in command of the Titanic.

The Titanic sinking aftermath (2)

Whole trip eventful

The last communication with the Titanic was a wireless message received by the Marconi station at Cape Race, reporting it 1,284 miles east of Sandy Hook at 2:15 o’clock Sunday morning.

On leaving Southampton last Wednesday, the Titanic had a rather exciting moment. While passing the White Star liner Oceanic and the American liner New York, which were berthed alongside one another, the suction of the Titanic’s triple screws dragged the New York from its moorings. Its stern swung into mid-stream and narrowly escaped striking the Titanic.

Can accommodate 3,500

The Titanic is a luxuriously fitted vessel, and its accommodations for cabin passengers are elegant. It has accommodations for 3,500 persons and carries a crew of 860.

That icebergs are prevalent in the Atlantic just now was made known today when it was learned that the Cunard liner Carmania and the French liner Niagara had adventures with them last week. The Niagara had several plates stove off Grand Banks last Thursday, and the Carmania had an exciting day threading its way through floes.

MORE: Titanic: Newspaper front pages with the first stories of the disaster on April 15, 1912

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