An odd exhibition
On Monday night I watched a documentary on Channel 5 entitled “Inside Titanic”. It was horrifying to learn all the shortcomings of the vessel, where appearances had taken precedence over basic safety. To send the SOS signal the captain had to get an officer to run from the bridge to the Marconi room some distance away. There was no communication between the powerhouse of the ship, the boiler rooms, and the Chief Engineer in his engine room. So when water flooded in to the boiler rooms, the engineers were told to proceed at half speed, thus forcing even more of the Atlantic into the vessel. We all know about the bulkheads that did not run all the way up to the ceilings because that would have spoiled the layout of the corridors. Water pouring over the top of these bulkheads contributed to the even swifter demise of the ship, as did the long straight corridor that ran the entire length. The captain wanted to keep his ship on as even a keel as possible to enable the life boats to be lowered quickly and safely, but this was not feasible.
I remember that when we sailed on the France, it was at times necessary to go up or down from one deck to another to get from bow to stern. One lesson learned. One night the engines stopped and this woke us up. We learned next morning that the captain had had to change course because of iceberg warnings. It was a year when the bergs came farther south in the Atlantic than usual. According to reports, however, when the Titanic stopped its engines, passengers did not wake up and the crew had to wake as many as possible and get them on deck in their life-jackets.
In view of everything wrong about the Titanic, I cannot understand why Belfast is hosting an exhibition to demonstrate how wrong its shipbuilders got it, at the cost of hundreds of lives.