The Classic Account of the Final Hours of the Titanic


Correct preparation can help ease out problems in times of troubles. The novel A Night to Remember, written by Walter Lord, proves this statement true, by illustrating the Titanic’s great tragedy that happened early morning on April 15, 1912. Through the sinking of the Titanic, three lessons that were to be learned, was that communication between ships had to be better; the Titanic’s design was flawed and people shouldn’t have put all of their hope and faith into a few nuts and bolts; and if the crew and passengers had been serious about this situation. These three lessons could have changed the fate of the Titanic and its passengers lives could have ended in different circumstances.

If proper measures had been taken between the ways the ships communicated, there wouldn’t have been so much loss of life. Messages that another ocean liner, the Californian, had sent, were not taken seriously by the wireless operators of the Titanic. An example of this is, “Only an hour ago - just when he was at last in good contact with Cape Race - The Californian barged in with some messages about icebergs… ‘Shut up, shut up! I am busy; I am working Cape Race!’” (Lord, 23). If First Operator John George Phillips had taken this last message, then maybe the Titanic wouldn’t have hit the iceberg, and many lives would have been spared. An additional example would be that the other ships wouldn’t take the messages of the Titanic very seriously. “Close at hand, the Cunarder Carpathia steamed southward in complete ignorance” (Lord, 44). Another lesson that was to be learned for the communication between the ships, was that 24 hour wireless radio service was to be used. The wireless operator aboard the Californian was bored and did not want to send anymore messages so he left and no one was there to replace him. “Groves didn’t wind it up, and so he heard nothing. Giving up, he put the phones back on the table, and went below to livelier company.” (Lord, 25). If there was 24 hour wireless radio service, then maybe numerous amounts of people could have been saved. “For Captain Smith there was the five ice messages received during the day - the last where to expect the berg. (Lord, 75-76). Captain Smith had received five messages that day, but six were sent. The last one was the one that had the exact position of the iceberg that was to hit the Titanic. There were many lessons that were learned due to the sinking of the Titanic, including putting all your trust and faith into little things, and reviewing the ship’s exterior and interior to make sure it is not defective.

If the Infrastructure and design of the Titanic were not flawed, and people hadn’t of put all of the hope and faith into a few nuts; bolts and rivets, tragedy could have been averted. Most crew members and passengers agreed with the statement that the “Titanic was unsinkable.”. An example is, “All the people thought that the Titanic was unsinkable, “Not even God Himself could sink it.” (Lord, 36). This was one statement that was false. The Titanic was only labelled unsinkable if only two compartments were flooded. The length of the gash that pierced through the steel of the titanic was 300 feet long. “Nevertheless, she could float with any two compartments flooded, and since no one could imagine anything worse than a collision at the juncture of two compartments, she was labelled ‘unsinkable.’” (Lord, 148). The last lesson that was to be learned due to the fact of the sinking of the Titanic would be that people should be taking everything seriously in a time of distress.

If the crew and passengers had taken the news of sinking seriously, then the lifeboats would have been more prepared, thus; more survivors off of the Titanic sparing several lives that one fateful night. Since the crew did not know what was going on they seemed to ignore the situation. “Steward Ray took more time; he wasn’t worried - nevertheless he found himself putting on his shore suit.” (Lord, 28). Another example is, “‘Why have we stopped?’ Lawrence Beesley asked a passing steward. ‘I