A Legend That Lives On…
In the annals of travel there have been a number of great tragedies.
- The Hindenburg Disaster
- The air disaster at Tenerife
- The Vegas hotel fire
- The Tsunami at Ao Nang, Thailand
Along with a number of ocean liner sinking disasters that include;
- The Lusitania
- The Andrea Doria
- The Costa Concordia
But one tragedy seems to be a true legend and stands out from all the rest. The sinking of The White Star Lines RMS Titanic. After more than one hundred years the story still holds our attention. It has been the subject of a half dozen movies and numerous books and even much speculation even over just what music the band was playing when the liner slipped below the sea.
There are at least four museums; Belfast and Cobh, in Ireland along with two in Orlando, Florida. In addition to the museums a popular tour is to the cemetery in Halifax, Nova Scotia where many of the passengers and crew are buried.
The Titanic tragedy remains of interest for a number of reasons. Firstly, it was the maiden voyage of what was promoted as an unsinkable ship. Next it was a disaster that could have been easily avoided and with the loss of life aggravated because she didn’t have enough lifeboats. Additionally, a large number of wealthy and famous people died in the disaster but equally a larger number of of lower class passengers were prevented from using the lifeboats. The Titanic sinking caused a number of countries as well as companies to change policies regarding safety at sea.
Belfast is famous as the shipyard that built the Titanic. At that time the Harland and Wolfe Shipyard was one of the worlds largest and employed thousands. Today much of the area of the old shipyard has been turned into a memorial to this one ship featuring the drydocks, the slip way, the tender and a museum that was built to match the giant ocean liner’s height and size.
The Cobh, Ireland connection is that it was the great ships last port of call before she set sail across the Atlantic and sank. Cohb was called Queenstown at that time and was where the last passengers boarded the ship for its intended journey to New York. Of those one hundred and twenty three, only forty four survived. Today, the original buildings, streets and piers of a century ago are still standing along the waterfront including the offices of the White Star Line which today are the Titanic museum.