As RMS Titanic steamed towards New York, several iceberg warnings had been issued during the day of April 14 ,1912.
At 11.40 pm, with many passengers already in bed for the night, the lookout shouted ‘Iceberg Ahead’! Despite frantic attempts to manoeuvre the huge vessel, she hit the iceberg, ripping plates from her hull and leaving a huge gash in her side. Within minutes there were 14 feet of water in parts of the ship and the flooding continued relentlessly into each ‘watertight’ compartment.
25 minutes later, on April 15 1912 at 5 minutes past midnight an order is given to prepare the lifeboats. If all are filled to capacity over 1,000 people would have to stay on board as there are not enough of them.
At 00.45 am the first lifeboat is lowered, with only 28 people on board – it had space for 65.
At 2. 05 am there are 1,500 still on board the liner but there is only one lifeboat left to be launched. The water is now just below the promenade deck.
The huge ship is now listing and people on board rush about in panic, trying to escape the freezing waters. At 2.17 Titanic’s bow plunges underwater and as all the heavy machinery slips forward, the lights flicker and go out. The ship breaks in two and the bow disappears into the icy water. Three minutes later, at 2.20 am the stern section which had risen up into the air, plunges into the icy depths.
At 2.20 am in the village of Lahardane in County Mayo in the west of Ireland a bell will peal 11 mournful peals, followed by 3 joyful peals in memory of the 14 people from this small community who were passengers on the Titanic. 11 of them were lost and 3 survived. It is probably the only location in the world where the last moment of the great Titanic is remembered ever year at the exact time of the sinking. Of the approximate 2,227 on board, about 713 survived. Lahardane’s commemorative bells peal across the land to remember all of those lost and saved.
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