RMS Titanic was the second in a series of three ships built at Harland and Wolff’s Shipyard, Belfast. The Titanic’s sister ships were Olympic and Britannic. The ships were owned by the Oceanic Steam Navigation Company, popularly known as White Star Line.
When Titanic was launched 31 May 1911, she was the largest ship in the world. She was commanded by one of White Star Line’s most experienced officers, Captain John Edward Smith.
Having successfully completed her sea trials in Belfast Titanic arrived in Southampton on 3 April 1912. As there were still interior fittings to complete before the maiden voyage, it was decided not to allow members of the public on board while the ship was in port as was otherwise customary.
At 12.15 on 10 April Titanic left Southampton. As she made her way towards Southampton Water, the suction created by her propellers pulled the liner New York, moored in the dock, so hard that the mooring ropes snapped. Only the quick reaction of Captain Smith and the tug crews prevented a collision.
Titanic arrived at Cherbourg at 18.35 on 10 April, leaving again a few hours later. At 11.30 on the 11th, she arrived at Queenstown in Ireland for a brief stop to collect mail and final passengers.
The weather was calm and the journey uneventful until on the 14 April ice warnings from other ships in the area indicated that the ship had entered an ice field.
At 23.40 on 14 April Titanic collided with an iceberg. Wireless calls for help were sent out after about an hour, the last one was transmitted at 02.10 on 15 April. The ship sank about 02.20.
The lifeboats with about 650 survivors were picked up by Carpathia at dawn on 15 April. The ship arrived in New York on the 18th.
For more information on the Titanic please visit the Seacity Museum website.