Category Archives: Titanic insights

How Safe Is It To Cruise?

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How Safe Is It To Cruise?

By   Bruce  M.  Caplan

 

Shortly after two in the morning on April 15, 1912, the mighty Titanic—- the largest passenger ship in the world at the time, plunged to the bottom of the North Atlantic—-two and a half miles below the surface of the ocean. The world was startled to find that because the giant vessel didn’t have enough lifeboats, over two thirds of the passengers perished.

 

Author Bruce Caplan

Author Bruce Caplan

Today, many people have a fear of going on an ocean voyage, because of the Titanic’s demise.  Let me put your mind at ease.  The Titanic sank over a century ago and since then there have been very few luxury liner disasters with large cruise liners.

In 1915 the giant ship Lusitania sank in under 20 minutes.  This ship was sunk by a German torpedo and it was a wartime disaster. Regardless almost 40% of the passengers survived.

Jump to 1956 and you have a collision between the Andrea Doria and the Stockholm.  The Andrea Doria sinks, but the only passengers who perish are the ones that die in the immediate collision.  The survival rate is 97%!

Jump to the year 2012, a century after the Titanic.  The Costa Concordia has a collision on a reef, off  the coast of Italy.  The survival rate is over 99 and a half percent.

To sum it up, in over a century of cruising, (Not including ships below 20 thousand tons.) there have just four major cruise ship catastrophic events.  The Titanic  (1912) where over two thirds of the passengers perished. The Lusitania (1915) where just below 40% survived.  The Andrea Doria with a 97% rate of survivors and most recently the Costa Concordia with a survival rate of over 99%.  That’s a fantastic record considering that there’s thousands of luxury cruises each year.

One last thing to remember, and that is that everyone on the Titanic would have survived if they just had enough lifeboats.  Shortly after the Titanic sank, the maritime laws were changed to make it mandatory that all ships have enough lifeboat capacity to save everyone onboard.

Happy Sailing!

 

Bruce Caplan's book, The Sinking of The Titanic has sold more than 150,000 copies.

Bruce Caplan’s book, The Sinking of The Titanic has sold more than 150,000 copies.

Travel from east coast ports to Halifax where the recovered dead of the Titanic are buried

The Grandeur of the Seas is just about twice the size of the Titanic. Sailing from Baltimore it travels to Halifax several times in the fall with stops in Portland and Bar Harbor then on to St. John and Halifax. The bodies of about 150 deceased from the Titanic are buried there. An excellent  maritime museum contains many Titanic items.  THE PRIVATEER CLAUSE photo

The Grandeur of the Seas is just about twice the size of the Titanic. Sailing from Baltimore it travels to Halifax several times in the fall with stops in Portland and Bar Harbor then on to St. John and Halifax. The bodies of about 150 deceased from the Titanic are buried there. An excellent maritime museum contains many Titanic items. THE PRIVATEER CLAUSE photo

The Seven Seas Navigator is a small luxury cruise ship steaming out of the harbor at Halifax, Canada.  All major lines include itineraries to Halifax. The Privateer Clause photo

The Seven Seas Navigator is a small luxury cruise ship steaming out of the harbor at Halifax, Canada. All major lines include itineraries to Halifax. The Privateer Clause photo

There is plenty to do in Halifax beside going to the Titanic graveyard or touring the excellent museum. Sailing on day charters or whale watching...and then there is shopping!

There is plenty to do in Halifax beside going to the Titanic graveyard or touring the excellent museum. Sailing on day charters or whale watching…and then there is shopping!

Shipping of all types passes by in Halifax harbor, one of the largest natural harbors in North America. The Privateer Clause photo

Shipping of all types passes by in Halifax harbor, one of the largest natural harbors in North America. The Privateer Clause photo

So, exactly how did they get that ship in the bottle?  Models of ships and nautical gear telling the story of not only Titanic but of the evolution of sailing the seas fills the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic.

So, exactly how did they get that ship in the bottle? Models of ships and nautical gear telling the story of not only Titanic but of the evolution of sailing the seas fills the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic.

This is a gibbet where mutineers and pirates were hung in racks like this after they hanged by the neck until dead (hung if you prefer). Their corpses were left to rot for years and circled the harbor for the birds to pick at as a warning to seafarers not to resort to piracy or mutiny. This poster and a life-size corpse greet visitors to the museum in Halifax.  The Privateer Clause photos.

This is a gibbet where mutineers and pirates were hung in racks like this after they hanged by the neck until dead (hung if you prefer). Their corpses were left to rot for years and circled the harbor for the birds to pick at as a warning to seafarers not to resort to piracy or mutiny. This poster and a life-size corpse greet visitors to the museum in Halifax. The Privateer Clause photos.

The museum is worth every  cent of admission. Those who cherish walking will find it takes about 15 to 30 minutes to hike there from the cruise terminal. A taxi ride for four is about twenty dollars.

The museum is worth every cent of admission. Those who cherish walking will find it takes about 15 to 30 minutes to hike there from the cruise terminal. A taxi ride for four is about twenty dollars.

Great models, paintings and artifacts are everywhere in the museum.

Great models, paintings and artifacts are everywhere in the museum.

The last Corvette of the Canadian Navy from WWII is on display in Halifax harbor for public tours.

The last Corvette of the Canadian Navy from WWII is on display in Halifax harbor for public tours.

Full speed ahead, damn the icebergs!

Full speed ahead, damn the icebergs!

The Naval and maritime history of Canada is rich and proud.

The Naval and maritime history of Canada is rich and proud.

Cunard Line has a major terminal in Halifax.

Cunard Line has a major terminal in Halifax.

This statute honors Samuel Cunard the founder of the steamship line. No one will ever see a similar statute to Samuel Carnival or whoever founded Carnival unless that guy erects it himself.

This statute honors Samuel Cunard the founder of the steamship line. No one will ever see a similar statute to Samuel Carnival or whoever founded Carnival unless that guy erects it himself.

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Halifax is a large port with lots of cruise ships and freighter traffic.

Halifax is a large port with lots of cruise ships and freighter traffic.

Trains leave Halifax to destinations across Canada. When the Titanic hit the iceberg a special train was sent to Halifax from New York to retrieve all the survivors. That train came back empty.

Trains leave Halifax to destinations across Canada. When the Titanic hit the iceberg a special train was sent to Halifax from New York to retrieve all the survivors. That train came back empty.

All aboard for Alaska.

All aboard for Alaska.

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After Titanic

The band played on ...when thoughts turned to the hereafter - The Richmond Times Dispatch

The band played on …when thoughts turned to the hereafter – The Richmond Times Dispatch

A Titanic minute by Bruce M. Caplan

The Titanic slammed an iceberg on the North Atlantic at 11:40 pm on April 14, 1912.  Two hours and forty minutes later the great ship sank, carrying over 1500 souls to their demise.

One of the people to perish was a theatrical impresario by the name of Henry Birkhardt Harris.  At the time he died he represented many of the stars on Broadway. Everyone assumed that Harris was a millionaire.

His wife Irene (Rene) Harris survived the Titanic.  She soon discovered that her late spouse was dead broke!  He left her with no assets.

Rene, was not a person to sit around and mope, and she became an actors agent too.  One of her clients was a very young Barbara Stanwyck.  In 1953, Barbara Stanwyck had a leading role in the movie Titanic, along with Clifton Webb.

This movie was the catalyst for Walter Lord to write his great narrative “A Night to Remember” and also for the creation of the “Titanic Historical Society.”

Curator trashes authenticity of Wallace Hartley violin; biggest hoax since Hitler diaries?

violin Metro UK
From Lancashire Telegraph

March 16, 2013 — THE CURATOR of the Titanic in Lancashire Museum has rubbished claims that Wallace Hartley’s violin has been found.

Titanic auctioneers Henry Aldridge and Son claim a violin played by Colne bandmaster Wallace Hartley on board the fatal ship is to go on display in Belfast at the end of the month.

The instrument was discovered in an attic in 2006 and tests carried out by scientists are said to have verified it was Wallace’s violin.

Andrew Aldridge, of Henry Aldridge and Son, said: “When we first saw the violin we had to keep a lid on our excitement because it was almost as if it was too good to be true.

“The silver fish plate on the violin along with the other items it was with, such as the leather case with Hartley’s initials on, his jewellery and covering letter to the owner’s late mother, suggested it was either authentic or an extremely elaborate hoax up there with the Hitler Diaries.

‘We knew we would have to look into it and it couldn’t be rushed. Everything needed to be researched properly and the correct experts had to be commissioned.

‘We have spent the last seven years gathering the evidence together and have now reached the stage where we can say that beyond reasonable doubt this was Wallace Hartley’s violin on the Titanic.

“We now know that minutes before the end he placed his beloved violin in this hard-wearing travelling case.

“The bag rested on top of his lifejacket and would have largely been kept out of the water. A letter from his mother was found in his breast pocket and that suffered hardly any water damage.”

But Nigel Hampson, curator of the Colne museum, said: “The historical record does not show that Wallace was recovered with his violin strapped to his body – it actually proves the opposite.

“The inventory of items recovered on Wallace’s body makes no mention whatsoever of a violin or music case or anything similar being found with him.

“We are supposed to believe that when the ship sinks and everyone, the band included, are fighting for their lives, Wallace is more concerned with the fate of his instrument than his life?

We are also supposed to believe that the violin survives almost two weeks in the sea and emerges intact?

“The local press in Colne make no mention of his violin whatsoever. If Wallace had indeed been recovered with his violin after the disaster, they would have been all over the story and given it massive coverage.

“This violin clearly is a Wallace Hartley instrument, but to claim that it is the violin that he had with him on the Titanic is preposterous and is not backed up by the historical record.”

A number of items of Hartley’s jewellery will be sold at auction in Devizes on April 20. ….MORE

Join Kyrila Scully for a Titanic talk at three locations in Orlando, Florida

Kyrila Scully appears in period costume to delight audiences.

Kyrila Scully appears in period costume to delight audiences.

I’ll be speaking at the Orange County Libraries (Orlando, FL) at three Branches.
Downtown Branch, Saturday, April 19 at  11:00 a.m.
Dr. Phillips (Southwest) Branch, Sat. April 26th at 2:30 p.m.
Hunter’s Creek (South Creek) Branch, Sat. May 31 at 2:00 p.m.
Kyrila Scully will also be speaking at the Breakfast for the  Rotary Club of Lake Buena Vista, FL at the Wyndham Resort in Downtown Disney on June 5th.

If you want to book a lecture, tea party or banquet, please contact Titanic Speakers Bureau for more information.

Kyrilla Scully loves to bring Molly Brown to life for audiences.

Kyrila Scully loves to bring Molly Brown to life for audiences.

The Ironies of April 15th

 

A promotional poster for Bruce Caplan's appearance in San Diego

A promotional poster for Bruce Caplan’s appearance in San Diego

The Ironies of the Titanic
by
Bruce M.  Caplan

 There’s an old saying that  there’s two things you can’t escape and that’s “death and taxes.”  On the terribly cold night of April  14th 1912, the Titanic newly crowned Empress of the Seas, met her  Waterloo.  At 11:40 in the evening the giant  vessel slammed into an iceberg and less than three hours later on the morning of  April 15th, she was at the bottom of the  sea.

 Prior to the collision the  mood of most on board was idyllic.   However, the many millionaires were probably cursing the fact that our  government was attempting to levy an annual income tax.  Word was that the tax would only apply  to the rich and regardless it would never be more than 2% of anyone’s annual  income.

 Less than a year after the  vanishing of the Titanic in February of 1913, the 16th Amendment to  the US Constitution was ratified and Federal Income Tax became  legal.

 Originally the annual date  to file was not in April, but eventually it became April 15—-the same date on  the calendar that the great ship sank. Isn’t it ironic that our government  picked the same date on the calendar that the Titanic sank, to make so many of  our wallets sink?