Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Titanic Story, by David Hanna

Captain James Weeks, Professor Emeritus at Maine Maritime Academy, used a surgeon's skill to cut through the events that engulfed the passengers of the ill-fated ship Titantic on April 15th of 1912. Utilizing models that he had created, schematics and disgrams, Captain Weeks showed in detail how the luxury liner hit the iceberg that was to her doom and how the North Sea engulfed the ship until finally, in the early morning of the 15th, she slipped below the waves with a loss of life of over 1500 people. He explained how the lifeboats were half empty and how the ship, Carpathia, heroically led the rescue of those who survived.

There are some passenger ties to Maine. Jack Thayer, a teenager on board, was ultimately proved to be correct in his assertion that the ship broke in two despite the insistence by a ship's officer that it hadn't. Jack Thayer's granddaughter presently lives in Maine. In addition there was a member of the audience whose grandmother was a survivor. He recounted how the half-empty lifeboat would not return for floundering passengers either because the officer was afraid that the sinking ship would pull her under or because the scrambling of the boarding passengers might capsize her.

Captain Weeks said that there were two Titantics---the real Titantic and the Hollywood Titantic. No matter which Titantic you follow, there is the adventure and heroism and sacrifice of over 2200 human beings on that night to remember.

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