A Night To Remember


by Walter Lord
The nonfiction novel, "A Night To Remember" by Walter Lord
is about the well known disaster of the luxury cruise ship,
the "Titanic". This story takes place on the ship and on
its many decks while sailing along the Atlantic Ocean.
Walter Lord wrote this book in 1955, but the famous
collision occurred on April 14, 1912 at 11:40 P.M. In this
novel the author, Walter Lord wants to show what happened
at every moment on the colossal cruse liner. The novel does
not only have one main character, but rather all characters
hold the same importance in the story.
It was on April 14, 1912, at 2:00 P.M., when the Titanic
left Queenstown for New York on her Maiden Voyage carrying
1316 passengers and 891 crew members. In the beginning, all
was calm cruising along the Atlantic at 221/2 knots and the
ocean looked like glass. At one point, the watchman in the
crows nest accounts for seeing an iceberg, but since the
ship was unsinkable, he felt that there was no need to
sound an alarm. Some passengers were playing cards, while
others were looking out at the night sky or listening to
the band play. Other passengers appeared to have retired
for the night. At around 11:40 that night some, people
heard a grinding noise that seemed to be coming from the
inside of the ship. All but a few cared about it - if they
even heard it. The ship's reputation would hold up to some
grinding noise any day. After a while the word got around
that they had stuck an iceberg. Surprisingly no one cared
and everyone continued with what they had been doing. It
was known that the captain of the Titanic could, in the
event of an emergency, hit an electric button and many
air-tight doors would seal off special rooms. This could
keep the ship afloat even if it had a hole in its double
reinforced hull. 

As word soon spread that the collision was a lot worse than
had been anticipated, the captain and the crew members went
to check the damage. It was soon determined that the blow
had caused a two foot gash in the side of boiler room
number 5 and that boat would have to be evacuated. 
The Titanic only had enough row boats for a fraction of the
passengers, so the only likely thing to do was to have the
women and children go first. If there was any other room
left (which there couldn't be) the men could go leave. The
calls came from all around shouting "Women and children on
the emergency row boats." That really startled the people
on the ship. They wanted to know why they had to go on the
emergency boats if the ship was unsinkable. But if they had
to... they would. People went back into their rooms and
took things that were most valuable to them. One person
took a Bible that was given to him by his brother, but
almost all of the people (being of the upper class) took
jewelry and money.
At 12:15 A.M. the next day, the first wireless call for
help was made. The water was getting higher and higher. The
departing said their final good-byes. Soon the Titanic
would be under the great Atlantic Ocean, so the crew would
have to act fast. Some men wanted to remain aboard and were
ready to go down with the ship. 

As the ship started to take on more and more water, faster
and faster, some people panicked and jumped over the edge
thinking that they could swim for their lives. The water
was much too cold and they died. The ship was now on such a
tilt that it was no longer easy to stand. People were
tumbling left and right. People were also going crazy
because they either saw their spouse or friend drown in
front of them.
 As the Titanic was in its final stages of being above the
sea, some accounted that the huge ship looked like a
gigantic jagged rock sticking out of the water.
No one could save the Titanic now and the only hope was to
save the people who had gotten off the ship. Fortunately
another boat, the Carpathia, was nearby and was able to
save the survivors in the lifeboats. 
Back home Newspapers printed that all were saved from the
massive collision. This was far from the truth as there
were only 705 survivors. The sinking of the Titanic was one
of the worst tragedies in the history of cruise ships. 


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