Position: Lat. 41.46 North, Long. 50.14 W

This was the exact location of the RMS Titanic when the first distress call was sent on April 15, 1912, 100 years ago.  What follows are the rest of the messages sent to and from the sinking ship on that fateful night.

12:15 A.M:  La Provence and Frankfurt receive Titanic’s first distress signals. Titanic sends position to Frankfurt. Frankfurt replies: “OK: stand by.”

Mount Temple heard Titanic sending CQD: “require assistance. Gives position. Cannot hear me (sic). Advise my Captain [sic] his position at 41.46 N. 50.24 W.”

Cape Race coast station hears Titanic giving position on CQD 41.44 N. 50.24 W.

12:25 A.M.: Carpathia calls Titanic: “do you know that Cape Cod is sending a batch of messages for you?”

Titanic: “Come at once. We have struck a berg. It’s a CQD OM Position 41.46 N. 50.14 W.”

Carpathia: “Shall I tell my Captain?  Do you require assistance?”

Titanic:”yes, come quick.”

Cape Race hears MGY (Titanic) give corrected position 41.46 N. 50.14 W. Called him, no answer. (Titanic’s 4thOfficer Boxhall had just provided a corrected position to the radio room)

MGY (Titanic): “CQD, Here (is my) corrected position 41.46 N. 50.14 W. Require immediate assistance. We have collision with iceberg. Sinking. Can hear nothing for noise of steam.(engineers releasing excess steam pressure from boilers to minimise risk of explosion) Sent about 15 to 20 times to Ypiranga.

12:26 A.M.: DKF (Prinz Friedrich Wilhelm) calls MGY (Titanic) and gives position at 12 a.m. 39.47 N. 50.10 W.

MGY (Titanic): “Are you coming to our [sic]? “We have collision with iceberg. Sinking. Please tell Captain to come.” DKF: “O.K. will tell.”

12:27 A.M.: Titanic: “I require assistance immediately. Struck by iceberg in 41.46 N. 50.14 W.”

12:30 A.M.: Caronia sent CQ message (message addressed to all ships): “MGY (Titanic)  struck iceberg, require immediate assistance.”

Mount Temple hears MGY (Titanic) still calling CQD. “Our Captain reverses ship. We are about 50 miles off.”

12:34 A.M.:  Mount Temple hears Frankfurt give MGY (Titanic) his position 39.47 N. 52.10 W.

Titanic to Frankfurt:  “are you coming to our assistance?”

Frankfurt: “what is the matter with you?”

Titanic:  “We have struck an iceberg and sinking. Please tell Captain to come.”

Frankfurt: “O.K. Will tell the bridge right away.”

Titanic: “O.K., yes, quick.”

12:49 A.M. Titanic calls Olympic  SOS.

12:50 A.M.: Titanic calls CQD: “I require immediate assistance. Position 41.46 N. 50.14 W.” Received by Celtic.

12:53 A.M.: Caronia to MBC (Baltic): SOS “MGY (Titanic) CQD in 41.46 N. 40.14 W. Wants immediate assistance.”

1:00 A.M. : MGY (Titanic) gives distress signal. DDC (Cincinatti) replies. MGY’s position 41.46 N. 50.14 W. Assistance from DDC (Cincinatti) not necessary as MKC (Olympic) shortly afterwards answers distress call.

Titanic replies to Olympic and gives his position as 41.46 N. 50.14 W., and says, “We have struck an iceberg.”

1:10 A.M.: Titanic to Olympic: “We are in collision with berg. Sinking Head down. 41.46 N. 50.14 W. Come soon as possible.”

Titanic to Olympic: “Captain says get your boats ready. What is your position?”

1:15 A.M.: Baltic to Caronia: “Please tell Titanic we are making towards her.”

1:20 A.M.: Virginian hears MCE (Cape Race) inform Titanic “that we are going to his assistance. Our position 170 miles N. of Titanic.”

1:25 A.M.: Caronia tells Titanic, “Baltic coming to your assistance.”

Olympic sends position to Titanic 4-24 a.m. G.M.T. 40.52 N. 61.18 W, and asks “Are you steering southerly to meet us?” Titanic replies, “We are putting the women off in the boats. Cannot last much longer.”

1:35 A.M.: Olympic asks Titanic what weather he had. Titanic replies, “Clear and calm.”

Baltic hears Titanic say “Engine room getting flooded.”

Mount Temple hears Frankfurt to Titanic: “are there any boats around you already?” No reply.

1:37 A.M.: Baltic to Titanic: “We are rushing to you.”

1:40 A.M.: Olympic to Titanic:  “Am lighting up all possible boilers as fast as we can.”

Cape Race to Virginia: “Please tell your Captain this: The Olympic is making all speed for Titanic, but his (Olympic’s) position is 40.32 N. 61.18 W. You are much nearer to Titanic. ”

1:45  A.M.: Last message from Titanic to Carpathia: “Come as quick as possible old man; engine room is filling up to boilers.”

Mount Temple hears Frankfurt calling Titanic. No reply.

1:55 A.M.: Cape Race to Virginia: “we have not heard Titanic  for about half an hour. His power may be gone.”

2:17 A.M.: Virginian hears Titanic call CQ (call to all ships.) Titanic’s signals end abruptly.

2:20 A.M.:  Official time of foundering, as transmitted to Olympia by Carpathia.

*all depictions are paintings by artist Ken Marschall.


Dreams of Titanic Proportion

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I loved the move Titanic. When I first heard that James Cameron was making a movie about the famous liner and its tragic sinking, I was dismayed.  Being somewhat of a Titanic aficionado (and having a deep dislike of most of the movies that mainstream hollywood poops out),  I figured that the Titanic story would end up being something on the order of  Die Hard meets Intergalactic Iceberg from Space.

Well, it was and it wasn’t.  Although the love triangle was the stuff of fiction, Cameron really nailed the historical elements, blending fact with the fanciful.  And the iceberg was realistic too.  I really enjoyed the ending, inasmuch as one can enjoy a death scene.  The idea of lovers reuniting in an alternate universe is strangely comforting to my otherwise logical brain.

If I really like a movie, I’ll buy the dvd.  The dvd usually contains a “special features” section, which shows you how different scenes of the movie were made.  Sometimes, though, this can be a downer; it dispels the carefully constructed fantasy you just bought into.  Only in this fashion do I love being fooled.

For example, remember the beautiful grand staircase?  Here’s what it looked like in the movie:

Jack Greets Rose.

And here’s what it looked like in the studio:

Countess of Rothes walks down the "grand staircase".

Aaagh.  Green screen.  Why did I think Cameron actually built a replica?  I’m so bummed.

And somehow the drama of this:

Rose and Jack Saying Goodbye Before Hypothermia.

Doesn’t seem so dramatic when you see this:

Rose and Jack take a break from hypothermia with James.

Green screen and hypothermia breaks with the director.  Hardly the stuff of  make-believe.

But then,  I saw this:

Yay!  The Dream’s alive!

Now I can sleep again.

Happy April Fools’ Day, to all you fools out there.