The Titanic –  – Uncomplicated English Podcast

The Titanic – – Uncomplicated English Podcast

Hello and welcome to another episode of
uncomplicated English with Mark, where we learn English through real life stories that
are so interesting that you forget you’re studying! Today we’re going to learn about
the Titanic, before we get started as always I would like to remind all of you
that the entire transcript of this episode can be found for free on my
website at Also on my website you could book one-to-one conversational
English lessons with me. All right then let’s get started with today’s episode!
Work first began on the Titanic in 1909 and was finally finished in 1912. Once
completed it would be the biggest ship in the world.
it was 269 metres long and 32 metres tall, it was almost as tall as the Eiffel
Tower! Of course a ship this big needed a lot of fuel, it was fueled mostly by coal
and required around 600 tons of coal every single day. A hundred and
seventy-six men work day and night shoveling coal into the furnace. It was
also designed to be the most comfortable and luxurious ship in the world. The
designers wanted the passengers to feel as if they were traveling in a floating
hotel rather than a ship. Onboard there was a gym, a swimming pool, a massage room,
multiple libraries and even restaurants. All of these facilities were open to
members of the first class where as second and third-class passengers didn’t have
the same level of access, for example third-class passengers had access to
only two bathrooms even though there were 700 of them. On its maiden voyage,
its very first voyage it stopped in France and then went on to
Ireland before setting off for New York. On board there were hundreds of
immigrants mostly in third class that were traveling to America in search of a
new life. A third class ticket for them cost around 350 to 900 US dollars in
today’s money. It also carried some of the wealthiest people in the world, the
wealthiest of them all was John Jacob Astor
the fourth richest man in the world. In today’s money his fortune would be
equivalent to two point six billion u.s. dollars. A first-class ticket cost
approximately one hundred thousand US dollars in today’s money, so it’s no
surprise that some of the richest people in the world were traveling on board the
Titanic. The Titanic left from Ireland on April the 11th and was scheduled to
arrive in New York on April the 17th. The first three days of its journey passed
without any major incidents, a fire had broken out in one of the coal bunkers 10
days before its departure but this was not uncommon at the time and
the fire had been contained and was under control and was finally put out
completely on April the 14th. Everything seemed to be going well, the
weather was perfect and the seas were calm and flat but on April the 14th at
11:40 p.m. a lookout spotted an iceberg ahead of the Titanic, an iceberg
is a large block of ice that floats in the ocean and they can be very dangerous
to boats. In the days before the accident other boats sent warnings to the Titanic
that they’d seen icebergs in the water in their area but the Titanic
carried on at full speed. At the time many didn’t think of icebergs as being
particularly dangerous especially to ships as large as The Titanic. First
officer William Murdoch ordered for the ship to be steered around the iceberg
but it was too late! Sadly the look out spotted the iceberg too late. What’s
worse is that David Blair was originally meant to be the ship’s second officer
but just days before the Titanic set sail he was removed from the crew. He had
the keys for a container that contained binoculars for the lookouts
however tragically he forgot to hand the keys over and the lookouts had to rely
on using just their eyes. To this day many believe that if the lookouts had
had a pair of binoculars they would have been able to spot the iceberg much
earlier and the Titanic would have been able to avoid the deadly iceberg. The
hull of the Titanic struck the iceberg and water began to flood in! The hull is
the outer part of the ship, the sides and the bottom. This caused a major panic
people began to worry and were scared about what was going to happen. Some
passengers and crew were taken to the lifeboats but amazingly the Titanic
didn’t have enough lifeboats for all the people on board. At the time ships
weren’t legally obliged to carry enough lifeboats for all the passengers,there
were only 20 and this was only enough for about half of the people on board. It
was legal for them to carry about half as many as would be needed. Many thought
that ships like the Titanic were so strong and well-built
that they could never be sunk, some even called the Titanic the unsinkable ship.
Furthermore the crew had been poorly trained and didn’t know how many people
they could put into each lifeboat therefore a lot of the lifeboats were
put into the water only partially full! That means there would have been enough
space for more people, a lot of the boats were filled with women and children and
many men stayed aboard the Titanic. This is because it is a custom
that in an emergency that the lives of women and children are to be saved first.
The majority of the third-class passengers received very little help and
many were trapped on the lower decks as the ship filled with water. As the
Titanic sunk the crew sent out stress signals to other boats but none
of them were close enough to get to the Titanic before it sunk. Two hours
after the Titanic sank the Cunard liner RMS Carpathia arrived and picked up an
estimated 705 survivors, most of these survivors were people that had managed
to get into the lifeboats. It’s estimated that most people that had
jumped into the water would have died within approximately half an hour. Later
after the accident the captain of the Carpathia described the area as a field
of ice that had 20 large icebergs and some were two hundred feet tall. Three
Canadian ships were sent out to the area where the Titanic sunk, they were ordered to
recover as many of the bodies as they could. On board they carried embalming
supplies, these were used to preserve the bodies so that they could be preserved
and returned back to the families who could identify them. The problem is that
the first ship that arrived at the area found so many bodies that it ran out of
embalming supplies. At the time health regulations said that only embalmed
bodies could be taken back to port so the captain of the ship and the
Undertaker’s who were the ones who had to embalm the bodies decided that they
would embalm only the first-class passengers. They claimed that the
families would need to identify them so that they could confirm that they were
dead and they could finalize their wills and divide up their expensive States.
When people heard that the Titanic had sunk they were shocked it is estimated
that 1500 people died. People began to blame the safety
regulations that were in place at the time, this led to an investigation that
claimed that the boat was moving too fast and the captain didn’t take the other
ships warning seriously enough. The public outcry after the incident meant
that safety measures were improved and in future ships they had to take more
lifeboats with them. After it sunk the wreck of the Titanic was lost for many
years, many people searched for it but no one could find it until 1985 seventy
years after its sunk when the US Navy founded it 3,700 meters underwater. Many
artifacts have been recovered from the wreck and can be seen in many museums
around the world. Recently the ship’s condition has worsened rapidly mostly
because of a bacterium that feeds off of the ship’s iron. The story of the sinking
of the Titanic is a tragic story that is made even more tragic when we look
back at all the errors that were made that meant that hundreds of people in
the end died unnecessarily. The only silver lining to the story, the only positive
outcome from this tragic event was that it made people aware that ocean travel
had to be made safer and newer regulations were needed to ensure an
accident like this could never happen again.
Thank you for listening I hope you enjoyed this episode and found it
interesting once again the complete transcript for
this episode can be found at Thank you!

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