Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Titanic: Why ship never reached top speed

Belfast Telegraph:Page One/Titanic. 16/4/1912
This is an undated photo showing the bow of the Titanic at rest on the bottom of the North Atlantic, about 400 miles southeast of Newfoundland. The first tourists to see the bow up close viewed it from the portholes of a tiny submersible in early September. (AP Photo/Ralph White)
Lord Pirrie, the former head of Harland & Wolff and instigator of the Olympic Class liners constructed on the Queen's Island almost 100 years ago.

The Titanic’s sea trials were scheduled to start on an inauspicious date, April 1, 1912, the same day Captain Smith took over from one Herbert Haddock.

They were later considered inadequate. In fact, she was tested on April 2, manned by a basic English crew of 80, and watched by an enthusiastic audience of several hundred, the Titanic was finally taken from her dock by tugs and pulled onto Belfast Lough.

It was 6am and for the rest of the morning, the Titanic completed manoeuvres in the lough, doing twists, turns and full circles. Bringing the ship to a complete halt took three minutes, or half a mile.

In the afternoon, she sailed 40 miles into the Irish Sea before returning. The Titanic never achieved her maximum speed, 24 knots, and later Fifth Officer Lowe told the US inquiry, that “she was not really put to it”.

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