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Tuesday 14 April 2020

Ten Minute Tales : The Man Who Sank The Titanic by nine-year-old Ethan J Ward

Ten Minute Tales
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a different Ten Minute Tale* every day
(except Friday when we have Novel Conversations)

SS Titanic leaving Southampton April 10 1912
(from Wikipedia) 

The Man Who Sank The Titanic
Ethan J Ward
aged 9

The Titanic sank on the 15th April 1912

Southampton: 1912

The weather was calm at sea as Sailor Robert stood at the helm steering the huge, unsinkable, Titanic on its first sea voyage. The ship, known as the floating palace due to its over-the-top accommodations, and its hundreds of paying passengers, was on its way to New York.

As they journeyed across the Atlantic, people below decks were busy getting to know each other in the plush surroundings while eating, drinking, and dancing to the ship’s orchestra. As the ship approached the north-west Atlantic the temperature began to drop. Those on lookout duty received several warnings that icy seas were ahead. However, no one believed that the ship was in any danger and ignored the warnings believing the ship to be unsinkable. They received telegrams from the ship SS Amerika giving warnings of large ice-burgs ahead. SS Amerika had already passed two large icebergs on their journey. Evening approached and sea conditions became very icy, but, the captain chose not to reduce the ship’s speed and ignored the warnings. The crew believed, wrongly, that there would be lots of time to get out of the way of the ice, if necessary. Still, no one saw any dangers ahead.

The lookout suddenly spotted an enormous iceberg in the distance. He soon realised it was much bigger than he first thought, and so, he rang the warning bell as Titanic headed straight for the ginormous iceberg. Suddenly, as the bell continued to ring out, confusion, screams, and fear echoed throughout the ship. Passengers only felt a bump, but nothing more than that.  There were only four officers on duty on the bridge. The first officer in charge ordered the ship to change direction, but, it was too late to avoid a massive collision. Rocket distress signals were fired into the night sky.

The direction change caused the ship to strike the iceberg side-on, causing Titanic to start sinking below the icy waves: where the ship would eventually stay forever on the seabed. Several lifeboats were launched into the cold-as-ice sea.

Seven-hundred-and-six lives were saved, but hundreds of passengers sadly drowned that day. It would take several hours before a ship large enough would reach the sinking Titanic, and rescue those who had managed to scramble to safety into lifeboats. The poor souls unable to clamber into a lifeboat due to them being already over-full, perished in the coldest waters.

© Ethan J. Ward 

(Submitted to BBC Competition 500 wards. 2020.)

*length may vary! 

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  1. Wow - such sophisticated writing; I had to keep checking to see that I had the author's age correct. Well done Ethen.

    1. Much appreciated Annie. Thank you x See comments below x Caz

  2. Well done Ethan! Superb story very well written and well researched. Good luck with the competition entry!

    1. Thank you Richard. He’s a follower of all things Titanic. See comments below.

  3. Thank you Helen, Richard and Annie. My grandson will be chuffed to bits. Ethan has books for research, to colour in, and watches all documentaries about the Titanic. Watches old films whenever they’re on telly. H, he did put Southampton but I read somewhere Liverpool. Thank you all. Ethan n Caz

    1. My pleasure ... Yes it's Southampton Ethan knows his stuff! :-)

  4. Such a stirring account of this preventable tragedy. Well done, Ethan, with your writing and especially your research. Keep it up.

    1. Thank you, Inge. Whenever there's a documentary, old films, or anything to do with Titanic on TV, we'll find Ethan notching up as much information as he can... he's 9 almost 10 on 25th April. His memory is quite amazing. Anything he couldn't spell, he asked. My husband was in the navy, so the 2 of them have lots in common. A love of the sea, ships, and especially the Titanic. When divers explore the ship, there's total silence in our television room... Everyone is 'glued' to the telly.


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