The Titanic 100 Years Later

By Beverly Samuelson —

photo by Aaron Beers

The Sadie Dowdell Library in South Amboy hosted “The Titanic” on March 19th. The presentation was given by Charles Haas, president of The Titanic International Society. The event was sponsored by Friends of the Dowdell Library, Elaine Gaber, Director. There were about 100 residents in attendance.

Mr. Haas began with the night of the tragic event on April 10, 1912. At that time ocean liners were not equipped with emergency systems, there were no sirens, no public address system. When the full impact of what happened was realized there was panic among the passengers. The ship contained 3500 souls which included passengers and crew. Life boat space would accommodate only 1178 people.

In 1985 the LeSuroit, a French research vessel, along with the Knorr a U.S. vessel, scanned the area where the Titanic was suppose to have been lost. After a few days the LeSuroit left. The Knorr stayed and searched further and discovered the exact location and the remains of the Titanic. The location is 1000 miles east of New York City.

Over the next few years different research teams attempted to reach the ship. Then on June 10, 1993, Charles Haas, went along on a dive aboard the Nautile sub for a dive to the Titanic. Mr. Haas spoke of how the mission was both exciting and terrifying at the same time. He also states that, “It was the most exciting experience of my life”. He spoke of how the ship is deteriorating everyday. How steel is being eaten by bacteria and how the ship will eventually be gone forever as it crumbles to dust on the ocean floor.

photo by Aaron Beers

At the end of the presentation Mr. Haas spoke of Melvina Dean who was the last know survivor of the Titanic. She passed away on May 31, 2009 at the age of 98. He also announced that on April 15, 2012 the Discovery Channel will have a special on the Titanic, commemorating it’s 100th anniversary.

Through the years 5500 artifacts were collected for exhibition at several venues throughout the world. He brought with him to the presentation, a piece of carpet, wood from the grand stairway, honor metals, money and the original architectural drawing of the Titanic.

This was a very moving and historical presentation. Mr. Haas presented the events of the demise of the Titanic in great detail. The event was greatly enjoyed by all.


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