The Titanic disaster is perhaps the most famous ship accident of all time. While the Titanic was a symbol of technological advancement, it also became a symbol of human supremacy and produced the superstition that is was unsinkable. The maiden voyage of the Titanic was for many emigrants a safe start to their dream of a new life in America, but the passage was far from safe.
Interest in the Titanic has always been enormous, probably since she left no trace. It increased when the wreck was found in 1985 and the 1997 movie Titanic showed the ship's downfall. For those who had relatives onboard, the movie became a source of sorrow.¨It was also one of the reasons that I chose to research the Danbom family onboard the Titanic that fatal night in April 1912. Here I tell their family history.
Outside in the biting cold, the fireworks in the dark night were reflected in the surface of the water, as the tranquil tones of the orchestra were heard from a distance. On the ship's main deck, there were hundreds of people, most of them traveling in first and second class. For the last two hours, the ship had been slowly sinking towards the cold surface. Meanwhile, people in first and second class wandered back and forth on the main deck between the big oak stairway and the lifeboats. When it turned to cold outside, the passengers went inside the ship to warm themselves. Most of the third-class passengers remained under deck, as they had still not received permission to come up on the main deck. The atmosphere on the ship was relatively calm in spite of the seriousness of the situation. Getting inside a lifeboat was fraught with danger, which was why many of the passengers still remained on the ship. Some of the passengers realized that there was no hope left for survival, so together with their beloved ones, they quietly awaited death.
Anna Nysten woke up in the middle of the night by a horrible thud, and the impact on the ship almost made her fall out of the bed. A little while later, the purser told her and the women on her deck to remain calm, because nothing of any consequence had happened. When the purser later reappeared, the women were urged to dress warmly and put on their lifejackets. While the women were waiting, Anna could feel how the ship leaned more and more. After waiting for over one hour, the women were told to go upstairs to the main deck. Anna took her food basket, and on the way up, she had to step over the belongings of other passenger. When she finally entered the main deck, confused people were everywhere. She walked over to the lifeboats that were located on both sides of the main deck. She could see how the crew was trying to convince women and children to get in the lifeboats. Suddenly, Anna felt someone grab her and throw her into a lifeboat. Just before that, she saw her traveling companions from a distance. All the members of the Danbom and Andersson families stood together. Anna saw that the six children were warmly dressed and stood close to their parents. She reflected that they were probably waiting for their spot in a lifeboat.
Right after Anna got in the lifeboat, the crewmembers started to slowly haul them down the hull. The lifeboat was crowded, and aside from the crew and a man from first class, there are only women and children onboard. When the lifeboat reached the water's surface, the crew urgently rowed away from the ship. From a distance, people saw the ship as it sank further and further into the water. Soon people started to desperately jump overboard, eager to find something in the water to hold onto. The water was rushing into the ship, and a deafening sound was heard when the stern hit the water and the ship broke in two. The bow of the ship disappeared under the surface, and the water continued to rush into what was left of the ship. As the ship filled with water, the stern rose higher, and after a while, the ship slowly sank until it disappeared under the water. It was Monday, April 15, 1912, and the unsinkable Titanic had gone under.