Titanic was scheduled to leave Harland & Wolfe for sea trials at 10 A.M. 1 April 1912. At 9 A.M. the tugs were along side. A brisk north-west wind was creating white caps in the channel and river, the water was to rough the sea trials would have to wait until the next day.
Early in the morning of 2 April the Titanic was ready, the crew was on board. For the trial run, there would be 78 members of the “black gang” and more than 40 officers, senior crewmen, radio operators, and others of the ship’s company. Titanic would also have a number of other people on board from Harland & Wolfe, the White Star Line, and the Board of trade.
Just before 6 A.M. the tug boats came along side of Titanic. Harland & Wolfe’s own tug Hercules had the first line across. The other tugs that would assist the Titanic into the Victoria Channel and into Belfast Lough were the Herald, the Herculaneum, the Hornby, and the Huskisson.
Though Titanic had black smoke coming from her funnels, the tugs were providing all the propulsion until the Titanic was in Belfast Lough, two miles off the Irish coast. The tugs cast off Titanic, and for the first time Titanic was alone in the environment she was built for. The Titanic ran the blue and white letter “A” burgee up, signalling to all other ships she may come in contact with that she was undergoing speed trials
The engine order telegraph rang to life, and was answered by the engine room. For the first time Titanic’s huge bronze propellers came to life. Titanic was underway on her own power.
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- Titanic’s Wake (thedailybeast.com)
- Titanic: Original Titanic Passenger List from the U.K. National Archives (joeccombs2nd.com)
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