NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

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April 6, 2012

Teacher takes cruise re-enacting Titanic voyage

(Continued)

CUMBERLAND, Md. —

So much so, said Athey, that she’s seen the 1999 James Cameron movie, "Titanic," starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, no less than 13 times.

For more than a decade, students in Athey’s classes at Flintstone Elementary School have completed a project about the Titanic during the anniversary of its demise — from building a model ship to performing a play in period dress.

This year, they will track her journey aboard the Balmoral, which departs from Southampton, England, Sunday, two days earlier than the Titanic did because the Balmoral is not as fast and the cruise wants to be at the site of the sinking on the very day it occurred.

Athey’s students compiled facts and figures about the Titanic for their teacher’s trip. Student Carl Eckhard, for example, said the ship was held together by 3 million rivets, that the water was 28 degrees Fahrenheit when it sank, and that a first-class ticket on the ocean liner cost $4,000 in 1912, the equivalent of $99,000 today. Third-class tickets, held mainly by immigrants heading to America for a new life, went for $30, or about $800 in today.

On April 19, the Balmoral re-enactment cruise is scheduled to arrive in New York City, completing the trip the Titanic never did.

"I told my students that when we get to New York we’re going to see what so many of those people didn’t get to see," said Athey. "So many of those  immigrants … wanted to see was that Statue of Liberty because then they knew they were going to be in this place that was going to be wonderful. It’s just so sad."

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Kristin Harty Barkley is a reporter for the Cumberland, Md., Times-News. Contact her at kbarkley@times-news.com.

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