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Titanic Swimming Pool

For the benefit of first class passengers Titanic had a heated saltwater swimming pool, referred to as a swimming bath, located on the starboard side of the ship at the forward end of F Deck, near the very bottom of the grand staircase. It was 30ft long by 14ft wide, and included a number of changing rooms,13 in total, with two showers also provided; port holes were provided along the starboard side, allowing natural daylight into the room.

Olympic’s swimming pool, almost identical 
to Titanic’s
The almost identical swimming pool to Titanic’s aboard her sister ship Olympic.

Very much a novelty aboard the ship, it is said Titanic was only the third ship to have had a swimming pool built within it, the second being her near identical sister ship Olympic, with the first being credited to White Star Line’s Adriatic, completed in 1907, although, Adriatic’s, referred to as a plunge bath, was very much smaller than Olympic and Titanic’s swimming pool.

Along with the nearby Turkish Baths, the swimming pool was open to women from 10am until 1pm, and open to men from 2pm until 6pm. To use the Turkish Baths and the swimming pool 4 Shillings in British money or 1 Dollar in American money had to be paid; to just use the swimming pool, would have cost 1 Shilling or 25 Cents. The use of a swimming costume was included in the price. To buy a ticket to swim in the pool, passengers had to visit the ship’s Enquiry Office, located on C Deck, near to the forward grand staircase. Additionally, men could use the swimming pool for free between 6am to 9am. The pool was only open to first class passengers.

The water in the swimming pool was regularly changed, and to avoid pumping dirty water into the pool, it was only filled when out to sea, to avoid the less clean water in port and near land.

Having neglected his exercises during the voyage aboard Titanic, Colonel Archibald Gracie went for a swim in the ship’s swimming pool early during the morning of 14th April 1912 – the day Titanic struck the iceberg. He described the swimming pool as a “six foot deep tank of salt water, heated to a refreshing temperature”, and said that he had never enjoyed such pleasure in a swimming bath before. In less than 24 hours he found himself swimming in the freezing cold water of the North Atlantic. Still aboard Titanic near the end, he was one of the last survivors to leave the ship, and had survived the night aboard the upturned collapsible lifeboat B. He had intended to visit the swimming pool again during the morning of 15th April.

The swimming pool has not been explored on the wreck of Titanic, although, the very nearby cooling room of the Turkish Baths was visited during the 2005 exhibition to the wreck and was found to be in remarkably good condition. It was noted that the water tight door next to the entrance vestibule to the cooling room, within the watertight bulkhead separating the cooling room from the corridor between it and the swimming pool, was unsurprisingly closed, preventing potential access to the swimming pool that way. Located just outside the cooling room's other entrance, located on the starboard side, another watertight door within the bulkhead leading to the corridor and located opposite the swimming pool was not observed during the dive but it is assumed to be closed. Assistant Second Steward Joseph Wheat testified at the British Titanic Inquiry that he had closed both doors.

Related pages - Titanic Lifeboats, All Titanic Pages

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