"A large wave crashed over the boat deck..."


RileyGardner17

Riley Gardner
Member
Jan 14, 2015
30
11
58
New Mexico, USA
Hey all,

Wondering what we could make of this claim from both Bride, Gracie, and if I recall correctly, Lightoller described it as "a great plunge forward". Essentially when the ship's bridge went under, it went under quickly that a massive wave washed across the boat deck. I believe it was Gracie who claimed "you could almost surf on it".

I've thought about this quite a bit and the implications of that, should it be true. If a wave washed across the boat deck, that would mean the ship was going very extremely quickly, perhaps just two or three minutes before the entire ship went under. I know there's still a lot of debate about the length of the famous "final moments" of the ship, but this one has always struck me as rather odd. I've always been inclined to believe the version Cameron put on screen, as well as the one from A Night To Remember (film), where the bridge went down quickly but not at such a rapid pace as that. It's just a strange observation many had and I figured we could discuss it fuller. Should this be true, it seems to me that the idea of the bow going under around 1:50 would be false, and it would be similar to the visuals of A Night to Remember, where once the bow and forcastle decks were awash it pulled the rest of the ship down very, very quickly.

Thoughts, if any?

P.S. Very new to these forums, been following Titanic for years but excited to be on here and learn some nitty gritty details, so please excuse me if I get some facts wrong.
 

Adam Went

Member
Apr 28, 2003
1,194
11
233
Hi Riley,

First of all, welcome!

Second, I would suggest that if a section of the ship had suddenly plunged underwater, the force of this might have created a bigger wave. The size of the wave probably would have been exacerbated in the minds of witnesses by the fact that the ocean itself was so calm.

Cheers,
Adam.
 

Jim Currie

Member
Apr 16, 2008
5,860
1,024
323
NewtonMearns, Glasgow, Scotland.
Hello Riley.

You have raised an interesting point. These men would not have desribed the thing as a 'wave' if it did not resemble what they undoubtably would have seen when at the sea side. The explanation is not too hard to understand.

I believe that as the bow went down, the water rose up the front of the bridge. At the last moment, the speed of sinking accelerated. The water would never meet the forward edge of the boat deck but would continue rising quickly, curling round the bridge cabs and pouring in a torrent over the tops of the bridge wing bulwarks (which were very high). The resulting turbulence would have been very similar to a wave washing up the beach. Here's a picture of Captain Smith at another time. Just think what would happen when the sea poured over the top of the plate bulwark om his right.
captain_smith-550w.jpg

Jim C.

captain_smith-550w.jpg
 

RileyGardner17

Riley Gardner
Member
Jan 14, 2015
30
11
58
New Mexico, USA
Wow, Jim, I had no idea the bulwarks were that high. Certainly if she was being pulled down quickly - or even at any real speed at an angle - the water certainly would have rushed over that and all the crew and passengers who were in the area. Very interesting! That picture helped quite a bit.
 

Similar threads

Similar threads