After the collision


David Welch

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Jul 29, 2006
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Ok I hope this is the right place to post this because i didn't see any other place were to post how the Titanic could have survied a bit longer after hitting the iceberg.

I know this is abit off the wall but could the Titanic have reversed its Engines and ran in reverse which would have pulled the water out of the hull. My teacher said it had a name something effect but i can't remember it now. If anyone knows please let me know so i know what i'm talking about(lol).
Thanks,
Dave
Please Post.

[Moderator's notes: 1. This post, originally posted in another topic has been moved to here. 2. The title of this thread has been revised, to better reflect what is being discussed. JDT]
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>I know this is abit off the wall but could the Titanic have reversed its Engines and ran in reverse which would have pulled the water out of the hull.<<

No.

It might have served to slow down the rate of ingrsss a bit, but I doubt it would have been to any signifigent degree and that's because of the water outside which is at a higher pressure (Up to two atmospheres) is going into an area of lesser pressue (Sea level) inside the hull.
 
Oct 12, 2004
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I might be wrong here (physics isnt my strongest discipline, but Ive been on the water enough) but wouldnt the ship need a jackrabbit type of move to kick this off....similar to a crew shell after the catch. Meaning, wouldnt there need to be a move from a speed of zero to X in an extremely short amount of time?.......otherwise, the g force required would never get ahead of the rushing water.
 

David Welch

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Michael and Andrew, Thanks for your info its quite helpful......well scratch that idea off the list. I don't know if your allowed to have a another thread in a thread and if we can't i'm sure it will be closed but it won't hurt to ask? So do you guys have any ways the Titanic could have stayed afloat a little bit longer just enough till other ships arrived?
(GO TIGERS)
Thanks
Dave
 

Brian Ahern

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Dec 19, 2002
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David,
The problem with any method that involved the ship moving forwards or backwards would be that it would make it impossible to launch the lifeboats, and thus wouldn't do anybody much good.
 
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Jack Coburn

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I'm currently reading David G. Brown's last log (Great book too, i might add). I've just read the chapter where I think he suggested that the decision to continue ahead at slow speed after the collision may have been the factor that knocked the final nail in to Titanic's coffin.
 
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Adam Lang

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Just think about what a mess lowering the lifeboats would be. That process couldn't be accomplished if the ship was moving. The moment a boat hits the water, it would be pulled around all over the place by the falls attached to a moving ship.

Second, the boats in the aft section of the ship might be exposed to a lot of danger. A boat could easily be drawn to the suction of the propellors and devoured just like what happened on the Britanic when boats were lowered while the ship was in motion.
 
Oct 12, 2004
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I also think for that effect to work there would have to be little in the way of obstructions (in addition to the speed I mentioned before). An example would be driving your car after it has rained. If you notice the water on your hood and reverse the car take note of the speed and rapid acceleration required to move the water.
 
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Adam Lang

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"If moving the ship were able to keep it afloat then there would be no need to launch lifeboats."

Yes, that would be true if the reversing the ship would keep it afloat, but doing so would only add a few minutes of time. Given the ship's reverse speed (lowered because of drag caused by incoming water), a significant amount of incoming water would still be able to enter the ship. Add the extra time of launching lifeboats while the ship's moving, and you'll probably find that it would just be more of a hassle and much less efficient than if the ship wasn't moving at all.
 
Dec 4, 2000
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Curiously enough, Charles H. Lightoller successfully backed his navy ship to port during WW-I after ramming and sinking a German U-boat. The damage to the bow of Lightoller's ship threatened to sink it. So, he backed home. Did his experience in Titanic give him the idea?

-- David G. Brown
 

David Welch

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Jul 29, 2006
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Hi,
Is there any goods books to look for about the life of Charles H.Lightoller. I really want to know about his cruise over to Dunkirk (hope thats spelled right).
Thanks,
David
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>If you notice the water on your hood and reverse the car take note of the speed and rapid acceleration required to move the water.<<

Doesn't quite work that way. What's at issue here is not water lying static on the hood of the car but water which is getting into the ship from the outside of the vessel. Water pressure increases the deeper you go, and you can't really force something under lesser pressure into an area of greater pressure...at least not without a lot of mechanical help which just wasn't available.

What backing down might have accomplished would be to slow the rate of ingress into the ship since you wouldn't be forcing the bow headlong into the sea.

The catch?

Samuel Halpern and Adam Lang nailed it: You can't launch lifeboats while the ship is moving. The Titanic was well away from any really close point of landfall and there was no way the sinking could be stopped. In light of that, the options available could only range from bad to worse to downright unworkable. In this case, the least of the evils was to try and get as many people off the ship as possible before she went down and that's how they played it.

>>So do you guys have any ways the Titanic could have stayed afloat a little bit longer just enough till other ships arrived?<<

No. Not really. I have quite a bit of training in shipboard damage control thanks to the Navy which is pretty extensive at even it's most basic level. The problem here is that what I learned was passed on to me and all of my shipmates by way of combat experience aquired through two world wars, and we had resources provided to make the most of that which the officers and crew of the Titanic did not have!

They didn't have damage control lockers, shoring or plugging kits, and even if they had, they had no diving gear to get down to where the damage was. You can't plug it or patch it if you can't get to it. The most you can do is try to confine it as long as possible by way of the installed pumps that they had as well as any hoses that they could rig.
 
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Adam Lang

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Michael,

Just wondering, if the Titanic did have plugging kits and trained divers, how would someone be able to get past the immense pressure of incoming water to get to the damage? The only thing I could think of is that someone could throw a rope and attatch it to something and pull your life away. Or would the trick be to get off the ship and repair it from outside? Then the problem would be trying not to get sucked in along with the water.

It's always a treat to have a Navy vet around who knows these things
happy.gif
 

David Welch

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Jul 29, 2006
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Wait hears another thing..... Its pretty out in left feild so to speak but i'll say it any way you guys might have a laugh at it.

What if crew members took waterproof canvas tide weights to the end and threw it over the side were the gash was well was it a gash or...(oh I can't thing of the word help me out Michael or anyone) but any way let it sink and then let the suction get it and pull it flush aganist the hull.
Would it tare or rip I really don't know thats why i'm asking you guys.

OK guys the destruction of my idea comence!
LOL

Thanks,
Dave
 
Dec 4, 2000
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If wishes were horses, 1,500 people would have galloped to Halifax that night.

All sorts of ideas have been proposed to keep Titanic afloat. They amount to nothing more than wishing for a better outcome after the issue has been decided. That's as useful as hoping the losing team will win a football game a day after the last play. All the wishing in the world won't change the score. Nor will it "save" one more of Titanic's victims.

"If" is one of those weasel words that leads us quickly into flights of fancy--unless we use the word as part of an experiment to learn how to do things better in the future. Asking "what if" Titanic had backed to Halifax, Bellfast, or Liverpool is pointless. But, asking "what if" we add lifeboats and improve the launching apparatus leads to safety improvements.

"Save" is another weasel word. You can't save any lives as all are destined for extinction. What you can do is influence the second date on the tombstone. If 1,500 flying horses had galloped in to rescue the poor souls aboard Titanic, how many eyewitnesses would be alive today? So, no lives would have been "saved," just prolonged.

There is a purpose behind this somewhat strange line of thinking. Improvements in safety do not come when you try to "save everyone." The Grim Reaper will demand his bill once a ship starts to founder with people aboard.

A serious attempt to keep trans-Atlantic passengers alive cannot be concerned with "saving" lives. Instead, it has to start with the concept that no lives should be put into jeopardy in the first place. That's why the International Ice Patrol has been more significant in preventing the early demise of trans-Atlantic passengers than lifeboats.

Lifeboats are simply an inferior second chance at prolonging lives when accident prevention either fails or is overlooked. True, the occupants of a lifeboat presumably do not die when their ship disappears beneath the waves. However, they are far from "saved." Imagine bobbing around in one of the modern encapsulated plastic bottles while sitting cheek-to-cheek with a bunch of other frightened people. Oh, and add the stench of vomit. Now, what if there is a force 9 gale and it's impossible to take people off your lifeboat and so your orange cocoon drifts away in the crashing sea. Alive? yes. Saved? not yet, maybe not ever.

Back to backing Titanic. Would steaming backwards have prolonged the ship's life? Nobody knows. But, let's say it could have extended the sinking time by 50 percent. In reality that would have meant a time of death for most victims of just before 4 a.m. Not much of an improvement. For a 25-year old, that extra time would have amounted to 0.0000068% of his or her total life. I doubt anyone would have cured cancer, written an immortal sonnet, or painted a new Mona Lisa in that period of time.

So, even a large extension (50%) of the time afloat for Titanic after the accident would have amounted to virtually nothing for the people facing death. In other words, there would have been no discernable benefit for taking the very real risk that backing the ship would more likely have shortened its remaining time afloat.

Here is where the penalty for a bad decision becomes harsh. If Titanic had foundered 50% quicker because it had attempted to steam backwards, then the foundering time would have been around 1:15 a.m. If that had happened, then everyone in the following lifeboats would most likely have perished as there would not have been time to launch: boat #6, 16, 14, 9, 12, 11, 13, 15, 2, 10, 4, C, D, and A.

It's quite obvious that the risk/benefit ratio of attempting to keep afloat by backing the ship leans heavily toward the risk side for little, if any reward. So, even if Captain Smith knew for certain that he could have extended the life of Titanic by 50% after the accident by backing it, his only proper choice would still have been to stop, lower the lifeboats, and perhaps utter a quite prayer. No man could have done more.

-- David G. Brown
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>Just wondering, if the Titanic did have plugging kits and trained divers...<<

But they didn't and I think on some level, this is a crucial point that's being missed in a lot of the "what if" scenerios. If one cares to be realistic about what might have been attempted and what it's chances of success were, you would have to do so using information on the resources, experience and understanding of shipboard damage control and repair stratagies known to exist at the time.

Anything else is simply anachronistic.

As a tangent, if the Titanic had all the goodies and divers with brilliant lights, dry suits, and lavish equipment, the issue would have been locating the damage in the darkness. In this case, the outside water pressure could have actually worked in their favour since it would tend to draw in anything that would be pressed or wedged into the openings.

Keep in mind that the openings were mostly split seams, broken and buckled plates and sheered rivets so each hole in and of itself wasn't that dramatic. However, in total, it was quite adaquate to let in enough water to sink the ship.

>>What if crew members took waterproof canvas tide weights to the end and threw it over the side were the gash...<<

Sorry there was no gash. Multiple small openings and spread out over enough compartments to sink the ship, but no gash. What you're thinking of was known back then as collision mats. They were quite common on warships, but Titanic had none. This idea was kicked around at one of the inquiries...the Mersey Court if I recall correctly...and was dismissed as unworkable. The problem is on several levels, not the least of which was that the crew had no idea exactly where the openings were. You would also need quite a bit of rope...enough to go down the sheer cliff of the hull and up to 34 feet under water...and lots of guys to hold onto it and get it into place.

The catch?

They didn't have collision mats and such a rig would be so clumsy as to be unworkable.

The crew of the Titanic didn't have the luxury of time and none of the resources needed to make any "what if" scenerios work, so they had to choose from a list of some really lousy options and choose the least of the evils. Any way you look at it, stopping the ship and getting as many people as possible away in the boats was the least of the evils.
 

David Welch

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Jul 29, 2006
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>>All the wishing in the world won't change the score. Nor will it "save" one more of Titanic's victims.>>
Yes David G.Brown I Know that, Thats why its a "WHAT IF"

Michael,
Thanks for the info on the collisions mats i never knew there was such a thing i was almost on way to the Patent Office (lol).

And Thank you all for taking the time to answer me hair brained ideas.

Thanks
DAve
 

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