All the lights on

R

Rolf Vonk

Guest
Hello there,

I have a strange question. In James Camerons Titanic, there is a scene with the Titanic steaming with all (or most of) her lights on. I believe it is the scene before Jack is going to eat in first class dining saloon. The scene shows the Titanic on the starboard side. I think it is weird that all the lights are burning. Also in unoccupied first class cabins. Isn't that a big fault? Or did the lights burnt automatically?

Greetings Rollie
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Not nesseccerily. Even today, passanger liners/cruise ships tend to be lit up like Christmas trees. I've seen a few in my Navy days, including some encounters at sea. Unless the occupant is going to bed, it may not occur to him/her to bother hitting the light switch. It's not as if they're going to get the bill from the electric company at voyages end.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
T

Timothy Brandsoy

Guest
Actually the lights are important. Many of the ship's crew worked dilligently to keep them on as long as possible for safety and visibility. Most of them didn't survive.

Tim B
 

Adam McGuirk

Member
May 19, 2002
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i know timothy they were heroic,but im talking about bringing up that particular scene of the ship for 3 seconds that he was talking about
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
It was a valid question, Adam. Some people come here to learn the history and often as not, have no idea how ships routinely operate at sea or inport.

Seeking answers and knowledge, even on the most mundane issues, discuss, debate, learn...that's what people come here for.

However, if the topic doesn't strike you as meaty enough, you might want to investigate another or start one that is. Your call.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
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Jason D. Tiller

Moderator
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Dec 3, 2000
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I agree, it was a very good question and that's one of the reasons why people come here.

As Michael said, if the thread is not interesting enough for you then take a look another one or start a new conversation. It's that easy.

Best regards,

Jason
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Kyle Naber

Member
Oct 5, 2016
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I think it was a different situation at night, however. During the evening, passengers would be preparing for dinner, getting dressed, etc. During the events leading up to the collision, I think the ship would have been very dark as most people would have been asleep. With their cabin lights off. I can’t say for sure during the sinking. Would passengers have shut off their lights as they made their way up to the top decks, or did they keep them on expecting to return shortly after? I, myself, would shut my light off.
 

Mikewriter

Member
Mar 14, 2018
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Actually the lights are important. Many of the ship's crew worked dilligently to keep them on as long as possible for safety and visibility. Most of them didn't survive.

Tim B
I've researched 1300 newspaper articles. Several survivors state some lights went out well before the sinking and the lifeboat launch.
 
Nov 14, 2005
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"Actually the lights are important" Yes the lights were important. But not just lights but good lighting. I watched a segment on the Titanic Channel recently were Parks S. was talking about the outside decks and particularly the boat deck being very poorly lit up. The lighting was pretty low...not all lit up like in the movies. He stated in his opinion that the lighting contributed to many miss-identifications and conflicting witness reports as to who people were. Especially in the case that it was First Officer Murdoch that shot himself.
 

Kyle Naber

Member
Oct 5, 2016
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I agree. I watched that segment myself and I found it to be very enlightening. (No pun intended ;))
 
A

Aaron_2016

Guest
Here is an interesting piece from survivor Helen Candee.

"When we reached the water I could see two lines of portholes under water, brightly lighted. That lighting of the ship to prevent the horrors of darkness during the death of the Titanic, represented the self-sacrifice of the electrical engineers.....Not until I saw the two lines of lighted portholes under the water had I the slightest idea of the truth. The Captain's voice again shouted emphatically. 'All boats row away from the ship. All boats keep together.'"

She left in lifeboat 6 which I understand was the first boat launched on the port side. She could see two rows of lights brightly lit shining below the waterline and I think this tells us that the water inside the ship did not correspond with the waterline outside. At least two decks below the surface were still not yet flooded. I believe the weight of water was sufficient to weigh the ship down but the water had not yet rose high enough to flood the decks that were immediately below the surface.

Survivor Emily Ryerson left the ship in one of the last lifeboats. She said - "The water was washing in the portholes, and later I think some of the square windows seemed to be open, and you could see in the cabin and see the water washing in and the gold furniture and decorations, and I remember noticing you could look far in. It was brilliantly lighted."

This makes sense because the open portholes and windows were below the ceiling so the water rushing in would not make contact with the lights shining on the ceiling above each room. Like this:

Here is B-deck and C-deck. The ship has settled very low in the water and there are several windows open. Despite being below the water line the lights would still continue to burn because the decks below have not yet flooded. e.g.


Water pours through the windows, onto the floor (protecting the lights), and down the corridors and down the stairs to the next deck below.


B-deck and C-deck

decks1.png


decks2.png



These decks would not flood until all accessible areas below had flooded first. If any bulkhead walls or bunker walls or water tight doors had failed to keep back the water, then it would spread aft from the lowest point and all water above would filter down and aft, resulting in a large area of compressed air. The ship listed heavily to port just before the bridge went under. Perhaps this tilted the compression inside and caused her side to blow out. A number of survivors had hypothesised that the air inside had broken her decks with terrific force which sent coal and smoke shooting out of her at a great distance as everything inside blew out.



.
 
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Alex Clark

Member
Mar 24, 2012
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Having watched Titanic Honor and Glory, I notice they show lights in the deck heads sparking dramatically and fizzing out before the water reaches the tops of compartments. Is this realistic? I suppose the wiring for the lights would be running down through the wet areas of the ship to the generators. But would the bulbs really spark?
 
Dec 23, 2017
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The team has stated everything done so far lighting wise is not realistic and was done for dramatic purposes. Bulbs wont spark, not even electrical wiring really, what mostly likely happened is that if a bulb did not burst on contact with the water it has a high chance of continuing to work until the distribution panel connected to it submerges. The most accurate showing of this done to date is the deleted scene from the 97 film that shows extensively a full size version of the dinning room sinking. Though even that electricity was controlled for dramatic purposes
 
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May 3, 2005
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It was a valid question, Adam. Some people come here to learn the history and often as not, have no idea how ships routinely operate at sea or inport.

Seeking answers and knowledge, even on the most mundane issues, discuss, debate, learn...that's what people come here for.

However, if the topic doesn't strike you as meaty enough, you might want to investigate another or start one that is. Your call.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
Thanks, Michael-

I would like to make a comment in regard to your comments.
My sea duty in the USN was only about 2 1/2 years and that was in such a specialized rating that I was not aware of the goings on and routine in the rest of the ship...especially on the bridge.
I have asked a lot of questions that probably sounded rather mundane and foolish and an observer might say "You were in the Navy and you didn't know that ! ? "

But In have come here seeking answers and have learned quite a bit in the process thanks to Jim, Michael, Samuel and many others. Thanks again.

Here is a prime example.
When I was in the USN, I didn't know the first thing about that formula about estimating the distance to the horizon according to the height of the observer . In my duties as a radar technician (Electronic Technician Petty Officer) I would often spot a ship in the distance. Then I would check the range (distance to the ship) and bearing (angular measurement such 45 degrees, etc. from the ship) on the radar. But until I got the reading on the radar I had no idea how far away that other ship was . If I had known that simple formula I could have had some interesting comparisons about my visual estimates - vs - my radar readings. I understand that was what those old crow's nest lookouts did in their duties and they were often very close in their estimates with those on the radar.

So this is the place to ask questions, no matter how "dumb" you might think it.
As that old saying goes "The only dumb question is the one you don't ask ! "

Also cordially,
Robert T. Paige
(Ex-ET2- almost an ET1 ! -on CVE-118 and AV-14 , USN , 3 years, 10 months , 17 days active duty to be exact....."Early separartion for the convenience of the government.")
 
Last edited:
May 3, 2005
2,172
169
133
Here is an interesting piece from survivor Helen Candee.

"When we reached the water I could see two lines of portholes under water, brightly lighted. That lighting of the ship to prevent the horrors of darkness during the death of the Titanic, represented the self-sacrifice of the electrical engineers.....Not until I saw the two lines of lighted portholes under the water had I the slightest idea of the truth. The Captain's voice again shouted emphatically. 'All boats row away from the ship. All boats keep together.'"

She left in lifeboat 6 which I understand was the first boat launched on the port side. She could see two rows of lights brightly lit shining below the waterline and I think this tells us that the water inside the ship did not correspond with the waterline outside. At least two decks below the surface were still not yet flooded. I believe the weight of water was sufficient to weigh the ship down but the water had not yet rose high enough to flood the decks that were immediately below the surface.

Survivor Emily Ryerson left the ship in one of the last lifeboats. She said - "The water was washing in the portholes, and later I think some of the square windows seemed to be open, and you could see in the cabin and see the water washing in and the gold furniture and decorations, and I remember noticing you could look far in. It was brilliantly lighted."

This makes sense because the open portholes and windows were below the ceiling so the water rushing in would not make contact with the lights shining on the ceiling above each room. Like this:

Here is B-deck and C-deck. The ship has settled very low in the water and there are several windows open. Despite being below the water line the lights would still continue to burn because the decks below have not yet flooded. e.g.


Water pours through the windows, onto the floor (protecting the lights), and down the corridors and down the stairs to the next deck below.


B-deck and C-deck

View attachment 40343

View attachment 40344


These decks would not flood until all accessible areas below had flooded first. If any bulkhead walls or bunker walls or water tight doors had failed to keep back the water, then it would spread aft from the lowest point and all water above would filter down and aft, resulting in a large area of compressed air. The ship listed heavily to port just before the bridge went under. Perhaps this tilted the compression inside and caused her side to blow out. A number of survivors had hypothesised that the air inside had broken her decks with terrific force which sent coal and smoke shooting out of her at a great distance as everything inside blew out.



.
I believe there are scenes showing bulkheads being broken and the water gushing in to cabins in ANTR.
And of the wiring sparking in the 1997 "Titanic".