Could the stern have floated?

Dec 2, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
Hi Inger, I think I have a recording of this show somewhere in my library. I'll have to dig it up sometime. I have a tendency to ignor some of the "colour" type commentary that goes along with these shindigs in favour of the meatier technical stuff which they manage to sneak in almost as an afterthought.

In the case of the model testing, the criteria for that is pretty well established and has served well as a design aide for nearly a century. As testing the real McCoy to destruction would be a tad expensive, they have to make due with what qualified engineers can put together. I don't pretend to understand the more esoteric aspects of it all, (I'm sure Cal Haines, Mark Chirnside and Morgan Erik Ford can detail it far better then I can.) but it works.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
Jul 22, 2001
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kent uk
Having heard about the alternative to closing those doors I now agree that Captain Smith did do the right thing. the final moments of Titanic must have been horrific to witness and participate in but can you imagine the horror of it in almost total darkness at a much earlier stage of the sinking? Families would have definately been seperated and what about those who had yet to make it to the boat deck? One last (!) question..though I imagine colliding with icebergs was not something that people wanted to do very often, so perhaps there was no 'proper' procedure, was Captain Smiths reaction (i.e keeping those doors shut) something that he and other seamen would have been trained to do? I have no knowledge of such things and have to admit the last time I travelled in a boat was to get back to shore from St Michaels Mount in Cornwall when I was about 6! ( and yes I did throw up!)
 
M

Morgan Eric Ford

Guest
It may have been difficult to leave the WTD's open without monkeying with the mechanism. I think the float would close the door regardless of what the bridge controls were set to. The engineers would have had to disable the float mechanism on each door they wanted to leave open.


There have been cases of ships losing the bow or stern and staying afloat. In a collision the damage is much more concentrated. Titanic's stern was torn off by gravity so a lot of the structure was mangled. If she had been hit in the area of BR #1 by an icebreaker and cut in two, instead of being ripped in two , there's a chance the stern would have stayed afloat.


Regards,

Morgan
 
J

Joanne Seiferlein

Guest
I don't believe that the stern would have stayed afloat, though not being an expert on the subject, I might be wrong. The heaviest part of the ship was in the stern (i.e.) the reciprocating engines. Add to that the probablility that the keel was still holding the stern to the bow section at as it went under, and the probability is that the stern could not have stayed afloat.
I, too, think about those last moments as I am writing a TITANIC novel and what a nightmare it must have been, not only on the poopdeck and well decks where people were holding on for dear life and/or falling to their deaths either from the height or because they were struck by other falling bodies (or imacts with parts of the ship, but also in the Men's Smoking Room where poor Andrews had to have witnessed at least the beginning of the tearing apart of his creation.
The only thing I could think of whilst writing this part of my novel was, "My God, the horror those poor people went through!" This sense of horror is only compounded by the fact that these last moments took place in total darkness. Bad enought to die that way, but in total darkness?!

As a note to the special which discussed the watertight doors, I wasn't aware that Smith was an idiot, let alone a bleeding idiot (just kidding,Inger), but I assume that one of the reasons that Smith did not order the doors open because this would go against all of his training
as a ship's master-- and in this case, his traini ing and probably intuition, were correct.

Regards,
Joanne

Just as a quick post script: Later on, Lightholler said that the one thing that he would never be able to forget was that, right before the stern began to plunge, he heard people still aboard crying out "I love you." to one another. As to horror and pathos, that says it all.
 

Inger Sheil

Member
Dec 3, 2000
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G'day Joanne -

Oh, it wasn't me who was insinuating that Smith was grievously mistaken for not opening the watertight doors to facilitate even flooding - this was a bit of a hypothesis on the part of the show's writers, which was disproven to their satisfaction by the tests they conducted.

As I've argued elsewhere, I don't think Smith was a fool. He would never have managed to not only survive the BoT certification system, but also serve and achieve promotion in one of the elite lines had he not had both skill and ability.

~ Inger
 
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Joanne Seiferlein

Guest
Hi, Inger,
I was not referring to you thinking that Smith was a bleeding idiot, but to others, the special included, that seem to think that he was.
I just wanted to clarify that point.

Joanne
 

Inger Sheil

Member
Dec 3, 2000
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No problem, Joanne - I just wasn't certain if you thought I was one of the knee-jerk blame brigade! Thanks for clarifying that.

~ Inger
 
T

Timothy McCulloch

Guest
Hey, Joanna Seifeilein
repling to your 10/18 4;51AM letter. Boy, you up early
eh.gif
. 4:15AM.

Anyway, put some water into your kitchen sink.
(Atlantic Ocean}
Take a cup.
(Titanic's Stern)
Put a small object in the cup w/ a little weight.
(Reciprocating Engines}
And you tell me what happens.

You see, I try to re-enact some parts of that night, by using something I have. And of course you almost have to have water. So, I hope this helps you.
smile.gif
.
 
Jan 5, 2001
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Timothy,

I think hers is American time, not Greenwich Mean Time that is displayed in this board.
smile.gif


Best regards,

Mark.
 
T

Timothy McCulloch

Guest
Hey, Joanna Seiferlein
replying to your 10/18 4;51AM letter. Boy, are you up early
smoke.gif
. 4:15 A.M.
eh.gif


Anyway, put some water into your kitchen sink.
(Atlantic Ocean}
Take a cup.
(Titanic's Stern)
Put a small object in the cup w/ a little weight.
(Reciprocating Engines}

You see, I try to re-enact some parts of that night, by using something I have. And of course you almost have to have water.

Now, If it didn't do what you thought it would do. Than there has to be another explanation for it. Keep trying. I hope this helps.
wink.gif


Tell me what happened? Tim.
smile.gif
 
Jan 5, 2001
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Why on earth are you posting so many identical messages? I'm confused.
smile.gif
.
This is confusing:

[hr]
Quote:

Like a creature from the deep, the green-coloured shoot gradually penetrated the barren surface. To be in the middle of the ocean at midnight, lit only by moonlight, and with only the sound of the whistling wind, is actually a deeply-moving experience. There was actually a cracking sound, or even a rustling sound to be far more accurate. It was the sound of the shoot piercing the brown surface, one surface which could only be imagined by those who had been able in previous times to gasp the magnitude of mother nature’s supreme spirit. Smoothness was combined in a most unusual manner with the roughness of apparent ripples, like an ocean, but actually part of the soil. These produced eerie darkened shadows which gradually danced in the moonlight’s glorious glare. If you were strong enough, you could perfectly overcome the initial appearance and feeling of hostility that was inexorably linked in the mind’s myopic eye to such sights as could only be seen now. Pure superficial consideration was usually enough to reveal that such strange thoughts had no basis in a pattern of logical thinking which a mind possessed — it might be added that such a mind did by no means have to have a verisimilar pattern of knowledge or thought.
[hr]​

smile.gif


Mark.
 

Geoff White

Member
Mar 28, 2011
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Hi everyone
this is my first posting on this site and I must say it is truly facinating to read so many views on any one subject. Keep it up.
My Question is: if the ship had WT bulkeads running alongthe keel would this have helped the stern stay afloat given that the superstructure was obviously badly damaged, surely if one half of the ship was "intact" would there not be a possibility of the stern not compleatly sinking?
 
Dec 4, 2000
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Geoff -- You might want to read all of the above posts in this discussion for an overview of the current theories.

What you are suggesting by "bulkheads along the keel" are called "longitudinal bulkheads" in ships. They are common in warships where battle damage is expected and the convenience of the sailors is not a consideration.

The problem with longitudinal bulkheads is that water trapped on one side of the ship causes a major imballance. The result is that the ship rolls to the flooded side. This eliminates the launching of lifeboats from the high side and makes the movement of people inside the ship difficult to impossible. Basically, the problems created outweigh any advantages of longitudinal bulkheads in most civilian applications.

A better answer in Titanic's case would have been the elimination of the firemen's tunnel in the bow and the raising of the existing transverse bulkheads by at least one deck.

--David G. Brown
 
S

Stephen William DeNicholas

Guest
Hi all! I just wanted to say that the stern has no chance to remain afloat because during the breakup the ribs connecting the sides to the keel were seperated from the keel. Looking at the starboard side of the stern today, the decks are exposed all the way back to the well deck. This piece of the hull was dislodged, possibly at or near the surface. The water then rushed into these exposed decks so fast that the stern sank within minutes of the breakup. Also, water rushing into this exposde side of the ship, caused it to list to starboard and probably started the turn. Also, the smoking room probably didn't have enough time to catch fire. When the break occured, the side walls and celing was ripped off the smoking room, so anything that came out of the fireplace would have fallen foward into the ocean. Also, the fireplace was in itself destroyed. (Thanks to Roy Mengot)
 

Raymond Leggs

Member
Apr 3, 2003
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If the stern would have broken free
comepletely it wold have
just rolled over like the Posiedon
in at least 6 minutes
and it would float upside down for a
few seconds and up end partialy and sink
violently.
 
J

Jonathan Craig Adcock

Guest
Simple engineering tells us, no matter if the bulkhead doors been opened or closed, would the ship, whole or broken, stayed afloat. At a pitch of 12 degrees the mounts holding the boilers, which mind you were not designed to hold their weight at that angle, would have broken. Thus sending the boilers through whatever stood in their way.
 
Jan 5, 2001
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Hi Jonathan!

You said:
At a pitch of 12 degrees the mounts holding the boilers, which mind you were not designed to hold their weight at that angle, would have broken. Thus sending the boilers through whatever stood in their way.

Naval Architect Edward Wilding of Harland & Wolff said that the boilers would have moved at 35 degrees:

quote:

20915. Some Witnesses spoke of noises, and some of them suggested that the noises might have been caused by the machinery falling forward when she got tipped up considerably. Do you think there is anything in that? - The boilers might have moved; I do not think the machinery did.
The Commissioner: It as thought the boilers had got loose from their seats.
20916. (Mr. Laing.) Yes. (To the Witness.) Is that a reasonable theory? - When the ship was about 35 degrees by the head.
20917. That might have happened? - When the bow was down so that her stern was up, so that the slope fore and aft of the ship was about 35 degrees.

Could I ask your sources?

Best regards,

Mark.​
 
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Tom Pappas

Guest
Hmmm. Twelve degrees is two minutes on a clock face. I sure hope they don't hit any rough weather!
 
J

Jonathan Craig Adcock

Guest
Are we suggesting that a vessel of this Tonage would Bob like a Hobie-cat?
Tom your calculations are correct,but now how many Feet of lift is that? 17.4ft. As we all know the vessel Broke up at 16 degrees. By the time the stern have reached 35 degrees, it had seperated from the bow. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
quote:
20915. Some Witnesses spoke of noises, and some of them suggested that the noises might have been caused by the machinery falling forward when she got tipped up considerably. Do you think there is anything in that? - The boilers might have moved; I do not think the machinery did.
The Commissioner: It as thought the boilers had got loose from their seats.
20916. (Mr. Laing.) Yes. (To the Witness.) Is that a reasonable theory? - When the ship was about 35 degrees by the head.
20917. That might have happened? - When the bow was down so that her stern was up, so that the slope fore and aft of the ship was about 35 degrees.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
That quote is a guess. How do we know this. Science.
Figure out how big your wave would have had to be to lift this Vessel 17.4ft.
There is only 4 degrees difference. What is that on a clock face?
 
J

Jonathan Craig Adcock

Guest
Of course there is always that possibility that, the Hacket/Bedford paper,and William Garzke, an American naval architect and shipwreck forensic specialist are also wrong.