Could Titanic Still Sink With 4 Compartments Flooded?


Harland Duzen

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A "What If" scenario...

It's aways been stated that Titanic could stay afloat with any 4 compartments and had the iceberg only breached the front 4, she would have floated and the only damage would be some lost Cargo and some very angry 3rd Class Passengers and Crew.

However, would the weight of the 4 flooded compartments cause the bow to dip low enough that the C-Deck forecastle deck could flood, fill the bow and then sink the ship?

This scenario has all windows and gangway doors locked and the forecastle deck the only way water could enter apart from the damage below.
Screen Shot 2017-07-15 at 11.11.44.png


Note: I just noticed I put this in the wrong thread. Sorry.
 
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Chung Rex

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A "What If" scenario...

It's aways been stated that Titanic could stay afloat with any 4 compartments and had the iceberg only breached the front 4, she would have floated and the only damage would be some lost Cargo and some very angry 3rd Class Passengers and Crew.

However, would the weight of the 4 flooded compartments cause the bow to dip low enough that the C-Deck forecastle deck could flood, fill the bow and then sink the ship?

This scenario has all windows and gangway doors locked and the forecastle deck the only way water could enter apart from the damage below.
View attachment 3781

Note: I just noticed I put this in the wrong thread. Sorry.

I am sorry that you have some misconception(s) of your question. Titanic is stated to be afloat with ANY TWO of all compartments flooded; titanic can still be afloat for most (but not all unfortunately) configurations if THREE [neighboring] of all compartments were flooded. There is only ONE stable configuration for four compartments flooded: the foremost four watertight compartments. For all other configurations, the ship was still doomed.
 

coal eater

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titanic could stay afloat with minimal risk of sinking as long as boiler room 5 was dry,when it was flooded titanic had no chance.

with three cargo holds and one boiler room flooded titanic had only 6000 tons of boyance remaining,dont forget that there was some free space above forepeak tank,the forepeak compartment was yet dry and probably when BR5 flooded the forepeak space also started to flood?

in my opinion loss of those first four compartments was not real cause of titanic sinking,it could stay on water as long as one more compartment was not flooded,if br 5 was still dry then risk of sinking would be atleast delayed in hours in worst case.in best case ship would not sink at all?
 

Mike Spooner

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Harland you have a good diagrams borrowed from Sam Halpern. The real issue is the bulkheads were not capped off. This was not a design fault. In fact the height of the bulkheads were well in the Board of Trade regulations base on ship of 10,000 tons. Which was 10 bulkheads and three and half above the waterline. The Titanic seven middle bulkheads were 10 feet above the waterline. Bulkheads front and back of the ship better still between 15-20 feet above the waterline but not capped off too. If anybody at fault here one has to question the Board of Trade failing to move with the times as the ships were ever increasing in size. Regulation set in 1894!
Just matter of interested are you any relative of Mr E Harland from H&W?
 
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Harland Duzen

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Harland you have a good diagrams borrowed from Sam Halpern. The real issue is the bulkheads were not capped off. This was not a design fault. In fact the height of the bulkheads were well in the Board of Trade regulations base on ship of 10,000 tons. Which was 10 bulkheads and three and half above the waterline. The Titanic seven middle bulkheads were 10 feet above the waterline. Bulkheads front and back of the ship better still between 15-20 feet above the waterline but not capped off too. If anybody at fault here one has to question the Board of Trade failing to move with the times as the ships were ever increasing in size. Regulation set in 1894!

Thank you for the reply. I admit when I made this thread, I had a lapse of common sense. I just thought what would happen if water managed to pour down from above (i.e. waves or heavy rain) or the Shelter Deck doors if they were left unopened (a bit like the Estonia's loading ramp being left opened).

Just matter of interested are you any relative of Mr E Harland from H&W?

No but for personal reasons, I decided I would change my first name and got the idea to name myself after Edward Harland.
 

Mike Spooner

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Hi Harland Duzen,
I am glad you said I change my name to E Harland. As I a lot of respect for the man to the point must of been a genius to get his shipyard up and running with such fierce competition from England & Scotland shipyards. Not to mention draw backs building ships in Belfast with no raw materials having to be imported from mainland extra shipping costs hitting the bottom line in profits! How he did it is quite amazing story and no walk in the park too?
 

Harland Duzen

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Off topic here but thank you! although Gustav Wolff also deserves credit.

Funny fact, but when I was researching it, the name Harland has French / English origins meaning "Meadow-of-the-hares" and can mean "To be good at building things"! :)

Back to Topic!
 

Mike Spooner

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Certainly a true word could not be said for Mr E Harland "To be good at building things"! Yes Mr Gustav Wolff deserve credit too and also his uncle Mr Gustav Shawbe a shrewd business man who would invested his money with Mr Harland to get him going as a shipyard were the banks would not! Business men do not through money away.That's why they are well off! He could see Harland was the right man to run a business. It thanks to him again with his money he would divert H&W from building cargo ships to luxury liners for White Star Line. First ship Oceanic would set the standards on how future luxury liners were to be built.
Just unfortune that Mr Harland & Mr Wolff had nothing to do with Titanic. If so I think they would of done a better job by using more up to date engines and steering gear!
 

coal eater

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titanic did not need bigger steerign gear or engines,just needed some artillery to shoot the iceberg from long distance.
 

Mike Spooner

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Mark , I am disputing that the fact that H&W build many cargo ships for White Star or other shipping companies too. The fact is H&W are expanding into a new market of luxury liners and face fierce competition. When you are the new boy in the market you have to do some thing special. Like the Oceanic liner. There are financial risk and gambles here were we can see Gustav Schwabe putting the money up front. Never even take money for granted it has to be paid for to serve. The gamble did pay off and serve White Star well for years to come.
 

Mike Spooner

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Mark, You are right I have messed out the word not, cheers. I have a list of all H&W ships built and the others In Belfast. By John Lynch. BELFAST BUILT SHIPS. Fascinating book full of facts a figures and covers all H&W ships built in Scotland too.
Cheers,
Mike.
 
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Sam’s flooding diagrams reveal a flaw in Titanic’s bulkhead configuration – but it had nothing to do with the ship’s ultimate demise. Note that if boiler rooms #5 and #6 are flooded, the ship is very close to a sinking condition. Why is this a mistake? Because in order for Titanic to serve as “it’s own lifeboat,” it had to be able to withstand damage directly upon a watertight bulkhead. Such an impact would extremely in a “T-Bone” accident where another ship would run into Titanic at right angles. Of course, that never happened, so isn’t germane to this discussion.

What is germane is the drawing of four compartments flooded (second down on the left). This side view makes the forpeak look nearly as large as boiler room #6. Because of the shape of the bow this was not so. The peak was a fraction of the volume of the boiler room. Any importance of buoyancy in the peak comes from its distance forward of the “damaged tipping center” around which the bow is rotating downward and the stern upward. That distance would act as a lever arm increasing the effective bouyancy at the point of the bow. Unlike the drawing, the forepeak remained dry until it was downflooded when the forcastle went under, making its buoyancy a factor in the sinking.

Still, the three large forward holds did flood and water did enter boiler room #6. Even the eight feet of flooding claimed by Barrett was enough to negate the dry forepeak. Titanic had gone beyond its limit of sustainable damage and flooding. This condition obtained a considerable time prior to the “rush” of waer reported by Barrett in boiler room #5. So where the “rush” came from is really immaterial to the sinking. It was the loss of #6 that put the ship on the chopping bloc and not anything that took place in #5.

By the way, Sam’s drawing correctly shows boiler room #5 dry. It did not flood as boiler room #6 filled. We know this from leading stoker Barrett’s testimony to the BOT inquiry.

1964. And when you got back to No. T, how much water was there in No. 5?
BARRETT: None.
1984. Then you and Mr. Harvey were left alone in #5?
BARRETT: And Mr. Wilson and Mr. Shepherd.
1985. The three engineers and you. Was it still clear of water?
BARRETT: Yes.
1986. So the bulkhead of No. 5 was holding the water back?
BARRETT: Yes.

2007. When you got back to number 5 was it still clear of water, or not?
BARRETT: Still clear of water.

Looking at Sam’s drawings, it is quite obvious that once water in boiler room #6 overtopped bulkhead E it would flood boiler room #5. That would have cued the rotund sopsinger to begin warbling. She didn’t. Barrett explained why.

2056 And you say it (trim by bow) got worse. Now can you give me any idea whether the water came from over the top of the bulkhead or throught it?
BARRETT: I do not see how it could come over the top.
2057 You do not think it did come over the top?
BARRETT: No.

Something else missing from he drawings is the water entering boiler room #4. This flooding was seen by men departing the compartment toward the end of the evening. The amount of water can only be speculated. Still, it would have played a role in the loss of the ship.
I am personally aware of the meticulous care Sam used in preparing his drawings. They were done following the best practices of naval architects. The goal is to produce data for comparison to other ships and – most important – to prove a vessel’s design meets applicable industry and/or regulatory standards. As such they do not prove or disprove the “unsinkability” of a ship in the real world. For instance, free surface motion of floodwater a ship with a 20-degree heel drifting in a 30 foot seaway is likely to spread he flooding and condemn he ship even when the architects’ drawings say it should float.

Something else not in these drawings is the effectiveness of the bilge pumping system and the dedication/training of the crew. Over and again it has been demonstrated that proper application of pumps can keep a theoretically doomed ship afloat for an extended period of time. This is because as the water level rises inside the ship the amount of the flow decreases. When Titanic was first holed by the iceberg water entered with a head pressure of more than 30 feet. But, that pressure decreased directly in proportion to the decrease in distance between the inside and outside water levels. At some point a terrified man with a bucket in theory might have been able to match the flow of water into boiler room #6. As long as his arms held out, the ship could have floated.

This is why Titanic was equipped with an elaborate bilge and ballast plumbing system connected to a variety of different pumps. Nobody expected those pumps would be able to pump a compartment dry. But, used correctly they could have prolonged the life of the ship, especially as the inside and outside water levels came close to the same level. Sam’s drawings show why Titanic was effectively doomed, but why did it sink so quickly? The answer is more likely to be found in the pumps than in the actual damage. Barrett gave us some tantalizing hints that something was wrong that night.

1956. Did Mr. Shepherd come back with you to no. 5?
BARRETT: Yes.
1957. And when you got back to No. 5, you and Mr. Shepherd, who else did you find there?
BARRETT: Mr. Harvey and Mr. Wilson (engineers).

1961. And what were they doing?
BARRETT: Attending to the pumps.

2024. What was the next order?
BARRETT: He (Mr. Harvey) asked me to lift the manhole plate off.
2025. Where was the manhole plate?
BARRETT: On the starboard side of No. 5 section.
2026. When the plate was in position what was it? Closed?
BARRETT: It is someting you lift up to get at the valves. I do not know what valves it is. It is just like a hole in this table. You lift it off to get to the valves to turn on the pumps or something.

I’ve had the opportunity to crawl through the bilges of a ship or two built in Titanic’s era. All had bilge and ballast manifolds leading to dedicated pumps. All valve operating wheels were identified with stamped brass tags and many had large, hand painted signs giving instructions on how to work the system. It was obvious that even in 1906 shipbuilders knew the imporance of simple, easily worked emergency pumping systems. Nothing had to be hooked up, no hoses were needed, and manholes did not cover anything except straight piping. One man could direct suction to flooding compartments from a central operating location.

Why were Titanic’s engineers forced to dive into the dark, dank space between the tank top and stoker plates in boiler room #5? Why was a hose brought forward from the engine room? What were Barrett and Shepherd sent to do in boiler room #6?

Titanic may have been doomed by the iceberg, but was the high loss of life the result of something wrong with the bilge pump system?

– David G. Brown
 
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coal eater

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mr.David there was evrything wrong. because bulkheads were not capped at top sow ater easily could overflow and fill next one.when three cargoholds were completly full most likely forepeak was also flooded at this time but not on first hour after collision..titanic was basically just opened jar.

they were bringing these hoses in hope to keep the boiler room 5 dryboiler room 6 was already dead waters could not be stopped there,titanic last stand was boielr room 5,even with three holds boiler room 6 flooded titanic COULD stay afloat longer,water could never be stopped but only slowed down eoungh for help to come,when boiler room 5 flooded there was only short time left for titanic to stay afloat and notthing could be done.boiler room 5 was technically titanic last chance.

did they try to use ash ejectors to pump out water aswell?
 

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