Cracking the Iceberg - Their Initial Reaction?



Reading accounts from other captains in the papers. It seemed to be common practice to stop engines or reverse engines and allow their vessels to approach a growler and crack it in two and then proceed at slow ahead. Is it possible that Murdoch was anticipating they would encounter several growlers ahead before seeing an iceberg and were 'in ready mode' to crack any growlers that got in their way?

Boxhall described the iceberg:

".....just a small black mass not rising very high out of the water....very, very low lying.....very, very low in the water. .....I fancied seeing this long-lying was very, very low."

I met my cousin yesterday who sailed on many freighters around the banks of Newfoundland and asked for his opinion on the Titanic. He believed the ship was simply too big and the risk was too great to try and manoeuvre around a growler and how no sensible officer would dream of turning away from a growler because it would cause far greater risk to the ship and props as the stern swung into it, especially with a ship the length and breadth as the Titanic, and how the only sensible choice when seeing a growler ahead was to greatly reduce speed or stop engines and allow your vessel to crack the growler and then go slow ahead. Is it possible that Murdoch judged the ice to be a growler and was prepared to crack it in two, but when it approached he realized it was too large to crack and did whatever he had to do in a panic and then they went slow ahead with both Murdoch and Captain Smith seen standing at opposite ends of the bridge keeping a lookout for any more?



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