Damage to the ship's engines?

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Aaron_2016

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Aaron, we need to stick to the facts rather than imaginative speculation.

Best wishes

Mark.

Agreed, but when it comes to the Titanic disaster the facts are mostly limited to what the survivors said. She described what she believed happened in relation to her proximity to the main engines and described them as coughing and rumbling and attempting to move again. Rather than dismissing her account because she was not a mechanical engineer or was not inside the main engine room I would prefer to make sense out of her account by comparing what she may have experienced before the voyage and why she believed what she believed. In the same manner that researchers have tried to make sense out of other key events of the disaster i.e. What caused sparks to fly into the air when she broke apart, and the wide range of "imaginative speculation" that members have provided to deduce what may or may not have occurred when she broke without actual evidence. All we have is a badly damaged wreck on the sea floor and a limited number of survivor accounts. Not much to work with I admit.


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Aaron

The way to proceed is to examine her account objectively against the information we have available. Nobody else, in particular those in a position to know, reported any technical difficulty in re-starting the engines. Trying 'to make sense out of her account' doesn't really get us anywhere useful: there is undoubtedly a reason she perceived what she did, whether that was valid or not. That's a different issue as to whether what she said was right.

The problem is there will always be nonsensical elements of individual accounts. It's a particular feature of conspiracy theories to highlight individual accounts that are disparate from the commonality we see in the weight of the evidence.

Best wishes

Mark.
 
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Aaron_2016

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Aaron

The way to proceed is to examine her account objectively against the information we have available. Nobody else, in particular those in a position to know, reported any technical difficulty in re-starting the engines. Trying 'to make sense out of her account' doesn't really get us anywhere useful: there is undoubtedly a reason she perceived what she did, whether that was valid or not. That's a different issue as to whether what she said was right.

The problem is there will always be nonsensical elements of individual accounts. It's a particular feature of conspiracy theories to highlight individual accounts that are disparate from the commonality we see in the weight of the evidence.

Best wishes

Mark.
Very true, but it is hard to know what the survivors experienced and what they could recall and if they had alterior motives and loyalties to other parties. For instance Dillon and Scott had both witnessed the engines moving after the collision, but did each of them see and describe what both engines were doing, or what a single engine was doing in relation to their position e.g. Did the captain believe it was safer to turn the ship around by turning one engine slow ahead and the other engine slow astern in order to turn the ship around without covering much distance in order to prevent any further collisions with the icebergs that lay ahead and both Dillon and Scott were correct in their testimony in regards to the specific engine they could see in front of them at the time? We also have the motives of the survivors to recall what happened because Dillon told reporters in detail how the ship broke apart, but when he testified in Britain he denied she broke apart. Q - Did you get the idea that the ship was breaking in two? A - No. Yet he told reporters that he witnessed the bow 'break clean off'. So with every account there could be selective truths and falsehoods. Like sorting a jigsaw which has two sides. Not an easy task.


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Mike Spooner

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Looking in the book. ON A SEA OF GLASS. Boxhall is the only one to testified that Murdoch order : Full Astern. As Barrett, Beauchamp, Dillon, Ranger, Hichens, Olliver and Fred Scott all testified saw the order to stop. That's 7-1 for stop. However Dillion recalled the engines were engaged in reverse after collision about minute and run for about two minutes. Stop two -three minutes then move forward again only to make the flooding worse. How long? Could of been a few miles before finally stopping for good.
 
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Aaron, we need to stick to the facts rather than imaginative speculation.

Best wishes

Mark.
I think all these remarks are just from persons as to where they were and what they heard ....in their own words as they described them. On any incidents you will probably get as many descriptions as there are many observers.However, I don't think we should dismiss them as not being facts and not add our own "imaginative speculation."
 
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Post #18 on page 1.

Charlotte Collyer
"We noticed that the engines had ceased running. They tried to start the engines a few minutes later, but after some coughing and rumbling there was silence once more. Our cabin was so situated that we could follow this clearly."

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I was unable to find information on Charlotte Collyer's cabin number other than the family were traveling in Second Class. Could it be that their cabin was located in such a location in relation to the engines that they might have heard more, less or different noises than those of other survivors ?
 
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Yet he told reporters that he witnessed the bow 'break clean off'.
The difficulty here is in establishing whether what the reporter heard, understood and then reported was the same - whether their report was factual. By going to newspaper reports, we're already one step away from the original source. There are plenty of examples of inaccurate, sensationalised reports.

Best wishes

Mark.
 
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B-rad

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There would have been noticeable vibration. We have to remember though that these were different times. People traveled by ships. Many thought something happened to the engines during the collision as they had traveled via ship before. Its like us an turbulence ... Not very many people who travel recall it. The changing from ahead to syren would not have taken very long. Ive stated before the time based on various other ships but do not have access to b that info. However if the n order was given for full stern the boiler rooms would know nothing about it. The engine room received the telegraph orders not the no boiler rooms. If full speed asten was given steam would be maintained and the boiler room would know nothing of it. Every boiler room received orders desperate so even if they full astern and they wanted to reduce steam they could of. In fact no one witness remembers a 'STOP' order before any shock or impact.
 
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Aaron_2016

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Trouble with the 'full astern order' is that a number of survivors believed the engines were going full astern during the actual collision when the iceberg was still passing the ship and the watertight doors were being closed. e.g.


Samuel Rule was asked:

Q - Did you think that something was wrong?
A - I thought so when the ship stopped suddenly.
Q - Did you notice anything further with the engines?
A - Not until she went full speed astern.
Q - You did notice that?
A - I noticed that and the electric bells going in the fidley.
Q - You noticed the engines had been reversed?
A - Yes.
Q - I am not sure whether it was after that or at the same time that you heard the electric bells go to close the watertight doors?
A - The same time.


Quartermaster Rowe felt the collision and looked over the side and saw the iceberg. He said the engines were going full astern at that same moment and he instinctively ran over and pulled in the log-line owing to the vibration under his feet.

Mrs. Hoyt said she was aroused by a noise - "which seemed to indicate that the engines of the ship had reversed. I looked out of the stateroom window and saw something white passing by." This matches Rowe's timing of the full astern vibration as the iceberg continued to pass by.

Mr. Beesley felt two shocks and a vibration in between. He said - "There came what seemed to me nothing more than an extra heave of the engines and a more than usually obvious dancing motion of the mattress on which I sat. Nothing more than that......and presently the same thing repeated with about the same intensity. The thought came to me that they must have still further increased the speed."

May Futrelle felt the same thing but she thought they had reversed engines. She said - "I felt a shock and a kind of shiver of the ship. It was so slight that it did not disturb anything but I sat up in bed. I heard the engines pounding below, reversing. For about twenty seconds, I should say, this pounding continued. Then followed another shock, scarcely heavier than the first."


Joseph Scarrott was on the bow and Rowe was on the stern and both thought the vibration resembled a full speed astern order. Yet those nearest to the engine room did not feel that was happening. A number of survivors believed they were grinding over the ice while others believed they had lost a propeller blade. I believe it is much more likely that the strong vibration that was felt during the collision was not the order full astern but was simply the effects of the collision.


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The timing did not fit with all but the main witness mention the stop order coming down on all 4 telegraphs in the main engine room.

Greaser Scott:

5523. Did you notice the two telegraphs in the engine room? - Yes; four telegraphs rang.
5526. What did you notice? - I noticed "Stop" first.
5530. That is where the reciprocating engines are? - Yes.
5531. The watertight door is open? - Yes.
5532. And you can see through? - Yes.
5536. Did you hear the two? - All four went.
5537. Did you hear the two ordinary ones ring first? - No, they all four rang together.
5538. What did they ring? - "Stop."

5539. Was that before or after the shock? - After the shock.
5540. What was the next thing? - Then the watertight doors went.

Trimmer Dillon was in the main engine room

3715. Did you feel the shock when the ship struck? - Slightly.
3716. And shortly before that had the telegraph rung? - Yes.
3717. Can you say at all how long before she struck that was? - Two seconds.
3718. What was the order given by the telegraph? - I could not tell you.
3719. You just heard it ring. Then a few seconds after that you felt a slight shock? - Yes.
3720. Was anything done to the engines? Did they stop or did they go on? - They stopped.

Leading Stoker Barrett in Boiler Room No. 6

1860. Now just tell us what happened that you noticed? - There is like a clock rigged up in the stokehold and a red light goes up when the ship is supposed to stop; a white light for full speed, and, I think it is a blue light for slow. This red light came up. I am the man in charge of the watch, and I called out, "Shut all dampers."
1861. You saw this red light? - Yes.
1862. You knew that was an order to stop the engines? - It says "stop" - a red piece of glass and an electric light inside.
1863. Shutting the dampers, I suppose, would be? - To shut the wind off the fires.
1864. To shut the draught off the fires. And you gave an order, "Shut the dampers"? - Yes.
1865. Was that order obeyed? - Yes.
1866. What was the next thing that happened? - The crash came before we had them all shut.

Stoker Beauchamp in No. 6 agrees about the stop order but after the "shock".

663. And immediately after the shock was any order given? - Yes.
664. What order? - To stand by, to stop. The telegraph went "Stop."
664a. (The Commissioner.) You got that order from the bridge, "Stop"? - Yes.
664b. (Mr. Raymond Asquith.) And were the engines stopped at once or not?- The telegraph rung off "Stop," so I suppose they were.
665. Did the engineer in your section give you any order? - Yes; the engineer and the leading stoker shouted together - they said, "Shut the dampers."
666. Did you shut the dampers? - Yes, immediately; "shut everything up."

Then there was also Hichens at the bridge:

At 11.40 three gongs sounded from the crow's nest, the signal for "something right ahead". At the same time one of the men in the nest telephoned to the bridge that there was a large iceberg right ahead. As Officer Murdoch's hand was on the lever to stop the engines the crash came. He stopped the engines, then immediately by another lever closed the watertight doors.

It can be safe stated that the first order send to the engine room was stop. This contradicts the famous full astern order as claimed by 4th Officer Boxhall, The boiler rooms did receive the order stop, as Barrett stated to shut the wind off the fires. For a full astern order the boiler rooms would have receive no order at all as the steam would have been needed. Beauchamp is wrong in his testimony when confirming that the order was coming from the bridge. While the bridge send the order stop down to the main engine room, the boiler rooms received the order from the main engine room.

From Scott and Dillon we know the orders given after the collision and the first stop order. While both disagree about the the time and sequence of the orders none of them mentioned a "full astern".
According to Scott the orders after the fist stop were "Slow ahead" "Stop" "Slow Astern" "Stop".
Dillon who was in the main engine room and in a better position to see the orders carried out mentioned after the first stop then "Slow Astern" "Stop" "Slow Ahead".
According to Scott it took a total of 29 to 35 Minutes while according to Dillon it too about 6.5 Minutes which seems more likely and fit with other survivors mentioning the restart of the engines after the collision.
 

Mike Spooner

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I would of thought if the engines were put into reverse at speed it must feel like an emergency stop as in a vehicle. Were every thing lost like on tables tops would go flying forward. I can not see any person who made such a claim. Even the gentleman in first class playing cards there drinks remain on the table. Some said the engines were put in reverse after they had stopped. I can't see why they what to put into reverse in the first place?
 
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Aaron_2016

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Is it possible that Captain Smith wanted to turn the ship around or swing the stern far away from the ice? Is it possible that Scott watched the port engine go slow ahead and Dillon watched the starboard engine go slow astern. This would turn the ship and swing the stern away.


Full ahead
Iceberg ahead, sir!
Stop engines!
Collision
Hard a-port
Her stern is still too close, sir!
Slow astern - Starboard engine
Slow ahead - Port engine



turning1a.png



The Inquiry asked Captain Lord what might happen if they turned the engines in opposite directions.

Q - Would it be likely to get rid of the berg quickly?
A - Oh, yes, to get away from it; that would be the idea of stopping the port engine or reversing it.
Q - Reverse the port and keep ahead with the starboard?
A - That would twist it quicker.
Q - At once?
A - Very quickly.
Q - That would be the quickest way of altering the course of the steamer?
A - I should think so.

If reversing the port engine would swing the bow away, then reversing the starboard engine would swing the stern out of the way.


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Does anyone have any clew as to how long it would take a triple-expansion steam engine running full ahead to be stopped and then put into reverse and then start reversing hard full astern, even assuming that all the engineers were at their stations to being with, standing by and expecting a set of engine orders to be given? Then, and only then, should you even think of speculating about this. .
 
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Aaron_2016

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Lightoller gave his estimation to the Inquiry. Not sure how accurate it was though.

"We tried it in Belfast. I suppose about a minute and a half, maximum."

"If she were going at 21 knots and you put the telegraph full speed astern, I think that the way would be off the ship, as we call it when the ship is not going through the water, in about a minute and a half, and that she would cover in that time approximately a quarter of a mile."

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Mike Spooner

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I understand the principle of having one propeller turning the opposite rotation to turn the ship quicker.
As the ship has past the iceberg why are they in a hurry to turn NORTH? Have they seen the icefield ahead or a ship lights in hope for rescue assistant?
 
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Aaron_2016

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I understand the principle of having one propeller turning the opposite rotation to turn the ship quicker.
As the ship has past the iceberg why are they in a hurry to turn NORTH? Have they seen the icefield ahead or a ship lights in hope for rescue assistant?

I believe their objective was to swing the stern as far away from the iceberg as possible. They were known to have large spurs underneath which could still cause significant damage.

Mr. Hyman said - "I saw a very big iceberg right in our path, but we were surely going a safe distance away from it, and so I was not frightened and nobody else was either......We got pretty nearly opposite the iceberg when there came a tearing sound and the boat listed a little to one side. I heard some of the sailors talking and heard them say that the ship had struck a spur of the iceberg that jutted out a long distance, and had slid upon it, hurting her keel."

Wireless operator Harold Bride said the Captain told him they had been struck "just aft of amidships". This could suggest they were sliding over the spur of the iceberg when it passed the engine room. Mr. Woolner was in the Smoking room and he felt the ice passing under his feet. When Mr. Harder looked out of his window he saw the iceberg pass by and estimated it was 100 feet away from the side as it passed his window.

If they were sliding over the spur of the iceberg near the stern then I believe they would immediately do everything in their power to swing the stern as far away as possible and swing the ship towards the north.

It is possible that the officers could see the icefield (characterised as haze by the lookouts) and were attempting to turn the ship around. Captain Rostron could see half a dozen icebergs during the night, so maybe the officers could see them as well as they trained their binoculars on the curious black patches on the horizon where the stars were blocked out by the icebergs ahead, and they were preparing to turn the ship around so that she would not drift deeper into the ice.


What is interesting is that Lightoller felt the engines stop and went on deck. He saw Murdoch and the Captain keeping a lookout on the port side and starboard side and he felt the ship was now moving slowly. It is interesting that both men were standing and keeping a lookout at opposite ends of the bridge as the ship proceeded slowly. It means they were carrying on as normal and possibly did not take the collision as anything serious, or possibly they were turning the ship around and continuing to keep a sharp lookout ahead for any more icebergs.


Lightoller said:
"I lay there for a few moments, it might have been a few minutes, and then feeling the engines had stopped I got up."

"I could see the bridge distinctly."
Q - You could see the bridge distinctly; and the captain was on the bridge?
A - The captain and first officer.
Q - How much time elapsed after the impact and your appearance on the deck?
A - I should say about two or three minutes.
Q - Two or three minutes?
A - Two minutes.
Q - Then you returned? How long did you remain on deck?
A - About two or three minutes.
Q - Did you go to the bridge?
A - Not exactly the bridge; I went out on deck. The bridge, you know, is on the same level.
Q - On to the boat deck?
A - On to the boat deck on the port side.
Q - What did you find was the condition of things?
A - Everything seemed normal.

"I first of all looked forward to the bridge and everything seemed quiet there. I could see the First Officer standing on the footbridge keeping the look out. I then walked across to the side, and I saw the ship had slowed down, that is to say, was proceeding slowly through the water."

Q - This is all on the port side?
A - All on the port side.
Q - Did you see any iceberg?
A - No.
Q - Of course, if the iceberg passed the starboard side of the vessel, you were on the opposite side?
A - Yes.
Q - When you came out on deck was the ship already stopped or slowing down through the water?
A - She was proceeding slowly, a matter of perhaps six knots or something like that.
Q - Were the engines still stopped?
A - I could not exactly say what the engines were doing after once I got up. It was when I was lying still in my bunk I could feel the engines were stopped.
Q - Can you help us as to whether the engines were put full speed astern?
A - No, I cannot say I remember feeling the engines going full speed astern.
Q - When you looked over the side you thought she was going through the water about six knots?
A - Yes, four to six knots. I did not stay there long.
Q - Just tell us what you did.
A - After looking over the side and seeing the bridge I went back to the quarters and crossed over to the starboard side. I looked out of the starboard door and I could see the Commander standing on the bridge in just the same manner as I had seen Mr. Murdoch, just the outline; I could not see which was which in the dark. I did not go out on the deck again on the starboard side. It was pretty cold and I went back to my bunk and turned in."


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Rancor

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Does anyone have any clew as to how long it would take a triple-expansion steam engine running full ahead to be stopped and then put into reverse and then start reversing hard full astern, even assuming that all the engineers were at their stations to being with, standing by and expecting a set of engine orders to be given? Then, and only then, should you even think of speculating about this. .
It sounds like you might have some further information here that perhaps you would be willing to share to add to the discussion so we may have a more enlightened debate.

I understand it would involve closing the throttle, moving the reversing lever into the astern position, disconnecting the turbine from the exhaust and reopening the throttle. All these controls were in close proximity to each other on the starting platform of each engine.

Regarding the location of engineers to manipulate these controls, one would hope that when steaming through an area with known ice it would be prudent to have people standing ready to answer engine orders at a moments notice for the very reason of avoiding an iceberg?
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Earlier in this thread, a member did post a survivor account that mentioned that they did try to restart the engines, but there was some "coughing" , maybe the iceberg collision damaged the engines? or maybe not enough steam was being raised (due to flooded boiler rooms) and therefor not enough steam was getting into the cylinder, not enough to start the cycle anyways, i believe the engines were cranked by "donkey engines
1) As Sam pointed out, steam engines don't cough.
2)There is absolutely ZERO evidence anywhere that the iceberg damage went back that far.
3) There was no issue at all with too little steam being raised. if there was, there would have been no need to pop the safeties to bleed off the excess which did in fact exist
4) The main engines were cranked by steam...directly....no need to involve donkey engines since there was no such thing as a donkey engine.

Donkey boilers....yes....and those existed to provide steam to run auxiliary functions....but no donkey engines.
 

B-rad

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Does anyone have any clew as to how long it would take a triple-expansion steam engine running full ahead to be stopped and then put into reverse and then start reversing hard full astern, even assuming that all the engineers were at their stations to being with, standing by and expecting a set of engine orders to be given? Then, and only then, should you even think of speculating about this. .
From my research 55 seconds to 1minute 6 seconds.Each engine would have their own reaction time. So far the only difference I've found between two engine is 5 seconds. Does anyone have any other knowledge?

:)
 
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