Damage to the ship's engines?

Mike Spooner

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Jan 31, 2018
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For those of you who would like to listen to the 1962 Boxhall interview

BBC - Archive - People - Joseph Boxhall
The Boxhall BBC interview 1962 he said he arrived at the bridge the same time as Smith did. Were Murdoch telling Smith what he done. Like hard over to starboard. Then Boxhall said he went down to inspect the damage. So he has hear NO instruction from Murdoch. Just hear say from others!
He then when on to say how the Smith ship position was 20 miles off course and how he recalculated the correct position and ask the wireless man to report the new position, and how the Carpathia arrived at his given position!
I would of thought after 50 years he learn to keep is mouth shut! Surprise nobody picked up on the fact the incorrect position he had given, and could of well open a can of worms here?
 

Julian Atkins

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Sep 23, 2017
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South Wales UK
Hi Mike,

I think it is a bit more 'nuanced' than that.

Boxhall says what he claims he heard Murdoch say, who is dead. He claims he heard what Captain Smith asked of Murdoch, who is also dead. Boxhall says the Telegraphs showed 'full astern'. No one corroborates the full astern order, and Murdoch is dead as is Captain Smith.

I personally don't think either Captain Smith or Boxhall were on the bridge so soon after the collision, and that Boxhall subsequently took it upon himself to elevate his importance in the collision and much else besides, and repeatedly lied.

At the relevant time (as per the 1962 BBC radio interview) Boxhall was having a cup of tea in his cabin. Lightoller and Pitman were so unconcerned that they stayed in bed, and I have some considerable doubt that Lightoller went out onto the deck in the freezing cold after the collision to then go back to bed!

You have to tease through all the testimonies, and the subsequent articles and autobiographies, and apply a bit of common sense, to arrive at a semblance/assessment of the truth.

Lightholler's recollections in his 1935 autobiography are far different from his 1912 recollections as is his 1936 BBC radio recollections, and Boxhall's later recollections also differ from those of 1912.

In 1912, both were cognisance of their continued employment with the White Star Line, and their pensions. In 1912 they may both have been under influence of White Star senior officials. Hence Lightoller's latter 'whitewash' statement.

Cheers,

Julian
 
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A

Aaron_2016

Guest
During the British Inquiry Boxhall was asked :

Q - Did you notice what the telegraphs indicated with regard to the engines?
A - Full speed astern, both.
Q - Was that immediately after the impact?
A - Yes.

Q - After the collision you went astern?
A - The engines were going full speed astern for quite a little time.
Q - Did you go forward after that?
A - Not that I know of.

When he says "quite a little time" did he mean a short time, or a long time, because I have heard people use that expression when they are referring to a long time e.g. I waited in the post office queue for quite a little time and then they finally served me.

I recall a member once said if you wanted to get the engine room's immediate attention to stop the engines the officer on the bridge would first pull the telegraph handle all the way to full speed astern and then pull it forwards to signal stop engines. Something about the length of the ring was important. Perhaps Boxhall walked on the bridge just as Murdoch had pulled the telegraph back to full speed astern and then he looked over the side and did not realize that Murdoch was actually ordering the engines to stop? Quartermaster Olliver witnessed the captain telegraph 'half speed ahead' yet there is no indication that she went half speed ahead. Is it possible that Dillon and Scott (in the engine room) did not look at the telegraph indicators and were instead judging what the engines were doing by looking at them turn, because they would turn slow at first before picking up speed. So in a sense the officer could ring 'full speed astern' but Dillon and Scott only saw the engines moving slowly astern as she gradually picked up speed and then stopped again, and then QM Olliver witnessed the captain ring 'half speed ahead' and Dillon and Scott only witness the engines turn slowly as she gradually picked up speed in that direction before they were ordered to stop again?


.
 

coal eater

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Mar 1, 2018
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well this is just speculation, we wont know exac times when ship engines were started again stopped for good or started once more then final stop. there is insufficient data about this,we probably can speculate that titanci started again slow ahead around 23:45 and stopped around 00:00 when engines were stopped for last time the steam from boilers was released because holding steam under high pressure with engines stopped is very dangerous

titanic probably stopped engines right before collision so somewhere around 23:39
engines were put again around 23:45 for slow ahead not half speed ahead because inquiries dont recall the half ahead or they did? or it was half ahead then reduced to slow ahead maybe?

could please someone explain what would happen if titanic maintenaind slow ahead for all time instead of stopping? even after loss of two boiler rooms? we know britannic had lost two or three boiler rooms and was still moving forward so why titanic couldnt do with four. yes i know its was not possible but im really curious what would be result of further moving ship forward would it really founder faster? what would really happen if titanic keept going forward other than sinking(it would sink anyway)
 
A

Aaron_2016

Guest
During the American Inquiry Quartermaster Olliver said he was on the bridge and frequently received orders from the captain. During one of his visits he saw the captain telegraph half speed ahead.

Olliver
"Whilst on the bridge she went ahead, after she struck; she went half speed ahead."
Q - The engines went half speed ahead, or the ship?
A - Half speed ahead, after she hit the ice.
Q - Who gave the order?
A - The captain telegraphed half speed ahead.
Q - Had the engines been backing before he did that?
A - That I could not say, sir.

They could have turned north and proceeded towards Halifax (the closest port), or they could have turned north and proceeded towards the lights of the mystery ship. The Californian was nearby and they observed a ship (possibly the Titanic) almost one hour before the Titanic had struck the iceberg. That could mean Murdoch had the Californian within his binoculars an hour before the collision as well, and I believe it was possible that after the collision they may have attempted to approach her as they were facing her when they finally stopped engines. Although it may have been a coincidence that they happened to steam directly towards her and stopped when the full damage report came in.

I believe it was too risky to attempt to keep the ship moving. They would not be able to evacuate and lower any of the lifeboats until the ship had come to a full stop. The speed in which the water rushed in would have been reduced when they stopped and given them more time to evacuate the ship.

Leading fireman Fred Barrett was asked:

Q - Let us understand it. You said that the bunker in No. 5 had got some water coming into it?
A - Yes; but the hole was not so big in that section as it was in No. 6 section. By the time the water had got there she had stopped.
Q - So that the water was not coming into No. 5 fast enough to flood it?
A - No.

It is difficult to know what he meant. It sounds like he was suggesting that the speed of the ship was causing the water to rush into boiler room 6 very fast and when he later looked inside the bunker in number 5 he could see the water was coming in slowly into that bunker because the ship had stopped. Then again, he had no idea where the iceberg was and he may have been referring to the position of the iceberg and assumed that her bow was crushing into the iceberg and that the ship had come to a stop when the iceberg had crushed against the bunker in number 5, and he did not realize it was just a glancing blow and that the iceberg was gone. This could explain why he said - "By the time the water had got there she had stopped." i.e. By the time the water had got there the damage had stopped. Then again fireman George Kemish said - "We firmly believed she had gone aground off the Banks of Newfoundland." So it is quite possible that Fred Barrett thought the same and that the damage had stopped when it reached the bunker because she had "gone aground". Sadly we can't be sure what exactly he meant as we can only interpret the Inquiries in the literal sense which can lead to multiple answers and possibilities.


.
 
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Mike Spooner

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Jan 31, 2018
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During the British Inquiry Boxhall was asked :

Q - Did you notice what the telegraphs indicated with regard to the engines?
A - Full speed astern, both.
Q - Was that immediately after the impact?
A - Yes.

Q - After the collision you went astern?
A - The engines were going full speed astern for quite a little time.
Q - Did you go forward after that?
A - Not that I know of.

When he says "quite a little time" did he mean a short time, or a long time, because I have heard people use that expression when they are referring to a long time e.g. I waited in the post office queue for quite a little time and then they finally served me.

I recall a member once said if you wanted to get the engine room's immediate attention to stop the engines the officer on the bridge would first pull the telegraph handle all the way to full speed astern and then pull it forwards to signal stop engines. Something about the length of the ring was important. Perhaps Boxhall walked on the bridge just as Murdoch had pulled the telegraph back to full speed astern and then he looked over the side and did not realize that Murdoch was actually ordering the engines to stop? Quartermaster Olliver witnessed the captain telegraph 'half speed ahead' yet there is no indication that she went half speed ahead. Is it possible that Dillon and Scott (in the engine room) did not look at the telegraph indicators and were instead judging what the engines were doing by looking at them turn, because they would turn slow at first before picking up speed. So in a sense the officer could ring 'full speed astern' but Dillon and Scott only saw the engines moving slowly astern as she gradually picked up speed and then stopped again, and then QM Olliver witnessed the captain ring 'half speed ahead' and Dillon and Scott only witness the engines turn slowly as she gradually picked up speed in that direction before they were ordered to stop again?


.
The trouble with Boxhall he does not stick with the same story. As he said one thing in the US inquiry and another in the British inquiry. As in his BBC talk 1962 another story. With Murdoch and Smith dead his word against the dead men! I personal think he is putting future career first as a lower rank officers. Trying make an impression of him self for WSL.
The BBC talk when he said the ship made contact with the iceberg. I was in my quarters having a cup tea! Does one have tea in your quarter and not in the officers mess? If he was having tea in his quarter he certainly got on the bridge in a remarkable time! Then he had the dam check to say how he recalculated the correct ship position over Smith position but still got it wrong!
I can't quite work out want his duty shift time were? Four hours on and four hours off. So what time was his due on next?
 

Alex Kiehl

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Aug 1, 2006
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Perhaps. My trusty thesaurus says a gangway can also mean a passageway, a stairway, or a doorway leading from one place to another. So when she says "guards by the gangways to prevent others...." She could mean 'guards by the doorways/stairways/passageways to prevent others...'? She may have assumed the guards were there to "prevent others" when in fact they might have been there to 'help and direct others' towards the lifeboats and were not in any way hostile to the stokers. She may have been confused by their presence and jumped to the wrong conclusion?


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Aaron, do you think by "guards," she meant stewards or seamen?
 
Dec 4, 2000
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A Thesaurus is a handy book, but can be misleading. Most are focused on general, every-day words and not on the specific language that develops in any craft or trade. For nautical words, I suggest the International Maratime Dictionary compiled by Rene de Kerchove and published by Van Nostrand Reinhold. Mine is a 2nd edition which sits hand on a shelf above my computer screen.

-- David G. Brown
 
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