Did Boxhall and Olliver Enter the Bridge Together?


Jim Currie

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In his evidence, 1st Class passenger George Harder said he looked out the porthole of his cabin which was exactly mid-ship and saw the ice berg 50 to 100 feet off the starboard side.

" We had E-50; that is on E deck.....I heard this thump. It was not a loud thump; just a dull thump. Then I could feel the boat quiver and could feel a sort of rumbling, scraping noise along the side of the boat....When I went to the porthole I saw this iceberg go by. The porthole was closed. The iceberg was, I should say, about 50 to 100 feet away. I should say it was about as high as the top deck of the boat. I just got a glimpse of it, and it is hard to tell how high it was."

If he saw that berg from his cabin porthole than it was certainly not more than 50 feet away. Yet less than 400 feet aft of that point, it was so close to the ship's side that QM Rowe thought it ws going to hit the bridge.

There is a very good reason why the iceberg did not wipe out emergency boat No. 1. When the iceberg swept past, the boat's keel was probably about 3 feet above the boat deck level.

Scarrot clearly hadn't a clue about time :

"36. What did you hear? A: - Three bells.
337. Do you know what time that was? A: - Not to be exact I do not, but it was round about half-past eleven.
343. How soon did you feel this vibration after you heard the three strikes on the gong? A: - As I did not take much notice of the three strikes on the gong, I could hardly recollect the time; but I should think it was - well, we will say about five or eight minutes; it seemed to me about that time."

Can any of you imagine the confusion caused by three bells and seven bells all ringing out at 11-30pm? Give us a break!

 
Mar 22, 2003
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If he saw that berg from his cabin porthole than it was certainly not more than 50 feet away.
Which goes to say that subjective estimates of distance on a dark night are highly unreliable. We are not in disagreement.
Can any of you imagine the confusion caused by three bells and seven bells all ringing out at 11-30pm?
Yep.
 

Jim Currie

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Apr 16, 2008
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NewtonMearns, Glasgow, Scotland.
Which goes to say that subjective estimates of distance on a dark night are highly unreliable. We are not in disagreement.

Yep.
On the subject of visibility from the deck of a brightly lit ship at night, compare the ice berg evidence given by Scarrot, Harder and Rowe.

Scarrott: "I saw an iceberg that I took it we had struck. It would be abaft the beam then - abaft the starboard beam....it seemed the ship was acting on her helm and we had swung clear of the iceberg... Her stern was slewing off the iceberg. Her starboard quarter was going off the icebergs, and the starboard bow was going as if to make a circle round it.

Harder: " The iceberg was, I should say, about 50 to 100 feet away.

Rowe: "It was very close to the ship, almost touching it....t was so near that I thought it was going to strike the bridge."

Scarrott had just emerged from a brightly lit accommodation.
Harder was in bed and almost asleep. We can safely assume that was in a darkened room looking out at a white object which doubtless was reflecting the glow of the passing ship's lights.
Rowe's night vision would be curtailed but it is not an influencing factor since the ice passed less than 10 feet from where he was standing at the stern.


If Scarrott did see that iceberg then he must have seen it when Titanic was almost stopped. Given the fact that emerged from a lit area, I doubt if he saw it at all at the time he said he did. If he did, then the ideas about how far the berg could have been seen is anyone's guess.

If the iceberg was almost touching the ship's bridge and less than 10 feet from the stern when it passed Rowe, then there is no way, the stern could have swung out away from it under hard right rudder to put the berg on the quarter with the vessel stopped.
If Harder saw that berg, even 30 feet off the ship's side, then the ship was closing with the ice and still under hard left rudder. However if it seemed up against the ship's side the Lookouts - out from from the ship's side to Harder - then back- in toward the ship's side to Rowe; the impact must gave caused the stern to initially kick southward.
 

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