Did Iceberg cause starboard anchor to drop


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Was the anchor on the starboard side torn loose by the impact with the iceberg; only to be raised and stored again afterward? Is such a thing even possible? Isn't there testimony from passengers and crew that describe the collision as sounding like chains being drug over the hull?

Yuri
 

Erik Wood

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Yuri,

I would attribute that sound to the iceberg rubbing along the side of the ship and not the anchor dropping. The anchor is secured by a rather large and sturdy amount of equipment called oddly enough anchor tackle. It usually consists of a pelican hook with a pin. A cats paw which sits and locks the anchor chain that is open on deck and then you have the anchor brake which will not let anchor go unless it is taken off.

On the side there are two modes to stow the anchor. "engaged" or "disengaged". Engaged means that the anchor is controlled by a windless and motor that haul it aboard you can lower and raise the anchor from this mode. Then we have "disengaged". If you let the brake off and then release the cats paw and the pelican hook the anchor and it's chain are free falling over the side and can only be stopped by the brake.

Erik
 
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So there's really no way the iceberg could have knocked the anchor loose. Not without releasing the cat's paw, the hook and then releasing the brake. I doubt the iceberg could do all that. If the collision were to be severe enough to break through all that locking tackle, then there certainly would be no way to haul the anchor back up and store it again. Which is exactly how we find the anchor today down on the wreck.

Ok, question answered.

Thanks,
Yuri
 
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By the way, considering how much the anchors weighed. Several dozen tons I think. Would it have bought any appreciable amount of time if the captain had ordered them dropped overboard, chains and all?

Yuri
 
Jul 9, 2000
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Actually, the anchors weren't as heavy as you might think. 15 and 1/2 tons each with the auxilary anchor at about 5 tons. Dropping them and the chains might have bought the ship a few scant minutes at best, but the effort to do so would have taken time better used in loading and launching the lifeboats.

Cordially,
Michael h. Standart
 
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Sometimes its hard to remember that back then, things weren't done with the touch of a button. I keep having to remind myself that the captain can't just say, "Drop the anchors!" and its done within 30 seconds to a minute. The officers would have to muster the deck crew and get them on deck and then release the tackle to finally drop the anchors free. That would easily take 15 - 20 minutes, considering that most deck crewmen were still asleep early on.

Thanks,
Yuri
 
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They still have to muster the Sea and Anchor detail to drop the anchors. Somebody has to knock away the anchor tackle. Usually with a sledgehammer. At least that's how it was done every time I've seen it. The guy who does it usually has somebody holding onto him with a rope hooked to a harness who has to pull him away as soon as he knocks the tackle off. It's that or risk being caught in the chain as soon as the anchor lets go.

Some things still have to be done manually. About the only control I know of from the bridge is somebody on a radio giving the order. If anybody knows otherwise, I'd be interested in learning.

Cordiially,
Michael H. Standart
 

Philip Hind

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Quote:

Actually, the anchors weren't as heavy as you might think. 15 and 1/2 tons each with the auxilary anchor at about 5 tons.





I don't have the book in front of me but I am sure it was written in "Anatomy of the Titanic" that the centre anchor was substantially heavier than the side anchors. I'll look it up tonight.

Phil
 

Philip Hind

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Ah, now I see someone got there before me!
happy.gif
 

Erik Wood

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Hey All,

Yuri I think that the slamming of Titanic into the bottom may have dropped the anchor. You are right in your assumption that you would have no button to push and gathering the crew to do so would have taken an extra 20 minutes.

An added anchor type thing is that most modern ships hawse there anchors from inside the ship and can be released by pushing a button. But the anchors (forward and stern) are manned during mooring evolution or in restricted waters which makes you correct Michael.

Erik
 

Erik Wood

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I forgot some basics in there somewhere.

It would take a lot of the anchor to be released in a short amount of time. Finding all of the people and getting the right officer all down there and prepared to drop the anchor in a timely manner is almost impossible in a emergency situation. As Michael said and something that I have done is dropping the anchor while turning at a slow bell into a port I will drop the anchor to swing the ship or to slow the turn down to ensure that I don't slam into the pier. Now if Titanic had the techonlogy that we have now in regards to anchors that she could have used it even dropping just below the waterlind may have done some good. The berg would have driven the anchor into the haul and most likely created a hole but it would have been contained.

Reversing the engines in a attempt to avoid a object when you are going at a full speed or not in known manuever as in docking or something of that nature is rather contraversial.

Erik
 
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Cal, I got your e-mail last night and it's one I'm going to save. I was wondering if it's possible to get photocopies of Thomas Andrews notebooks...or if some publisher has them in a book somewhere?

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 

Erik Wood

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If someone has or knows where I could look at Mr. Andrews notebook I would be very grateful if you could give me that info. Michael if you have a site or somewhere to look if you could email me I do believe that you have my address.

Erik
 

Cal Haines

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Hi Erik & Michael,

I don't have the entire notebook, except as it was published on James Cameron's Titanic Explorer CD. The copy there is a real pain to use and at pretty low resolution. Folks have sent me scans of a page or two over time. I would like to have a nice copy of the whole thing myself.

Warm Regards,

Cal
 

Cal Haines

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Hi Erik,

It has a lot of interesting stuff. The 360 degree interactive views of the set alone are worth the price. You are able to move from place to place (selected spots on the upper decks) and look around by moving your mouse. Very nice. There are also some clips from the movie that wound up getting edited out.

The problem is that they went with a proprietary user interface and it's a pain to use. The CDs include a transcript of the British Inquiry, but you can't copy items to the clipboard. It's very difficult to copy the photos, etc.. It's formatted for 640x480 viewing, which is fine for the film clips, but awful for the text. I used to use it a lot before The Titanic Inquiry Project came on-line.

I haven't seen it for sale in a while. You could pick it up for about $10 not too long ago. I would definitely get it you see a copy for sale.

Amazon.com has a listing, with some review, but they show it as out of stock:
James Cameron's Titanic Explorer CD -- Amazon.com

Hyperdrive lists it for $19.95: Cameron's Titanic Explorer CD -- hyperdrive.com

Warm Regards,

Cal
 

Mike Norton

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If you want Cameron's Titanic Explorer look on eBay. You can usually find a new one for under $12.00

Mike Norton
The ORIGINAL Pet Detective
 

Erik Wood

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Cal,

Thanks for the info and I will. On another CD note. I have or was given the Titanic cd rom game. It is pretty good but realy not challenging.

Erik
 
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