Did the Stern Float for 5 minutes?


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Aaron_2016

Guest
I'm puzzled by the sinking of the stern. Survivors saw the stern settle back and remain horizontal for about 5 minutes with the belief that the stern was going to float, while other survivors said the stern rose up and remained in an upwards position almost vertical for a long time. Was it both? Does this mean the stern remained afloat for possibly 10 minutes?


Mr. Evans was asked:
Q - How long was the stern afloat in that horizontal position?
A - About four or five minutes, I should judge.


Mr. Buley said:
"The bow part went down and the afterpart came up and stayed up five minutes before it went down.....She uprighted herself for about five minutes, and then tipped over and disappeared."
Q - Was that perpendicular?
A - It was horizontal at first, and then went down.


George Symons said:
"Her poop righted itself and I thought to myself, “The poop is going to float.” It could not have been more than two or three minutes after that that her poop went up as straight as anything; there was a sound like steady thunder as you hear on an ordinary night at a distance, and soon she disappeared from view."



Charles Joughin felt the ship break and said the stern keeled heavily over to port throwing everyone over. Is that what Eva Hart was describing in this interview?


At 7:30 is she describing the stern sticking up in the air, or is she describing the stern simply staying afloat for a long time and then keeling over to port?




Yet survivors saw the stern rise high up into the air and remained in that eerie position for a long time e.g. Jack Thayer said: "It reached a sixty-five or seventy degree angle. Here it seemed to pause, and just hung, for what felt like minutes."

Was the stern afloat horizontal for a long time and also rose up and stayed almost perpendicular for a long time as well? What is puzzling is that survivors said the screams started when the ship broke in two and continued long after the ship 'disappeared' while others said the screams stopped when the stern sank and there was silence after the ship sank. e.g.

Abraham Hyman:
"The cry was blood curdling and never stopped until the Titanic went down, when it seemed to be sort of choked off."


Lady Duff Gordon was asked:
Q - Did you hear after the Titanic had sunk the cries of the people who were drowning?
A - No, after the Titanic sank I never heard a cry.
Q - You never heard anything?
A - No, not after the Titanic sank.
Q - Did not you hear cries at all?
A - Yes, before she sank; terrible cries.
Q - Before she sank?
A - Yes.
Q - Did you see her sink?
A - I did.
Q - You mean you heard nothing at all after that?
A - My impression was that there was absolute silence.


Does this suggest that the stern was afloat for a very long time after she broke and the screams were coming from the floating stern?


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Rob Lawes

Member
Jun 13, 2012
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Watching the sinking of the Oceana on youtube makes for a nice point of reference. From the moment the bridge plunges under for the final time it takes about 3 and a half minutes to fully sink.

I can see how the Titanic's stern may well have taken 4 or 5 minutes to go down.
 
If you are refering to the stern section right after the break up, bare in mind that piece of the ship was quite unstable becuase of the weight of the engines in the forward end. So, I think it took much less for the stern section to go down. Take also into account that the break up occurred at 2:18 am and that the ship sunk at 2:20 am.
 
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Aaron_2016

Guest
If you are refering to the stern section right after the break up, bare in mind that piece of the ship was quite unstable becuase of the weight of the engines in the forward end. So, I think it took much less for the stern section to go down. Take also into account that the break up occurred at 2:18 am and that the ship sunk at 2:20 am.

My understanding is that people began jumping into the sea when the ship broke. Watches stopped at 2:20 and other watches stopped at 2:30. I think this suggests the stern might have been afloat but the lights went out around 2:20 and disappeared and perhaps at that moment people noted the time in the lifeboats. The screams continued for some minutes on the floating stern and when the stern finally sank the screams (according to some in the boats) appeared to stop and there was silence. Curious to know if the stern remained afloat for possibility a long time before it sank. Was it Captain Smith who reportedly said the ship could be split into three pieces and still float with the watertight doors closed?


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