Did They Row Towards the Iceberg?


A

Aaron_2016

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Did Lifeboat 2 row towards the iceberg that sank the Titanic? According to survivors the lifeboat left the port side, rowed around the stern, and away about half a mile away. Survivors heard and saw this iceberg right after the Titanic sank and the screams stopped. Was this the fatal iceberg?


4th officer Boxhall

"I heard the water on the ice as soon as the lights went out on the ship.....A little while after the ship's lights went out and the cries subsided, then I found out that we were near the ice."


Mrs. Douglas

"We stopped for a time. Several times we stopped rowing to listen for the lapping of the water against the icebergs. In an incredibly short space of time, it seemed to me, the boat sank."


Mr. Johnson

"I was told by the officer to listen, and I heard the swish of the water, and when we looked there was an iceberg right in front of us."

Q - You saw it?
A - Certainly; we were close to it.
Q - Did you hear any cries of people in distress?
A - Oh, yes, too many.
Q - You did?
A - Certainly.

Q - Was there any suggestion by anybody that you should go back in the boat?
A - Yes; the officer asked a question as to going back, but at that time we were just close to an iceberg, and the ladies said, “No,” I think; they thought it was dangerous.

Q - Did you go back towards the wreck at all?
A - Well, we might have pulled a little bit back. When we were all quiet he said, “Listen,” and what we heard was the swish of the water against another iceberg.

(Commissioner) - I understand, Mr. Scanlan, that they were in fear of some iceberg.

Q - What distance from you was the iceberg that you were in fear of?
A - I think as to the one we saw we could hear the water swish up against it. We could not have been very far from it. We could not have been far because everyone distinctly heard it.



iceberg10a.PNG




Lifeboat 2 was the first lifeboat to be reached by the Carpathia. When Captain Rostron saw this lifeboat he also saw an iceberg very close by and they had to order 'hard a-starboard' to avoid it. Was this the same iceberg that survivors witnessed?


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Harland Duzen

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It's certainly a possibility but Titanic did a mirrored ''J'' turn around the iceberg and she did keep moving for several minutes so they certainly have to row quite a distance (unless currents helped push them closer).

I remember Paul Lee did a page on what directions all the lifeboats went: http://www.paullee.com/titanic/sinking.php
 

Harland Duzen

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It's a good graph, but Titanic ended up pointing NNW after the the collision and doing a reversed ''L'' turn upon hitting the iceberg.
 

Jim Currie

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It's a good graph, but Titanic ended up pointing NNW after the the collision and doing a reversed ''L'' turn upon hitting the iceberg.
You've been reading the wrong posts. Martin.
Except from 5th officer Lowe and QM Rowe, who had no idea how the ship was heading, there is absolutely no evidence to the ship pointing N.W'ly.
This story comes from numerous attempts to place the SS Californian as the mystery vessel seen from Titanic. In fact, there is absolutely no way the Titanic could have turned North West after that initial hard-a- starboard helm order. Not only that, but ther is overwhelming evidence to show that the ship seen from Titanic was not the Californian and vise-versa.
 

Harland Duzen

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I didn't say anything about the Titanic not being the ship seen by the Californian. I do agree you on that but that for another post.

Titanic Bow lies pointing North and numerous tests done over the years have shown the bow would have plowed straight down and not turn any other direction unlike the stern.

Also Titanic did do a Hard-a-Port turn upon immediately grazing the iceberg and logic presumes she ending up turning and facing North.
 

Jim Currie

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I have seen the results of the tests done to determine how the bow descended. All of them are pure guess work based on limited knowledge of the factors which may or may not have affected the sinking ship sections.
It has been said that the bow section was "aerodynamic"... Absolute piffle. It was not. In fact it was a very irregular shaped bit of metal with bits and bobs falling off it as it went down.
When a ship sinks through a great depth, it passes through layers of water at different temperatures and densities. It possibly passes through currents having different rates and directions at the layer boundaries.
The hull of a ship does not split in two in a mild mannered way. There would have been a great deal of energy released; not all of it in a gradual or rational way. Titanic took a lurch to port just before she went under. This would put paid to any fanciful idea of the bow sliding gracefully down like an arrow. Think of an arrow fletched on one side.
Last but not least, there is little matter of initially retained buoyancy within the hull. The experiments you refer to treat the bow section as a homogeneous bit of streamlined steel.

The second helm order could not have been part of the iceberg avoidance plan because it was given when Titanic had passed the iceberg. Consider the following evidence given by 4th Officer Boxhall:

5355. What conversation took place between them?
- The first Officer said, "An iceberg, Sir. I hard-a-starboarded and reversed the engines, and I was going to hard-a-port round it but she was too close. I could not do any more. I have closed the watertight doors." The Commander asked him if he had rung the warning bell, and he said "Yes."


I suggest to you and anyone else who might be reading this that we are seeing an error in transcript.

"I hard-a-starboarded and reversed the engines, and I was going to go hard-to-port round it but she was too close. I could not do any more. I have closed the watertight doors."


However in both versions of this exchange the expression "she was too close. I could not do any more". Tells us that Murdoch had a plan but could not complete it and only had time to give a single helm order to avoid the iceberg.

Captain Rostron of Carpathia did the same thing but described it a little differently.

"It was very close, so I had to port my helm hard-a-starboard and put her head round quick and pick up the boat on the starboard side."
 

Harland Duzen

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While your evidence makes sense, if Titanic didn't make the hard-a-port-turn, how did her bow still end up pointing North on the sea bed? If not feasible the bow did one long 90 degree corkscrew turn underwater over a drop of 2 miles.

Titanic' course was New York and she was sailing roughly East. Her Bow ends up pointing Roughly North on the sea-bed.
 

Jim Currie

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Titanic was heading West, Martin, not East.

Like everyone else, I can only guess the behaviour of the two parts of Titanic as she sank to the sea bed.

My guess is that the bow section spiral-dived forward and to the right. Since the left side of the bow was lower then the right, it would receive a greater 'push' from the greater pressure on it. This situation would prevail all the way down. Additionally, initially retained buoyancy in parts of the hull...sealed tanks etc and cargo... would make these parts want to return to the surface until they were breached due to pressure at depth. Over that depth, the spiral would be long and continuous, not the same as but much like an aircraft spiraling downward; not just a single quick turn right.
The stern section was a different kettle of fish. When it ripped away from the main section, all it's decks were open to the sea . It would partially spin away from it's original attachment then possible 'wobble' it way to the sea bed.
 
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Aaron_2016

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My understanding is that both sections had so much weight owing to their construction that they sank relatively down like a stone. Survivors saw the stern turn and face the opposite way before she sank. The wreck of the stern is facing the opposite way. Survivors rowed for a light off Titanic port bow. They believed the ship was facing a northerly direction as they witnessed the northern lights appear in the same direction as the light towards the north. Survivors also described how they gave up and turned around as they saw the Carpathia approach from the opposite direction e.g.


Lawrence Beesley
"We rowed slowly forward, or what we thought was forward, for it was in the direction the Titanic's bows were pointing before she sank. I see now that we must have been pointing northwest, for we presently saw the Northern Lights on the starboard, and again, when the Carpathia came up from the south, we saw her from behind us on the southeast, and turned our boat around to get to her."


Mr. Crawford
"If the Titanic was coming along this way we went across that way, straight for the light."

Q - If the Titanic was moving West you moved Southwest?
A - Probably so.
Q - Toward the light?
A - Yes, sir.
Q - And then the Carpathia appeared in what direction?
A - She came right up around and started to pick up the boats.
Q - She came from the Northeast from you, then?
A - Probably so.
Q - Assuming you had been going Southwest?
A - Yes, sir.


We know the Carpathia approached from the Southeast which means he was rowing towards the Northwest towards the light.


Major Peuchen
".........right directly North I think it would be, because the Northern Lights appeared where this light we had been looking at in that direction appeared shortly afterwards."


Around 4am a current began which was moving southerly. Survivors gave up rowing for the light because the current was against them. e.g.

Mr. Moore

Q - Did you have this light in view all the time while you were pulling at the oars?
A - Yes, sir.
Q - How far do you think you pulled from the point where the ship went down?
A - I could hardly say.
Q - Do you suppose you pulled as far as 10 miles?
A - No, sir. We were going against the current.
Q - Was there a current?
A - I should say so, sir. We kept the boat's head to the wind. We kept going toward this white light.


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Harland Duzen

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Titanic was heading West, Martin, not East.

I don't believe I made such a basic typo! Now I feel like a Idiot.

in response to your statement (and my typo), Titanic was sailing West. Secondly, it is feasible your theory of decent happened with Titanic's broken and twisted metal turning it like the flaps on a airplane wing. However, there is no evidence of a long spiral descent according to the offical images of the wrecks site.


TitanicSonar.jpg
 
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It was only the stern which rotated and even turned while the bow did went down (sometimes bow the break area first) but not in a spiral. The debris is also speaking against it. The bow was facing the direction as the wreck is. When the bow went under the port list had gone.
 

Jim Currie

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My understanding is that both sections had so much weight owing to their construction that they sank relatively down like a stone.


It is all to do with buoyancy, Aaron. A vessel or even part of one will displace it's own weight in water. However, it is the force of buoyancy that keeps it afloat. If there is any retained buoyancy such as sealed tanks or tanks with oil in them or holds with cargo in them then the ship retains some of it's buoyancy, even although it sinks to the bottom. A solid bit of iron shaped like a ship will sink. A bit of iron shaped like half a ship will also sink, but if that bit of ship shaped iron has sealed compartments in it or bits of material lighter than sea water, then the bit of iron might not sink, depending on the volume these bits and pieced occupy. Think of a submarine which is unable to blow all it's ballast tanks. Or a water- logged wooden boat which can float at any depth below the surface and will not sink to the bottom until it is completely saturated. Additionally, the shape and attitude of the sinking ship has a lot to do with it as well. For instance, in theory, if the bow section of Titanic went down vertically; the water pressure on the lowest part of the section might have differed by much as 38,336 lbs /cubic foot from the water pressure on the hull at the surface.

Survivors saw the stern turn and face the opposite way before she sank.

That begs the question: " If the stern section swiveled round 180 degrees when on the surface, what caused it to do so?


Survivors rowed for a light off Titanic port bow. They believed the ship was facing a northerly direction as they witnessed the northern lights appear in the same direction as the light towards the north.

The Northern Lights are seldom seen that far south. They circle The Magnetic Pole which is centered in the Hudson Bay area of Canada. If they were seen at all from where Titanic sank, then they would have been north west of where she sank.

Now consider what Beesley wrote:


"We rowed slowly forward, or what we thought was forward, for it was in the direction the Titanic's bows were pointing before she sank. I see now that we must have been pointing northwest, for we presently saw the Northern Lights on the starboard, and again, when the Carpathia came up from the south, we saw her from behind us on the southeast, and turned our boat around to get to her."

Beesley's direction was out by 45 degrees. If he he thought Northern lights bore due north and his boat head was north west, then in reality, his boat head was West, not North West and the Northern lights were 45 degrees - North West - on the starboard bow of his life boat.

Have another look at Crawford's evidence.

Crawford described the direction they rowed relative to the heading of Titanic. If they rowed SW and Boxhall rowed NE then when they stopped rowing, the two boats would be on a line running NE - SW. OK?
It follows that when Carpathia arrived at Boxhall, she was NE of boat 8, not SE of it.
Crawford also said he did not see any rockets other than the ones fired by Titanic. How was that possible?

Major Peuchen
".........right directly North I think it would be, because the Northern Lights appeared where this light we had been looking at in that direction appeared shortly afterwards."

Major Peuchin was probably one of the more unreliable witnesses. He left in boat 6 from the port side. If as he said,he headed directly North from the port side then Titanic ws heading East, not West whenh he did so, I don't think anyone has ever suggested that.

Around 4am a current began which was moving southerly. Survivors gave up rowing for the light because the current was against them. e.g.

Ocean currents don't suddenly start up, Aaron. AB Moore left from the starboard side in boat No. 3. If Titanic had been heading North, he would have rowed east for quarter a mile then stopped. He said that after the ship went down, he rowed for a single white light on the starboard, not port bow. Keep in mind that Crawford, on the port side, rowed for a ship with two white lights and a red side light.
At day light, a northerly wind sprang up. If Titanic sank heading West then any boat on her starboard side would have needed to head into the wind or be swamped lying beam on to it
 

Jim Currie

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I don't believe I made such a basic typo! Now I feel like a Idiot.

in response to your statement (and my typo), Titanic was sailing West. Secondly, it is feasible your theory of decent happened with Titanic's broken and twisted metal turning it like the flaps on a airplane wing. However, there is no evidence of a long spiral descent according to the offical images of the wrecks site.


View attachment 2660

On the contrary, The analysis of the photograph you posted, shows that the upper deck section which was still on the bow section when it went under is now east of the center of the wreck site. The bow is oriented NNE, not North . The stern section is oriented SSE, not South
The boilers from boiler room 1 which were mounted on top of the double bottoms within the forward part of the hull lie just south west of the stern section. The two sections of very heavy double bottom upon which the boilers were mounted are north and east of the boilers. The coal which was in the same area is south of the stern section and there is coal and dishes from the bow section near the center of the field.
Bottom current played no pat in the distribution since they run from east to west at the center and in a north westerly direction over the bow section.

The full analysis and re construction of the break up and descent to the bottom has yet to be done therefore none of us c an be certain how the bhow section behaved on its way to the bottom
 

Jim Currie

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[QUOTE="Ioannis Georgiou, post: 384359, member: 139635"]It was only the stern which rotated and even turned while the bow did went down (sometimes bow the break area first) but not in a spiral. The debris is also speaking against it. The bow was facing the direction as the wreck is. When the bow went under the port list had gone.[/QUOTE]
Not according to survivor Chief Baker Charles Joughlin who left the ship from the starboard outboard side of the poop rail when is sank under him:

6052. What did you do? A: - I kept out of the crush as much as I possibly could, and I followed down - followed down getting towards the well of the deck, and just as I got down towards the well she gave a great list over to port and threw everybody in a bunch except myself. I did not see anybody else besides myself out of the bunch.
6053. That was when you were in the well, was it? A: - I was not exactly in the well, I was on the side, practically on the side then. She threw them over. At last I clambered on the side when she chucked them.
6054. You mean the starboard side? A: - The starboard side.
6055. The starboard was going up and she took a lurch to port? A: - It was not going up, but the other side was going down.
6056. It is very difficult to say how many, I daresay, but could you give me some idea, of how many people there were in this crush? A: - I have no idea, Sir; I know they were piled up.
6057. What do you mean when you say, "No idea." Were there hundreds? A: - Yes, there were more than that - many hundreds, I should say.

6058. (The Solicitor-General.) You said this vessel took a lurch to port and threw them in a heap. Did she come back; did she right herself at all? A: - No, Sir.
6059. She took a lurch and she did not return? A: - She did not return.

6060. Can you tell us what happened to you? A: - Yes, I eventually got on to the starboard side of the poop.

I don't think that is something any of us would be mistaken about if it happened to us. Do you?
 
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[QUOTE="Ioannis Georgiou, post: 384359, member: 139635"]It was only the stern which rotated and even turned while the bow did went down (sometimes bow the break area first) but not in a spiral. The debris is also speaking against it. The bow was facing the direction as the wreck is. When the bow went under the port list had gone.
Not according to survivor Chief Baker Charles Joughlin who left the ship from the starboard outboard side of the poop rail when is sank under him:

Aside that in an earlier newspaper interview Joughin said he jumped of the ship with the break up (no mention of a list to port there) no one else who was still on the poop ever mentioned that list.
 
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On the contrary, The analysis of the photograph you posted,

I found it interesting that you mentioned the analysis of the posted image then making statements about parts of the wreck which are not on that picture as it is cropped.


shows that the upper deck section which was still on the bow section when it went under is now east of the center of the wreck site.

Which part is it then? There was nothing connected at the forward part.


The boilers from boiler room 1 which were mounted on top of the double bottoms within the forward part of the hull lie just south west of the stern section.

Actually they are on the east side and not west side of the stern.

The two sections of very heavy double bottom upon which the boilers were mounted are north and east of the boilers.

Do you mean one north and one east or both north-east? If the first one then it is wrong, if the second one as I said interesting your analysis of the above picture which is cropped.
 
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Dillon gave also a sworn statement and there is no mention of a port list, and he went "down" with the poop.

Joughin's newspaper interview is weeks before his testimony at the BOT and before his deposition.
 

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