First Funnel Collapse


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Aaron_2016

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I think it makes sense. He doesn’t really recall the funnel collapsing because the heavy list made the event quick. In Cameron’s movie, the funnel sort of pauses for a moment once the guy wires snap, as there is no list. But in reality, the port list had been making the funnel want to fall over in that direction for a while.
The officers ordered everyone to the starboard side "to keep the ship up as long as possible" - Hemming. Lightoller said "When the order was given to the passengers to go to the starboard side I am under the impression that a great many went over and the ship got a righting movement and maintained it". Jack Thayer said - "She gradually came out of her list to port, and if anything, had a slight list to starboard." Frank Prentice was on the poop deck and said she appeared to "right herself". I believe the ship was twisting herself apart in opposite directions. Her stern wanted to lean over to port and her bow wanted to lean over to starboard. It is unknown where exactly the water was rushing to inside the ship e.g. via open portholes and fractures up and down the length of the ship and what role they played.

I believe the bow rolled over to starboard and threw the first two funnels over that way. The wreckage appears to show the starboard bridge wing and captain's quarters have been crushed by something large falling over that way.



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Kas01

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May 24, 2018
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Aaron, there's a semi-relevant passage in a forensic examination of the loss of SS Edmund Fitzgerald. Obviously there's a difference in that Titanic went down in a virtually flat, pool-table sea, but the breakup theory seems to be similar to what you're suggesting.

"The two or more ballast tanks begin to flood via the damaged vents or via siphoning as described by Edwards through intact vents. This increases the mass forward such that the list begins and slowly increases. Instead of the hull girder responding normally, the increased mass forward and to starboard begins to cause the midsection and stern to respond more actively than the bow to the wave excitation. " (Emphasis added)

I guess the nearest visual comparison to what I think you're suggesting is a dog shaking off water, where the stern lagged quite a bit behind the bow and when the bow came off, it didn't come away cleanly but twisted off.
 

Mike Spooner

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Jan 31, 2018
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That statement made by Charles Lightroller of the first funnel No1 falling down can be found in his book. Titanic and the Other Ships.
"The terrific strain of bringing the after end of that huge hull clear out of the water caused the expansion joint abaft number 1 funnel to open up. The fact that the two wire stays to this funnel on the after part led over and abaft the expansion joint, threw on them an extraordinary strain, eventually carrying away the port wire guy, to be followed almost immediately by the starboard one. Instantly the port one parted, the funnel started to fall, but the fact that the starboard one held a moment or two longer, gave this huge structure a pull over to that side of the ship."
He then when to say. It struck the water between the Engleheart (Lifeboat) and the ship, actually missing me by inches.
There is more on that subject in his book too of the effects in the funnel crashing down!
 
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Aaron_2016

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Aaron, there's a semi-relevant passage in a forensic examination of the loss of SS Edmund Fitzgerald. Obviously there's a difference in that Titanic went down in a virtually flat, pool-table sea, but the breakup theory seems to be similar to what you're suggesting.

"The two or more ballast tanks begin to flood via the damaged vents or via siphoning as described by Edwards through intact vents. This increases the mass forward such that the list begins and slowly increases. Instead of the hull girder responding normally, the increased mass forward and to starboard begins to cause the midsection and stern to respond more actively than the bow to the wave excitation. " (Emphasis added)

I guess the nearest visual comparison to what I think you're suggesting is a dog shaking off water, where the stern lagged quite a bit behind the bow and when the bow came off, it didn't come away cleanly but twisted off.
Yes, the Titanic was such a long ship that her stern would lag behind any movements made by the bow and the delay would fracture / twist the ship apart like a chinese burn with the middle section buckling from both sections as the stern twisted to port and the bow twisted to starboard. Lightoller felt the bow reeling (twist) as she broke and the bow lurched over to starboard. "The ship took a dive, reeling for a moment, then plunging."

Mrs. Chaffee was in Lifeboat 4 very close to the ship. She saw the ship twist herself apart as the stern rolled to port and the bow rolled to starboard.

"The ship sank steadily until just at the last, when it plunged rapidly. Just before going down it seemed to writhe (twist), breaking into the three parts into which it was divided. First the middle seemed to go down, lifting bow and stern into the air. Then it twisted the other way, throwing the middle up. Finally the bow went under, and it plunged, stern last."




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Aaron_2016

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The point still stands that the funnel very likely fell over to starboard.



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Cam Houseman

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Jul 14, 2020
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Yes she did, but survivors reported it falling to Starboard. Almost all of them did. It could be because of the rigging still attached to the funnel.
 

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