First Funnel Collapse


Cool Jackster

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Ok I have compiled a list of who saw the first funnel fall and a portion of their testimonies and other eyewitness accounts.

Charles Lightoller
Q. Were you able to make use of it to clamber on to it?
A. Not at that time. I just held on to something, a piece of rope or something, and was there for a little while, and then the forward funnel fell down. It fell within 3 or 4 inches of the boat. It lifted the boat bodily and threw her about 20 feet clear of the ship as near as I could judge.

Colonel Archibald Gracie:
“The forward funnel broke from the ship, falling on the starboard side into the sea."

Harry Senior:
"Before I dived off the ship one of the forward boilers burst and blew up the forward funnel." -The Scotsman

John Poingdestre:
Q. Now will you describe to us what you saw happen when she sank?
A. Well, I thought when I looked that the ship broke at the foremost funnel.

Emily Ryerson:
“I was in the bow of the boat with my daughter and turned to see the great ship take a plunge toward the bow, the two forward funnels seemed to lean and then she seemed to break in half as if cut with a knife,“ (Ryerson says the first two funnels fell at the same time which contradicts other survivors accounts)

Richard Norris Williams:

”The water was almost up to our waists and the ship was about at her last. Suddenly one of the great funnels fell. I sprang, endeavoring to pull my father with me. The funnel was swept overboard and my fathers body went with it.” -Washington Times

Are there anymore survivor accounts or testimonies that I’m missing?
 
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Keith H

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The reason for the funnel collapse would be due to the water pressure around its base at a depth of twenty feet the pressure at the base would be 1248 lb per square foot not only squeezing it but also forcing it upwards as it would become buoyant and try to float .
You can experiment this yourself at the kitchen sink with a paper model as you fill the sink up.
 
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RmS_TItAnIc

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I've gone through 85% of the US and BoT enquiries testimonies (again) and one thing struck me, which hopefully someone might be able to clarify or confirm.

Did anyone other than Lightoller report the 1st funnel as falling?

Thanks
I think Vabrichio would say it fell...
 
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Arun Vajpey

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So, what's the final verdict on which side the first funnel fell? We had had different opinions about this from learned experts, both quoting witnesses and describing the physics involved.

The forward funnels both went to starboard, not to port. There is no real question about that. Why anyone ever questioned that the forward funnel went to port instead of starboard is beyond me. Quite literally no one reported that it went to port.

Well, see below.

In the case of Titanic the surge first came at the base of funnel 1 as she went down by the head and that funnel, acting under gravity fell to the side of the list - port
I confess that up to a few days ago, I believed that the first funnel had fallen towards the port side, simply because of the list and gravity side of things. But After Kent Layton's posts in the OASOG animation thread, I was happy to reconsider it but now I simply don't know what to think. :confused:
 
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Kyle Naber

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So, what's the final verdict on which side the first funnel fell? We had had different opinions about this from learned experts, both quoting witnesses and describing the physics involved.



Well, see below.


I confess that up to a few days ago, I believed that the first funnel had fallen towards the port side, simply because of the list and gravity side of things. But After Kent Layton's posts in the OASOG animation thread, I was happy to reconsider it but now I simply don't know what to think. :confused:

I think there’s enough evidence to confidently say that the first funnel fell to starboard. I don’t think a single survivor described it going to port.
 
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Arun Vajpey

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I think there’s enough evidence to confidently say that the first funnel fell to starboard. I don’t think a single survivor described it going to port.
I agree. I used to think that it fell to port (as also shown in some other animations) but after reading Kent's explanatory post #111 in the OASOG animation thread, I am willing to revise my opinion. But Jim Currie in post #123 of the same thread (from which I took the above quote) seems to think otherwise, also presumably a few other analysts. While I disagree with Jim on several non-technical points, on something like this one has to consider the opinion of a former Master Mariner. Or so I think.
 
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Jim Currie

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I think there’s enough evidence to confidently say that the first funnel fell to starboard. I don’t think a single survivor described it going to port.


Kyle, a funnel can.t fall upward. Consider the evidence of Chief Baker Joughin.
"5989. - Yes, a list to port, and that made the boat [No.10] swing out about a yard and a half.
6035. - She had gone a little more to port.
6036. . I did not notice her being much down by the head.
6052. What did you do?
- I kept out of the crush as much as I possibly could, and I followed down - followed down getting towards the
[aft] 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."
.
 

Kyle Naber

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Kyle, a funnel can.t fall upward. Consider the evidence of Chief Baker Joughin.
"5989. - Yes, a list to port, and that made the boat [No.10] swing out about a yard and a half.
6035. - She had gone a little more to port.
6036. . I did not notice her being much down by the head.
6052. What did you do?
- I kept out of the crush as much as I possibly could, and I followed down - followed down getting towards the
[aft] 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."
.

I thought Jack Thayer said that the list evened out when the bridge went under. This is what allowed the first two funnels to fall to starboard. Of course if there was a port list, they’d go in that direction.
 

Cam Houseman

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So, what's the final verdict on which side the first funnel fell? We had had different opinions about this from learned experts, both quoting witnesses and describing the physics involved.



Well, see below.


I confess that up to a few days ago, I believed that the first funnel had fallen towards the port side, simply because of the list and gravity side of things. But After Kent Layton's posts in the OASOG animation thread, I was happy to reconsider it but now I simply don't know what to think. :confused:
starboard, as seen by the starboard side, where it's punched down to A-Deck severely
1991, IMAX
A-Deck Forward Facing promenade, 90_s.jpg



and there is a Funnel steam waste pipe lodged in some railing on the starboard side of the forecastle
 
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Arun Vajpey

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I would first like to point out that although I personally believed till recently that the first funnel fell to the port side, I am willing to accept following explanation by Kent Layton and others that based on various witness accounts, it must have actually fallen to starboard.

And since as Jim says a funnel cannot fall 'upwards' ie against a list, the Titanic must have returned to even keel before the first funnel fell.

I thought Jack Thayer said that the list evened out when the bridge went under. This is what allowed the first two funnels to fall to starboard. Of course if there was a port list, they’d go in that direction.
True. But I think that while almost everyone accepts that the port list decreased after the bridge went under, some analysts probably do not accept that the ship came back on an even keel. I am saying so because in quite a few "real time" animations of the sinking including the popular one that appeared a couple of years ago, the port list remains till the very end.
(NB: I am only stating what I have seen on the web. As I said before, I am personally willing to accept the starboard fall)

Starboard, as seen by the starboard side, where it's punched down to A-Deck severely
1991, IMAX
Can we categorically say that the damage shown in that particular photograph depicts what was caused by the falling first funnel? Considering the traumatic break-up and the long fall to the ocean floor of the bow section, could that 'dent' be due to something else? (just asking)
 

Cam Houseman

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Can we categorically say that the damage shown in that particular photograph depicts what was caused by the falling first funnel? Considering the traumatic break-up and the long fall to the ocean floor of the bow section, could that 'dent' be due to something else? (just asking)
Hi Arun! How're you :)

I think we can, the portside doesn't look like that.
 

Kyle Naber

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True. But I think that while almost everyone accepts that the port list decreased after the bridge went under, some analysts probably do not accept that the ship came back on an even keel.

I’m betting that those animations and calculations don’t take into consideration that something occurred down below that caused that sudden list change. I truly think something gave way around 2:14-2:15 that caused the ship to rock back to an even keel (or maybe even a little to starboard). A loud rumbling was heard when the boat deck became submerged. Maybe the beginning of the break, maybe a failing bulkhead etc.
 
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Cam Houseman

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I’m betting that those animations and calculations don’t take into consideration that something occurred down below that caused that sudden list change. I truly think something gave way around 2:14-2:15 that caused the ship to rock back to an even keel (or maybe even a little to starboard). A loud rumbling was heard when the boat deck became submerged. Maybe the beginning of the break, maybe a failing bulkhead etc.
Hey Kyle, hope you're well!

Do you think a bulkhead gave way below that flooded the main Aft Boiler Rooms?

We don't have any testimony for what happened in the 3rd, 2nd, and 1st Boiler Rooms during the final moments? Guess not, those poor men wouldn't have made it up in time :(
 

Kyle Naber

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Hey Kyle, hope you're well!

Do you think a bulkhead gave way below that flooded the main Aft Boiler Rooms?

We don't have any testimony for what happened in the 3rd, 2nd, and 1st Boiler Rooms during the final moments? Guess not, those poor men wouldn't have made it up in time :(

I’m not completely sure and I doubt there’s any real way to know for sure as you mention. I feel that a large structure did fail internally that caused a great amount of water to shift. When you hear that there were some loud noises associated with the list changing and bow plunging down, that sounds like a bulkhead failure to me.
 
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Kyle Naber

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I’m not completely sure and I doubt there’s any real way to know for sure as you mention. I feel that a large structure did fail internally that caused a great amount of water to shift. When you hear that there were some loud noises associated with the list changing and bow plunging down, that sounds like a bulkhead failure to me.

Adding on to this…

2:33:55 portrays the four explosions that were heard as the plunge began.


These sounds would happen right at 2:37:25 imo.
 

Jim Currie

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I’m betting that those animations and calculations don’t take into consideration that something occurred down below that caused that sudden list change. I truly think something gave way around 2:14-2:15 that caused the ship to rock back to an even keel (or maybe even a little to starboard). A loud rumbling was heard when the boat deck became submerged. Maybe the beginning of the break, maybe a failing bulkhead etc.
Kyle, the theorists forget several things about the funnels.
1.If there was a heavy, prolonged list to one side, the funnel guys on the high side would probably snap.
2. If the funnel guys snap, the funnel falls over but does not immediately detach completely from the ship. Thus when the ship sinks you have a "flapping" funnel or funnels being "waggled around due to the ship descending through the water... a bit like a scarf hanging from a moving car window.:eek:
It follows that although the funnel initially falls to one side, it will contact the funnel behind it if it is still there and in the way. If you look at the wreck, you will see that the same thing happened to the formast. It is still attached but you can see where it has been bent back as the hull descended almost vertically.
As for the noise heard- there was not enough of a list or dip by the head to dislodge boilers as has been suggested. These were secured to heavy stools designed to prevent that very event.
Bulkheads do not breach in filled or filling compartments... that's another bit of nonsense. They too are specially constructed to prevent such an event.
Only two things cause a ship to suddenly increase her list to one side or come upright:
1. A sudden inundation of water on the low side or a sudden inundation of water on the high side.
2. When the ship has neutral equilibrium and there is free surface water sloshing about inside the hull due to sea, swell, or a sudden shift of weight to one side.
In fact, Titanic must have been almost in neutral equilibrium if her Chief Officer thought shifting flk from port to starboard might ease the port list.
Hope this helps.
 
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Kyle Naber

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As for the noise heard- there was not enough of a list or dip by the head to dislodge boilers as has been suggested. These were secured to heavy stools designed to prevent that very event.

Sorry! I should’ve been more clear. I wasn’t proposing actual explosions- just explosive noises. We know that such events didn’t occur, but many reports described hearing explosions during the destructive sinking.

Do you find it unlikely that a sudden shift in list would occur? I think it helps describe the funnels falling to starboard as well as those on the forward boat deck remembering the deck rising momentarily.
 
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Cam Houseman

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It follows that although the funnel initially falls to one side, it will contact the funnel behind it if it is still there and in the way. If you look at the wreck, you will see that the same thing happened to the formast. It is still attached but you can see where it has been bent back as the hull descended almost vertically.
Hey Jim!

You're not wrong, there was a lot of intact Shell plating on the First Funnel when she was first found in 1985
WHOI, 1985
Boat Deck No. 1 Funnel and fidleys 1985.jpg


And, even the Fourth Funnel's base, south of the Stern
WHOI, 1985
4th Funnel base 1985.png
 

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