Forward Anchor Crane Mystery

Jim Currie

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Apr 16, 2008
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Funchal. Madeira
Mr. BULEY.(AB) No. I should think if that had been a small hole, say about 12 by 12 feet square, in a collision, or anything like that, it would have been all right; but I do not think they carried collision mats.
Senator FLETCHER: What is a collision mat? A: Mr. BULEY. It is a mat to shove over the hole to keep the water from rushing in.
Senator FLETCHER.: You think she did not carry collision mats? A: Mr. BULEY....I do not believe she did. I never saw one.
Senator FLETCHER: Did you ever see collision mats used on merchant ships? A: Mr. BULEY. I had never been on a merchant ship before. I have seen them frequently used in the navy.
Senator FLETCHER: You think if she had had collision mats, she might have been saved? A: Mr. BULEY.:That would not have done much good with her, because I believe she was ripped up right along.


AB Buley was correct. Merchant Ships did not carry such mats...only when operating as AMCs or under Navy command. Then, the Navy supplied them.
 
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Bob_Read

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RMS Republic apparently did not have collision mats as was previously suggested. Collision mats were used to try to save Republic but the collision mats were supplied by the US revenue cutter Gresham.
 

Seumas

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I am also kind of curious... would there have been any utility in terms of increasing or preserving buoyancy to a ship sinking slowly by the head to intentionally drop her anchors--and by drop I mean intentionally just jettison them?
Surely they'd have needed specialist equipment like a couple of acetylene torches and large bolt cutters (things which I'm sceptical they would have had aboard but am happy to be proved wrong if it can be proved they did have them) to jettison the anchors and their chains ? It would also have required taking a number of men away from important duties in the engine or boiler rooms or the boat deck for quite a while too.

My guess is that it would have been a pointless exercise that really wouldn't have bought all that much, if any extra time.

Would any mathematicians on the board care to settle the matter by doing a calculation on what effect could have been saved by jettisoning the anchors and their chains (someone must know their approximate weight ?) as compared with the amount of water thought to be entering the ship and the amount of water being pumped out of the ship ?
 

Bob_Read

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If the estimate of the weight of water that Titanic was taking on after the collision is accurate at 400 tons per minute then if you opened a connecting link on both the bower anchor cables and let the anchors go, you would gain just over 2 seconds for your effort. Any more phantoms to chase?
 
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Scott Mills

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Jul 10, 2008
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If the estimate of the weight of water that Titanic was taking on after the collision is accurate at 400 tons per minute then if you opened a connecting link on both the bower anchor cables and let the anchors go, you would gain just over 2 seconds for your effort. Any more phantoms to chase?
Not really a phantom I have been chasing, just a curiosity for me. In all honesty it was a thought experiment, since I am not an engineer, about whether or not less weight leads to more positive buoyancy, even a little. So, if the answer is two seconds, then yes it would have made a difference! Just not a meaningful one.
 

Scott Mills

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Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
RMS Republic apparently did not have collision mats as was previously suggested. Collision mats were used to try to save Republic but the collision mats were supplied by the US revenue cutter Gresham.
Ah! Thanks for that. I am far from an expert in the Republic. This is helpful, though there is still Wilding's testimony. It is entirely unclear if what Wilding and his interlocutor are discussing the issue because Titanic potentially had the ability to use collision mats; or if they are engaged in 'what if' speculation as to whether or not anything could have been used to save Titanic.

Perhaps the best place to look is at Olympic's damage control after her collision with HMS Hawke.