How could more passengers have been saved? [was: Titanica Members' Remarkable Obsession with Trivia]


PJM26

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Sep 13, 2016
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The idea of assembling a functional raft using wicker furniture or whatever random assortment is a fun idea.

But given the apparent circumstances it would be an immediate indication that the ship was doomed and that everyone's lives were at risk.

And, yes, perhaps the Archies (Butt and Gracie) and the other potential heroes aboard could have nailed some bookshelves with some mattresses underneath them (what were those made of?) or something...but the idea of that being done for 800 or 1000 people combined with the loading of the ordinary lifeboats is a bit of a stretch.

Also if any rafts were constructed it would have been a nasty scene in the water (much like it probably was around collapsible B).

Some more people could've made'r I wager if panic didn't get the better of the ship, but far from everyone on board.

I would however like to see an inventory of all the ships's furniture (or other buoyant material) just out of curiosity...
 

Jim Currie

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Apr 16, 2008
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NewtonMearns, Glasgow, Scotland.
The idea of buckling in the middle was an absurdity based on the evidence of 5th Officer Lowe and promoted by the Wreck Commissioner, Lord Mersey. In fact, the following exchange proves the point:

The Witness: William D. Archer - Principal Ship Surveyor to the Board of Trade.

"24508. Now it has been stated here that there was a fear of the boats buckling. Can you suggest any way to strengthen those boats so that there would be no fear of buckling?
24509. (The Commissioner.) They did not buckle, you know, and it was an ill-founded fear, it was only in the minds of people who did not know.
William D. Archer:
I understand the boats had been tested with the full weight on board, and they did not buckle."

The test in question was to load a boat with evenly distributed pig iron ingots euqivalent to the highest ever expected full load. In the case of Titanic, a standard boat was certified for 65 persons. The theoretical weight of a "person" for capacity and testing purposes was 165 lbs. It follows that during the BoT test of a lifeboat, a standard Titanic lifeboat would have been loaded with 4. 8 long tons of iron, raised clear of the water and held suspended for the requisite test time. I suspect that the test period would be equal to the heoretical lowering tim + 5 minutes.
 

John Jaeger

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Sep 11, 2015
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Unless I'm wrong, the total capacity if every lifeboat seat was taken would have been roughly 1,178. This means an extra 473 people could have been saved if each lifeboat had been filled with as many as it was able to carry and the death toll would have been lower, around 1,052.
Bravo! Had each lifeboat been overloaded by 10 additional people, just imagine. Then build some rafts with the tons of wood and construction materials aboard.
Surely there were many able craftsmen who could have assisted in such efforts.
 

John Jaeger

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Sep 11, 2015
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According to the inquiries the crew in charge of loading the lifeboats were afraid that the weight of the passengers if filly loaded would have caused the lifeboats to buckle. The lifeboats capacity was how many people could be in the boats on water...not suspended 70 feet above the water. It wasnt until the later part of the sinking that the crew began filling up the boats more fully. Example officer Lowe placed about 50 into boat 14
"The crew" does as it is instructed by senior officers. The lifeboats were designed to be launched with the tackle provided, were they not? Moreover, in accordance with the adage of "women and children first," those two categories are the most lightweight. Finally, they could have pressed towards each end of the lifeboats until floated to diminish the stress on the middle when suspended. But given the depth of the lifeboats, buckling seems extremely unlikely. They're not flimsy things.
 

John Jaeger

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Sep 11, 2015
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The idea of building rafts out of furniture and other wood objects is fun to toy with but not feasible in reality.The amount of time needed to have crew make back and forth, up and down trips to places like the Café Parisian would have eaten up so much time,as would have building the rafts as well. As for keeping people out of the way except those boarding lifeboats-good luck.People don't listen or do what they're told under normal circumstances and they're even more blockheaded in times of disaster.Who can blame them though?Also keep in mind most people didn't know how much long the ship had to live-as well as the stats on her lifeboats and how many people they could hold and what have you.Certainly these things would have been lost on the average passenger or even crewmember.Another thing to keep in mind-so many people aboard including crew had such blind faith in the Titanic's unsinkablity.It's pretty hard to convince people to get their butts in gear when the prevailing attitude is "this ship could hit a hundred bergs and not sink,ridiculous!!!" Unfortunately by the time people started realizing how bad it was it pretty much too late.Besides if the passengers during the early stages were reluctant to get into regular lifeboats, can you imagine the "hell no way " horror of convincing them to get on a raft????!!!" WHAT???"" Im gonna get all wet!!!"" You want me to lay on a raft in the middle of the North Atlantic?It will probably sink underneath me!!!!!"'There's no sides or anything to hold on to!!!!" (1. THE SEA WAS UNUSUALLY CALM. 2. THE MEN COULD BRING SOME LIGHT LINES AND TIE THEM TO THE RAFT AND HOLD THE LINES WHILE LINKING ELBOWS. THERE, WASN'T THAT SIMPLE.) Also how would you go about lowering such a contraption down the side of a ship in the first place?(LOWER EACH RAFT WITH HAND ROPES. THEN LOWER MEN BY ROPES TO EACH RAFT IN TURN. THERE, WASN'T THAT SIMPLE?
Criticism is easy, and art is difficult. You suggest more could have been saved HOW..... exactly?
 
May 3, 2005
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Just came across this subject.
Seems it has not been active for a while.
This question may have already come up and has been answered......
But.....
Would it have been possible to save all some 2200 persons and get them safely to New York ? (Passengers, Officers, Crew, etc.)
And how ?
 
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TimTurner

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Dec 11, 2012
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Not hitting the iceberg would be one way.

Part of the problem with "what ifs" is anything can be a what if. What if aliens came by and saved everyone? Or what if the Titanic had been sailing in tropical waters? What if she had more life boats?

You have to make some choices about what ifs you can ask, and what ifs you can't.
 
Dec 4, 2000
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A ship that never sails is 100% safe from the perils of the sea. Perhaps Lord Pirrie should have cancelled his 1907 dinner with J. Bruce Ismay. No dinner...no discussion...no Olympic Class...no Titanic...no reason for this forum.

-- David G. Brown.
 

TimTurner

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Dec 11, 2012
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One of the bigger issues with "what if" scenarios is that people on the Titanic had limits that we don't have today sitting at home on our computers.

These are some of the big limits:
1. They had two hours to think of, organize, and implements a plan.
2. They had 2000 people with different educations, experiences, languages and no PA system with which to communicate.
3. They had to act in the uncertainty of the moment. I can tell you as a fact that the Titanic sunk and most people died. Sitting on the deck of the Titanic, if you told me at 11:30pm that the ship was going to sink and the only way to save myself was to ram the ship into the iceberg I would have had you locked up.
 
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May 3, 2005
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One of the bigger issues with "what if" scenarios is that people on the Titanic had limits that we don't have today sitting at home on our computers.

These are some of the big limits:
1. They had two hours to think of, organize, and implements a plan.
2. They had 2000 people with different educations, experiences, languages and no PA system with which to communicate.
3. They had to act in the uncertainty of the moment. I can tell you as a fact that the Titanic sunk and most people died. Sitting on the deck of the Titanic, if you told me at 11:30pm that the ship was going to sink and the only way to save myself was to ram the ship into the iceberg I would have had you locked up.
1 and 2 - " The terrible 'if's' accumulate."
3 - If you told me at 11:30 pm that the ship was going to sink I would have had you locked up.
 
A

Aaron_2016

Guest
Reminds of the Twilight Zone episode 'No Time Like the Past.' The main character travels back in time to 1915 and tries to stop the Lusitania from sinking by telling the Captain what is about to happen.

Captain Turner - How do you know this?
Time traveller - If I told you you'd probably say I was a lunatic.
Captain Turner - I won't deny that.
Time traveller - I'm only asking you to alter course one degree. One single degree!
(Captain Turner finds a steward and orders him to have the disturbed gentleman escorted back to his room.)

.
 

TimTurner

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See, I'm speaking from personal experience. That guy popped up, told me what was about to happen, and wham, I locked him in his quarters.

I've regretted it ever since. How was I supposed to know he wasn't trying to steer me into a torpedo, and not away from it? These time travelers are really unreliable.
 
Dec 4, 2000
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The question is wrong because the answer cannot be changed. It's already fact that the ship sank with great loss of life.

The right question is, "How do we prevent such loss of life in the future?"

-- David G. Brown
 
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R.M.S TITANIC

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Mar 7, 2016
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Has anyone responded to me or not? If not, then why did people not grab anything that floats and float on it once the ship sank?
 

Rob Lawes

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I'm sure some survivors did just that however the key to survival was staying dry. The water was just too cold to permit anyone to last long.

Believe it or not, a significant number of passengers would have died just entering the water. Their hearts would have experienced something similar to an electric shock.
 

Harland Duzen

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Some poor people were even killed by their lifejackets as the cork pushed up on their necks damaging them upon hitting the water.
 

Rob Lawes

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I considered liking your post Martin but didn't think that would be appropriate.

Suffice to say, as one who has had to attend a number of basic and intermediate sea survival courses, the hazards of entering the water are numerous and, without instruction on how to safely do so, it is often fatal. Even modern lifejackets can rise up on impact with the water and break the wearers neck.

In the navy we were always taught that the best lifeboat you have is the ship you are stood on and every effort possible should be made to ensure it remains afloat.

Amazingly in the Royal Navy, real efforts to work on sea survival and damage control weren't made until after the second world war.
 
I considered liking your post Martin but didn't think that would be appropriate.

Suffice to say, as one who has had to attend a number of basic and intermediate sea survival courses, the hazards of entering the water are numerous and, without instruction on how to safely do so, it is often fatal. Even modern lifejackets can rise up on impact with the water and break the wearers neck.

In the navy we were always taught that the best lifeboat you have is the ship you are stood on and every effort possible should be made to ensure it remains afloat.

Amazingly in the Royal Navy, real efforts to work on sea survival and damage control weren't made until after the second world war.
That is strange, considering that one a battleship sinks, it usually takes all the hands with it, taking into account the huge amount of fuel and ammunition that is stored in there...
 

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