How Far Did the Titanic Drift?


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Aaron_2016

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Does anyone know how far the Titanic could have drifted after stopping engines? According to the book - Beyond Reach: The Search for the Titanic - 'The Titanic drifted for 2.5 hours before sinking and could have covered a distance of 0 to 4 miles.' In the same book they show the Californian could have drifted about 3 miles SSE during the night. Taking into account the currents involved, the general movement of the ocean as a whole, and the direction of the ship as she began to sink, could she have covered a considerable distance before she finally sank? Taking into account any forward momentum or reversal of the engines could the Titanic have moved several miles over the seabed between the position she struck the iceberg and where she finally went down around 2.25am? The iceberg and the ice field and all stationary ships would have presumably moved as one over the seabed. Is it possible that Titanic's distress position was actually correct and was not on the western side of the ice field when it was first sent, but when the other ships got there in the morning they found the ice field had drifted over that area which created the impression that her distress position was incorrect?


e.g.

sosposition01a.png


3 hours later

sosposition2.png


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Aaron_2016

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Aaron, on what evidence are these specific claims based?

Page 78 of the Hoffman / Grimm book (published in 1982) simply states - 'The best possible oceanographic search team had been assembled, and its conclusions as to the location of the great ship were almost surely the most accurate ever formulated.' and provides the following:



map_Titanicbook.png



Also a map was provided showing the possible movements of each ship. (click to enlarge).


map_Titanic.png



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Mark Baber

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Dec 29, 2000
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Keep in mind that Jack Grimm's book deals with his unsuccessful effort to find the wreck. That may have some relevance in deciding how much weight to put on his conclusions about why the wreck was not where he was looking for it.
 
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Aaron_2016

Guest
Keep in mind that Jack Grimm's book deals with his unsuccessful effort to find the wreck. That may have some relevance in deciding how much weight to put on his conclusions about why the wreck was not where he was looking for it.

I believe the wreck was located just outside the radius that Grimm was searching in. They thought the Titanic would not have drifted outside the circle, but that is where she was found. As the sea was like a millpond could the enormous ice field have in any way excelled the forces of the surface and made everything drift in unison? If the currents or forces that pushed the surface had pushed the Titanic further away, could there be a separate current or barrier that stopped the Californian from doing the same? This could explain why the lifeboats tried to row towards her but never seemed to get any closer, and why the Californian crew believed she was steaming away.


Radius that Grimm searched. The blue dot is where I understand the Titanic was found. They came very close to finding her.


map_Titanic3.png



A projection of the Titanic steaming to New York, striking the iceberg, turning northwards with the helm hard over, going slow ahead, stopping, and drifting in unison with the surface of the water to the position where she sank around 2.25am.


map_Titanic4.png



.....and if the current was running more southerly and the Titanic had reversed engines before stopping, she might have drifted back like this.


map_Titanic4a.png



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Aaron_2016

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Dr. Ballard was told that the current was moving from north to south and he could not find the Titanic inside the area where he thought she would be. He came to the conclusion that the calculations on their maps and computers were wrong, so instead of looking west he decided to look further east and instead of looking for the actual ship he instead looked for the lighter debris and wreckage which he believed would leave a trail of breadcrumbs on the sea floor and guide his team towards the Titanic's true position.

You can see his frustration in finding the ship in this video.


Skip to 18.00



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Mila

Guest
Thank you.
This is interesting that "Dr. Ballard was told that the current was moving from north to south". Do you know if he mentioned the same thing about this and about looking to the east somewhere in his writings also?
Thanks.
 
Dec 23, 2017
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Not to mention that Arthur Puchene dropped his wallet when falling in boat 6 and it was found near the stern. While it cannot be proven that thats where he dropped his wallet, he thought he brought it whith him and considering that he had a inboard cabin near the grand staircase, i doubt it would have magically floated out of the ship and drift a half a mile to the stern so more than likely the Titanic outside of here initial drift in that first hour moved much beyond that time frame
 
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Mila

Guest
Hi Sam,

Why in the other thread you said she was swinging "somewhat erratically". What evidence do you have to conclude she was swinging "erratically" if I may ask please?
Also might have the fact she was swinging increase her drifting speed?
 
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Mar 22, 2003
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Light winds are usually variable in direction and intensity. I believe the explanation for seeing a steamer changing bearings to the SW while firing rockets was do to vessel swinging in a counter-clockwise direction for a short period of time without being noticed. The only evidence I can point to are the relative bearings stated by Gibson in his Apr 18th report to Lord where he says he saw a rocket at 3:20 bearing 2 port before the port beam then the second one bearing on the beam and the third one seen 2 points before the beam again. Stone only said the two he saw after being told by Gibson about them were a little distance apart. He didn't quantify what 'little' meant.
 
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Aaron_2016

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Is it possible that the Carpathia was affected by the Gulf Stream and was being pushed at a different speed than the Californian which was further north? The Carpathia was also changing her course and navigating around half a dozen icebergs. With a current behind her and travelling at full speed would the position of her rockets spread across the horizon and create the impression she was moving left and right as she zig-zagged towards the Titanic's distress position?


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Mar 22, 2003
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First of all, I amended my diagram above, having mislabeled which of the three rockets were seen where. See the amended diagram in post #17 above.
Here is what Gibson said:
"At about 3.20 looking over the weather cloth, I observed a rocket about two points before the beam (Port), which I reported to the Second Officer. About three minutes later I saw another rocket right abeam which was followed later by another one about two points before the beam."
If the distance between Carpathia and Californian was say 20 miles at this time, then Carpathia would have to run about 8 miles to the right in 3 minutes to fire the 2nd rocket, then run back to where she was to fire that third rocket for all this to be seen. No, what was observed, if accurate, can only be explained by some erratic swinging of Californian.
 
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Mila

Guest
Mila,
If you do the geometery of the situation you will easily see that Carpathia could not possibly be in two different locations just a few minutes apart.
View attachment 40377
Sam, Sorry, it it not what I meant. I was asking if the Carpathia could have fired these rockets from different sides (one from port and another from the starboard) and maybe under different angles. Would this do it?
 

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