How much time between spotting of iceberg and the collision

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RJ Emery

Dec 13, 2007
When the bridge crew reacted to the sighting of the iceberg, how much actual time elapsed before the ship struck the iceberg?

The engine room reacted to the Full Astern order by shutting off steam to the engines. This in turn signaled all the boiler rooms, by the flashing red light (and a ringing bell not depicted in the movie), to draw the boilers and that something was amiss. A change order from Full Ahead to Full Astern generally does mean imminent collision of some sort, but the crews in the Boiler Rooms would only have the red light as an indicator.

In Boiler Room #6, Lead Stoker Barrett shouts "Shut all the dampers," but the crew does not have time to complete that task before the hull is breached and water enters the room.

And so the timing is of some interest to me.

FWIW, the Boiler Room scenes shows at least one crewman trapped by the closing watertight doors, but in fact, all crewmen who could not get out in time could simply climb a sloping ladder to a catwalk or passageway to go forward or aft. In fact, IIRC from reading the Board of Inquiry transcripts, some crew and officers remained behind and other crew and officers tried to re-enter Boiler Room #6 to man the pumps before all had to abandoned.

Thereafter, Boiler Room #5 was soon breached, apparently by a collapsing bulkhead between #5 and #6.

[Moderator's Note: This message, originally a new thread in a different topic, has been moved to this pre-existing thread addressing the same subject. MAB]
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