Hypothermia Probably not cause of most deaths


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Higher tolerance, often as not, means that somebody is more adept at compensation for an impaired central nervous system.

That's what I'm saying, basically.

The base physiological reactions don't go away and are much the same for everybody.

True. I never said the alcohol helped Joughlin in his reaction to cold water but it might of made him less panicky or prone to panic. But it really depends on the person.
 
>To me Jim gets the ultimate Titanic Scholar award for his deep freeze plunge.

My sidekick, Sacheen Littlefeather, has been directed to decline it on my behalf.

>Could explain a few things about him

No. My psyche was developed long before 2002. It explains nothing, but DOES illustrate the lengths one must go to when researching. I found myself questioning some of the extremely focused, detailed, stories later told by people who had been struggling almost shoulder deep in ice water in the dark.

I could not get access to ice water, but when the water temperature in my pool got close enough, measured by a darkroom liquid thermometer, in I went, to get a SLIGHT idea of what it might have been like.

The experiment was flawed because:

~I was lowered in, as opposed to dumped.
~The water was 4 feet deep. I could stand in it.
~My head was never under water.
~I knew that I could get out as quickly as I wanted, and had people standing by if I couldn't.
~The temp, 37F, was closer to 40 than 30. So, as bad as it was, it wasn't quite as bad as what the Titanic survivors and victims experienced.

But, what I CAN say is that I could not force myself to submerge my head, and I very quickly focused on getting the hell out of the water.

From that, my assumption is that the Titanic passengers who did not reflexively inhale water upon impact with it were probably soon in something akin to a blind panic induced by the painfully cold conditions. And if they could somehow see boats A and B, that was probably ALL they could see as what remained of their concentration focused in on reaching safety.
 
Years ago, under controlled circumstances, I immersed myself in 37F water (at night) for the very purpose of better understanding what those who sank with the ship experienced.

Your insane, Jim!
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I just put my hand in a bucket of Ice. Well there was the Mississippi river in winter of 89 when I put my leg into the frigid water but I was 11 or 12 then and didn't know no better.

Can see what your saying about the only thing being on the passengers minds was to get out of the water as soon as possible.
 
>>So how do we top that Michael and George and anyone else?<<

I'll leave that to your good offices and watch from the sidelines. This old sailor got to be and old sailor by not taking any active part in such experiments. I'm content to leave that kind of courage to others. Thanks anyway.
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>>Your insane, Jim!<<

Maybe, but from the standpoint of a scientific approach to history, he's also on the right track.

Think about it a bit. It's easy to get wrapped up in a story and try to explain how it could have happened while operating on the assumption that it did happen, at least on some level.

Only did it? Could it have?

The question one needs to ask is whether or not a story like Joughin's could even possibly be real. Given the way hypothermia happens and how alcohol effects it's progression in the real world, I would have to say "Not damned likely."
 
>>You're insane, Jim!<<

>Maybe, but from the standpoint of a scientific approach to history, he's also on the right track.

Among my other "experiments" are jumping from a plane to get the POV of the six passengers who were ejected alive from the Turkish Airways plane after the cargo door blew ~eerie, because although you feel yourself plummetting, the earth never seems to get any closer. Likewise, a 90 foot bungee gave me perspective on how much time the Triangle Fire jumpers had to think from the time they stepped from the 9th floor ledge until they hit the sidewalk~ again, eerie, because it isn't as fast as one would suppose. Managed to place myself on an ocean liner, in a storm, on the exact day and exact site of the Morro Castle fire so in my mind's eye I can SEE exactly what those trapped aboard the ship could see as they looked towards shore. I slept amongst the homeless on the floor of Grand Central Station's concourse; got the back of my hand prison tattooed and most horrific of all, sat through several dozen big budget Broadway musicals in preview. The point is, if you are going to be a writer/researcher you are best off doing stuff like that if only for the added insight it gives. Plus tattoo scars on the back of your hand are a great conversation piece as you age. "Oh...THAT!...."
 
I was able to fire a Webley Mk IV revolver for an afternoon a few years back. I'm not much of a gunsmith, but know several and other area ethusiasts.
I was testing a friend's knowledge of guns and mentioned the above thinking it's unlikely such would be around. They are, but more likely part of private collections. Anyway, off to the shooting range we went. Having fired a few other more common hand guns and finding them hard to use in past shooting range outings. The Webley was really hard to use. It had a huge kick, had a lot of force, but I found it very hard to use. I'm not a big fan of all the gun talk on Titanic, but as something I thought I should try out to connect me closer to something such as that seemed like an interesting idea. I certainly can say that even the gunsmith had a tough time aiming the weapon. It was interesting to hold something used in some manner on Titanic, but I hope it was pointed mostly up. I've stuck my hand in some ice water and in a car accident suffered frostbite and the early stages of hypothermia. So I completely see the benefit of testing something from the past. I'd rather do it in a controlled setting such as my Webley shooting range project, but as other things come at you, making a connection or an understanding to the past is very revealing. I agree with Jim. But (not to be parental) be careful out there!
 
>>The Webley was really hard to use. It had a huge kick, had a lot of force, but I found it very hard to use.<<

That doesn't surprise me. The Webley was one of a generation of firearms which were designed to be "manstoppers" and these tended to be very powerful weapons. The idea was to be able to stop even a drugged out lunatic dead in his tracks. It was quite a concern for the military since facing drugged out lunatics in combat was an ongoing problem in Africa and parts of the Pacific. If you don't have a lot of experience with firearms, you'll find any such...from the Webley to the .45 ACP quite a handful.

>>I'm not a big fan of all the gun talk on Titanic...<<

The officers on the Titanic may not have been too happy about it either, but in a crisis situation where you are really on your own, they knew they might have to use them.
 
It didn't really surprise me, being an older weapon and reading up on the history of the gun. But it was another case of getting a chance to relive history of sorts as we talked about earlier. I'm not against the officer's use of guns on the Titanic. The conversation that is the hardest for me to endure is all the theories about if someone got shot or shot themselves. After personally firing an Webley of the era, they are very tough to control, unless you practiced a lot.
 
>>I'm not against the officer's use of guns on the Titanic.<<

Nor am I though it's really a moot point. If I had been there at the time, I wouldn't have been entitled to a vote.

>>After personally firing an Webley of the era, they are very tough to control, unless you practiced a lot.<<

I have. Practiced a lot that is, and not with the military either. I've spent quite a bit of time on civilian ranges where you can rent a gun. The biggest stick I've ever fired was a 457 Casull. A big beast of handgun which has something like twice the knockdown power of a 44 magnum. (The bloke who owned it used it to hunt cape buffalo!) It's really not that bad if you know what you're doing and you're using a weapon that has some weight to it. Still, it's not a weapon for the inexperienced or the faint hearted.
 
Agreed, I was ready for a big kick when I fired the gun, but it was stronger than I thought. What about the Master at Arms, one survived and one did not. Would they have had the same Webleys? If or if not, they may have had better training with the weapon.
 

Jim Currie

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On the subject of hypothermia:
All those aspiring to work or travel offshore on helicopters in the UK North sea oil fields are required to take a course in sea survival. This includes simulated escape from an overturned, submerged helicopter. It also includes some other pretty horrific 'water sports'. Under the age of sixty you need a refresher every five years (I think) Over that age it is more frequent - I know that for sure!
In the early days, these 'fun' games were performed in deep tanks with salt water at temperatures just on 40F. Believe me, even although we had to wear light, rubber survival suites, the initial shock was horrendous.
Part of the course included human physiology and an in-depth study of the effects of hypothermia. They showed a film of the fatal Fastnet race when many sailors died because of hypothermia - some of them several hours after rescue. However -r regardless - alcohol was a most definite no-no! Made you think.
The Royal Marines Arctic Warfare group also have a 'fun' thing where you get to jump into a hole cut in the ice of a FW lake.

There are few of them left now but if you can find one; ask a survivor from the Murmansk Convoys what it's like to be in the sea in winter.

As for the Titanic baker - it might just have been possible. several others were immersed for quite a time that night.
I have often wondered - what was the temp of the water - say 2 feet below the surface? The top layer might have been brackish and colder than the water below. SW freezes at about 28F. Just an idea. I say this because as a kid, I often had a swim in the sea off the west coast of Scotland at new Year time - yes, I was sober - honest. In fact, the sea felt much warmer than the air.

As for guns: A long time ago, I was in a very small ship's cabin with about 15 other guys drinking looted gin from a Quality Street tin when one of these big Webley handguns was accidentally discharged. Yes, it was loaded and no, there were no constipated people within 20 feet of the place.
Such weapons were standard issue to British Army officers in WW1 (lanyard etc)- possibly the next WW as well.
By the end of WW2, only the captain had one and that was usually kept in the ship's safe.
 
>>What about the Master at Arms, one survived and one did not. Would they have had the same Webleys? If or if not, they may have had better training with the weapon.<<

Don't know although in that day and age, just about everybody had some familiarty with firearms. Hell, some of the passengers had weapons and nobody considered it a big deal. On the question of custody, I think it was pointed out in a different thread that it was the Chief Officer who had custody of the weapons.

>>Yes, it was loaded and no, there were no constipated people within 20 feet of the place.<<

I'll just bet!
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Thanks Michael,

I was going to bring that up, the commonality of weapons among people of that period. I would imagine the steam blow off or the rocket explosions may have contributed to regularity as well.
 
>>I would imagine the steam blow off or the rocket explosions may have contributed to regularity as well.<<

That or temporary hearing loss. Or maybe not so temporary...

As to the commonality of personal weapons in that era, I think it was pretty much regarded as not a big deal. For all that there's a lot from that time which would be familier to us today, it was still a day and age with some very different attitudes.
 
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