If running forward increased rate of sinking: Would running in reverse diminish it.


BobPen

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This may be simplistic but if going forward created a high pressure area over the damaged section of hull wouldn't driving the vessel in reverse tend to cause a low pressure area.
Driving in reverse may have also tended to lift the bow.

Is there a simple answer or would this require tank testing?

I would have added this to the "engines in reverse" forum but I just struggled through 14 pages of that!
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Running his ship in reverse was exactly what Commander Lightoller did when the destroyer he was commanding took battle damage. A torpedo if I recall correctly. It apparantly made enough of a difference that he was able to get the ship to safe harbour.

The situation with the Titanic was very different however as with five or more compartments compromised, sinking was inevitable. Running backwards is not likely to have slowed down water ingress, but in the end, what they needed to do was to evacuate the ship. This is not something which can be safely done when the ship is moving.
 

BobPen

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My thinking was: Driving forward would be increasing the pressure on the tear in the hull by forcing the bow down. Using the power of the engines in reverse could alter the trim of the vessel, raise the bow and reduce the head pressure across the tear. The flat bottom hull of the Titanic would act as a huge lifting area while in reverse. While the propellers might be inefficient running in reverse and the centre propeller disabled the huge amount of power still available might drag the bow up enough to diminish the flow through the tear. In an ideal world if the trim became more level the water flow through the tear would cease or reverse. Additionally if the vessel is making way it could be reducing the distance it is from the Carpathia. If they could control the water flow until closer to help they could then stop the Titanic and ferry everyone by lifeboat to the rescue vessel. The fate of the Titanic would then be decided by whether it had enough fuel to continue in this state to an area where it could be beached.
 
Mar 12, 2011
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A few things to consider :
Titanic had thousands of tons of water inside her (4,000 in the first 10 minutes after the collision) that would be sloshing around and generally causing havoc no matter which direction she steamed.
Neither Titanic nor Carpathia were exactly where they thought they were, Titanic's reported position via wireless was around 14 miles away from the actual wreck site. It was luck that the actual wreck site, CQD position and Carpathia's starting position, all happened to be basically on the same course line, or Carpathia could very easily have steamed right on by without ever seeing the lifeboats. Two moving ships trying to find each other in the dark sounds like a recipe for confusion, which was already abundant that evening anyway.
Then consider that no matter how much they slowed the flooding, it was still going to occur. That means when/if Titanic and Carpathia manage to meet, they have that much less time to get people off in the boats and ferry them over. Keep in mind, with Titanic mostly stationary after the collision, and the best efforts of her engineering crew to delay the inevitable, they still didn't have time to lower her entire complement of lifeboats ONCE before she lost stability and went tail up.

It's nice to see new faces here, and I don't mean to scare you off. A lot of new members here show up with some idea or another for how Titanic might have been saved, if only X had been attempted, and so on. Its a popular discussion topic and an interesting thought exercise, but the sad fact is with the knowledge and equipment available at the time, nothing could have saved that ship. Nothing, besides hitting the iceberg, of course.
 

BobPen

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The reason people are obsessed with the Titanic sinking (myself included) is that they still can't believe it could happen.

I doubt there is much interest in the Costa Concordia sinking! I think that was a cut price lightweight construction (as in all things modern) and if it hit something it would sink. Same with modern cars, build to be disposable.

The Titanic was not from a "disposable" age.

In the last 40 years I have spent a lot of time at sea on Prawn trawlers. They make the Titanic seem like an island. But: When things go wrong you find a way fix them. I am sure there is more to it than a static sinking though. (I am not obsessed)

Some people are also overly keen to defend the Captains actions after the collision and say he did everything possible. However: Nobody can defend the captains actions leading to the collision and he would have known he was to personally to blame the instant it happened. He chose to take the risk. The Captains reputation is beyond saving.

Thanks for reading Bob Pendrey
 

BobPen

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Just a quick after thought.
If they had been nearer the Carpathia then lifeboats launched from the Carpathia could have been used as ferries for the survivors. That was apparently the plan when the number of lifeboats required was assessed. Use the life boats to transfer passengers. Titanic wouldn't have needed to launch their own if it was listing too heavily.
 
Mar 12, 2011
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Just a quick after thought.
If they had been nearer the Carpathia then lifeboats launched from the Carpathia could have been used as ferries for the survivors. That was apparently the plan when the number of lifeboats required was assessed. Use the life boats to transfer passengers. Titanic wouldn't have needed to launch their own if it was listing too heavily.

I hate to say it, but this is just wrong. You're forgetting the issue of time, again. Lets be very optimistic and say Carpathia and Titanic were able to meet in an hour and a half. That assumes that they managed to lay in a course line that allowed them to meet with no hassle or lost time, and that the stress on Titanic's structure from moving her while she was taking on several hundred tons of water per minute didn't tear her apart. Let's also assume that this effort had no net effect on Titanic's rate of sinking, meaning she would sink no faster or slower than she did remaining stationary. Those assumptions are very optimistic, and in my opinion highly unlikely, but lets run with it.

That means Titanic would have roughly an hour to live once Carpathia arrived. Titanic's crew was unable to launch all her boats, once, in almost two hours, and they were sending many of them off partially loaded. Carpathia's lifeboat capacity would be much smaller (she was about a quarter of Titanic's gross tonnage). So let's say, for a guess, that 500 people could be carried off with the assistance of Carpathia's boats. This is just my opinion, but I think Carpathia's boats would just about make up for the amount of boats that would go down with Titanic, due to lost time from sailing to meet Carpathia. Maybe a couple hundred extra survivors, which could have been accomplished anyway had they loaded Titanic's own boats more fully. That's what I would consider the BEST case scenario. How about the worst case?

It's possible that moving Titanic, with the flooding she was sustaining, would cause the water to move around in the damaged compartments, opening up damaged seams and plates to allow even more flooding, weakening bulkheads and allowing water into additional areas of the ship. She could easily steam herself to a quick death. Imagine how history would view her crew then! Even more possible, considering the errors made in calculating her distress position, is that Carpathia and Titanic completely miss each other, leaving her even worse off than before. Taking the risks that led to the disaster were bad enough. Taking such a massive risk AFTER the collision would have been criminal.
 

BobPen

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A few points:
Carpathia's Lifeboats were already out on their Davits when they arrived at the scene.
Carpathia And The Rescue It would have been quick the lower the empty lifeboats. Indecision on Titanic and the loading time delayed the deployment of their lifeboats.

Carpathia's 12 Lifeboats could have made several return trips.

The Carpathia would have been able to locate the Titanic much more easily than the Lifeboats. An additional 30 minutes wasted here.

Additionally:The Titanic Radio room may have still been operational.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>Carpathia's 12 Lifeboats could have made several return trips.<<

There would have to be a ship still afloat to make a return trip to. Don't forget, this was a day and age when small boats were propelled either by sail or what was sarcastically referred to as "Swedish Steam" (Muscle power in other words.)

Ship to ship transfers are difficult even for powered boats and to move everybody from one ship to another would require several hours which Titanic didn't have. In an article which Captain Erik Wood, Tracy Smith and I co-wrote over the whole Californian mess, transfer times were an issue we discussed. Click on: The Californian Incident, A Reality Check by Tracy Smith, Michael H. Standart & Captain Erik D. Wood :: Titanic Research

It ain't even close to being as easy as you think!
 
Jun 27, 2012
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NAVI MUMBAI
BobPen Sir i think it was not easy to shift the people from one ship to another that also with the help of life boats if Carpathia had arrived before the sinking of Titanic or in some time when She hit an ice berg. And as we Know that at that night the Temperature was below freezing point so it had not been so easy to save more people as earely as possible. And in some time when all the people came to the situation was out of control so it was not easy to shift people. and we know that the ship had a very less so the took the decision as earely as possible to save more people, But one thing if the had the life boats full then they would have saved more people.....!
Michael Sir i appreciate you.
Thank you.
 

BobPen

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Ship to ship transfers

>>Carpathia's 12 Lifeboats could have made several return trips.<<

There would have to be a ship still afloat to make a return trip to. Don't forget, this was a day and age when small boats were propelled either by sail or what was sarcastically referred to as "Swedish Steam" (Muscle power in other words.)

Ship to ship transfers are difficult even for powered boats and to move everybody from one ship to another would require several hours which Titanic didn't have. In an article which Captain Erik Wood, Tracy Smith and I co-wrote over the whole Californian mess, transfer times were an issue we discussed. Click on: The Californian Incident, A Reality Check by Tracy Smith, Michael H. Standart & Captain Erik D. Wood :: Titanic Research

It ain't even close to being as easy as you think!


Thanks for your insight on inter-ship transfers.
"Rafting" Trawlers is a common practice during calm weather in the Prawn (shrimp ) fishery in which I have been involved. Usually the boats meet stern to stern due to trawl boards and booms restricting access mid-way along either side. I have done many transfers ship to ship bow to stern.
My point still stands that if the Titanic was making way astern the rescue time would have been decreased. I had not even considered making way toward the Californian.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>"Rafting" Trawlers is a common practice during calm weather in the Prawn (shrimp ) fishery in which I have been involved. Usually the boats meet stern to stern due to trawl boards and booms restricting access mid-way along either side. I have done many transfers ship to ship bow to stern.<<

There are two crucial differences here, one being that the vessels were more or less of the same size and the other being that none of them were in a sinking condition. Either condition in isolation is a game changer.

>>My point still stands that if the Titanic was making way astern the rescue time would have been decreased. I had not even considered making way toward the Californian. <<

Don't count on it. Every minute underway was a minute not spent evacuating a rapidly sinking ship. Also, there would have to be the question of the Carpathia meeting the ship nearly dead bang on the money. Don't forget, the position report which was out there was not courtesy of GPS. It was good enough to get the Carpathia in the general area, but not good enough to place the ships alongside each other before the Titanic sank.
 

BobPen

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That is an interesting point.

It is also possible that in rain, hail, snow or mist they would have simply hit the ice head on with a totally different outcome.

Abandoning Titanic in 5+ metre seas would have been even more of a catastrophe.
 
Jun 27, 2012
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I think Sir if it had Horrible Night like Weather was bad or waves were very high or it was raining then the situation had been some what different. But it would had been very dangerous to see in that situation due to raining or snow fall because the visibility very low in this time, and if the had hit the ice berg in this situation they would have very less people.
Sir i think imagination is very easy but to handle that situation is very difficulty.

Thank you.
 

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