Murdoch's position just before impact


Arun Vajpey

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Apr 21, 2009
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There is one point which I have wondered before but hesitated from posting for fear getting my head bitten off.

Murdoch was in the starboard wing of the bridge when he saw the berg, perhaps in reponse to Fleet's 3 bells. Is there any evidence as to how far on in the starboard wing Murdoch was when he sited the berg and whether he gave the hard-a-starboard order from that point or while moving towards the main bridge or after he had actually arrived at the centre of the bridge?
 

Jim Currie

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Apr 16, 2008
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NewtonMearns, Glasgow, Scotland.
An interesting question Arun,

No one on the ship would actually know what wing of the bridge Murdoch was on at the time the three bell warning was given by the lookouts. It could have been port or starboard. He might even have been within the enclosed bridge space but I think that would be highly unlikely.
Lightoller saw him on the starboard side after the impact.

The normal practice for a bridge officer was to pace up and down one wing of the bridge. Scanning the horizon from side to side as well as ahead. Every now and then he would stop and sweeping the horizon with his binoculars. People forget that although Murdoch would be watching for icebergs in particular, he would be looking out for other things. He would most certainly not go into the chartroom or any lit area for fear of losing his night vision.

Jim C.
 

Arun Vajpey

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Thanks. Assuming for a moment that Murdoch was well to one side on the starboard wing when Fleet struck 3 bells - and also assuming that the bow of the Titanic was more or less headed directly for the berg - the optical illuision to someone in Murdoch's position could have been that the berg was more to the ship's starboard side. If Murdoch gave his order immediately and instinctively, might that illuision have influenced his decision to turn the ship's bow to port? Or, as is more likely for an experienced senior officer, would Murdoch have moved to a more central position before making his decidion?
 

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