My dads theory on how the sinking could have been delayed


Oliver K

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Jul 8, 2018
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Hello, my dad recently came up with a theory on how the sinking could have slowed down long enough for rescue, i'm skeptical of it myself but he believes it would have worked if it was possible.

The theory is that the sinking could have been delayed if the inflow of water was balanced by allowing it into the stern, he believes this would have slowed the sinking down and reduced the stresses on the ships structure, therefore preventing the break up, he says that by letting water into the stern compartment it would have equalised it, acting as a counterbalance.

Personally i don't believe it would have worked, the ship would have lost electrical sooner, as the dynamo and engine rooms would have been likely been flooded out sooner, and balancing the stern and bow would have been a big job, like changing the C.O.G of concorde on the fly but the forward ballast being uncontrollable.

What are your thoughts on this? would it have slowed down the sinking? or would it have been not possible
 
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Rose F.

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Feb 19, 2021
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I doubt it'd do much. Would she have stayed intact? Yes. However, the opening of the compartments wouldn't change the initial rate of water. It might be a bit slower towards the end because the portholes and the openings in the well deck would take a bit longer to go under, but the general rate of buoyancy lost would be the same regardless of compartment arrangement.
 
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Seumas

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Mar 25, 2019
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Hello, my dad recently came up with a theory on how the sinking could have slowed down long enough for rescue, i'm skeptical of it myself but he believes it would have worked if it was possible.

The theory is that the sinking could have been delayed if the inflow of water was balanced by allowing it into the stern, he believes this would have slowed the sinking down and reduced the stresses on the ships structure, therefore preventing the break up, he says that by letting water into the stern compartment it would have equalised it, acting as a counterbalance.

Personally i don't believe it would have worked, the ship would have lost electrical sooner, as the dynamo and engine rooms would have been likely been flooded out sooner, and balancing the stern and bow would have been a big job, like changing the C.O.G of concorde on the fly but the forward ballast being uncontrollable.

What are your thoughts on this? would it have slowed down the sinking? or would it have been not possible
That idea has been around for decades.

In the mid nineties some marine engineers and architects in the USA did an experiment to see if it would have worked.

They used a scale model of the ship, did the calculations and flooded the model at the appropriate rate to that which the ship suffered.

The result was that the model spectacularly capsized to starboard about fifty or sixty minutes before the ship sank in reality.

It was a no go.
 
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Jul 9, 2000
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>>Personally i don't believe it would have worked,<<

It wouldn't have. The original idea was that the watertight doors be opened to allow for more even flooding and this was actually tested using properly weighted and balanced engineers models. Admittedly this is not perfect but it worked well enough to show that the ship lost power, then lost stability, rolled over and sank something like an hour earlier than what actually happened in the real world.

The break up happening at best stole only a few minutes from them. By the time it happened, the final plunge was already well in progress. Once that express elevator was on the way down, there was no stopping it.
 
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Seumas

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Mar 25, 2019
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Here is the footage of the actual experiment that was done to determine if the "watertight doors open" scenario would have worked.

(This is from a truly terrible documentary called "Titanic: Secrets Revealed" made in the late nineties - the experiment is probably the only redeeming feature of it.)

Watch from 1:23:00 onwards for the footage of the experiment.

 
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James B

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May 3, 2021
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Hello, my dad recently came up with a theory on how the sinking could have slowed down long enough for rescue, i'm skeptical of it myself but he believes it would have worked if it was possible.

The theory is that the sinking could have been delayed if the inflow of water was balanced by allowing it into the stern, he believes this would have slowed the sinking down and reduced the stresses on the ships structure, therefore preventing the break up, he says that by letting water into the stern compartment it would have equalised it, acting as a counterbalance.

Personally i don't believe it would have worked, the ship would have lost electrical sooner, as the dynamo and engine rooms would have been likely been flooded out sooner, and balancing the stern and bow would have been a big job, like changing the C.O.G of concorde on the fly but the forward ballast being uncontrollable.

What are your thoughts on this? would it have slowed down the sinking? or would it have been not possible
There are 2 issues with the theory, the engine crew was working their ass off to cool down the boilers fearing it will explode so the closed watertight doors allowed alittle time to do it, second thing is that the ship would have listed and capsized faster.
 

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