No Iceberg

If you think Pellegrino is potty and Gardiner is a goose, you ain't seen nothing yet! Here is part of an e-mail I received today.

The Titanic puzzle:
An ice pilot's theory on how the RMS Titanic sunk
Special to The Telegram
This article is under the Top Stories-Features section in the St. John's

The 'article' is a letter from the author of a new book. His 'theory' has been on the Internet for several years.

What is it about Titanic that sends normally sane people off with the fairies?
Hi Dave and all,
I read the link you posted. I think the gentleman is forgetting about the ice that fell off of the berg and made it into the forward well deck of Titanic. I cannot imagine these fragments coming from pack ice or growlers as these types of ice have no height to speak of. I saw other problems with his theory but I thought I would just point out this one for now. Kind regards, Steve Santini
I have corresponded with Captain Collins on-and-off for several years. He knows that I do not "buy" his theory about the damage.. I remain convinced of the iceberg. We have agreed to disagree.

However, I have found his knowledge of ice and most particularly of "seeing" conditions around ice to be most helpful. The man is experienced with the type of conditions faced by Titanic on the night of April 14. That's something that few of us on the board can claim. His experience alone gives him the right to a fair judgement of his work. I am looking forward to reading his book.

I must also remind everyone that getting published requires many things -- among them a "hook" that makes your book different and new. Captain Collins theory on how the ship was damaged is just such a "hook." Do not confuse the necessities of the publishing world for the message of the total work.

In the end, he may not convince us. But, let's read the book first.

--David G. Brown
Collins' article is quite interesting. I am doubtful of his conclusions, but am impressed with the author's credentials, so I will certainly be reading this book with an open mind. his initial article can still be viewed on-line:

http://ourworld.comp /DionCollins/

getting his book is more of a conundrum. it was originally supposed to be released last Xmas season, but some copyright issues delayed publication. the last I heard was that the book was going to be out for the 90th anniversary, but as far as I know it is still not available.

unfortunately, the publisher, Breakwater Books has a deplorable customer relations department. I last called them in February to inquire about how the book is coming along, and they never even bothered to return my call.

if anyone has confirmation that the book is actually available, I would love to hear about it.
best, Michael (TheManInBlack) T
So would I Mike. While I don't buy into the idea that there was no iceberg...let's face it...too many witnesses actually saw the bloody thing, Collin's insights on ice conditions and navigation should be most useful.

Michael H. Standart
My own thoughts concur with most of yours already expressed. I too have a hard time envisioning a "NO iceberg" scenario. (Steve's sensible counter about the ice on deck certainly rings true for me.) But beyond that, the pack ice notion doesn't seem very far removed at all from the "submerged base" OR grounding perspectives, as far as I can yet tell.

I definitely see this book as a potentially valuable addition to the literature, based on the man's own substantial level of experience in ice navigation, as David Brown aptly pointed out. That alone is an insight I don't want to miss out on.

The book is indeed now finally available -- just released on the 14th of April -- directly from Breakwater:

The Sinking of the Titanic: An Ice Pilot’s Perspective
Author: Captain L. Marmaduke Collins
Price: $18.95
Trade Paperback / 220 pages
Publisher: Breakwater Books Ltd.
Toll-free: 1-800-563-3333

(Naturally, that would be $18.95 Canadian.)

Dear Dave Brown,

The silly post got us thinking. And Captain Collins may have had a hook in his writing, but the only person who posted it here for the others to know about was Dave Gittins. You and Tennaro knew, but never gave us a heads up.

But one thing that also sells books is word of mouth. You may have a hook the size of Titanic's anchor, but word of mouth advertizing will sell more of anything, including books, than anything else I know of.

"I must also remind everyone that getting published requires many things -- among them a 'hook' that makes your book different and new. Captain Collins theory on how the ship was damaged is just such a 'hook'. Do not confuse the necessities of the publishing world for the message of the total work."

So, your ice shelf is just a way-out there in the outer universe type of publishing necessity to get me to purchase two of your last log books, but was merely done to sell the book?

Hmmmmm, ....and to think I respected you. hehehehe

Wait, does this mean that if I come to the Toledo thingy next year that I'm shark bait.....hmmmm.

Bought two of your book, may do the same with this one.


Tracy Smith

Well, I'm interested in what he has to say even if I ultimately end up not agreeing with his theories. It's always interesting to read new ideas.
Maureen -- While I knew Captain Collins was writing a book, I had not knowledge of when it would be published. The only "heads up" that I received came from this forum.

My posting was to remind everyone that ideas are sacred...right or wrong. I was rather badly mistreated last June when I presented the grounding White Paper that Parks and I produced. I shall not forget that event. One way in which I plan to "get even" is to remind everyone of the necessity to give ideas a fair and unfettered chance. Many of us will be surprised if Captain Collins proves correct, but he has the right to present his views and we have the duty to weigh them impartially.

Regarding journalistic "hooks"...the funny thing is that the grounding idea was not a major part of my book. It turned out that way, but only after publication. My "hook" was simply to look at the events through the eyes of a mariner instead of through the viewpoint of the passengers.

Nobody can be "shark bait" in Toledo. We have no sharks. Pity.

Two books--one for each eye?

-- David G. Brown
Maureen, we weren't holding out on you. as I mentioned, this book has been promised to "be available soon", only to be delayed more than once. I don't post a notice that a book is out until I know for a fact that it is indeed available for sale.
Michael Tennaro is a very special person here who helps us a lot to get notice on books and I also recognize that Dave Brown would honor a confidence of a book if he did know ahead of time. Release dates do get changed a lot. I am sorry, I was merely trying to point out that while the above post may come across as saying the book is not worthy of least it made us aware. And word of mouth is the best advertisement. Saying that you had not told us was unnecessary roughness and I am sorry.

Also, Dave, I really thought the white paper was a well written paper and posted my professional opinion as a person who does do a lot of writing. I have no way of knowing what happened in June as I am not privy to that part of the board. And mine was the only post and it was in July.

Reviews of anything are hard to do and hard to take. Research Feasibility Studies and Proposals are really hard to do and they take a different skill. But reviewing someone else's White Paper is not something that the average person knows how to deal with from a review process. But I do this a lot in my job.

So, when folks ask me to review their stuff, I am extremely brutal. In person edits or in writing like email, I present my comments in 4 sections: edits/corrections, content, flow/logic, and does it meet its intended goal or purpose...stuff like that normally. But I never, ever do it with malice. With people I like, love or even with people I do not like, I can read and stay objective. I have to. But anyone who is brutal in their critique is only trying to be the author's friend.

I own some of Pelligrino's books and some others that some criticize here, and yes, every idea or thought should be heard out. I believe that as well.

In regards to the two book comment. I did buy two of your books. One for my own library and one for someone else. I normally buy at least two books, one for my library and one for an unnamed person. The unnamed person books are then sent to people who for whatever reason could not obtain Titanic books.

For example, I purchased, received and boxed up from ABEBOOKs about 6 books to someone in Europe a while back and I have done it for others. I have purchased books from Gavin Murphy and David Haisman with 2 or 3 copies being sent out. And I bought your book for myself and another on this board. I do not do it for money or anything else. The people have never asked me to do it. I just did it. I am receiving 2 Bowditch in the near future.

Once while researching, I went somewhere and found some interesting information on another ship while I was looking for something else and simply sent photocopies of the data to two people I knew were interested in it. I even had a Franklin Mint Rose doll dinner dress that I sent to someone.

So, I will no doubt purchase two of the books and hopefully whoever gets the 2nd copy will appreciate it. Maybe they sell them on eBay. I hope that I never know that.

But I may have to buy more as the two eye thing sounds like it may work better for me. hehehehehe

I am just teasing about the ice shelf. I had no clue that it was sensitive for you and I am sorry.

Hi, all:

I'm not sure if this is the same article that Dave Gittins posted the original link to. I never could get to the story there -- one day only? But this one's certainly far more sedate than the online review from the "Ottawa Citizen", which I thought was pretty sensationalistic, almost histrionic! ;^) asp?id=4DF08971-8079 -418F-AEF3-52254499A C0F

I see the book is also listed as available at, but with 6 to 8 weeks delivery.

I sure would be interested in hearing from anyone who gets ahold of a copy.