On A Sea Of Glass Real Time Sinking Animation

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James Murdoch

Member
Came across this yesterday from Titanic Animations, still a work in progress but wow.

 
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ScottyBK

Member
These aninmations or whatever you call them are truly spectacular. My understanding of the sinking is so much better now vs. just reading about it.

I was thinking about how the very knowledable nautical experts here have often argued how little Lord/Californian could've done even if he'd started towards Titanic shortly after the first rockets went up. The video shows clearly the nigthmare Lord would've faced: icebergs, Titanic's unlighted lifeboats scattered about in the darkness, a huge ship many times his size almost ready to founder, etc.

It's pretty clear about all Lord could've done is throw some nets over the side of his ship, open some lower gangway doors, and maybe lower his own lifeboats unmanned for people to try to climb into. No way could he really send his own lifeboats manned with crews into this diaster, they surely would've been swamped and sacrificed his own crew. It would've been an absolute suicide mission to row a manned lifeboat into that disaster at say 2:15 am.

And once Titanic sunk, he'd no doubt run over and kill a lot of "swimmers" just trying to get closer to the melee of folks in the water, most of whom would have lost all strength or alrady have been dead within 5 to 15 minutes. Plus trying to manuever around Titanic's own lifeboats in the pitch black dark.

I think the number of people he would've saved and brought aboard the Californian would've been extremely negligble. And had he accidently smashed into a few of Titanic's lifeboats in the process, the net loss of life may have been even greater.

No way would he have risked getting close to Titanic so as to let people jump across, as he would've had no idea how the foundering would unfold and could've fatally damaged his own ship. Lord's only chance to make a real difference would've involved absolutely suicidal risks that no sane person would ever attempt, much less an experienced Captain. For me these videos close the case on the pipedream that Californian arriving before the sinking would've made more than the slightest difference at all.

Time was Titanic's worst enemy. By the time Andrews informed Smith she was doomed, there was scarcely 2 hours left. That is literally no time at all given the unprecedented logistical nightmare they were facing. That they even saved as many people as they did is a real testament to the crew.
 
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James Murdoch

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And indeed, Captain Rostron of the Carpathia was actually a tad negligent steaming at full speed through the Ice field at night. He actually remarked words to the effect of "It was as if God's hand was on the wheel, guiding me" when he saw all the ice surrounding him in the morning. Events could have went remarkably t~~~ up if he struck a berg. I believe he also shot up rockets as Carpathia approached, which may have had an adverse effect on other steamers that were looking for Titanic survivors.

Yet he didn't hit an iceberg nor did he do any damage with the rockets, and no one would dare vilify the man for what were considered heroic actions that evening. While they certainly were heroic, he also put his quite full complement of passengers and crew in danger.
 
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ScottyBK

Member
Agree re: Rostron taking big chances, and luck ended up being on his side that night.

My biggest takeaway from the animation is how darned quickly things on Titanic unfolded. To see it in "real time" vs. just reading about it has given me a whole new perspective on the entire sinking.

For years I've read on the Internet from the "armchair quarterbacks" about how "they" (meaning the crew and/or passengers) should have built rafts from doors/furniture, tried to plug the leaks somehow, etc. The video shows the futility and foolishness of those arguments. To come up with a plan to say build rafts from doors, find tools to start taking the ship's fittings apart, engineer the design, locate skilled people etc. was impossible. There just wasn't enough time to do anything but get whoever would go into the lifeboats and lower away. The ship basically sank in almost no time at all.
 
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Arun Vajpey

Arun Vajpey

Member
And indeed, Captain Rostron of the Carpathia was actually a tad negligent steaming at full speed through the Ice field at night.
As I have said before, Captain Rostron's actions have to be judged against the circumstances that prevailed. Unlike Captain Smith a few hours before, Rostron was on a rescue mission that was in response to sketchy wireless distress calls at best. Unlike a contemporary rescue mission with modern communication facilities, Rostron had no idea how bad the damage was, how rapidly the Titanic was sinking, if any other ships were also coming to help etc; more importantly, he did not know that arriving an hour or more later would not cost any additional lives. (We know that with hindsight and so it would be unfair to use it as a yardstick to judge his actions). Under such circumstances, a Captain deciding to go to the rescue has to do it under all possible haste; otherwise, it makes no sense.

Also to be considered is that "full speed" for the Carpathia was about 14 knots, significantly slower that the Titanic. That, combined with the former's smaller size and displacement and hence greater maneuverability reduced the risk factor to some extent. But at the end of the day, any rescue mission is to be considered under the "out of the ordinary" category and so is not without some inherent risk involved.

Rostron taking big chances, and luck ended up being on his side that night.
I do not doubt that there was some luck involved, but in Rostron's case the old adage about making one's own luck can be applied. After deciding to go to the rescue, he put the whole crew on alert, posted additional lookouts and himself stood on watch on the bridge. There have been comments that he did not consult his passengers, but you have to ask how exactly he could have done that. Waste time by calling a select few to a conference before issuing the order? Or make a general announcement and hope for a favourable response? Would he then have changed his mind if the passengers voted not in favour? Neither Rostron or we have any idea how the passengers would have reacted; he realized that and decided that the best option was to make the decision himself and proceed forthwith. He did just that and pulled it off.
 
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James Murdoch

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I understand what you are saying Arun, but isn't a commanders number one obligation to the safety of his own ship and crew? He actually got the ship up to an average of 17 knots for the journey, and missed no fewer than six icebergs on his journey to the Titanic. Its not unreasonable to assume Rostron was praying the entire night-he was a religious man- and later remarked "I can only conclude another hand than mine was on the helm".

As day broke he (or one of his officers) counted 25 icebergs over 200 feet in height surrounding the Wreck coordinates.

I think he was a courageous, steadfast and amazingly resolute Captain that evening, I am just making the point that his rescue attempt could have went wrong, very quickly. Thank God it didn't.

Regards,

James
 
Arun Vajpey

Arun Vajpey

Member
He actually got the ship up to an average of 17 knots for the journey, and missed no fewer than six icebergs on his journey to the Titanic
The fact that he missed 6 icebergs is testament to the fact that he and his crew were on full alert. As I said, in those days another ship coming to the rescue was the only hope for a sinking vessel and more often than not that other ship had passengers on board. It is not as though there were well organized rescue outfits in place who coud have assured Rostron "leave it to us".

What did you expect Rostron to do? If he had done nothing after receiving a clear distress signal on wireless (which even the much vilified Stanley Lord had not), how do you think he would have been seen in posterity? Rostron could have - and IMO would have - joined Lord in being pilloried for life.

And please don't give me any baloney about "he coud have proceeded with more care" etc. Rostron did proceed on that rescue mission with all the precautions that he could have taken and the fact that he successfully pulled it off is proof of that. Luck might have played a part with one iceberg, perhaps tow but certainly not 6. If you want to do a job, do it properly or not at all.
 
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James Murdoch

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I am not familiar with maritime regulations Arun, but surely under whatever the precursor to SOLAS was if you have command of your own ship your own responsibility is to the passengers and crew of it, firstly.

I think the fact Carpathia counted 25 icebergs over 200ft in height in the morning illistrate how dangerous the rescue attempts was.

Can you clarify: if you received transmission of SOS in 1912 what was the the SOP: to make for the transmitting ship at all costs or to evaluate the risk surrounding conditions would potentially place your own ship in before proceeding, first?

Cheers,

James
 
Arun Vajpey

Arun Vajpey

Member
Can you clarify: if you received transmission of SOS in 1912 what was the the SOP: to make for the transmitting ship at all costs or to evaluate the risk surrounding conditions would potentially place your own ship in before proceeding, first?
I confess I don't know for certain but IMO it was the Captain's decision. IMO, Rostron did evaluate the inherent risks, considered his options and decided to proceed. In doing so, he took the best possible precautions that he could have done under the circumstances.

His actions were in some ways similar to what Murdoch did after the precise moment he saw and identified the berg. His assessment lasted 15 seconds and in that timeframe he assessed the situation the best he could and decided on his actions. He knew there would be risks and perhaps even that an impact could not be avoided but it might have mitigated damage. In the end it might not have worked out for him but I don't believe anyone else could have done any better.
 
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Seumas

Seumas

Member
I understand what you are saying Arun, but isn't a commanders number one obligation to the safety of his own ship and crew? He actually got the ship up to an average of 17 knots for the journey, and missed no fewer than six icebergs on his journey to the Titanic. Its not unreasonable to assume Rostron was praying the entire night-he was a religious man- and later remarked "I can only conclude another hand than mine was on the helm".

As day broke he (or one of his officers) counted 25 icebergs over 200 feet in height surrounding the Wreck coordinates.

I think he was a courageous, steadfast and amazingly resolute Captain that evening, I am just making the point that his rescue attempt could have went wrong, very quickly. Thank God it didn't.

Regards,

James
Ah, that's an old one you find in a lot of books (even some of the really good ones) but it's just not true.

Carpathia was not capable of ever achieving seventeen knots. They managed fourteen, maybe at a push fourteen and a half.

They were also not fifty eight miles away from the Titanic like they thought they were. They were probably about forty seven miles away when they got the distress message.

Dave Gittins (a fantastic Titanic historian) explains all here:
 
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James Murdoch

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Yes Seamus, I had read it came from Rostron using the original CQD coordinates and working the average from that. So was presumed to have covered 58 miles, when in fact it was nearer 47, as you say. Thank you for the link, I will read over it when I get the chance.
 
Mike Spooner

Mike Spooner

Member
Captain Rostron safest route was not bother come to the rescue, as in his case there is always a risk. Quite frankly what he achieves as a true skilled captain he should be credit for and the rescue of 700 plus, not pick holes in his performance.
 
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auratkachakkar

Member
OK animation but I was a bit unconvinced about the final plunge. IMO the lights failure is probably shown about 30 seconds too early and the break-up once again too soon afterwards. Then I felt that the stern section took too long to sink below the surface.
 
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Arun Vajpey

Arun Vajpey

Member
I was a bit unconvinced about the final plunge. IMO the lights failure is probably shown about 30 seconds too early and the break-up once again too soon afterwards. Then I felt that the stern section took too long to sink below the surface.
That's the impression that I got when I tried to collate known survivor accounts with the final events. I discussed this with one of the authors of OASOG but he felt that was how it most likely happened.

Another point that I was (and still am) unconvinced is the degree of righting of the port list in the final 2 minutes or so. I accept that the port list reduced by a couple of degrees just before the final plunge, but I find it had to believe that the ship came back on "an almost even keel".
 
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