On A Sea Of Glass Real Time Sinking Animation

Cam Houseman

Cam Houseman

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I think they were trying to convey the moment when some witnesses thought the stern would float. Because of this, 2:15-2:17am’s events might have played out faster than what we’re used to seeing.

In terms of the lights, I had always thought that the breakup (early stages (when the double bottom was pushed upwards)) is what caused the lights to go out. Do you think that the break followed a bit later after power failure? Lightoller described the lights going out during the sound described as a “rumbling roar.”
I think honestly she broke closer/at 2:18. Too much time for her to sit there vertical, and things when people are in a tragedy or an accident, seems to "slow down" but that's just my opinion.

I get the keel buckled upwards, Roy Mengot's research is amazing. But the survivors saw a clean break which not happen if she broke keel up and mushed the upper decks together, which was not visible when looking at the breakup on the bow in 1985. The double bottom keel pieces being bent "upwards" could very well be the exercising of the pieces before they separated.

anyhow, sorry to dump this on you haha
I have always been particularly interested in the last 5 minutes of the Titanic's life with survivor accounts from different perspectives. What I did a couple of years ago over a LONG weekend (that almost cost me my marriage! ;)) was to collate relevant information from various sources like Walter Lord's A Night To Remember, Titanic by Eaton & Haas, Don Lynch's Titanic: An Illustrated History, Paul Quinn's Titanic at 2 am, of course On A Sea of Glass, Sam Halpern's Centennial Reappraisal, relevant testimonies from Titanic Inquiry Project and so on and tried to make a small timeline of the final moments as I understood it. Based on that IMO (and that only):
  • Collapsible A floated free just after 02:16 am.
  • Lights failed sometime between 02:17 and 02:18 am, likely closer to the latter time.
  • The breakup occurred about a minute after the lights failed, ie almost 02:19 am. IMO the flooded bow section either broke away and started to sink immediately or remained attached to the stern at the keel for a few seconds only.
  • The stern section started rapidly flooding immediately, rolled to port and then rotated, rose and sank very similar to the way depicted in Cameron's 2012 modification. I believe that the last of the stern sank below the surface a few seconds after 02:20 am.
In other words, I think the stern lasted no more than a minute on the surface after the break-up.

exactly what I think, good post Arun! :)
 
Kyle Naber

Kyle Naber

Member
I think honestly she broke closer/at 2:18. Too much time for her to sit there vertical, and things when people are in a tragedy or an accident, seems to "slow down" but that's just my opinion.

I get the keel buckled upwards, Roy Mengot's research is amazing. But the survivors saw a clean break which not happen if she broke keel up and mushed the upper decks together, which was not visible when looking at the breakup on the bow in 1985. The double bottom keel pieces being bent "upwards" could very well be the exercising of the pieces before they separated.

I agree 100%. I think the stern did stay around for 2 or 3 minutes after the break (not the 10 minutes that some said). Time would have passed a bit slow for some in such a situation as you said.

I think the double bottom would have popped upwards immediately before the decks opened up top. I think that buckling is what caused the lights to fail and the stern would have settled right after.
 
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Nikki Farmer

Nikki Farmer

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I think honestly she broke closer/at 2:18. Too much time for her to sit there vertical, and things when people are in a tragedy or an accident, seems to "slow down" but that's just my opinion.

I get the keel buckled upwards, Roy Mengot's research is amazing. But the survivors saw a clean break which not happen if she broke keel up and mushed the upper decks together, which was not visible when looking at the breakup on the bow in 1985. The double bottom keel pieces being bent "upwards" could very well be the exercising of the pieces before they separated.

anyhow, sorry to dump this on you haha


exactly what I think, good post Arun! :)
I agree 100%. I think the stern did stay around for 2 or 3 minutes after the break (not the 10 minutes that some said). Time would have passed a bit slow for some in such a situation as you said.

I think the double bottom would have popped upwards immediately before the decks opened up top. I think that buckling is what caused the lights to fail and the stern would have settled right after.
Yea, and J.Kent did state in the livestream prior to the publishing of this first version that for next years version of the animation there will be further tweaks both to the ship model and what is depicted.

Specifically in the livestream at 1:32:00 he said they might move certain events a minute or two forward, or earlier.

Also revelations based on the final position of the lifeboat davit's worm gear and how they had to be adjusted to accompany the ship's list might add to the adjustments for next year.

2:32:50 in the livestream for the discussion on the lifeboat davits and the ship's lists.

Also gonna attach one of my favorite shots from the animation.
 

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Cam Houseman

Cam Houseman

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I think honestly she broke closer/at 2:18. Too much time for her to sit there vertical, and things when people are in a tragedy or an accident, seems to "slow down" but that's just my opinion.

I get the keel buckled upwards, Roy Mengot's research is amazing. But the survivors saw a clean break which not happen if she broke keel up and mushed the upper decks together, which was not visible when looking at the breakup on the bow in 1985. The double bottom keel pieces being bent "upwards" could very well be the exercising of the pieces before they separated.

anyhow, sorry to dump this on you haha


exactly what I think, good post Arun! :)
small typo, meant, "Which would not happen"
I agree 100%. I think the stern did stay around for 2 or 3 minutes after the break (not the 10 minutes that some said). Time would have passed a bit slow for some in such a situation as you said.

I think the double bottom would have popped upwards immediately before the decks opened up top. I think that buckling is what caused the lights to fail and the stern would have settled right after.
agreed with this, also 100%!
 
Arun Vajpey

Arun Vajpey

Member
But those estimations tell me that they each would have been at least one minute per stern configuration (roughly).

I think the stern did stay around for 2 or 3 minutes after the break
Hmmmm.....there are others who express doubts whether the stern was horizontal and then vertical in the literal sense in the first place. When the ship broke-up, the exposed deck spaces would have resulted in rapid and massive flooding. Since the stern had been dry and exposed till then, there would have been open portholes and other spaces through which air would have got displaced; I admit there might have been small pockets of trapped air here and there but I find it hard to believe that even collectively they would have provided significantly buoyancy for the stern section to remain afloat for long.

The stern section would have fallen back to an almost horizontal position immediately after the break but with rapid flooding rolled to port and then started to sink while at the same time rose and rotated counter-clockwise by probably 50 to 60 degrees as shown in Cameron's reconstruction.After that it sank steadily and disappeared - IMO the whole process from the break to the stern disappearing took somewhere between 60 and 90 seconds. But given the circumstances, that might have seemed considerably loner to onlookers from lifeboats because of the known phenomenon of time "slowing and spreading" in crisis times where several events take place in a short interval.
 
Kyle Naber

Kyle Naber

Member
The stern section would have fallen back to an almost horizontal position immediately after the break but with rapid flooding rolled to port and then started to sink while at the same time rose and rotated counter-clockwise by probably 50 to 60 degrees as shown in Cameron's reconstruction

I’m not too sure on the heavy port list anymore. Frank Prentice said that he felt the stern fall back level and then it rose up again some moment later (of course he doesn’t mention a break, but that’s what was happening). That’s when he decided to lay flat on the “Triple Screws” placard as it went near-vertical. He then dropped into the water, rose to the surface again, and watched the propellers slip under.
 
Arun Vajpey

Arun Vajpey

Member
Frank Prentice said that he felt the stern fall back level and then it rose up again some moment later (of course he doesn’t mention a break, but that’s what was happening).
With respect, some of the claims that Frank Prentice made, particularly in later life interviews were more than a little questionable.

This below is a copy and paste of information collated by Seumas from another thread.


Here is a run down of some of the peculiar things he said

  • Claimed that he was a pursers clerk instead of a mere storekeeper. The Particulars of Agreement say otherwise. Prentice said his friends on board were Michael Kieran and Cyril Ricks - both storekeepers.
  • At Cobh, he helped load aboard a large quantity of gold and silver bars aboard. This has been looked into many times by Titanic historians and nothing has ever turned up. In 2012 the Bank of England released it's archive material on the Titanic. There was nothing about any bullion.
  • Prentice claimed that he saw the first two lifeboats lowered incompetently which resulted in them spilling all their occupants into the sea to their deaths. This simply did not happen. Boats No 7 & No. 5 on the starboard side made it safely down and so did No. 6 and No. 8 on the port side.
  • That he was over four hours in the water. Nonsense. From reading the testimony of those aboard boat No. 4 who pulled Prentice from the sea, he was hauled in not long after the ship went down. He was probably only in the water about ten or fifteen minutes at most.
  • Here is the one I find really curious. Frank Prentice told two completely different stories about the death of his friend Cyril Ricks. In the first story he found Ricks lifeless in the water (they jumped from the poop deck) with a head wound that was bleeding heavily. In the second story, he claimed that after jumping he found Ricks conscious and talking in the water but that both of Ricks' legs had been broken in the fall, he couldn't move without pain and froze to death shortly after. One of these stories is true but which one ? I don't know. Why tell two different stories about how his friend met his end ? I find that quite strange.
 
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Seumas

Seumas

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With respect, some of the claims that Frank Prentice made, particularly in later life interviews were more than a little questionable.
He could spin a yarn alright. It's no wonder that by 1939 he was a car salesman !

Frank Prentice I'm sure was a decent chap (and he proved during WW1 that he had guts) but it's frustrating that he felt the need to jazz up and outright lie about his experiences aboard the Titanic.

I still find it pretty weird that he told two completely different stories about how his friend Cyril Ricks died. That's such an odd thing to do.
 
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Kyle Naber

Kyle Naber

Member
I wasn’t aware of his other claims. It’s possible that he was mistaken or (I hate to say it if it’s not true) mentally affected by the disaster.

There are countless “vertical” stern claims, though, that do outweigh the heavy port list at the end. Lightoller said that the stern was “absolutely perpendicular” before going under. Yes, we could talk about him not mentioning a break, but I think he was a little preoccupied with collapsible B.
 
Arun Vajpey

Arun Vajpey

Member
There are countless “vertical” stern claims, though, that do outweigh the heavy port list at the end.
The two are NOT mutually contradictory for one to outweigh the other. Please think about what I am saying below.

First of all, regarding the survivor accounts of the appearance of the stern section depended on several variables including the distance their lifeboat was from the scene, the angle from which they were looking at it and also personal perspective. By that I mean the mental picture formed and the way that is described later has significant amount of individual variation.

When the break-up occurred, the flooding of the stern was very likely more rapid on the port side for the same reason that the Titanic developed a port list during the latter part of the sinking even though the actual damage was on the starboard side. Even in the stern section there must have been larger open spaces and easier access for the inrush of the sea, and hence the roll to port makes sense.

Almost at the same time, the forward part of the stern section started to sink, resulting in rising again of the rear end with the rudder and props. That resulted in the aforementioned rotation and continued rise so that at some point, probably 35 to 40 seconds after the break-up, the stern was vertical. When that happened, IMO probably around 250 feet of the stern was sticking out vertically out of the water. That was less than a third of the length of the intact Titanic but for survivors looking at the spectacle from their lifeboats, it would have looked "enormous" (a common remark made by several, if you recall).

From the moment it reached that vertical position, the stern very likely sank down and disappeared within the next 30 seconds. But for those watching with fixed stares from lifeboats, those 30 seconds would have felt like a few minutes because of the aforementioned "time stretch" phenomenon that I alluded to earlier that is quite common under such circumstances. The proverbial "it felt like ages" feeling.
 
Kyle Naber

Kyle Naber

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The two are NOT mutually contradictory for one to outweigh the other. Please think about what I am saying below.

Sorry, I thought you were referencing the hypothesis that the stern went down with a heavy port list and never rose up again. I won’t dismiss the idea that some listing occurred after the break (it most likely was rocking and bobbing around when it settled).

But I’m not sure why there would have been a port list again after most listing was eliminated when the bridge went under. I do understand that the open break would have had irregularities, but wasn’t it reported that the fourth funnel had collapsed pointing towards the poop deck? I think the direction of the falling funnels gives us big hints in terms of list.
 
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Kyle Naber

Kyle Naber

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Here’s a quote from Alfred Oliver from Lifeboat 5:
Senator BURTON. Did she careen over, tip over sideways, or did she go ahead?
Mr. OLLIVER. She went ahead, like that [indicating].

John Buley from Lifeboat 10:
Senator FLETCHER. The afterpart kind of righted up horizontally?
Mr. BULEY. She uprighted herself for about five minutes, and then tipped over and disappeared.
Senator FLETCHER. Did it go on the side?
Mr. BULEY. No, sir; went down headforemost.

However there IS this quote from Frederick Scott from Lifeboat 4:
5676. It went up in the air and came back on a level keel? - Yes.
5677. Then did she go up again before she disappeared? - No.
5678. Simply sank? - She simply sank.
 
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Arun Vajpey

Arun Vajpey

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Lifeboat #5 was launched at 12:48 am, the second overall boat to be lowered and about an hour and a half before the final plunge. IMO it was probably too far away from the sinking ship by then. Therefore QM Olliver's testimony regarding the break-up etc should be considered with a chunk of sea salt.

Lifeboats #4 and #10 on the other hand, were launched almost together at 01:50 am, just over an hour after #5. They would have been closer to the sinking Titanic's final plunge but as you have pointed out yourself, Scott (#4) and Buley (#10) make rather contradictory statements. Buley was asked if the ship "righted up horizontally" which IMO is an odd phrase and Buley might not have grasped what Senator Fletcher meant. In fact, I am not sure what that means myself - how can something right up horizontally? Buley's response that the ship "uprighted herself" suggests that he could have been referring to the fact that the visible part of the ship - the stern - had risen to about 11 to 12 degrees before the break-up occurred and when it did, the stern section fell back to an almost horizontal position very briefly. I would ignore the 'five minutes' part for reasons mentioned before but afterwards the stern section did 'tip over' to the portside and sank from the front part ('headforemost'), briefly assuming a vertical position as it sank completely.

As for Scott in Lifeboat #4, his response to 5676 was very likely describing the fall-back of the risen stern after the break-up. As for his answer to 5677, one can only assume that from his position and viewing angle, the rotation-rise movement was not clearly visible in the dark.
 
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Cam Houseman

Cam Houseman

Member
Hmmmm.....there are others who express doubts whether the stern was horizontal and then vertical in the literal sense in the first place. When the ship broke-up, the exposed deck spaces would have resulted in rapid and massive flooding. Since the stern had been dry and exposed till then, there would have been open portholes and other spaces through which air would have got displaced; I admit there might have been small pockets of trapped air here and there but I find it hard to believe that even collectively they would have provided significantly buoyancy for the stern section to remain afloat for long.

The stern section would have fallen back to an almost horizontal position immediately after the break but with rapid flooding rolled to port and then started to sink while at the same time rose and rotated counter-clockwise by probably 50 to 60 degrees as shown in Cameron's reconstruction.
But doesn't a roll to port contradict Prentice's and Dillon's testimony, I heard? when you say >> rolled to port and then started to sink while at the same time rose and rotated counter-clockwise by probably 50 to 60 degrees as shown in Cameron's reconstruction.<< you agree the Stern pointed up at the sky?

There are some portholes that are broken but given the Stern's state (1986-2003 state) I wouldn't trust it to give us a count of how many are unbroken, unless the ones by the Rudder.
 
Arun Vajpey

Arun Vajpey

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when you say >> rolled to port and then started to sink while at the same time rose and rotated counter-clockwise by probably 50 to 60 degrees as shown in Cameron's reconstruction.<< you agree the Stern pointed up at the sky?

Yes. After the break-up, the stern section fell back to an almost horizontal position and then started to flood rapidly through the exposed deck spaces. IMO, this was more on the port side of the stern section because of the remnant of the 'Scotland Road' and other open areas (ie fewer intervening partitions). Since this flooding pattern occurred from the front (the area of the break) backwards and more on the port side, the early roll to port can thus be explained. This resulted in the flooded front part of the stern section stating to sink portside first (as depicted in Cameron's 2012 reconstruction) while the air displaced further back caused that part of the stern to become temporarily more buoyant and rise again. But the air was also getting compressed and coming out of open portholes and such spaces which would have contributed to that counter-clockwise rotary movement at the same time as the rear part of the stern rose higher. Again as shown in the reconstruction, the rising and rotating stern section would have assumed a near vertical position for a very short time before the continued flooding and air displacement caused it ti sink in that same vertical position as reported by most eyewitnesses.
 
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