Open portholes/Pumps


Tim Aldrich

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I think the notion of portable pumps can be tossed overboard. A pump that could be moved by a few men would be next to useless given the amount of ship that was open to the sea. Thinking small pumps would make any significant difference would be the same as thinking a five alarm fire can be put out by spitting on it. One also needs to consider how a portable pump would be powered with the technology of Titanic's time.
 
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I think the notion of portable pumps can be tossed overboard. A pump that could be moved by a few men would be next to useless given the amount of ship that was open to the sea. Thinking small pumps would make any significant difference would be the same as thinking a five alarm fire can be put out by spitting on it. One also needs to consider how a portable pump would be powered with the technology of Titanic's time.
Agree. If they even had them which I've never read they did. At least of any size that might make a difference. I've read that there was an attempt to try and re-route some of the existing ballast and bilge pumps suction and or discharge lines but they knew that was hopeless also. Cheers
 
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MiDKnighT

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A good question but I don't think that could ever be known. By the time the sea got up to that level it was done deal anyway (actually before that). Maybe only a few minutes at best. Water was coming in from other places as well. The pumps were no match for the water coming in at the rate it was. I've only been on a few ships but never a liner or cruise ship so I don't know if they have anything like "condition zebra". You would have to ask Mr. Currie or one of the other mariners here that. I'm sure they would know. Cheers.
  • There's no doubt the ship was doomed but if closing all the portholes and doors could allow the ship to make it another hour that might have been long enough for Carpathia to rescue more passengers.

    Somebody really good at physics should be able to come up with an estimation. The variables would be:
  • How much water did the iceberg damage let in per minute?
  • How much water was being pushed out by the pumps per minute?
  • How much water would be needed to push the bow underwater?
  • How much water would be needed for the ship to sink?
  • How much additional water per minute would be let in by say... 46 open portholes (once the sinking reached that point).
 

MiDKnighT

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why in Gods name were the portholes open?
Passengers left them open. And when the ship sank down to porthole level it flooded the ship even faster.

I've also heard that the gangway door on D-deck was left open again accelerating the flooding.

It does seem like in all of the sinking animations and movies that the ship was sinking slowly but the last 30-60 minutes it went down much faster.

My question is if the portholes were closed and gangway doors closed could Titanic have lasted long enough for Carpathia to pick up more survivors.

Also if Titanic wasn't completely submerged by the time Carpathia got within 20 miles it might have seen Titanic and headed straight for her getting to her at 3:30am or so. Maybe within enough time to pick survivors out of the water at the latest.
 

Arun Vajpey

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I've also heard that the gangway door on D-deck was left open again accelerating the flooding
That is almost certainly a myth. Starting from Lifeboat #6 that was lowered at around 01:10 am, none of the later port lifeboats reported seeing an open gangway door. Even if Lightoller's claim to have ordered Boatswain Nichols to take 6 men and open a port-side gangway door was true, Nichols was an experienced enough seaman to realize that it was impractical to load passengers that way. Even if the D-deck gangway door is 'open' on the wreck, that is not proof that it was left open during the sinking.
 

Poobah_2020

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The portholes were open.

Edwin Kimball - "The ice came in our porthole.....the ice from the iceberg poured in our porthole."

Emma Bucknell - "I was awakened by the crash.....when I went out into the corridor between our cabins I found pieces of ice on the floor. They had been forced through a broken porthole when the iceberg was hit."

Anna Hogeboom - "We were awakened by a terrific crash on the side of the ship where our staterooms were. I called to my sister and niece to find out what it was. In going out to the corridor we found many ice crystals, which had come in through the portholes."

Alice Leader - "Someone in the stateroom next to ours called out that we had struck an iceberg and pointed to bits of ice which had fallen on the ledge outside the porthole."

Kornelia Andrews - ".....The crash came and we were all in bed. I rushed to my door and met Gretchen coming from hers and ice crystals were all over her, having come in the port hole......I rushed to the door and saw the ice crystals all over, they having come in through the porthole next to mine."
 
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Even if she stayed afloat an hour longer the way Titanic launched her lifeboats (half full or less in many cases) I don't think it would have made any difference other than maybe getting a few more in the collapsible boats. At an hour earlier it still would have left the people in the water for hours before Carpathia got there. Most of those unfortunate people were gone in the first 30 minutes or less.
 
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Arun Vajpey

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Yes, quite as simple as that. The Carpathia was a liner with a maximum service speed of 14 knots. On that particular night, its approach would have been hindered to some extent by (at least the knowledge of) the ice field in the vicinity. I believe by the time the Carpathia got to within visible distance of the area where the Titanic was, the latter would have been gone for more than an hour. Moreover, the rescue ship could not plow through knowing that there were 20 lifeboats full or partially full of survivors. Under those circumstances, those left in the water in life vests would have had no chance of survival before being picked up.
 

Cam Houseman

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That is almost certainly a myth. Starting from Lifeboat #6 that was lowered at around 01:10 am, none of the later port lifeboats reported seeing an open gangway door. Even if Lightoller's claim to have ordered Boatswain Nichols to take 6 men and open a port-side gangway door was true, Nichols was an experienced enough seaman to realize that it was impractical to load passengers that way. Even if the D-deck gangway door is 'open' on the wreck, that is not proof that it was left open during the sinking.
actually, it isn't. Ken Marschall found the Open gangway open, with the gates clearly drawn open, and not in an area of hull deformation.

So maybe it wasn't opened by Nichols, but it was opened by someone
 
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MiDKnighT

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Even if she stayed afloat an hour longer the way Titanic launched her lifeboats (half full or less in many cases) I don't think it would have made any difference other than maybe getting a few more in the collapsible boats. At an hour earlier it still would have left the people in the water for hours before Carpathia got there. Most of those unfortunate people were gone in the first 30 minutes or less.
"The Carpathia reached the edge of the ice field by 2:45 a.m., and for the next two hours dodged icebergs as small growlers of ice ground along the hull plates.[23][20] The Carpathia arrived at the distress call's position at 4:00 a.m., approximately an hour and a half after the Titanic went down,[24]"

Titanic sank at 2:20am. So if Titanic lasted another hour or two I think more lives could have been saved.
 

Tim Gerard

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Even if she stayed afloat an hour longer the way Titanic launched her lifeboats (half full or less in many cases) I don't think it would have made any difference other than maybe getting a few more in the collapsible boats. At an hour earlier it still would have left the people in the water for hours before Carpathia got there. Most of those unfortunate people were gone in the first 30 minutes or less.

Thinking through the whole possible scenario, you're probably right. If you buy the Titanic another hour, it stays afloat until 3:20, maybe 3:30am. Perhaps a handful of hardier swimmers might still be barely clinging to life in the frigid water when the Carpathia arrives at 4am, but there would be no way for Captain Rostron to know in time to save them.
 
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Arun Vajpey

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Thinking through the whole possible scenario, you're probably right. If you buy the Titanic another hour, it stays afloat until 3:20, maybe 3:30am. Perhaps a handful of hardier swimmers might still be barely clinging to life in the frigid water when the Carpathia arrives at 4am, but there would be no way for Captain Rostron to know in time to save them.
Exactly. Even if you add another hour to the life of the Titanic, the scenario would not have been a great deal different. Maybe, just maybe two or three partially filled lifeboats might have gone back to pick people out of the cold sea but that's about it. The Carpathia wound not have arrived on the scene for another hour and by then almost all of those in the water would have been dead due to exposure. Even of a handful were barely alive, they would not have been able to move much and almost impossible for the rescue ship's crew to spot in the darkness among several hundred life vested bodies.
 

MiDKnighT

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Doing some math here... How much water did it take to sink Titanic?

39,542 tons of water.

How much water was flooding in after the initial impact?

Within 45 minutes of the collision, at least 13,500 long tons (13,700 t) of water had entered the ship.

That comes out to about 304 tons per minute.

39,542 / 304 = 130

So without any pumps or open portholes Titanic should have lasted 2 hours and 10 minutes. Not that it would take that amount of time to sink but that's the amount of time it's at the point of no return - it's going down fast after that.

"The total capacity from all 8 pumps running together was 1700 tons an hour."

ok so knowing we were flooding at 304 tons per minute if we extrapolate that over an hour it was flooding at 304x60 which is 18.240 tons per hour.

18,240 - 1700 = 16540 tons per hour flooding including the pumps working

16540 = 275 tons per minute

Going back to our original number:

39,542 / 275 = 143

So with the pumps and no open portholes Titanic should have lasted 2 hours and 23 minutes. Again not that it would take that amount of time to sink but that's the amount of time it's at the point of no return - it's going down fast after that.

As you can see the pumps didn't help very much.

So the absolute maximum I could see Titanic lasting was 143 minutes plus another few minutes at best for the final submerging. So 3 hours is probably the best we could hope for assuming everything was done right with the pumps and portholes.

Based on the above math I don't think Titanic could last long enough for Carpathia to rescue more passengers even with all portholes closed and pumps working at full capacity.

So that said Titanic's only hopes were it's own lifeboats, the Californian, and possibly the mystery ship. The Carpathia and other ships were simply too far away.
 
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Doing some math here... How much water did it take to sink Titanic?

39,542 tons of water.

How much water was flooding in after the initial impact?

Within 45 minutes of the collision, at least 13,500 long tons (13,700 t) of water had entered the ship.

That comes out to about 304 tons per minute.

39,542 / 304 = 130

So without any pumps or open portholes Titanic should have lasted 2 hours and 10 minutes. Not that it would take that amount of time to sink but that's the amount of time it's at the point of no return - it's going down fast after that.

"The total capacity from all 8 pumps running together was 1700 tons an hour."

ok so knowing we were flooding at 304 tons per minute if we extrapolate that over an hour it was flooding at 304x60 which is 18.240 tons per hour.

18,240 - 1700 = 16540 tons per hour flooding including the pumps working

16540 = 275 tons per minute

Going back to our original number:

39,542 / 275 = 143

So with the pumps and no open portholes Titanic should have lasted 2 hours and 23 minutes. Again not that it would take that amount of time to sink but that's the amount of time it's at the point of no return - it's going down fast after that.

As you can see the pumps didn't help very much.

So the absolute maximum I could see Titanic lasting was 143 minutes plus another few minutes at best for the final submerging. So 3 hours is probably the best we could hope for assuming everything was done right with the pumps and portholes.

Based on the above math I don't think Titanic could last long enough for Carpathia to rescue more passengers even with all portholes closed and pumps working at full capacity.

So that said Titanic's only hopes were it's own lifeboats, the Californian, and possibly the mystery ship. The Carpathia and other ships were simply too far away.
Yes. If I remember right I think even in Cameron;s movie he had Thomas Andrews saying the pumps would only buy you minutes at best. Plus even if Carpathia was able to get there with some survivors in the water how long would it take to fish individual survivors out of the water? Not that one or two aren't important but from what I know they wouldn't have been able to get more than a few if any.
P.S...the one rescue at sea that I witnessed it took at least 15 minutes to get the guy out of the water. That was in broad daylight with a helicopter and 2 Navy rescue swimmers in nice warm water and they knew where he was (he jumped overboard). So dark night, freezing weather, not knowing where people were = little hope. We had one other overboard incident but I didn't see that one. It was at night and because of a really sharp guy that threw some life jackets over the side with the strobe lights on them or a couple of battle lanterns (forget which now) as soon as he saw him go over the rescue guys located him pretty fast for the conditions.
P.P.S...When I first read your post I said something not's right but realized it was just a typo with 18.240. Should be 18,240. Forgive me for becoming what I hate...a word nazi...:p
 
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MiDKnighT

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Yes. If I remember right I think even in Cameron;s movie he had Thomas Andrews saying the pumps would only buy you minutes at best. Plus even if Carpathia was able to get there with some survivors in the water how long would it take to fish individual survivors out of the water? Not that one or two aren't important but from what I know they wouldn't have been able to get more than a few if any.
P.S...the one rescue at sea that I witnessed it took at least 15 minutes to get the guy out of the water. That was in broad daylight with a helicopter and 2 Navy rescue swimmers in nice warm water and they knew where he was (he jumped overboard). So dark night, freezing weather, not knowing where people were = little hope. We had one other overboard incident but I didn't see that one. It was at night and because of a really sharp guy that threw some life jackets over the side with the strobe lights on them or a couple of battle lanterns (forget which now) as soon as he saw him go over the rescue guys located him pretty fast for the conditions.
P.P.S...When I first read your post I said something not's right but realized it was just a typo with 18.240. Should be 18,240. Forgive me for becoming what I hate...a word nazi...:p
By my calculations the pumps running at full capacity buys Titanic a whole 13 minutes. I agree with you that the ship was completely doomed and now after doing the math there is zero chance Carpathia could have rescued people out of the water in time even if Titanic's officers did everything right after the collision. They were simply too far away. Californian on the other hand...

And yes the "." was a typo.
 
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Arun Vajpey

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Californian on the other hand....
The Californian could have done very little. Even if someone on the bridge had alerted Captain Lord the moment they thought something was amiss and he in turn had ordered Cyril Evans woken up, it would have made no difference. Remember that even Phillips & Bride themselves were not aware of the seriousness of the situation till Captain Smith ordered them to start sending out distress calls around 12:05 am. The Californian was stopped about 17 miles away and even if it had been readied and started to move asap, it was a 11 knot ship. That, plus the minimum time to get under way and then negotiate through the ice field would have meant that the Californian would have arrived in the vicinity of the Titanic no earlier than 02:00 am. It could have lowered its own boats but would not be able to get too close and the task of picking up people in the water would not have been easy.

Yes, they should have tried, but at best they might have saved 50 more people.
 

Tim Gerard

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wow a total of 13 minutes!

I wonder if that means Collapsible C and D wouldn't have gotten away, as well as A and B

Interesting point. 13 minutes puts the ship disappearing beneath the surface at 2:07am instead of 2:20. I'd add boats No. 4 at 1:50 and possibly No. 2 at 1:45, both way up forward close to the bridge, to your question as well.
 
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Arun Vajpey

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By my calculations the pumps running at full capacity buys Titanic a whole 13 minutes.

13 minutes puts the ship disappearing beneath the surface at 2:07am instead of 2:20
I am not qualified to calculate the possibilities of hydraulics but I understood MiDKnightT's comments to mean that if the pumps were running at full capacity, it would get Titanic 13 extra minutes to remain afloat. If true, that would have meant that Collapsible D might have carried more passengers than the 20-odd that it did when lowered. Also, Collapsible B might have been lowered rightside-up.

Collapsible A is more difficult to comment upon since it would still have to be dragged uphill against the port list to be positioned. Moody apparently had requested some equipment to help with this but was reportedly overruled as there was no time. Perhaps that could have been accomplished.

It is all theory, anyway.
 
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