Possible countermeasure mentioned in Her Name Titanic


Neil McRae

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In this book I believe Charles Pellegrino (sp?) suggested opening ALL the watertight doors so that the ship would sink on an even keel and take much longer to go under (so much longer that she still would have been visible when Carpathia arrived). Somehow I suspect this idea is too good to be true. Is it?
 

Joshua Gulch

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Mar 31, 2001
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To good to be true? Not even close.
Discovery Channel ran a special that featured this, maybe someone can recall the show's title for me. They sank a model of the ship, perfectly weighted with exact bulkhead arrangements. With the doors closed, it sank as Titanic really did. But with the doors open, the model showed that water would have freely flooded the entire length, eventually knocking out the power an hour earlier and causing the ship to roll over and capsize long before she actually went under.

Not a desirable situation in the least bit. 'Course, it's been some time since I saw this, so if I got details wrong, then someone by all means correct me!

Josh.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Very bad idea. (Yes we've discussed it befor, BTW) The testing demonstrated that power would have been lost between 12:40 and 12:50 with the ship rolling on her beam (Starboard in the tank tests that were filmed and presented.) and going down about 1:50.

For more go to the entry on Roy Mengot's website at http://www.flash.net/~rfm/WHYWHAT/whytxt.html#anchor498050

Roy goes into this and other "What If" scenerios in more depth.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
Sep 5, 2001
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Michael is absolutely correct. First, all of the watertight doors on the tank top deck had automatic floats below the floor plates that would close the door when a certain amount of water (2-3 feet?) was present. Engineers would have needed to deactivate these floats. It would be a difficult task in Boiler Room #6 which had a significant amount of flooding immediately after the collision. Ten minutes later Barret and company were unable to return to his room.

Second, there were no watertight doors forward of the one between the fireman's passage and Boiler Room #6. Thus, the first three compartments would flood independently. Titanic would continue to trim by the head, but more slowly since water would enter Cargo hold 3 and Boiler rooms 5 + 6. However, the ultimate result would be a capsize well before the actual sinking (70 minutes). The ship would also take on an unpleasant list, hampering the efforts to launch the lifeboats.

Nathan Robison
 

Cal Haines

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Nathan,

There were two watertight doors between the fireman's passage and BR#6, forming a small vestibule. But you are correct, there are no doors on the tank top forward for #3 hold. As you point out, #1 and #2 holds would flood independently. Note that their volumes are quite a bit smaller than hold #3 and the boiler rooms.

Cal
 
Sep 5, 2001
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Cal,

I wonder how much cargo was in those holds? Didn't Wilding estimate that they were two-thirds or three-fourths full when he calculated how much water entered the ship?

Nathan Robison
 

Cal Haines

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Nathan,

As I understand it, the location and type of cargo is pretty well known. There is a copy of the cargo lading plan in Eaton & Haas, Triumph & Tragedy.

I would have to go back over Wilding's testimony to see if it indicates what he assumed about the holds. The 1996 RINA article by Hackett & Bedford, of Harland & Wolff, goes back through Wilding’s work and comes to the same conclusions (not surprising, as they used the same assumptions). The article states that Wilding's calculations have been lost, with one exception.

One problem with both analyses is that they have Titanic flooding to the point where she should have foundered much sooner. I don't know that Wilding addressed this fact; Hackett & Bedford just say something to the effect that the rate of flooding somehow changed after the first hour, allowing the ship to live longer. Essentially, they fiddled with the numbers until the time came out right. (I would need to go back and read the article again to be sure.)

One assumption that both analyses make is that #3 hold floods from the bottom up, filling the mail room, 24 feet above the keel, within the first 10 minutes--that's a lot of water in a short time. One case that I have not seen considered is the possibility that the mail room filled from a hole in the side and that #3 hold filled from there.

Cal
 

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