Slowing Titanic's flooding...

Dec 4, 2000
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Three comments.

First, to Ioannis – thanks for reading what I’ve written here and elsewhere. You are entitled to your opinion. Free speech is something I’ve taken up arms to protect. Short of deliberate libel or slander, I’ll defend your right to speak freely even when I’m the target. You don’t have to prove your case. However, in the interest of enlightenment it would be much better for you to present the reasons for your disagreement and the supporting research. A lively and fair debate does us all good.

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Second, the subject of Captain Smith re-starting the engines after impact on the iceberg. Under the standards of 1912 Titanic’s master was a prudent mariner. It makes no sense for any such mariner to have steamed away from the iceberg encounter before sounding his ship. Yet, Smith did. The answer as to why Smith began making way again has to lie outside the man. That is, his actions have to be put into a much larger context of events. I suggest resuming steaming is directly related to several other events in the larger picture of Titanic sinking. They are: 1) The appearance of J. Bruce Ismay on the bridge; 2) IMM/White Star Line regulations to report ship damage as quickly as possible to the Line’s headquarters; 3) news reports on both sides of the Atlantic that Titanic had struck a berg, but all were safe and the ship was headed for Halifax; and, 4) the fact that the White Star office in New York ordered two trains dispatched for Halifax to bring Titanic passengers from there to the ship’s intended destination of New York.

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Finally, an extended comment about the damage, flooding, and sinking. Yes, I do believe that the sinking was brought about by more than bad luck. And, “no,” I don’t think that the damage extended from peak tank into boiler room #5.

The initial damage to the bow described by survivors included the peak tank, all three forward holds, and water ingress in boiler room #6. According to naval architect Wilding this damage should not have caused Titanic to sink hours before help arrived as happened in reality. Nobody ever claimed the ship would have floated forever. It’s just that the damage described by survivors was not enough to be absolutely fatal so quickly. But, Titanic did sink and within two hours of striking the iceberg. is simple and easily understood. Explaining away this problem requires some knowledge of ships, naval architecture, and the state of damage control in 1912. Not many people are schooled in the necessary nautical engineer. We know the general public prefers simple answers 0over the complex, so the myth of tragic, fatal damage gained popularity.

A damaged ship can be kept afloat without any heroic efforts to stop the water ingress. Nor are huge pumps needed to stay afloat. Water seeks its own level. In a damaged ship this means water rises inside the hull until it reaches the level of water outside. At that point all inward flow stops. If the ship still has enough reserve buoyancy it continues to float. As Wilding calculated, the real damage reported by survivors would have brought Titanic to this point before water overtopped bulkhead E. This means the ship should not have foundered. And, while he never said so directly, Wilding does not seem to have included the capacity of Titanic’s pumps in his calculations. Given the ship’s bilge pump capacity even a rough sea should not have posed a significant threat. Titanic should have done as its designers intended and become “its own lifeboat.”

We are now face-to-face with the conclusion which upsets Ioannis – nobody should have died that night because the ship should not have foundered. The tragedy was far greater than conventional wisdom assumes. Everyone should have been alive in the morning when Carpathia and other potential rescue ships converged on the scene.

That’s not what happened. But, for a while Titanic did seem to put up a good fight. On deck there was no sense of impending doom among either the crew preparing lifeboats or the passengers standing around in life vests. Below, when leading stoker Barrett left boiler room #5 he specifically stated that water had not yet started overtopping bulkhead E. As late as when Barrett left boiler room #5 the ship may have been in a dire situation, but it was not sinking. Then there was Barrett’s “rush of water” which forced him to personally abandon that compartment. After that unexpected and dramatic flooding of boiler room #5 there appears to be a major change in the damage condition of the ship. Over simplifying, that “rush” of water appears to signal when Titanic transformed itself from a damaged ship to a sinking ship.

There are many hints in the testimonies about the ship’s engineers trying to de-water the bow. They range from the late flooding of the firemen’s tunnel to that open manhole that trapped poor Shepherd. Even so, we have no evidence – direct or otherwise – that any of these attempts were successful. Absence of proof isn’t proof of absence, of course. But in this case the known evidence indicates the engineers failed to get any significant amount of water out of the damaged ship. Worse, the only evidence we do have – Barrett’s “rush” of water – marks the beginning of the end.

Only one man survived from boiler room #5, Barrett. He had been assisting the engineers in some sort of work on the ship’s plumbing. We can safely presume that under the circumstances they weren’t unclogging toilets. Rather, the engineers were almost certainly working on the bilge pump system. Nothing else makes sense on a damaged ship in danger of foundering. When the end came Barrett did not describe the relatively calm welling up of water flowing through open seams in the side of the ship. His word, “rush” indicates something far more dynamic. Anything dramatic to be a “rush” required water under a lot of pressure. At the time, Titanic’s bilge piping would have had at least 35 feet of head pressure – the distance from the lowest area of the dry boiler room #5 and the outside waterline. If an intake on a common pipe had been opened in flooded hold #3...and then a valve operated to open an intake on that same pipe in dry boiler room #5...water would have come spewing out of that second intake in a geyser 10 inches in diameter and 35 feet tall. That’s a “rush!”

Significantly, Barrett did not fight his way through rushing water to escape boiler room #5. This indicates he wasn’t down where the geyser was spouting. Studying the locations of the controls for the bilge suctions gives a clue about where he might have been. They were on E deck where they could be operated even when the compartment below was flooded. The chronological order of events now becomes critical. The leading stoker said the engineers were working on piping or somesort beneath the stoker plates. According to Barrett, engineer Shepherd’s broken leg took place a short time prior to the “rush” of water. This event caused the other engineers in the compartment to go to the aid of their injured compatriot. As a result, all management of the situation in boiler room #5 disappeared as humanitarian instincts took over.

Put into context, Barrett’s testimony indicates that engineers were trying to connect the large bilge pump in boiler room #5 to the suctions in the flooded forward compartments. They may have told Barrett to operate a valve on E deck and then had their attention diverted by Shepherd’s injury. Something down at the tank top level didn’t get done, but Barrett was unaware of this as he spun the control wheel. When he turned to go back down, the leading stoker saw that “rush” of water and decided to make a hasty departure. Barrett would already have been on the E deck level, so all he had to do was open the door and step out into Scotland Road.

Back home, Titanic’s surviving crew members were forced to give depositions to Lord Mersey before they were allowed to join wives, children, and loved ones. We do not know what Barrett said in his statement. Virtually all of those depositions were conveniently lost to history after the British inquiry. However, Barrett became the first known surviving member of Titanic’s crew to appear in America. He was conveniently presented to Senator Smith on the last day of testimony to the U.S. Senate inquiry. That has the look of “spin doctoring” in the modern world, but things get worse. The senators had to go to Barrett who presented himself in a boiler room of nothing less than Olympic, the sister ship of Titanic. Ensconced in the familiar confines of a boiler room Barrett claimed he saw the side of Titanic’s boiler room #6 open up and had to duck under the descending watertight door into #5. Frankly, putting the man in Olympic was a bit clumsy by modern standards. His testimony has all the appearance of an event staged by White Star and (probably) Lord Mersey. The senators didn’t even ask for proof they were actually talking to the real fireman Barrett. For all we know he could have been an actor straight from London’s West End.

As the Bard said, “All the world’s a stage...”


– David G. Brown
 
Mar 18, 2008
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Germany
Three comments.

First, to Ioannis — thanks for reading what I’ve written here and elsewhere. You are entitled to your opinion. Free speech is something I’ve taken up arms to protect. Short of deliberate libel or slander, I’ll defend your right to speak freely even when I’m the target. You don’t have to prove your case. However, in the interest of enlightenment it would be much better for you to present the reasons for your disagreement and the supporting research. A lively and fair debate does us all good.

The flaws in you claim has been pointed out several times also here in the different parts on ET Forum. Still you are presenting your made up claims as a fact.
Where is the evidence for anything you claim Mr. Brown?

How often have we ask you for evidence where you still came up with the IMM regulation and your long explanation about what the "truth" is. Never you pointed out any real evidence for your claims.

Leading stoker Barrett was clear where he was and what he did. It is still you who came up that this men was a complete fool and have no idea and must have been a liar.
Barrett was very clear were he was and what he saw! Barrett US Inquiry;

Q. Were you on duty on the night of the accident? - A. Yes.
Q. Where? - A. In 6 section.
Q. Were you there when the accident occurred? - A. Yes. I was standing talking to the second engineer. The bell rang, the red light showed. We sang out shut the doors (indicating the ash doors to the furnaces) and there was a crash just as we sung out. The water came through the ship's side. The engineer and I jumped to the next section. The next section to the forward section is No. 5.
Q. Where did the water come through? - A. About 2 feet above the floor plates, starboard side.
Q. How much water? - A. A large volume of water came through.
Q. How big was this hole in the side? - A. About 2 feet above the floor plates.
Q. You think it was a large tear? - A. Yes; I do.
Q. All along the side of No. 6? - A. Yes.
Q. How far along? - A. Past the bulkhead between sections 5 and 6, and it was a hole 2 feet into the coal bunkers. She was torn through No. 6 and also through 2 feet abaft the bulkhead in the bunker at the forward head of No.5 section. We got through before the doors broke, the doors dropped instantly automatically from the bridge. I went back to No. 6 fireroom and there was 8 feet of water in there. I went to No. 5 fireroom when the lights went out. I was sent to find lamps, as the lights were out, and when we got the lamps we looked at the boilers and there was no water in them. I ran to the engineer and he told me to get some firemen down to draw the fires. I got 15 men down below.

British Inquiry;

1891. Very well? - The ship was torn right through here. (Indicating on the plan.) I consulted Mr. Shepherd and Mr. Hesketh about the hole being in this bunker, and that was the farthest aft the ship was torn. This is a watertight compartment, and the ship was torn from there to there. That is in the next section.
1892. (The Solicitor-General.) What do you call that section? - No. 5.
1895. (The Solicitor-General - To the Witness.) You pointed out that you found that this rent was abaft of this bulkhead here and therefore that the water was coming into No. 5 section? - Yes.
1901. (The Solicitor-General.) That is it, my Lord. Now, if I may keep him here for a moment, there are two or three things I want to ask him. (To the Witness.) The water came into No. 6 section, where you were at work? - Yes.





For a few points again.
Ismay on the bridge. Where is the evidence for that? Ismay made in on the bridge but much later than you claim. QM Olliver was clear that Captain Smith operated the telegraphs ordering half ahead after the collision even before Ismay was on the bridge.

Still no proof for steaming to Halifax. Maybe you can point us any survivor stating Ismay was on the bridge directly after the collision giving any orders to Captain Smith.




That’s not what happened. But, for a while Titanic did seem to put up a good fight. On deck there was no sense of impending doom among either the crew preparing lifeboats or the passengers standing around in life vests. Below, when leading stoker Barrett left boiler room #5 he specifically stated that water had not yet started overtopping bulkhead E. As late as when Barrett left boiler room #5 the ship may have been in a dire situation, but it was not sinking. Then there was Barrett’s “rush of water” which forced him to personally abandon that compartment. After that unexpected and dramatic flooding of boiler room #5 there appears to be a major change in the damage condition of the ship. Over simplifying, that “rush” of water appears to signal when Titanic transformed itself from a damaged ship to a sinking ship.

Nice how you try again to discredit Barrett. Maybe you should made yourself familiar what exactly was on the tank top and on what parts Barrett was going to work.

There was no "dramatic flooding". It was most likely the coal bunker door which gave way which was not designed to hold up water.Barrett was ordered out of BR 5 so he could not have seen much about how "dramatic" it was.

As a side note to one earlier post and Shepered broken leg, it was mentioned also by other survivors from the black gang.


And I did not go though every point as we already had it several times in the past like here:

https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/forums/collision-sinking-theories/31375-time-flooding-boiler-room-3-2-1-engine-room.html



We are now face-to-face with the conclusion which upsets Ioannis

Good joke.

And the conclusion is again only your "truth" which has nothing to do with the reality.



However, Barrett became the first known surviving member of Titanic’s crew to appear in America. He was conveniently presented to Senator Smith on the last day of testimony to the U.S. Senate inquiry. That has the look of “spin doctoring” in the modern world, but things get worse. The senators had to go to Barrett who presented himself in a boiler room of nothing less than Olympic, the sister ship of Titanic. Ensconced in the familiar confines of a boiler room Barrett claimed he saw the side of Titanic’s boiler room #6 open up and had to duck under the descending watertight door into #5. Frankly, putting the man in Olympic was a bit clumsy by modern standards. His testimony has all the appearance of an event staged by White Star and (probably) Lord Mersey. The senators didn’t even ask for proof they were actually talking to the real fireman Barrett. For all we know he could have been an actor straight from London’s West End.

As the Bard said, “All the world’s a stage...”

So first your claim is Barrett the idiot did not know where he was and lied and now he was an actor? Serious?

I think your last part should be a warning to others here about your so called "facts" and "truths".
 

Robbyhouse

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Apr 11, 2016
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While I've seen plenty of footage showing various vessels in a capsized state I am having some degree of difficulty understanding the physics behind how a ship would capsize. Take the Titanic theory of allowing all its compartments to flood evenly be keeping the watertight bulkhead doors open. It has been postulated that doing so could actually increase the probability of the ship capsizing. In my admittedly engineering challenged mind, a ship capsized if the top portion of the ship is heavier than the lower portions of the hull. With the ship filling with water, wouldn't it make the lower half of the ship that much heavier and thus make it impossible for capsizing? I want to say that perhaps its something to do with the equalization of pressure and water on ether side juxtaposed to the unflooded half? I eagerly await any response.
 

Jim Currie

Member
Apr 16, 2008
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Funchal. Madeira
Hello Robby!

A simple explanation.

If there is a large area of free surface water in a ship, and the ship moves in the slightest way, the centerof gravity rises very suddenly rises to a virtual position way above the normal position. This sets up on overturning moment. It is not the depth of water that matters but the area of the surface. The same thing happens when a ship touches a flat bottom for the entire length of its keel. The same thing happens when a ship's crane lifts a heavy weight off the quay. At that moment, the C of G of the weight rises to the top of the crane gib.

Jim C.
 
Dec 4, 2000
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Ioannis --

Your comments remain little more than angry accusations that do not address the facts I have presented. Sorry, friend, it would be much better if you provided more light and less heat to our discussion. You have still not given any evidence contrary to what I have written. Your Barrett quotes were paraphrased (for space) in my post above. Restating them does not prove that I am wrong. Rather, it shows you have not studied my arguments.

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First, “yes,” we know what Barrett said about boiler room #6. I have never denied that. Nor could I as it is in the public records of two inquiries. What I have pointed out is that his testimonies about the sudden flooding of that compartment do not match his own description of events. That is, the man contradicts himself. The only way his testimony about boiler room #6 can be true is if everything else the man said was prevarication.

You must also ignore the eyewitness account of stoker Beauchamp who completely contradicted Barrett regarding what happened in boiler room #6. Then, you have to find some explanation for the steam coming out of the vent on funnel #1 at the time when it did. And, why when boiler room #6 was abandoned at change of watch there was only a slight flow of water over the stoker plates. That would have been impossible had the side caved in and water flooded the compartment as Barrett claimed.

Fireman Beauchamp tended the furnaces at the after end of boiler room #6. His duty station was exactly where Barrett claimed to have been chatting with the engineer when the ship struck the iceberg. Being in the same location on the same ship at the same moment in time means the two men must have had the same experience. It is a physical impossibility for one of them to have been forced to escape catastrophic flooding while the other remained dry and continued performing his duties. Here’s what the men said about their locations at the time of the accident:

Barrett: I was in number 10 stokehold. The starboard side.

Beauchamp: Number 10 (stokehold). The second one from the forward end.

We have pretty solid evidence the two men were at least standing within earshot of each other. Both men described events during impact in virtually the same words. Barrett was the leading stoker above Beauchamp. “I am the man in charge of the watch, and I called out, ‘shut the dampers.’” The man standing beside him, Beauchamp, “The engineer and the leading stoker shouted together – they said, ‘Shut the dampers.’” So, the stoker heard and obeyed his leading stoker’s shouted orders. Beauchamp heard and obeyed Barrett. How would that have been possible if the side of the ship had opened up as Barrett claimed and water come pouring into boiler room #6?

After impact, Beauchamp stood by for a short time before being instructed to rake down his furnaces. From his testimony and the usual practices in coal-fired ships, this should have taken about 20 minutes or so. Once the hot coals had been sluiced down with cold seawater the men in boiler room #6 were ordered on deck and the new watch was not sent down into the compartment. Curiously, at virtually the same moment steam began venting from funnel #1. The roar was recalled by everyone on deck. Even though the fires were raked down, it would have been prudent for the engineers to “dump” steam from the boilers of #6 as a precaution against a steam explosion. The timing of the abandonment of #6 being the same as the start of steam roaring off funnel #1 is highly suggestive that the two events were related.

What we can glean from the testimonies is that either Beauchamp or Barrett was wrong in describing what in boiler room #6 happened during impact on the iceberg. Which one? Well, if what Barrett said were true, the likelihood of Beauchamp surviving to tell his tale would have been slight. But, he did survive. And, if what Barrett said were true, then he would have been in boiler room #5 when he yelled to shut the dampers. It would have been impossible for Beauchamp to hear him through a steel casting door amid the noise of a boiler room. But, Beauchamp heard exactly what Barrett ordered. You can choose to believe Barrett’s version of the flooding of boiler room #6, but only by bending the truth at the expense of real history.

But, assuming the real man testified, how could Barrett have been convinced he ducked into boiler room #5? The answer is confusion between “sections” and “stokeholds” and “compartments.” All were numbered, non lettered. The potential confusion factor is obvious. However, if we count compartments from the bow, we find that boiler room #6 is the fifth one aft:

(1) forepeak;
(2) hold #1;
(3) hold #2;
(4) hold #3; and,
(5) boiler room #6

My view is that Barrett and the engineer were in hold #3 when the ship struck. They slid under the closing watertight door into boiler room #6 where Beauchamp was working. From there on, Barrett’s story is as accurate as eyewitness accounts get – including being in “#5.” My reason for placing the men in hold #3 relates to the bunker fire. I’ve posted at length about this in other threads and the fire is not germane to this one. So, I’ll leave it there. However, if anyone wants to discuss it within a more appropriate topic, I’ll be glad to do so.

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Ismay’s own account indicates he was on the bridge rather early after impact. All he did was throw a coat over his pajamas, climb two flights of stairs, and walk about 100 feet forward to meet with Captain Smith. Nobody took notice of the time, but this meeting could have been within 3 to 5 minutes after impact.

Olliver was not on the bridge during their meeting. He had been sent below by Captain Smith to rouse out the carpenter to sound the ship. Because of that assignment, Olliver was not able to awaken the junior officers of the oncoming Port Watch and Fifth Officer Lowe continued sleeping. By the time Olliver returned to the bridge, Ismay was gone. However, Olliver did see the Captain operate the telegraph handles to signal the ship to resume making way.

There were men on the bridge during Ismay’s visit. Sixth Officer Moody and quartermaster Hichens were in the wheelhouse. Whether or not the overheard the conversation on the open bridge will never be known. Moody did not survive and Hichens never spoke about it. Boxhall was not there. He was forward checking on the third class men’s berthing areas.

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If Titanic did not resume steaming for Halifax (albeit for a very short time), then there are a lot of unanswered questions.

1. Why would the ship have begun making way again at all? Nobody steams blindly around the North Atlantic in a damaged vessel that has not been fully sounded. A ship making way has a destination. Where was Titanic heading after Captain Smith ordered the engines to make turns again?

2. Why did early news reports on both sides of the Atlantic say that the ship had struck an iceberg, all were safe, and that it was – indeed – steaming for Halifax?

3. Why did P.A.S. Franklin, vice president of the White Star Line in New York city order up not one, but two passenger trains to head for Halifax to pick up Titanic’s passengers? (FACT: One of those trains actually was rolling north of Boston when it was recalled upon confirmation the ship had foundered.)


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Now to the coal bunker door. This theory – totally unproven – is now considered as “fact” to explain the rush of water into boiler room #5. However, it belies the truth. Bunkers were never built to be waterproof. While a bunker might have contained some water, it would never have filled to the extent that a major gushing of water would have occurred. For those who have not studied the handling of coal in bunkers it may come as a surprise that good design provided air openings at the lowest level to allow an upward flow of ventilation. This air movement helped remove the methane which naturally outgasses from coal. We know Titanic’s bunkers were not watertight at the bottom from Beauchamp’s testimony. He described water rising up in the bunker behind him and flowing out over the stoker plates. For that to have happened, the water had to have entered the bunker at a level below the stoker plates just as ventilating air did.

Based on typical bunker design and testimony of a surviving eyewitness, Titanic’s bunkers could not have built up a large amount of water capable of wrenching open the sliding bunker door. If the open seam had been allowing water into the bunker at the head of boiler room #5 (bunker “W”) that water should have found its way down to the tank top level and then moved aft to where that open manhole was located. As I’ve said, working in freezing water would have been difficult at best and impossible if over a man’s head. That’s not what happened. From Barrett’s account the compartment remained dry and functional while engineers worked on piping down there.

As to how much water came into boiler room #5, Barrett described it as a “rush.” That’s hardly a technical term. But, does not seem like the relatively small amount that would have been in a bunker under the actual conditions. Rather, it sounds like quite a more impressive ingress of water.


-- David G. Brown
 
Mar 18, 2008
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Germany
I think we already had much of what you wrote Mr. Brown in other discussion like the link I have posted above and are happily to put it here again.
https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/forums/collision-sinking-theories/31375-time-flooding-boiler-room-3-2-1-engine-room.html

That Ismay was early on the bridge is pure speculation on your part as that Barrett was in hold no. 3 and that Beauchamp (who contradicts himself several times and left many things out) is 100% right.

So in short Mr. Brown, thanks for taking the time to write your view again but not providing any proof, be it your claim of the order from Ismay to Captain Smith, Boxhall on his way to B Deck by his own words (of which you still have not show us where he said so) Engineer Hesketh (if my memory is right) flooding by accident the firemen tunnel and now Leading Stoker Barrett doing the same with BR 5.
 

TimTurner

Member
Dec 11, 2012
336
18
48
Hello Robby!

A simple explanation.

If there is a large area of free surface water in a ship, and the ship moves in the slightest way, the centerof gravity rises very suddenly rises to a virtual position way above the normal position. This sets up on overturning moment. It is not the depth of water that matters but the area of the surface. The same thing happens when a ship touches a flat bottom for the entire length of its keel. The same thing happens when a ship's crane lifts a heavy weight off the quay. At that moment, the C of G of the weight rises to the top of the crane gib.

Jim C.
In the simplest possible terms, fill a large tray or shallow bin with water and try walking around the yard without tipping it. Tiny waves build into larger and larger waves until the tray tips over.
 
Jun 18, 2016
19
5
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Greetings all,

I always have to look at these "save the ship" scenarios with a jaundiced eye.

Any such plan of action comes up against two BIG groups of show-shoppers... what I like to call the "impossibles" and the "inflexibles".


Impossibles
- no modern damage control.. most of these techniques weren’t developed until the World Wars.
- no fothering (she didn't carry sails), no collision mats (none aboard), no lowering carpets over the side (unfeasible and you don't know the damage), no divers, no shoring of bulkheads ("oak beams" cargo notwithstanding)
- no counter-flooding. Titanic is not equipped for it, it’s a bad idea, and it may strain the hull further. I think people take the Pearl Harbor experience too far.
- no steaming anywhere.
- no unloading of coal or anchors.
- no modifying other pumps to move water.. even an “in-situ” alteration is too much to expect.

Inflexibles
- I have read that the Olympic-class had 1900 tons per hour de-watering capacity. Is this per pump? Total? In-series connection? I know information about the physical plant is very hard to come by, and the initial flooding rate was many times that.
- You have limited personnel to do the work.
- Communications? There was one phone line between the bridge and engine room, then the engine room could communicate with each of the boiler rooms... co-ordination would have been damn near impossible.
- TIME! How long did Andrews take with his damage assessment? At what point does any “plan” become overwhelmed by water & events? You would have to start any “save-the-ship” almost immediately!
- As the ship sinks, drains, discharges, and sewage lines take on water, then scuttles, open portholes, hawseholes and hatches. The strain increases on damaged keel and frames, more rivets pop and more plates separate.. thus the flooding rate increases on a dramatic curve.

If one considers all these things, then maybe, just MAYBE, you might be able to affect events somewhat. Maybe something along the lines of:
- secure all scuttles in the foremost compartment (mostly storage space) and other doorways, even if they are not watertight... save what reserve buoyancy you can.
- instruct the passengers to close their portholes, and do NOT open any gangway doors.
- close all of the manual watertight doors on E & F decks.. there may be problems with this, as some survivors reported. A result of frame damage? Of course, there are no ways to seal off the various stairways in and around the mail rooms and the Squash Court.
- series all of your pumps to keep water down in the Mail Hold & Boiler Room #6, thus relieving strain on bulkhead ‘D’. Try to prevent/delay that 1245AM bulkhead collapse that greatly accelerated the sinking.

And for this, you give up your ability to evacuate the passengers you *are* able to save.
*NOT* a good trade.

Of course, we’ve had 100+ years to second-guess things. We have computer simulations. I would be interested to see someone do a “what-if” computer simulation with this and see if it makes any difference. They did the same thing with the “open-the-doors-and-let-the-water-flood-evenly” theory, and we all know how well that turned out.

Thomas Andrews had maybe a half-an-hour or so, and was doing back-of-the-envelope calculations. (and made a pretty damned good estimate) Had Andrews & Co. ever *considered* such a scenario as this? As someone has no doubt stated, Titanic is a *liner*, not a warship.. they are not meant to take a lot of damage! A grounding or a Hawke-type collision was the worst scenario they could envision, and they built accordingly.
You need hours to make any difference, enough time for Carpathia to arrive or Californian to wake up. Minutes are no good, as Victor Garber's Andrews put it.

As others have said, the crew did pretty good with the situation as it was.

I may have missed some point that already has been made, or re-phrased another. Any criticisms or additional comments are welcomed.

Kodos//
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Mister Lowe! Take a bosun's party and a Master-at-Arms, and get those children off the forepeak railing at once!"
 
A

Aaron_2016

Guest
Would the Captain have made every attempt possible to save his ship? Survivors heard him order the passengers to the starboard side "To keep the ship up as long as possible". Would he also attempt to raise the watertight doors (maybe only a few inches) and allow the water to travel aft and thereby draining the water away from the bow as it travelled aft and reduced the downward trim? Would Thomas Andrews do everything in his power to keep the ship up as long as possible and come up with a procedure to filter the water out from one compartment and channel it into another compartment in an attempt to keep the ship steady and keep her afloat long enough for help to arrive?




floodingtrim.PNG


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Would the Captain have made every attempt possible to save his ship? Survivors heard him order the passengers to the starboard side "To keep the ship up as long as possible". Would he also attempt to raise the watertight doors (maybe only a few inches) and allow the water to travel aft and thereby draining the water away from the bow as it travelled aft and reduced the downward trim? Would Thomas Andrews do everything in his power to keep the ship up as long as possible and come up with a procedure to filter the water out from one compartment and channel it into another compartment in an attempt to keep the ship steady and keep her afloat long enough for help to arrive?




View attachment 3518

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Yes, but this would have made the ship dramatically unstable given the free surface effect. It might have capisized.
 
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R.M.S TITANIC

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Could things in some areas of the ship stem the flooding, making titanic sink slower? I got this idea from a leaky pipe of which the water was being sucked up by toilet paper.
 

Dan Kappes

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According to the real-time sinking video on YouTube, at 1:07 AM, suction pumps were assembled and activated in the flooded areas.

Did they have any success in keeping the Titanic afloat for a while, and how long did they actually prolong the sinking?

And did the unused open gangway door have any effect on the flooding once it went under?
 

Kyle Naber

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I’m not sure about the pumps, so I’ll leave that up to someone else. The open door, however, was calculated to roughly have the same area as the damage caused by the iceberg on the other side of the hull. It was almost as if the ship had hit another berg on the other side. I think the open door probably wasted about 30 minutes of time which probably could have allowed for collapsible A and B to be launched properly.
 

Scott Mills

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The lack of collision mats on board Titanic is puzzling. For many years, while I had brought it up off handedly here, I assumed that collision mats were a thing that may have been on warships, but not on passenger liners. Then, just recently read that the White Star Liner Republic, when it collided with a ship and foundered in 1907, not only had collision mats, but attempted (with not enough success to save the ship) to use them.

Now granted, Titanic was orders of magnitude larger than Republic, and attempting to place a collision mat from the deck of Titanic would have been extremely difficult, particularly if the sea was rough; however, the situation Titanic actually found herself in, foundering slowly on a perfectly flat sea, represented the best conditions one would hope for if collision mats were going to be used on a passenger liner at all.
 

Mark Baber

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Collision mats originated in the days of wooden ships and iron men. Muzzle loading canons fired more-or-less at point blank angle. That is, the round went on a straight horizontal track toward the enemy, or a least that was the intent. However wind and wave action often changed the point of impact. If the enemy ship were tossed upward, it could receive damage below its waterline. A temporary covering was made using a fothered sail dragged into position by human muscle and held in place both by lines and chains round the underbody and the pressure of water on the outside.

A fothered sail was typically made from still usable portions of worn out sails. Pieces of oakum and strands of "junk" (old rope) were worked through two layers of sailcloth to build up the mat's resistance to water. Since the size of the damage was usually rather small. collision mats could be fashioned in a size that sailors could handle even during battle.

According to DeKerchove's International maritime dictionary, these mats were not all that large, being from 6 to 15 feet square. Obviously, that's far too small to have done much good over the full length of Titanic's damaged hull. Even more of a problem, the distance from the open deck to the damage of Titanic was almost 100 feet. Compare that with the roughly 24 feet from deck to keel of the wooden frigate USS Constitution.

Oh, yes, then there is the problem of obtaining used sail canvass and working up a fothering. Oakum and canvass had pretty much passed from the world of iron ships and steam engines. Where would you get those materials on Titanic?

-- David G. Brown
 

Scott Mills

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Collision mats originated in the days of wooden ships and iron men. Muzzle loading canons fired more-or-less at point blank angle. That is, the round went on a straight horizontal track toward the enemy, or a least that was the intent. However wind and wave action often changed the point of impact. If the enemy ship were tossed upward, it could receive damage below its waterline. A temporary covering was made using a fothered sail dragged into position by human muscle and held in place both by lines and chains round the underbody and the pressure of water on the outside.

A fothered sail was typically made from still usable portions of worn out sails. Pieces of oakum and strands of "junk" (old rope) were worked through two layers of sailcloth to build up the mat's resistance to water. Since the size of the damage was usually rather small. collision mats could be fashioned in a size that sailors could handle even during battle.

According to DeKerchove's International maritime dictionary, these mats were not all that large, being from 6 to 15 feet square. Obviously, that's far too small to have done much good over the full length of Titanic's damaged hull. Even more of a problem, the distance from the open deck to the damage of Titanic was almost 100 feet. Compare that with the roughly 24 feet from deck to keel of the wooden frigate USS Constitution.

Oh, yes, then there is the problem of obtaining used sail canvass and working up a fothering. Oakum and canvass had pretty much passed from the world of iron ships and steam engines. Where would you get those materials on Titanic?

-- David G. Brown
Dave,

I bow to your expertise on this matter; however, I am still puzzling over why the White Star Line's RMS Republic would have had 'collision mats' that they attempted to use in 1907.

Edit:

I just came across the following: during day 19 of the Board of Trade inquiry, Edward Wilding--a naval architect aboard Titanic for her trials--testifies about collision mats. He is of the opinion that they would not have been of any help to Titanic because of the size of the damaged area to the ship and the time and manpower they require to deploy; however, one wonders, given the little we know about the actual damage to the hull, if only part of the flooding could have been stopped or mitigated in key areas, would Titanic have lasted longer?

In any case, his testimony implies to me that Titanic did have collision mats on board her, but the witness's opinion, as stated above, was that they would have been of no utility.

See:
TIP | British Wreck Commissioner's Inquiry | Day 19 | Testimony of Edward Wilding, cont.
 
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Check out the notable lack of success with collision mats aboard the sinking Republic.

It would take more time than I have this morning to do the proper research, but there is some possibility that the ship was not outfitted with collision mats, but the ones employed were supplied by the U. S. Coast Guard. In any event the damage quite predictably proved greater than the collision mats could handle. The concept was already outmoded by the increasing size of ships.

-- David G. Brown
 

Scott Mills

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David, see my edit to the original post. Edward Wilding's--one of the naval architects aboard Titanic during her trials--testimony on day 19 of the BoT inquiry seems to suggest, to me at least, that collision mats were present on Titanic; however, it was Wilding's opinion that these would have been no use given the extent of Titanic's damage, the number of crew it would take to place them, and the time it took Titanic to founder.

I would also note about the Republic, and this is neither here nor there really, that the rigging of collision mats was not attempted for hours until the entire ship had been evacuated except for the skeleton crew who stayed to try and save her. So who knows how useful they would have been if used at the outset?

But, I think it is a salient enough point in both the case of the Republic and Titanic that the time and efforts of the crew needed to rig such mats, was better used evacuating the ship first, and trying to save the ship second.