The rate of sinking


Mila

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Hello,

I wonder if it is known how many meters the Titanic sank in the first 40 minutes?
Thanks.
 

Stephen Carey

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I think your best source for this is to watch the Titanic sinking in real time, by the H&G people I believe. It seems to be a reasonable representation, but you would need to research the draft at the fore ends to figure how many metres she was by the head at that time. She didn't bodily sink of course, she plunged by the head, so "metres by the head" is the nearest you would get to how many metres she "sank".
 

Kyle Naber

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Yes, that video would be a good source as it has been put together and approved by some of the community’s respected names such as Bill Sauder and Parks Staphenson. Although it isn’t perfect, it’s pretty accurate. However, I would disagree with your statement about the nature of the sinking. Since the damage from the iceberg of course impacted the bow, the bow would sink downwards, taking the bulk of the vessel also down with it. This would result in bodily submersion. This is demonstrated in National Geographic’s 2012 sinking simulation. The actual downward slant wouldn’t be extremely noticeable until water reached the foward end of the boat deck when the propellors began to lift out of the water.
 
A

Aaron_2016

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Survivors described the ship sinking very slowly and bodily e.g.


4th officer Boxhall
"The boat seemed to be drawn closer to the ship. I think, myself, that there was more suction while the ship was settling bodily. That was shortly after we were lowered into the boat. I think there was more suction then than there was when she actually went down, because I pulled some distance off then."


Mr. Edwards - Representing the Docker's Union
"......It is pretty clear that the Titanic, when she went down, went down very gradually, and that the evidence which has been given about her going down head first and practically perpendicularly is not true......It is pretty clear on the evidence that, as the sinking was gradual, there must have been water coming in a good way aft."


Edwina Troutt
"As we were rowing away we could see the Titanic gradually sinking......This row of lights would disappear and the next row of lights disappeared."

Violet Jessop
"I started unconsciously to count the decks by the rows of lights. One, two, three, four, five, six. Then again, one, two, three, four, five....There were only five decks now. Then I started all over again. Only four now. She was getting lower in the water, I could not any longer deny it......Only three decks now, and still not a list to one side or the other. I watched Titanic give a lurch forward, one of the huge funnels toppled off like a cardboard model, falling into the sea with a fearful roar."

Albert Pearcey - In collapsible C.

Q - Did you notice when you rowed away whether the ship had any list?
A - Yes, the ship had a list on her port side.
Q - Did you notice whether she was down by the head?
A - No, I did not notice.
Q - Did you notice whether she appeared to be going deeper into the water forward? Did you notice that?
A - No.
Q - Did you see the vessel go down?
A - Yes.
Q - Were you facing her when she went down?
A - Yes.
Q - Were her lights burning?
A - Yes, the lights were burning.


I believe the ship tilted downwards at the start, but as the water moved aft inside the ship and poured in from open portholes the downward tilt would have eased away as she sank bodily, but when the ship began to break the bow took a sudden plunge or lurch and the stern trembled and broke and rose sharply into the air. e.g.

Edward Brown


Q - Did you notice whether the bow broke off?
A - With the first report of that explosion I saw the afterpart of the ship giving a tremble like this (showing), and I thought by the afterpart going up like this (showing), and giving a bit of a tremble that the bow had fallen off. I might be wrong.

Q - When the afterpart gave this tremble, where were you then?
A - In the water; right before the forward funnel.

Q - Did you notice whether the lights of this afterpart were still lighted or not?
A - There were lights burning then.

Q - Could you see that?
A - Yes.


.
 
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Mar 22, 2003
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Condition 40 minutes post allision based on Hackett & Bedford study condition A2
Flooding in Forepeak, Hold 1, Hold 2, Hold 3 and BR 6
Water intake 14,996 tons
Draft aft 17.56 ft
Draft fwd 64.33 ft
Mean draft 40.95 ft
Trim -46.77 ft
Trim angle -3.15°
down03.JPG
 
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Mila

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Condition 40 minutes post allision based on Hackett & Bedford study condition A2
Flooding in Forepeak, Hold 1, Hold 2, Hold 3 and BR 6
Water intake 14,996 tons
Draft aft 17.56 ft
Draft fwd 64.33 ft
Mean draft 40.95 ft
Trim -46.77 ft
Trim angle -3.15°
View attachment 39055

Thank you, Sam!

I'd also like to find out how high above the waterline was the masthead light at 2 a.m. when it was last sighted from the Californian. Do you have this info?
 
Mar 22, 2003
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I'd also like to find out how high above the waterline was the masthead light at 2 a.m. when it was last sighted from the Californian. Do you have this info?
No, but it can be estimated. About 2:15am Titanic time the vessel was trimmed down about 10° by the head. The floatation pivot point was about 400 ft aft of the foremast, thus the masthead light would be about 70 ft closer to the waterline. In the undamaged condition the masthead light was about 145 ft above the waterline. Therefore, at the time of the break, her masthead light would be about 75 ft above the water.
By the way, that light could have been seen from someone on a vessel who's height of eye was 45 ft above the water at a distance of 18 nautical miles or closer. Under the intact condition (145 ft above the water) the mast light would be visible out to 22 miles under very good seeing conditions.
 

Mila

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By the way, that light could have been seen from someone on a vessel who's height of eye was 45 ft above the water at a distance of 18 nautical miles or closer.
Thank you, Sam,

but assuming that Californian was much closer than 18 nautical miles (after all people from lifeboats were able to see Californian's lights even from the water level and from the location of the Titanic) and the visibility on that night was perfect, why Gibson and Stone no longer were able to see this light after 2 a.m. ?
 
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Aaron_2016

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Thank you, Sam,

but assuming that Californian was much closer than 18 nautical miles (after all people from lifeboats were able to see Californian's lights even from the water level and from the location of the Titanic) and the visibility on that night was perfect, why Gibson and Stone no longer were able to see this light after 2 a.m. ?

Ships keep different times. Am I right in thinking that when it was 2.05am on the Californian it was around 2.20am on the Titanic?

Gibson - "We were talking about it all the time, Sir, till five minutes past two, when she disappeared."


.
 

Mila

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Ships keep different times. Am I right in thinking that when it was 2.05am on the Californian it was around 2.20am on the Titanic?

Gibson - "We were talking about it all the time, Sir, till five minutes past two, when she disappeared."


.
Thank you, Aaron,
I was also wondering about this, but it is so weird. I could imagine different clocks by an hour or a few, but for minutes... Confusing.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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2:05am Californian time = 2:17am Titanic time
Time kept aboard vessels back then were set so that when the sun reached the highest point in the sky at noontime their clocks would read 12:00. It was called local apparent noon and depended on the ship's longitude at noontime on any particular date. There were no time zones at sea back then.
 

Kyle Naber

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Which would make sense considering the breakup and the lights went out (not all) on the Titanic at around 2:17-18.
 

Mila

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No, but it can be estimated. About 2:15am Titanic time the vessel was trimmed down about 10° by the head. The floatation pivot point was about 400 ft aft of the foremast, thus the masthead light would be about 70 ft closer to the waterline. In the undamaged condition the masthead light was about 145 ft above the waterline. Therefore, at the time of the break, her masthead light would be about 75 ft above the water.
By the way, that light could have been seen from someone on a vessel who's height of eye was 45 ft above the water at a distance of 18 nautical miles or closer. Under the intact condition (145 ft above the water) the mast light would be visible out to 22 miles under very good seeing conditions.
Hi Sam,

One more question please.
After red sidelight was gone, what lights Gibson and Stone saw, masthead or stern, and whatever light they saw, why could not they see the other one?
Thanks.
 
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Aaron_2016

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Hi Sam,

One more question please.
After red sidelight was gone, what lights Gibson and Stone saw, masthead or stern, and whatever light they saw, why could not they see the other one?
Thanks.


Stone was apparently the only one who saw the ship turn around and show a very faint stern light which disappeared shortly after 2am.


Captain Lord

"He (Stone) saw her stern light through the glasses faintly."
Q - And that was the end of her?
A - That was the last he saw of her.

Q - Might it be that the masthead lights disappeared, showing a stern light, which was not in fact visible at that distance?
A - Very likely, yes.


Chief officer Stewart

Q - Did he (Stone) say what happened to her lights, and what he saw of them?
A - He said he saw a stern light as she was going out of sight, and it got very faint, so faint that he had to use the binoculars to get the bearing of it.


Gibson

Q - Did you ever see anything which you took for her stern light?
A - No.


2nd officer Stone

Q - Did you make any report to the Captain about this disappearance?
A - When I sent Gibson down at 2.00 a.m. I told him she was disappearing in the S.W.
Q - Did you say to Gibson "Tell the Captain she is disappearing," or did you say "Tell the Captain she has disappeared," which did you say?
A - I could not have said that she had disappeared, because I could still see her stern light. I saw this light for 20 minutes after that.


.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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I don't trust anything that Stone said he saw, let alone the compass bearings he gave at that time. This is the same guy who at 4am had to be shown a stopped steamer with two masthead lights and "a lot of light amidships" over in the same direction that rockets were seen only 40 minutes earlier..
 
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