The sinking could have been avoided


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John Jaeger

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According to a March, 2018 article in the British newspaper, The Sun, the sixteen lifeboats and four collapsibles had a capacity of 1,178 people. (All figures are of course APPROXIMATE and the points made are not utterly invalidated because of a dispute amounting to 1% or less.) Seven hundred ten were saved, so that if ONLY the rated capacities of boats were followed, 468 more lives could have been saved at a bare minimum.

I will forever maintain that due to the unusually calm conditions, each of the 16 lifeboats should have been filled with ten additional passengers, starting with children and then women.

That coupled with the 468 additional lives would have boosted the total number of additional souls saved to 628.

Whether the actual number of lives lost was 1,496, or 1,503, or 1,512 does not change the fact of a foolish and poorly supervised attempt to save lives after the other foolish acts of Captain Smith. He was last seen in the wheelhouse, where he could do ... what, pray tell? His proper place was down on the *boat deck*, properly supervising the evacuation, which everyone from Smith down failed to do.

His last words reportedly were, “Well boys, you've done your duty and done it well. I ask no more of you. I release you. You know the rule of the sea. It's every man for himself now, and God bless you.”

Neither he nor his boys did their duty "well." Not the radioman who kept telling someone trying to send him warnings, to "Shut up, shut up." Not those in charge of launching lifeboats. Not the officer at the wheelhouse when he gave the order to go hard to port and reverse the engines, which robbed the rudder of its authority.

Had he ordered full astern with dead ahead, I submit that Titanic would not have sunk.
 

Kyle Naber

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It’s easy to make out these numbers and “should haves.” However, things are always more complicated than they appear on paper. Yes, the lifeboats left Titanic under their full capacity, but there are a few things to remember: The severity of the situation, in the beginning, was unknown by most of the passengers and crew. Therefore, the urgency to put passengers into the boats was low. Second, the weather conditions made Titanic feel more comfortable, safe, and worth staying on. Who would trade a warm bed on a floating hotel for a tiny rowboat in the freezing ocean? Finally, the mystery ship (I’m not going to state a name due to the spark of another debate). The ship seen on the horizon surely was better rescue than the few lifeboats. This resulted in people waiting for a ship that would never arrive and panic to set in later than it would have. You have to remember that there’s a fine line between instilling urgency and creating panic. The officers who knew of the scale of the situation tried their best to balance on that line. In my opinion, the crew handled the situation as best they could. With the information we have today, it’s a no-brainer to get into a lifeboat on a troubled ship. Because we know Titanic’s story. It sinks. People died. Titanic’s passengers didn’t have an example like we do.

P.S., I’ll throw in my opinion of 1,496 ;)
 
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Oct 28, 2000
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Ignorance cannot be hidden under a blanket of arrogance.

After any loss of life it is proper to examine the events with a goal of preventing similar incidents. It is wisdom to make changes based upon careful study of the facts. We can learn better ways of evacuating a sinking ship by studying that cold April night. What we cannot do, however, is change the outcome of events on Titanic's sloping decks. It is the height of arrogance to assume that making some change here or altering an action there would have resulted in a different outcome. A slightly deteriorated falls, a heavily-laden boat, a "snap" and tons of wood, bread, lamps, oars, and people could have been dumped into the sea. And, that wildly swinging boat might have cause a second to capsize in the falls. In a twinkling more than 130 lives would have been thrown to Davy Jones by unwise and imprudent seamanship.

History does not reveal its alternatives. But it does give us the opportunity to better next time.

-- David G. Brown
 
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Jul 9, 2000
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Mr. Jeager, Once more from the top: What do you think you're accomplishing with all these pretentions of moral outrage?

116 years after the fact is a little late to be angry and the history you see is the history you get, so deal with it. (And lose the attitude, would you please? For somebody who claims he's here to learn, you're not coming across as interested in learning.)

Now with that said: Have you ever worked with Welin Davits? I have, and Captain Brown above was there to watch when Captain Wood did the demonstration!

It ain't as easy as you think, and we weren't even doing it under emergency conditions. We didn't have to worry about whether or not the ropes were sound and we weren't running out of trained seamen faster to do the davit handling AND man up the boats faster than we were running out of boats. Nor did we have to deal with passengers who flat out refused to get in the boats because they felt safer on the ship than in an open boat out on the North Atlantic.

On Titanic, all of those were issues.
 
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Rob Lawes

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I think one of the most overlooked factors is the fact that Ismay and the White Star Company insisted that the Olympic Class ships be constructed of a material that doesn't float.

To prove this, I conducted a simple experiment. I don't actually have any iron around the house at the moment so I used my wifes Russell Hobbs Iron but the principle is exactly the same. I filled the bath and added a pinch of salt (as we know, bouyancy is different in salt water to fresh and we want to be accurate), and I lobbed the iron in. (Not plugged in obviously). As predicted, the iron sank to the bottom of the bath. This conclusively proves that iron doesn't float and is therefore not the correct material to build ships from.

If Ismay hadn't been so obsessed with high quality and comfort for his passengers then he should have realised that there was one thing on the sea that night that coud float no matter what and that was the iceberg itself. I didn't have any ice cubes in the freezer but I did have some Iceberg lettuce in the fridge just to confirm my theory and I can say, that it did float in the bath.

And guess what, after a bit of research I discovered that my suggestion was not as stupid as it sounds. Both Britain and America during WW2 investigated the use of Icebergs as floating platforms for aircraft to support convoy operations. Also, a mix of ice and paper mulch to construct floating ice runways. Neither came to pass but they were tested in an episode of Mythbusters the Discovery TV series and found to be quite resiliant.

If only.
 
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John Jaeger

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Ignorance cannot be hidden under a blanket of arrogance.
/// It is the height of arrogance to assume that making some change here or altering an action there would have resulted in a different outcome. A slightly deteriorated falls, a heavily-laden boat, a "snap" and tons of wood, bread, lamps, oars, and people could have been dumped into the sea. And, that wildly swinging boat might have cause a second to capsize in the falls. In a twinkling more than 130 lives would have been thrown to Davy Jones by unwise and imprudent seamanship.


-- David G. Brown

The "arrogance" is on the side of the several "experts" here who boast of their years commanding vessels, who correct my "RMS" with "It was an HMS," who correct my statement of "over 1500 lives" with "IT WAS 1496 LIVES!" and who defend Captain Edward Smith at all costs.

No lifeboat could possibly have been "wildly swinging" in that calm sea, as shown on historical photos.

Engineers had calculated the loads and planned accordingly, had they not? How much more would ten children or women added to the lifeboats? It was not substantial, particularly under the dire circumstances.

The "unwise and imprudent seamanship" was demonstrated again and again by Captain Smith and his crew.
 

John Jaeger

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Mr. Jeager, (sic) Once more from the top: What do you think you're accomplishing with all these pretentions (sic) of moral outrage?

116 (sic) years after the fact is a little late to be angry and the history you see is the history you get, so deal with it. (And lose the attitude, would you please? For somebody who claims he's here to learn, you're not coming across as interested in learning.)

.

1. Mr. Standart, for someone who is RELENTLESSLY EAGER to criticize everything I say, you should at LEAST spell my name correctly.

2. Once more, from the top, how many times have you and your all-knowing friends corrected me on matters of absolutely NO CONSEQUENCE relative to the point or points I was making? YOUR OWN "moral outrage" at trivia demonstrate hypocrisy which quite escapes you.

3. When did I every say I came here to learn? Those are words you put in my mouth. I ventured ideas which I have never seen from anywhere else. You and your all-knowing pals have tried quite unsuccessfully to badmouth me at every single turn. Learn how to spell, Mister Big Shot.

The word is "pretension," not "pretention" (sic).
You do NOT begin a sentence with a number such as "116" . You write out the number.

4. I'm not angry. I'm simply analyzing the incredible sequence of events, and on top of that, suggesting ideas that not ONE of Titanic's officers carried out, much to the detriment of hundreds of innocent passengers and crewmen.

5. I have learned much less from you and your *experts* than you have from my ideas on how hundreds more would assuredly have been saved.

6. Finally this on *experts*:

"We have been cocksure of many things that were not so." - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.


"Rail travel at high speed is not possible, because passengers, unable to breathe, would die of asphyxia."- Dr Dionysys Larder (1793-1859), professor of Natural Philosophy and Astronomy, University College London.

Drill for oil? You mean drill into the ground to try and find oil? You're crazy," -- Drillers who Edwin L. Drake tried to enlist to his project to drill for oil in 1859.

"Louis Pasteur's theory of germs is ridiculous fiction." -- Pierre Pachet, Professor of Physiology at Toulouse, 1872

"The abdomen, the chest, and the brain will forever be shut from the intrusion of the wise and humane surgeon," -- Sir John Eric Ericksen, British surgeon, appointed Surgeon-Extraordinary to Queen Victoria 1873


"This 'telephone' has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us," -- Western Union internal memo, 1876

"The Americans have need of the telephone, but we do not. We have plenty of messenger boys." - Sir William Preece, Chief Engineer, British Post Office, 1878.

... good enough for our transatlantic friends ... but unworthy of the attention of practical or scientific men. - British Parliamentary Committee, referring to Edison's light bulb, 1878.

"X-rays will prove to be a hoax." - Lord Kelvin, President of the Royal Society, 1883

"Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible," -- Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895.

"It is apparent to me that the possibilities of the aeroplane, which two or three years ago were thought to hold the solution to the [flying machine] problem, have been exhausted, and that we must turn elsewhere."- Thomas Edison, American inventor, 1895.

"Fooling around with alternating current is just a waste of time. Nobody will use it, ever." - Thomas Edison, American inventor, 1889 (Edison often ridiculed the arguments of competitor George Westinghouse for AC power).

"Radio has no future." - Lord Kelvin, Scottish mathematician and physicist, former president of the Royal Society, 1897

"Everything that can be invented has been invented."

- Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. Office of Patents, 1899


"Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value," -- Marechal Ferdinand Foch, Professor of Strategy, Ecole Superieure de Guerre, 1904


"That the automobile has practically reached the limit of its development is suggested by the fact that during the past year no improvements of a radical nature have been introduced."- Scientific American, Jan. 2 edition, 1909


"The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular?" -- David Sarnoff's associates in response to his urgings for investment in the radio in the 1920s.


"Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?"- H. M. Warner (1881-1958), founder of Warner Brothers, in 1927

"There is no likelihood man can ever tap the power of the atom." -- Robert Millikan, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1923

"Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau." -- Irving Fisher, Professor of Economics, Yale University, 1929.

"There is not the slightest indication that nuclear energy will ever be obtainable. It would mean that the atom would have to be shattered at will."- Albert Einstein, 1932.

"I'm just glad it'll be Clark Gable who's falling on his face and not Gary Cooper," - Gary Cooper on his decision not to take the leading role in "Gone With The Wind."


"The energy produced by the breaking down of the atom is a very poor kind of thing. Anyone who expects a source of power from the transformation of these atoms is talking moonshine." - Ernest Rutherford, shortly after splitting the atom for the first time.


"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."- Thomas Watson (1874-1956), Chairman of IBM, 1943


"Man will never reach the moon regardless of all future scientific advances." -- Dr. Lee DeForest, Inventor of TV

"The bomb will never go off. I speak as an expert in explosives." -- Admiral William Leahy, US Atomic Bomb Project, advising President Truman on atomic weaponry, 1944.


"Very interesting Whittle, my boy, but it will never work."- Cambridge Aeronautics Professor, when shown Frank Whittle's plan for the jet engine.


"Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons." -- Popular Mechanics, forecasting the relentless march of science, 1949

"It will be gone by June." - Variety, passing judgement on rock 'n roll in 1955.

"Space travel is utter bilge." - Richard Van Der Riet Woolley, upon assuming the post of Astronomer Royal in 1956.

"I have traveled the length and breadth of this country and talked with the best people, and I can assure you that data processing is a fad that won't last out the year." -- The editor in charge of business books for Prentice Hall, 1957

"Space travel is bunk." - Sir Harold Spencer Jones, Astronomer Royal of the UK, 1957 (two weeks later Sputnik orbited the Earth).

"There will never be a bigger plane built." - A Boeing engineer, after the first flight of the 247, a twin engine plane that holds ten people.

"We stand on the threshold of rocket mail." -– U.S. postmaster general Arthur Summerfield, in 1959.

"The concept is interesting and well-formed, but in order to earn better than a 'C,' the idea must be feasible," -- A Yale University management professor in response to Fred Smith's paper proposing reliable overnight delivery service. (Smith went on to found Federal Express Corp.)

"A cookie store is a bad idea. Besides, the market research reports say America likes crispy cookies, not soft and chewy cookies like you make," -- Response to Debbi Fields' idea of starting Mrs. Fields' Cookies.

"We don't like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out," -- Decca Recording Co. rejecting the Beatles, 1962.

"Transmission of documents via telephone wires is possible in principle, but the apparatus required is so expensive that it will never become a practical proposition."- Dennis Gabor, British physicist and author of Inventing the Future, 1962.

"There is practically no chance communications space satellites will be used to provide better telephone, telegraph, television, or radio service inside the United States."- T. Craven, FCC Commissioner, in 1961 (the first commercial communications satellite went into service in 1965).

"But what ... is it good for?" -- Engineer Robert Lloyd at the Advanced Computing Systems Division of IBM, 1968, commenting on the microchip.

"If I had thought about it, I wouldn't have done the experiment. The literature was full of examples that said you can't do this," -- Spencer Silver on the work that led to the unique adhesives for 3-M "Post-It" Notepads

"The super computer is technologically impossible. It would take all of the water that flows over Niagara Falls to cool the heat generated by the number of vacuum tubes required." -- professor of electrical engineering, New York University

"I don't know what use any one could find for a machine that would make copies of documents. It certainly couldn't be a feasible business by itself." -- the head of IBM, refusing to back the idea, forcing the inventor to found Xerox

"There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home." -- Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977
 

Kyle Naber

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There’s no need to be rude. You asked for our opinions by contributing to this message board and that’s what we did.
 
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Arun Vajpey

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There’s no need to be rude. You asked for our opinions by contributing to this message board and that’s what we did.
Agreed completely. There is an old saying where I come from that while dealing with certain people silence is the best response. You might agree that it is applicable in this situation.
 
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John Jaeger

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There’s no need to be rude. You asked for our opinions by contributing to this message board and that’s what we did.

What I consider to be "rude" is the incessant nagging by Captains of the Sea, who have corrected me for the most trivial of things, such as:

"It's HMS Californian, not RMS. RMS is a designation for ships capable of doing 17 knots or better."

"It wasn't doing 24 knots!"

"WRONG, WRONG, WRONG" and on and on.

"YOU are not a ship's captain with decades of experience, I AM!"

Oh wow. How impressed I am. So was Captain EDWARD SMITH. Look what he did.

You see, the point is that sometimes those in complete authority and control make huge mistakes.
When compared to Captain Stanley Lord, who stood dead in the water because of all the icebergs they spotted, Captain Smith was foolhardy. You may choose to call Captain Lord foolish if you wish, but his ship did not sink. Smith's did, with considerable loss of life. Some would hold that 1496 lives lost is important when "over 1500" was claimed. Please, spare me the trivia.

Nor is it trivial that the crew did not order people into lifeboats for their own safety. Captain Smith had the ability to properly oversee and order the evacuation. He and his crew did not do that. It's not a mere opinion, but rather a statement of indisputable fact.

Finally, YOU said I "asked for your opinions by contributing." In fact, my opinions are rudely unwelcome in the numerous opinions of the magnificent authorities here. Had they been around, they no doubt would have lectured Wilbur and Orville Wright, "Your idea will never fly."
 

John Jaeger

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Agreed completely. There is an old saying where I come from that while dealing with certain people silence is the best response. You might agree that it is applicable in this situation.

I believe it was Mr. Standart who so angrily denounced everything I said as "red herrings and non-sequiturs" and stated that he would not bother reading or responding to me any more. Of course he violated his own haughty announcement, but nobody notices such things when all are busy bullying a single individual. I would much prefer being ignored to being told "WRONG, WRONG, WRONG" with almost never an acknowledgement of salient points I have made in abundance.

You try standing up to a dozen or more attackers, by yourself. That's what bullying is. And if you're a "CAPTAIN," well it's full speed ahead, isn't it.... Don't anybody challenge your authority.
 

Mark Baber

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Moderator's hat on:

1. This thread has been closed.

2. Mr. Jaeger, you have been asked several times to stop with the sarcastic personal comments about other members of the Message Board but you persist in posting messages which appear to have agitation as their only purpose. Limit your comments to substantive issues, not to your opinions of others involved in the discussion. Also, please stop posting long series of quotes about inaccurate predictions made by historical figures in the past; they have nothing to do with our discussions here.

3. Folks, everyone needs to abide by the same limitations. Please comment only on the substance of Mr. Jaeger's messages and not on your opinions of his character.

Moderator's hat off.
 
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