The stages of the situation on Titanic


Cunard51

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Many years ago when I was a young teenager and thought I knew everything about the Titanic I wrote a 50 page book, looking back on it I think it was terrible and so inaccurate. However, the one good thing that came from my experiments with writing about the Titanic is I created a scale called the A.T.O scale which described the situation on board the Titanic as she was sinking and the atmosphere on the boat deck concerning the lifeboats.
So here is the scale, I hope people like it. I think of this as a psychological assessment of the situation as the sinking processed.

Royal Mail Steamer Titanic of the White Star Line
A.T.O Lifeboat Scale
Asking, Telling and Ordering of Passengers
  1. 12:05 - 12:25 Precautionary Measure: Captain Edward John Smith realizing he may need to utilize the lifeboats orders all lifeboats to be swung out and lowered level with the boat deck, to have all passengers with their lifebelts on and heading toward the boat deck and for a general distress call to be send by wireless. All normal routines and operating procedures are to be abandoned to address the serious situation before them. During this stage comprehensive inspections by the engineers and Thomas Andrews are being made to determine how serious the damage to Titanic it is. (It should be noted that I hypothesize during this stage in the sinking Titanic has not be declared to be in a life threatening situation, only a serious situation based upon my understanding of the facts).
  2. 12:25 am Titanic will die!: After assessing the damage and determining that the Titanic will die shortly Thomas Andrews (Chief Designer of Harland & Wolff) makes his way toward the wheelhouse to inform Captain Smith that Titanic has less than 90 minutes from this point until she completely founders into the sea. He is seen by several passengers with a very worried look on his face as he rushes up the Grand Staircase without saying a word, when just 30 minutes early he appeared confident that Titanic was fine. Captain Smith, J Bruce Ismay and Thomas Andrews all know that half or more of the 2,208 souls are going to die if help does not arrive in time. However, it appears from evidence that Senior Officers nor crew were notified of this situation for very apparent reasons!
  3. 12:25 - 12:40 am Women and Children first: Captain Edward Smith officially orders Women and Children to be placed into the lifeboats first for a maximum capacity of 1,178. This order is understood differently by Second Officer Charles Lightoller and First Officer William Murdoch with Lightoller adopting women and children only and Murdoch being more lenient with Women and Children first. Murdoch saved more lives than Lightoller by at least 100 people and got his lifeboats on the starboard side off Titanic 30 minutes ahead of Lightoller and also assisted on the port side (i.e. Lifeboat 10) after completing lowering the starboard lifeboats.




  1. 12:40 - 1:05 am: Asking: The lifeboats are beginning to be filled and lowered, most half full at this stage. The atmosphere aboard the RMS Titanic is filled with curiosity but generally calm on the boat deck as the band plays music first inside of the Titanic and then on the boat deck in the freezing night. Passengers, largely first class are politely asked to get into the lifeboats by officers and crew but are neither persuaded or forced into the boats during this stage largely as a effort to prevent panic and to keep everything orderly. Titanic appeared to many as very comfortable, safe and warm that some returned to their staterooms or public rooms. It was mainly a first come first served basis. Lifeboats: 7, 5, 3, 8 and 1 are lowered with a total amount of 135 people.
  2. 1:05 am - 1:25 am: Telling: As more and more passengers are appearing on deck and the Titanic is starting to settle deeper into the ocean the atmosphere is changing from curiosity to indecision on what to do, to get into the lifeboats or to stay in the warm public rooms of Titanic. Passengers, still first class but also including passengers from all classes are being told by officers, crew, Thomas Andrews, the Captain and J Bruce Ismay to board the lifeboats and are being persuaded to do so but many still believe the ship is safe as Titanic’s durability still holds up in the minds of most aboard including Second Officer Charles Lightoller who still believes she is sound even though the forecastle is peacefully sliding into the sea in front of him. Lifeboats 6, 16 and 14 are lowered with a total amount of 104 passengers and crew.
  3. 1:25 - 2:20 am: Ordering: As Titanic is beginning to list to port and her bow well underwater passengers and crew are beginning to realize that something is very wrong and that the lifeboats are appearing to be more appealing as the gravity of the situation can no longer be denied by anyone any longer. Passengers of all classes are being ordered and pushed into lifeboats by force and Third Class Passengers are appearing in larger numbers alongside all classes of passengers during this final stage. Panic is beginning to spread and officers are forced to utilize firearms to keep the crowds at bay in some cases. The engine room is flooding during this stage and the wireless set in the wireless room is going in and out as the crew in the bowels of Titanic are told to abandon their posts. Titanic’s lights glow dimmer and dimmer as the band plays until the last boat is gone.
Lifeboats 9, 11, 13, 15, 2, 10, 4, D, C are lowered with the last two collapsible boats (A and B respectfully) washing overboard during the violent plunge of the bow: Total Amount of Passengers during last lowering stage before foundering 661. Total Unused Lifeboat seats out of 1,178: 517 estimated.
 
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Nov 14, 2005
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Many years ago when I was a young teenager and thought I knew everything about the Titanic I wrote a 50 page book, looking back on it I think it was terrible and so inaccurate. However, the one good thing that came from my experiments with writing about the Titanic is I created a scale called the A.T.O scale which described the situation on board the Titanic as she was sinking and the atmosphere on the boat deck concerning the lifeboats.
So here is the scale, I hope people like it. I think of this as a psychological assessment of the situation as the sinking processed.

Royal Mail Steamer Titanic of the White Star Line
A.T.O Lifeboat Scale
Asking, Telling and Ordering of Passengers
  1. 12:05 - 12:25 Precautionary Measure: Captain Edward John Smith realizing he may need to utilize the lifeboats orders all lifeboats to be swung out and lowered level with the boat deck, to have all passengers with their lifebelts on and heading toward the boat deck and for a general distress call to be send by wireless. All normal routines and operating procedures are to be abandoned to address the serious situation before them. During this stage comprehensive inspections by the engineers and Thomas Andrews are being made to determine how serious the damage to Titanic it is. (It should be noted that I hypothesize during this stage in the sinking Titanic has not be declared to be in a life threatening situation, only a serious situation based upon my understanding of the facts).
  2. 12:25 am Titanic will die!: After assessing the damage and determining that the Titanic will die shortly Thomas Andrews (Chief Designer of Harland & Wolff) makes his way toward the wheelhouse to inform Captain Smith that Titanic has less than 90 minutes from this point until she completely founders into the sea. He is seen by several passengers with a very worried look on his face as he rushes up the Grand Staircase without saying a word, when just 30 minutes early he appeared confident that Titanic was fine. Captain Smith, J Bruce Ismay and Thomas Andrews all know that half or more of the 2,208 souls are going to die if help does not arrive in time. However, it appears from evidence that Senior Officers nor crew were notified of this situation for very apparent reasons!
  3. 12:25 - 12:40 am Women and Children first: Captain Edward Smith officially orders Women and Children to be placed into the lifeboats first for a maximum capacity of 1,178. This order is understood differently by Second Officer Charles Lightoller and First Officer William Murdoch with Lightoller adopting women and children only and Murdoch being more lenient with Women and Children first. Murdoch saved more lives than Lightoller by at least 100 people and got his lifeboats on the starboard side off Titanic 30 minutes ahead of Lightoller and also assisted on the port side (i.e. Lifeboat 10) after completing lowering the starboard lifeboats.

  1. 12:40 - 1:05 am: Asking: The lifeboats are beginning to be filled and lowered, most half full at this stage. The atmosphere aboard the RMS Titanic is filled with curiosity but generally calm on the boat deck as the band plays music first inside of the Titanic and then on the boat deck in the freezing night. Passengers, largely first class are politely asked to get into the lifeboats by officers and crew but are neither persuaded or forced into the boats during this stage largely as a effort to prevent panic and to keep everything orderly. Titanic appeared to many as very comfortable, safe and warm that some returned to their staterooms or public rooms. It was mainly a first come first served basis. Lifeboats: 7, 5, 3, 8 and 1 are lowered with a total amount of 135 people.
  2. 1:05 am - 1:25 am: Telling: As more and more passengers are appearing on deck and the Titanic is starting to settle deeper into the ocean the atmosphere is changing from curiosity to indecision on what to do, to get into the lifeboats or to stay in the warm public rooms of Titanic. Passengers, still first class but also including passengers from all classes are being told by officers, crew, Thomas Andrews, the Captain and J Bruce Ismay to board the lifeboats and are being persuaded to do so but many still believe the ship is safe as Titanic’s durability still holds up in the minds of most aboard including Second Officer Charles Lightoller who still believes she is sound even though the forecastle is peacefully sliding into the sea in front of him. Lifeboats 6, 16 and 14 are lowered with a total amount of 104 passengers and crew.
  3. 1:25 - 2:20 am: Ordering: As Titanic is beginning to list to port and her bow well underwater passengers and crew are beginning to realize that something is very wrong and that the lifeboats are appearing to be more appealing as the gravity of the situation can no longer be denied by anyone any longer. Passengers of all classes are being ordered and pushed into lifeboats by force and Third Class Passengers are appearing in larger numbers alongside all classes of passengers during this final stage. Panic is beginning to spread and officers are forced to utilize firearms to keep the crowds at bay in some cases. The engine room is flooding during this stage and the wireless set in the wireless room is going in and out as the crew in the bowels of Titanic are told to abandon their posts. Titanic’s lights glow dimmer and dimmer as the band plays until the last boat is gone.
Lifeboats 9, 11, 13, 15, 2, 10, 4, D, C are lowered with the last two collapsible boats (A and B respectfully) washing overboard during the violent plunge of the bow: Total Amount of Passengers during last lowering stage before foundering 661. Total Unused Lifeboat seats out of 1,178: 517 estimated.
Welcome to ET. Theres lots of good info here. I like your summary. Back in the day most of us had an inaccurate picture of Titanic. And still do on certain things Titanic related because some things are impossible to know for sure. But its fun trying to find out.
 
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