Titanic proceeding to Halifax


Oct 28, 2000
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Ioannis -- you said Ismay was on the bridge giving orders within seconds of the accidenf, I did not.

What I said is that as a ship owner Ismay would have considered it important to keep Titanic's business a domestic affair. That's a far cry from saying he was issuing orders to anyone on the bridge.

And, you apparently overlooked that I said the evidence for an "all safe" message is compelling, it remains circumstantial.

-- David G. Brown
 
Mar 18, 2008
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As QM Olliver said that the order was given after the collision (we know from Dillon & Scott that the engine orders were given directly after the collision) and you have stated several times that Captain Smith acted under Ismay's orders (like in your book last log) the conclusion can only be that Ismay must have been on the bridge within seconds.

Still waiting for a source about the steaming to Halifax statement as well for which survivors corroborate that message.
 
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Aaron_2016

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In 1934 First class passenger Edith Rosenbaum gave a very detailed account. She spoke to an officer and a steward and they both believed they would be heading for Halifax for repairs.



"I was met by my room steward, Wareham, fully dressed in overcoat and derby hat. I asked, 'Wareham, do you think there is any danger, or is it simply the rule that all passengers should put on life belts?' He answered, 'It is a rule of the Board of Trade that all passengers must put on life belts and that women and children are put aboard the lifeboats. Now I do not think that the boat can sink. In all probabilities we shall tow her on to Halifax.' So I said, 'If you have any idea of going to Halifax, here are my trunk keys, and you better clear my trunks at the customs.' I remember now, but did not at the time appreciate the significance of his reply, 'Well, if I were you, I would kiss those trunks good-bye.' 'In that case, Wareham, do you think the boat is going to sink,' I asked him, to which he replied, 'No one thinks anything, we hope"..................Just then, spying an officer, I said. 'Mr. Officer, should I go in one of the life boats, is there any danger?' And he replied, 'I do not think there is any immediate danger, Madam, but this boat is damaged. Very likely she will be towed to Halifax. We are expecting the Olympic alongside in the next two or three hours, when she will transfer the passengers and proceed with them. So there is no immediate danger or hurry, as this is an unsinkable boat. You had better use your own judgement in the matter.' Again an order was issued. 'All women immediately go back to boat deck.' And as I did so, I noticed coming upstairs, what seemed to me to about 50 white clad bakers with loaves of bread as big as a man. I remember remarking laughingly, that it resembled a carnival procession at Nice."


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Rob Lawes

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Apart from the lack of any physical evidence, a copy of a signal or a PV showing a signal from MGY for example, this whole thing hinges on the belief that Captain Smith would send an overtly optimistic message about the state of his vessel and intentions, before receiving the full report from the Carpenter and ships engineers.
 
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Aaron_2016

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We only have survivor accounts to follow. Beauchamp was in boiler room 6 and did not see any water in there for some time. Boxhall went down below and during his first inspection he did not find any damage. The collision was so slight that Captain Smith might have believed the damage was not serious but kept by the book and requested the carpenter's report to confirm that the ship was not badly damaged, as it was relatively minor compared to what he experienced when the Hawke collided with the Olympic. The collision with the iceberg was a mere nothing as Edith Rosenbaum later stated. There may have been telephone messages to the engine room and a response back which stated no serious flooding, and Captain Smith would then make arrangements to change course for Halifax for repairs. This is when the wireless operators would send a message. Perhaps instead of telling the company they were going to Halifax, he may have asked them that he intended to steam for Halifax but would await their response.


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Rob Lawes

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Beauchamp's timings may be off but he clearly see's flooding in boiler room 6.

We also have another witness to the events in boiler room 6 besides Barrett and Beauchamp.

Leading Fireman Hendrickson visited Boiler Room 6 attempting to deliver lamps as he had been ordered to do. From what I have read I would place this at around 20 to 30 minutes after impact. He said he couldn't get in there as the water was too high though he did not give a depth.

As for the possibility that Smith was awaiting a response. Remember that both of the New York and UK offices would have been closed at that time so he would have to wait a while for anyone to pick up his message.
 
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Aaron_2016

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When the Olympic lost a blade in mid-Atlandic reports said it was around 2am and some of the passengers were woken up by the vibration. Captain Smith sent two messages to the company stating his intention to steam for Belfast for repairs, and then later the destination changed and he would continue as normal and allow the passengers to depart. Possibly the first message was sent when the offices were closed, and the second one was sent when they had opened in the morning and instructed Captain Smith to maintain orders and allow the passengers to depart as normal before heading up to Belfast for repairs. Company PR and all that.

Barrett said the water rushed in and he escaped boiler room 6 just as the doors were closing, but that is not what Beauchamp had witnessed. The water was slowly rising below his feet and when he finally left boiler room 6 it was a considerable time later and even then he was not apparently alarmed or anxious to escape which suggests a very slow flood rate. Survivors will always contradict depending on their memory and if they have orders or an agenda, and I guess it is up to the reader to figure out who might be right.


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Jim Currie

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David,

I am not disputing the evidence of QM Olliver...I'm simply pointing out to you that his evidence cannot be used as proof that Titanic resumed passage at the time Ollover saw the Captain in action.

Re-starting the engines on a steam ship was not like re-starting the engines on a motor ship or an automobile for that matter.

Trimmer Dillon's evidence was a classic example of a steam ship being brought to a halt. If Captain Smith had wanted to continue on his voyage as suggested, he would first have rung down "STANDBY". The reason for that woukld be to ensure that when he did wish to proceed on the voyage, his engineers would be ready to instantly respond to any engine order he gave, including ahead.

I would also point out to you the fact that QM Olliver must have seen that last HALf AHEAD engine order while the WT doors were still closed in all the compartments in the engine room. You will note that after he had been to see the Carpenter, he came back to the bridge and was immediately dispatched below with a note for Chief Bell. This was before the Carpenter brought Smith the bad news. It means that when the Carpenter arrived on the bridge, QM Olliver was either in, or arriving at, the engine room. At that time, he found that the Ship was already stopped and the WTdoorsto BR 1 were open. I hope I make myself clear on that matter?
It follows that if it had been Smith's intention to proceed at HALF AHEAD, he must have made that decision after the Carpenter's report. You and I know that would have been the act of a moron, not that of man of Smith's calibre. You know my ideas of what happened but allow me to repeat them for the benefit of others.
1. Titanic hits the iceberg.
2. The ship is brought to a standstil using the engines in reverse.
3. The Captain arrives on the bridge as this is happening.
4. The ship comes to a halt. The Standby QM (Olliver) is sent with an order for the Carpenter to sound compartments for leaks.
5. The 4th Officer makes a quick inspection. Reports back to the Captain that evidence of damage has not been found.
6. Olliver arrives back on the bridge, reports he has passed on the order to the Carpenter.
The Captain thinks his ship has had a narow escape. While waiting for confirmation of this, he dicides to bring the ship's head round and back onto her original heading in readiness for resuming the voyage. However, he does not wish to make any way through the water, so decides to give the engines a short but positive burst ahead simply to activate the rudder. He rings HALF AHEAD on the telegraph then gives the order HARD-A- PORT the helm. This burst last about 2 minutes during which the ship's head swings slowly to the right then is steadied on her former heading. The ship is almost stopped in the water. The helm is returned amidhsip.
7. QM Olliver arrives is then sent to the engine room with a message for the Chief Enfineer.
8. The Fourth Officer leaves on another inspection round. On the way he meets the Carpenter with bad news for the Captain.
9. QM Olliver arrives in the engine room and finds the engines stopped and the WT doors to BR 1 have been raised.
10. The Carpenter arrives and gives smith the bad news. There after, the nasty stuff hits the fan.
 
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Beauchamp's timings may be off but he clearly see's flooding in boiler room 6.

We also have another witness to the events in boiler room 6 besides Barrett and Beauchamp.

Leading Fireman Hendrickson visited Boiler Room 6 attempting to deliver lamps as he had been ordered to do. From what I have read I would place this at around 20 to 30 minutes after impact. He said he couldn't get in there as the water was too high though he did not give a depth.

We had the same argument with Mr. Brown about the same one. Whenever Hendrickson was brought up there was no reply to it.

Edith Rosenbaum/Russel is known for making things up especially in later years.
No mention of Halifax in her 1912 or 1913 reports I known.

Also the question was directed to Mr. Brown who did made the statement about survivors confirming that Halifax part.
 
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A long time ago I wrote my "Last Log" book mentioned by Ioannis. It was a good effort at explaining the conventional wisdom about Titanic's accident. Even thought it sold well and received considerable praise from the Titanic community I was not satisfied. That book simply left too many unanswered questions. So, I went back to my research.

The first thing I did was to decide that unless proven false by hard physical evidence or an admission by the individual of perjury, all testimony of survivors must be considered "true." That is, the person giving the testimony believed he was giving an accurate description of events within the ability of human memory.

The next thing I did was to develop research guidelines for myself. To date, I am the only Titanic researcher who has both done so and published his or her guidelines for public scrutiny. The reason for doing so was to create what I call a "hierarchy of reliability" for analyzing the huge volume of testimony, printed news accourts, personal letters, etc. Once again, let me state the order of reliability that I use, starting with most reliable and ending with least:

1. Documented evidence obtained from the physical remains of the ship on the bottom of the Atlantic. ("The iron doesn't lie.")

2. Sworn testimony taken before a public body where the witness was under threat of punishment for perjury.

3. News accounts whether in contemporaneous newspapers or in hastily-published books about the tragedy.

4. Autobiographical books by survivors written or published years after the event.

5. Interviews done late in the lives of survivors (particularly TV interviews).

Finally, I decided not to allow modern practices (WW-II and later) in ships to color my thinking. This last self-imposed rule is the one I've broken the most. It's hard to go against my training and experience. But, using modern approaches to situations belies the fact that the people of 1912 had to learn the hard way about mistakes modern sailors are trained to avoid. Another way of stating this self-imposed research guideline is that I wanted to make an honest attempt at discovering what the seaman involved actually did at the time without applying any modern ideas or knowledge.

Using the above guidelines, I began to develop my own chronology of events. This taught me that nearly all conventional wisdom about the sinking has been developed by examining individual events without regard to the context in which those events occurred. For instance, you cannot understand the actions of the officers without understanding the IMM/White Star regulations. Viewed this way many cherished ideas within the Titanic canon about everything from the maneuvering around the iceberg to flooded bunkers to the breakup simply do not fit the total context of history.

Here is my ordering of events in chronological order. The approximate running time in minutes and seconds is given first, then the event and, where possible, the people involved.

- 7:00 Boxhall at starboard side door of officers quarters; Olliver on standard compass platform.
Lookouts spot "black mass" ahead. Ring three strokes on crow's nest bell.
- 4:00 Boxhall begins hourly compass check required by IMM/WSL Rules
(12:00 o'clock per unaltered April 14th ship's time.)
- 2:00 Boxhall cons 2-point left turn per Capt. Smith's orders.
Hichens notes ship has turned 2 points on starboard helm.
Lookouts note left turn and that ship is pointing toward iceberg.
- 0:55 Boxhall leaves compass platform followed by Olliver.
- 0:30 Fleet rings bridge to report "iceberg right ahead."
- 0:05 Murdoch rings engine order; heard by Boxhall while abreast Captain's cabin.
Murdoch turns to shut watertight doors.
Olliver walks into bridge area and sees Murdoch at W/T door switch.
Boxhall starts down ladder to B deck on his hourly rounds of Starboard Watch (his men).

0:00 IMPACT ON ICEBERG (11:40 crew time/12:04 unaltered April 14th ship's time).
Olliver feels ship take ice and hears Murdoch shout "Hard a-port" helm order.

0:05 Olliver feels rumble come to end, sees iceberg pass starboard bridge wing before he goes
into wheelhouse where Hichens sings out that wheel is hard over.
Boxhall comes out on B deck to see iceberg at "bluff of bow." Sees ice tumble into well deck.
Trimmer Cavelle trapped by avalanche of coal in boiler room #4.
Scarrott comes out from under forpeak and notes ship is slewing away from berg.
Officer seen in well deck. Boxhall in well deck notes the ice along side of deck from berg.
0:25 Passenger Norman Chambers things something is wrong with engines.
QM Rowe sees berg slide past stern.
"All Stop" sent from bridge to engine room (imputed)
0:30 Lightoller comes out port side officers quarters, sees nothing, goes to starboard side.
Ismay awakens in stateroom
Murdoch explains situation to Captain Smith
1:00 Engines stopped for first time. Olliver notes "All Stop" was sent on telegraphs.
Passenger Charles Stengel feels engines stop.
Boxhall goes down into 3rd class passenger quarters; notes nothing unusual.
2:00 Ismay asks steward what has happened.
Chief Officer Wilde goes forward. (imputed)
Olliver sent to rouse out carpenter to sound the ship. Olliver departs bridge.
3:00 Boxhall completes tour of 3rd class areas; starts back for bridge.
He finds manual W/T doors on F deck open in bulkheads C & D.
Ismay puts coat over pajamas and starts toward the bridge.
4:00 Bosun's Mate Haines and lamp trimmer Hemming independently hear air hissing out forepeak
tank vent. Officer visits (probably Wilde) and departs.
Ismay arrives on bridge. Meets with Captain Smith.
5:00 AB Clench notes water rising in hatch #1
Hemming finds forepeak storage dry.
Olliver meets carpenter in Scotland Road.
6:00 Carpenter tells Poingdestre water rising to 7 feet (probably in hold #1).
Boxhall returns to bridge; reports no damage found in 3rd class area forward.
6:30 Ismay departs bridge.
7:00 Olliver arrives back on bridge for more instructions. Sees Captain Smith telegraph "Half Ahead"
to engine room.

8:00 Captain Smith goes to Marconi office. Bride says it was to "warn" them to be ready to send distress
call. (HUH?) Since when is any member of any crew not ready for instant response to an
emergency? This is when "iceberg, all safe, Halifax" message would have been sent.

10:00 Ismay meets with Chief Engineer Bell who says "pumps are holding their own."
Captain Smith returns to bridge.
Boxhall departs bridge; meets Carpenter coming up to make report.
Captain Smith checks clinometer per Hichens
11:00 Captain Smith writes "work of hand" note, folds it, and dispatches it to Chief Bell via Olliver.
Olliver leaves the bridge.
11:30 Carpenter reports serious flooding in forward holds.
Engines stopped for last time. (imputed)
12:00 Bride prepares to take over radio room from Phillips. Two men discuss situation.
Captain Smith tells Chief Officer Wilde to prepare lifeboats.
Boxhall sees postal clerk. Sends him to bridge with report of flooding.
16:00 Boxhall in post office sees bags of floating mail.
Postal clerk reports flooding of post office to bridge (imputed).
18:00 Steam begins venting from funnel #1.
Olliver awaits Chief Bell's answer to Captain Smith's message in engine room. Notes that engines
are now stopped.
19:00 Boxhall starts back for bridge.
Hichens told "that will do" (probably by Murdoch). Goes to help with boats.
20:00 Crew's "midnight" change of watch begins. Bright relieves Rowe on poop deck.
Symons says 8 bells should have struck while he was on way to boat deck.
Olliver sent back to bridge with Chief Bell's reply.
21:00 Captain Smith prepares to depart bridge on inspection trip.
Boxhall returns to bridge.
Smith stops in Marconi office to send initial distress call via wireless.
 
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And still no source given regarding the Halifax affair. Instead we are again left with how conventional wisdom about Titanic's accident is wrong but the always changing theories of Mr. Brown (from last Log until now) are always the "truth".
 
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A long time ago I wrote my "Last Log" book mentioned by Ioannis. It was a good effort at explaining the conventional wisdom about Titanic's accident. Even thought it sold well and received considerable praise from the Titanic community I was not satisfied. That book simply left too many unanswered questions. So, I went back to my research.

The first thing I did was to decide that unless proven false by hard physical evidence or an admission by the individual of perjury, all testimony of survivors must be considered "true." That is, the person giving the testimony believed he was giving an accurate description of events within the ability of human memory.

The next thing I did was to develop research guidelines for myself. To date, I am the only Titanic researcher who has both done so and published his or her guidelines for public scrutiny. The reason for doing so was to create what I call a "hierarchy of reliability" for analyzing the huge volume of testimony, printed news accourts, personal letters, etc. Once again, let me state the order of reliability that I use, starting with most reliable and ending with least:

1. Documented evidence obtained from the physical remains of the ship on the bottom of the Atlantic. ("The iron doesn't lie.")

2. Sworn testimony taken before a public body where the witness was under threat of punishment for perjury.

3. News accounts whether in contemporaneous newspapers or in hastily-published books about the tragedy.

4. Autobiographical books by survivors written or published years after the event.

5. Interviews done late in the lives of survivors (particularly TV interviews).

Finally, I decided not to allow modern practices (WW-II and later) in ships to color my thinking. This last self-imposed rule is the one I've broken the most. It's hard to go against my training and experience. But, using modern approaches to situations belies the fact that the people of 1912 had to learn the hard way about mistakes modern sailors are trained to avoid. Another way of stating this self-imposed research guideline is that I wanted to make an honest attempt at discovering what the seaman involved actually did at the time without applying any modern ideas or knowledge.

Using the above guidelines, I began to develop my own chronology of events. This taught me that nearly all conventional wisdom about the sinking has been developed by examining individual events without regard to the context in which those events occurred. For instance, you cannot understand the actions of the officers without understanding the IMM/White Star regulations. Viewed this way many cherished ideas within the Titanic canon about everything from the maneuvering around the iceberg to flooded bunkers to the breakup simply do not fit the total context of history.

Here is my ordering of events in chronological order. The approximate running time in minutes and seconds is given first, then the event and, where possible, the people involved.

- 7:00 Boxhall at starboard side door of officers quarters; Olliver on standard compass platform.
Lookouts spot "black mass" ahead. Ring three strokes on crow's nest bell.
- 4:00 Boxhall begins hourly compass check required by IMM/WSL Rules
(12:00 o'clock per unaltered April 14th ship's time.)
- 2:00 Boxhall cons 2-point left turn per Capt. Smith's orders.
Hichens notes ship has turned 2 points on starboard helm.
Lookouts note left turn and that ship is pointing toward iceberg.
- 0:55 Boxhall leaves compass platform followed by Olliver.
- 0:30 Fleet rings bridge to report "iceberg right ahead."
- 0:05 Murdoch rings engine order; heard by Boxhall while abreast Captain's cabin.
Murdoch turns to shut watertight doors.
Olliver walks into bridge area and sees Murdoch at W/T door switch.
Boxhall starts down ladder to B deck on his hourly rounds of Starboard Watch (his men).

0:00 IMPACT ON ICEBERG (11:40 crew time/12:04 unaltered April 14th ship's time).
Olliver feels ship take ice and hears Murdoch shout "Hard a-port" helm order.

0:05 Olliver feels rumble come to end, sees iceberg pass starboard bridge wing before he goes
into wheelhouse where Hichens sings out that wheel is hard over.
Boxhall comes out on B deck to see iceberg at "bluff of bow." Sees ice tumble into well deck.
Trimmer Cavelle trapped by avalanche of coal in boiler room #4.
Scarrott comes out from under forpeak and notes ship is slewing away from berg.
Officer seen in well deck. Boxhall in well deck notes the ice along side of deck from berg.
0:25 Passenger Norman Chambers things something is wrong with engines.
QM Rowe sees berg slide past stern.
"All Stop" sent from bridge to engine room (imputed)
0:30 Lightoller comes out port side officers quarters, sees nothing, goes to starboard side.
Ismay awakens in stateroom
Murdoch explains situation to Captain Smith
1:00 Engines stopped for first time. Olliver notes "All Stop" was sent on telegraphs.
Passenger Charles Stengel feels engines stop.
Boxhall goes down into 3rd class passenger quarters; notes nothing unusual.
2:00 Ismay asks steward what has happened.
Chief Officer Wilde goes forward. (imputed)
Olliver sent to rouse out carpenter to sound the ship. Olliver departs bridge.
3:00 Boxhall completes tour of 3rd class areas; starts back for bridge.
He finds manual W/T doors on F deck open in bulkheads C & D.
Ismay puts coat over pajamas and starts toward the bridge.
4:00 Bosun's Mate Haines and lamp trimmer Hemming independently hear air hissing out forepeak
tank vent. Officer visits (probably Wilde) and departs.
Ismay arrives on bridge. Meets with Captain Smith.
5:00 AB Clench notes water rising in hatch #1
Hemming finds forepeak storage dry.
Olliver meets carpenter in Scotland Road.
6:00 Carpenter tells Poingdestre water rising to 7 feet (probably in hold #1).
Boxhall returns to bridge; reports no damage found in 3rd class area forward.
6:30 Ismay departs bridge.
7:00 Olliver arrives back on bridge for more instructions. Sees Captain Smith telegraph "Half Ahead"
to engine room.

8:00 Captain Smith goes to Marconi office. Bride says it was to "warn" them to be ready to send distress
call. (HUH?) Since when is any member of any crew not ready for instant response to an
emergency? This is when "iceberg, all safe, Halifax" message would have been sent.

10:00 Ismay meets with Chief Engineer Bell who says "pumps are holding their own."
Captain Smith returns to bridge.
Boxhall departs bridge; meets Carpenter coming up to make report.
Captain Smith checks clinometer per Hichens
11:00 Captain Smith writes "work of hand" note, folds it, and dispatches it to Chief Bell via Olliver.
Olliver leaves the bridge.
11:30 Carpenter reports serious flooding in forward holds.
Engines stopped for last time. (imputed)
12:00 Bride prepares to take over radio room from Phillips. Two men discuss situation.
Captain Smith tells Chief Officer Wilde to prepare lifeboats.
Boxhall sees postal clerk. Sends him to bridge with report of flooding.
16:00 Boxhall in post office sees bags of floating mail.
Postal clerk reports flooding of post office to bridge (imputed).
18:00 Steam begins venting from funnel #1.
Olliver awaits Chief Bell's answer to Captain Smith's message in engine room. Notes that engines
are now stopped.
19:00 Boxhall starts back for bridge.
Hichens told "that will do" (probably by Murdoch). Goes to help with boats.
20:00 Crew's "midnight" change of watch begins. Bright relieves Rowe on poop deck.
Symons says 8 bells should have struck while he was on way to boat deck.
Olliver sent back to bridge with Chief Bell's reply.
21:00 Captain Smith prepares to depart bridge on inspection trip.
Boxhall returns to bridge.
Smith stops in Marconi office to send initial distress call via wireless.

David, Forgive me but, I'm still having trouble understanding the two point turn. Didn't the lookouts state the iceberg was dead ahead? If they were already turning two points, wouldn't the lookouts have stated that they were initially clear of the iceberg, but then turned right into it. They also stated they thought the bow turned two points away from the berg.
 
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Aaron_2016

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David, Forgive me but, I'm still having trouble understanding the two point turn. Didn't the lookouts state the iceberg was dead ahead? If they were already turning two points, wouldn't the lookouts have stated that they were initially clear of the iceberg, but then turned right into it. They also stated they thought the bow turned two points away from the berg.


Objects that appear right ahead in the distance very often are not right ahead. It is an illusion as the object is placed in the centre of vision and when the object or observer approaches it will appear to veer away to one side. If the lookouts were fixed on the dark object with nothing else visible in the sea to focus on or judge its projected angle and distance from the ship then it may have appeared the ship was turning away from the iceberg when it was simply passing down the starboard side.

The collision could also have caused the helm to veer off as the starboard bow struck the submerged shelf of ice and pushed the ship left before the main bulk of ice above the surface passed the ship, giving the appearance she was quickly turning away from it.

- Lookout Fleet - Q - Did it seem that the blow came beneath the surface of the water and caused her to shift? A - Yes, sir.
- Lookout Lee - "She veered to port, and it seemed almost as if she might clear it, but I suppose there was ice under water."
- Hichens - "The vessel veered off two points"

- Boxhall said he heard the bell ring and immediately approached the bridge and when he was just passing the Captain's quarters about 30 feet away he felt the collision. This would place the time of the bell and the collision about 10 seconds apart. Yet he also claimed that he heard the telegraph ring and also heard the order "hard a-starboard" inside that very tiny margin of seconds. This would mean Hichens had barely got the wheel hard over when she struck and it could mean the two point turn that Hichens' noted was perhaps caused by the ship striking the iceberg which caused her to veer over 2 points to port.

I believe if the the order "hard a-starboard" was given with ample time to turn 2 points before the collision the ship would have heeled over as she turned at 22 knots. Yet there are no accounts of the ship heeling to starboard as she turned left. However there are accounts of the ship heeling or listing to port immediately after the collision when the order "hard a-port" was possibly given.

Lookout Fleet
Q - Did it tilt the ship to any extent?
A - She listed to port right afterwards.
Q - To what extent?
A - I could not say; a slight list.
Q - Just immediately on striking the berg?
A - Just afterwards.

Lookout Lee
"The ship seemed to heel slightly over to port as she struck the berg....Very slightly over to port, as she struck along the starboard side."

Even among the two lookouts there are contradictions. Did she heel to port "as she struck" or "just afterwards." One account implies the iceberg caused her to heel over, while the other implies the "hard a-port" order may have caused her to heel over just after the collision.


.
 
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Jim Currie

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The physics tell the tale.

Titanic's fore peak tank was holed and began to flood. We know this because the displaced air in the tank vent was being explerd via the gooseneck tank vent. See the evidence of Lamp Trimmer Hemmings.
Since the ship had started to turn away to the left from the danger, the hole had to have been on the right hand..starboard side of the ship. OK?
Now turn to the opening page of this sight and click on "deckplans". Next, click on " tank top " and move the picture to the right until you come to the Fore Peak Tank. You will clearly see that the furthest aft of the stem where that tank could have been holed was frame No.+134. That place is exactly 40 feet from the bow and 7 feet six inches off the center line.
Now think!
If before the helm order, Titanic was traveling along the direction of her centerline and she turned left under rudder effort; then she did not turn very far off her original course before the area of her forepeak tank came in contact with the ice. In other words, she was turning left at the time of impact. Additionally, the first point of contact on the ship's side in way of the forepeak tank was moving in almost a straight line at about 38 feet per second and would have transferred a mere 7.5 feet to the left in 6 seconds maximum before the ship's side right aft in way of frame No. + 134 in the forepeak tank made contact. At that moment, the bow would just have moved about 2 degrees left off her original course. Not 2 points.
 

Harland Duzen

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David, Forgive me but, I'm still having trouble understanding the two point turn. Didn't the lookouts state the iceberg was dead ahead? If they were already turning two points, wouldn't the lookouts have stated that they were initially clear of the iceberg, but then turned right into it. They also stated they thought the bow turned two points away from the berg.

In the Inquiry, Fleet due his first view of the iceberg where he could see one of the two tips before it fully slid into view.
iceberg10.gif
 
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Ah ok, I think I understand what's being said. Although I have no solid proof, I wondered if the left turn was executed...then on the attempt to port around, is when the actual impact occurred. I believe Smith and some officers went out to the starboard wing to see the iceberg astern. That has confused me for some time. If the only order was hard a starboard, this would have been impossible, however, if Murdoch attempted to port around the berg after impact, wouldn't it still have taken some time for the ship to respond and begin turning to port. They wouldn't have seen the iceberg from the Starboard bridge wing anyways, by the time she began to turn to port? Maybe I'm over thinking this.
 
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The above drawing by Fleet was done years later (there is also another one he did showing the Impact).

We know at last from Hichens and Qlliver that the Hard a port order was given and carried out.
 
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Aaron_2016

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Lightoller got out of bed and went over to the port side and saw Murdoch on the bridge. He then crossed over to the starboard side and saw the Captain. He also noticed the ship was moving very slowly, about 4 - 6 knots. This might have been the moment when the ship was moving ahead again and they were keeping a lookout to see a clear path through the ice before stopping again, or possibly they were both looking over the bridge wings to see where the iceberg had gone.


Lightoller

"I, first of all, looked forward to the bridge and everything seemed quiet there. I could see the First Officer standing on the footbridge keeping the look out. I then walked across to the side, and I saw the ship had slowed down, that is to say, was proceeding slowly through the water."
Q - This is all on the port side?
A - All on the port side.
Q - Did you see any iceberg?
A - No.
Q - Of course, if the iceberg passed the starboard side of the vessel, you were on the opposite side?
A - Yes.
Q - When you came out on deck was the ship already stopped or slowing down through the water?
A - She was proceeding slowly, a matter of perhaps six knots or something like that.
Q - Were the engines still stopped?
A - I could not exactly say what the engines were doing after once I got up. It was when I was lying still in my bunk I could feel the engines were stopped.
Q - When you looked over the side you thought she was going through the water about six knots?
A - Yes, four to six knots. I did not stay there long.
Q - Just tell us what you did.
A - After looking over the side and seeing the bridge I went back to the quarters and crossed over to the starboard side. I looked out of the starboard door and I could see the Commander standing on the bridge in just the same manner as I had seen Mr. Murdoch, just the outline; I could not see which was which in the dark. I did not go out on the deck again on the starboard side. It was pretty cold and I went back to my bunk and turned in.


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Rob Lawes

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Jun 13, 2012
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Daniel, remember that the starboard and port references are given in the old sailing parlance.

The order 'hard a starboard' meant the tiller bar turning to starboard thus applying port helm. This would leave the berg on the starboard side. Hence why the officers went onto the starboard bridge wing.

The hard a port order turned the ship to starboard and was intended to open the distance between the hull and the berg as soon as possible. By continuing with a left turn it would have held the hull fast against the berg for a lot longer and caused even more damage.

Had Murdoch had enough time his intention was to turn left to swing his bow away from danger then turn hard right to swing the stern clear. His "attempting to port around" as he described it.
 
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But, suppose the order was hard a starboard, which means turn the ships bow to port, suppose as soon as the order was carried out, she struck ice. I find it somewhat odd that the officers would head out to the starboard bridge wing, even if the order was hard a port as soon as she struck the ice. I would think it would take some time for Hitchens to take the helm from hard a starboard...to hard a port, then the ship also has to respond to this helm order. Wouldn't the iceberg be out of sight by then?
 

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