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Vertical stern or heavy list to port?

Discussion in 'Collision / Sinking Theories' started by LukeW17, Dec 23, 2017.

  1. LukeW17

    LukeW17 Member

    Hello everyone

    Well I’ve just watched James Cameron’s new documentary 20 Years Later (which I only found out about earlier) and saw that when they sank the model ship the stern attained a vertical position after the break up like previously shown in the 97 film.

    But in the 2012 Final Word animation the stern keeled way over to port after breaking before appearing vertical just before disappearing.

    So what do you think is more likely to be true? Some survivors claim she went straight up vertical while others claim she was way over to port.

    So physics or survivor testimonies?

  2. Kyle Naber

    Kyle Naber Member

    There should always be a healthy mix of both. The only reason we have even an idea of how the ship sank is through survivor accounts. However, we can’t entirely depend on them as they easily, not deliberately, exaggerated, confused, or just plain wrong. This is where science can be used to help fill in the gaps.

    Eva Hart described the final plunge as the stern “turning over.” Joughin on the stern testified against the vertical configuration and told of a heavy list to port at the end. However, a lot of those in the boats reported the stern going high up in the air, anywhere between 60 and 90 degrees. I think both definitely could have happened.

    I think when the ship broke apart, the stern was in no way balanced. It would have fell onto the ocean, dropping a couple hundred feet. It would have violently bobbed around in the water, swaying back and forth, starboard to port, but gaining a tendency to lean more over to port. People would have piled up in the well and on the poop on the port rails, the propellors lifting high into the air one last time. It probably would have looked something like this:

    (Skip to end)

    I know I reference this animation a lot, but the team behind this project does A LOT of intense researching.

    You can imagine how hard it would be to see and remember the exact movements of the stern when it was a silhouette at this time. (Apart from the spare emergency lights).
    LukeW17 likes this.
  3. B-rad

    B-rad Member

    Jack Thayer always said that the stern rotated. I wonder if this rotation could have been the list, caused the list, . Or visa-versa.
    LukeW17 likes this.
  4. LukeW17 likes this.
  5. The rotation might have been caused by the previously stern list but could also be connected with the break up and flooding of the stern. Thayer also mentioned that it might have been also the boat (collapsible B) which was turning.
    LukeW17 likes this.
  6. LukeW17

    LukeW17 Member

    I don’t think the port list was taken into consideration in the new documentary so that could have made a bit of a difference.

    My opinion is the ship broke anywhere between 20-26 degrees and rolled way over to port before then beginning to rise vertically while sinking down, reaching an “almost” verticle position not far from her completely sinking, quiet similar to the Honour and Glory sinking simulation.

  7. LukeW17

    LukeW17 Member

    Yes thanks been reading that one it’s very interesting
  8. The stern was totally unbalanced when it broke up. If there was the slightest slant to the port at the beginning, the flooding would surely augment it, causing the stern to tilt over to port.
    Kyle Naber and LukeW17 like this.
  9. LukeW17

    LukeW17 Member

    I agree, with it being so dark different survivors would have described different things from there perspective

    R.M.S TITANIC Member

    Kind of off-topic - Would the stern even be able to attain a vertical position as is often depicted?
  11. Aaron_2016

    Aaron_2016 Member

    The broken stern section is quite enormous and equal in length to many modest ships of her day. I believe it would have acted in a similar fashion to a smaller ship which had been torpedoed or had struck a mine. e.g.


    While searching for ship wrecks I found a really fascinating one. The HMS Victoria is resting on the seabed in a vertical position!


    LukeW17 and Harland Duzen like this.
  12. Harland Duzen

    Harland Duzen Member

    Good find Aaron!

    I just looked it up and if you're upset at Titanic's iceberg damage being buried, literally half the ship is impaled in the seabed! :eek:

    LukeW17 and Kyle Naber like this.
  13. Kyle Naber

    Kyle Naber Member

    In a perfect world, yes. If the flooding were just right, the exact angle of the ship at various times throughout the sinking were just perfect, I think so. But I don’t believe the stern ever acted in a way as it was depicted so romantically in the film. The stern would have inclined to a very steep angle, but there wouldn’t have been that moment of pure stillness at exactly 90 degrees.
    LukeW17 likes this.
  14. Kyle Naber

    Kyle Naber Member

    Imagine making your way into the bow of that one! Haha
    sir john adams and Harland Duzen like this.
  15. Aaron_2016

    Aaron_2016 Member

    I wonder if the front half is perfectly preserved like a time capsule? Titanic's bow is heavily embedded in the sand. If the damage can't be inspected from the outside then perhaps it can be from the inside? e.g. If there is sand deep inside the bow (where sand should not be) then it could indicate which plates were damaged by the iceberg which allowed sand to pour in. Did they ever go down this ladder which leads into boiler room 5/6? Might tells us a great deal about the collision.


  16. Harland Duzen

    Harland Duzen Member

    Going off topic, but I'm aways been a bit confused as to why there haven't viewed the damage from the Inside. I seen possible photos of the forward hold, (possibly a photo showing a rotten tyre from the car) so why haven't they just seen where's the damage is?
  17. Aaron_2016

    Aaron_2016 Member

    I think they were probably worried about losing their expensive camera. It would also be important to see if the watertight doors are closed and if the coal bunker or bulkhead wall had burst open because Barrett said the water did not spill over from one compartment to the next but instead had burst through. This would change the direction of the flooding and could explain why the ship sank bodily and listed to port. Mr. Edwards (Union representative) gave a key statement to the UK Inquiry regarding the possible breach of the bulkhead wall.

    "So that it is pretty clear on the evidence that, as the sinking was gradual, there must have been water coming in a good way aft. That will raise and has raised one or two very serious questions which your Lordship and your special technical advisers will have to decide, namely, as to whether there was any fault in the construction of the ship; whether there was any negligence in utilising the mechanical precautions in the ship for averting a disaster of this kind; whether the bulkheads did serve their purpose even as far as they were intended; whether this, therefore, was a much greater catastrophe than was anticipated in the putting in of those particular bulkheads; whether the speed with which she sank was in any way facilitated by the refusal of the builders to adopt a certain suggestion and recommendation by the Marine Department of the Board of Trade; and whether the Marine Department of the Board of Trade were right in yielding to the objection of the builders in respect of those particular precautionary measures."

    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018
  18. Harland Duzen

    Harland Duzen Member

    That would make the most sense. However they could go though the 3 forward hatches since their covers were blown off or rotted away but I guess they have their reasons.

    Back to Topic!
  19. LukeW17

    LukeW17 Member

    Not while most of it was above the surface I don’t think - certainly high out of the water but it would have looked different depending on where it was viewed from, I believe
  20. On the other hand, on the tip of the forward end of the stern there were located the reciprocating engines, which were quite heavy. Maybe they were quite to pull the stern quite high in the water!
    LukeW17 likes this.