Vertical stern or heavy list to port?

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Aaron_2016

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Looking at survivor estimates for the stern. Jack Thayer estimated - "The stern then seemed to rise in the air and stopped at about an angle of 60 degrees. It seemed to hold there for a time and then with a hissing sound it shot right down out of sight"


Diagram showing a 60 degree rise.

stern1a.png



The funnels would have fallen, but the weight of the engines would have immediately weighed the stern down at the forward end and cause the stern to rise sharply into the air. If the watertight doors were still closed and the stern rose up quickly before gradual flooding could take place then there would be enough buoyancy I believe to allow the stern to bob up and down like a cork until the air inside had burst out or flooded rapidly. Another possibility is that the middle section was still attached or partially attached to the stern (everything under the 3rd funnel) and this would add more weight to that end and swing the stern into the air. According to Joughin the port list was stronger than the downward tilt, so the entire stern may have been canted over to port while suspended in the air.

e.g.

Edited image of the Lusitania sinking to get a rough idea what Charles Joughin was experiencing.



Joughin1.png



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R.M.S TITANIC

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Even if it did get close to vertical in a postion like the movie, it would be easy to tip over if it tilts forward a little more. It could also be pulled by gravity back down, but that is unlikely.
However, it could stay like that if it was lower in the water.
 
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Kyle Naber

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I think a lot of what determines the final angle of the stern is when the keel separated completely and the bow left the stern at the surface. If the bow were to completely rip from the afterpart if the stern were at an angle of 0 degrees (no downward tilt), then the stern most likely wouldn't have lifted for a second time. It would look something like this:

(1:45)

This matches Frederick Scott's testimony and the simulation is most likely based on it.

Frederick Scott, Greaser in Lifeboat 4 Mr. Scott did see the ship break in half. His words are in bold.

5673. We pulled away from the ship’s side and we had not been away long before the ship started breaking up, and her stern went up in the air, and you could see her three propellers nearly the same as you can see them on the model.
5674. You got away? - Yes; we had just got at the stern of her when she started breaking up.
5675. You say she started breaking up? - Yes; she broke off at the afterfunnel, and when she broke off her stern end came up in the air and came down on a level keel and disappeared.
5676. It went up in the air and came back on a level keel? - Yes.
5677. Then did she go up again before she disappeared? - No.
5678. Simply sank? - She simply sank.
(From Bill Wormstedt's presentation of the American and British Inquiries: "The Facts - What did the Survivors See of the Break-up of the Titanic?" See full article at https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/articles/wormstedt.pdf)

This also matches Eva Hart's description of the final plunge. She described it simply as "turning over." (Probably the extreme port list)

But at the same time, most survivors swore to the perpendicular or near perpendicular configuration. In my opinion, Hart and Scott were either mistaken, or they had poor vantage points. I think the stern was forced upward by the downward motion of the bow. This would have been pretty quick. However, when the keel completely broke apart, the stern would have "stopped" or greatly slowed down, probably at an angle of about 45 to 60 degrees. Then natural flooding would take place, and the stern would disappear more quickly. Like this:

(At 25:25)
 

LukeW17

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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!
Possibly true, as it was so unstable after the break I believe the stern could have quickly swung up into a higher position before dropping again and leaning to port
 
Possibly true, as it was so unstable after the break I believe the stern could have quickly swung up into a higher position before dropping again and leaning to port
I believe it bobbed like a cork, albeit very rapidly and sinking very fast. In recent years we have learned that the break up was located more forward than was originally thought of... so the stern portion of the ship was much bigger than we were initially lead to believe. However, the timing of the sinking has remained unchanged, so it must have sunk much faster, making (in my opinion) the epic rise if the stern as seen in Camerons movie impossible. What must have really occurred is something much more quick, messy and chaothic.
 

LukeW17

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I believe it bobbed like a cork, albeit very rapidly and sinking very fast. In recent years we have learned that the break up was located more forward than was originally thought of... so the stern portion of the ship was much bigger than we were initially lead to believe. However, the timing of the sinking has remained unchanged, so it must have sunk much faster, making (in my opinion) the epic rise if the stern as seen in Camerons movie impossible. What must have really occurred is something much more quick, messy and chaothic.
Yeah I agree, and for it to stop at exactly 90 degrees is not likely as well.

It could have swung up and through a high angle like that but it couldn’t have stayed there perfectly straight as Cameron’s movie shows
 

Kyle Naber

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D8B209D0-14B5-4F94-A273-397C0B26BF50.jpeg
7F9A4395-B480-4EF6-983D-8A01A7315F29.jpeg



Here’s two more accounts in favor of a heavy port list, which match up with Charles Joughin and Eva Hart’s accounts (Sorry for the screenshots, I didn’t feel like typing all of that! :D).
 
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This is sort of on topic I think. I watch a documentary that was recently uploaded to Youtube. It had Ken Marshal and Don Lynch in it so I gave it a try. It was pretty good. In it it was stated that because they had the had stokers shift the coal from the bunker that was on fire that Titanic was running with a list to port before she hit the iceberg. Is that right? And would it have exposed more of the starboard hull to the berg if true? I don't recall reading about her running with a list to the port side.
 
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Aaron_2016

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This is sort of on topic I think. I watch a documentary that was recently uploaded to Youtube. It had Ken Marshal and Don Lynch in it so I gave it a try. It was pretty good. In it it was stated that because they had the had stokers shift the coal from the bunker that was on fire that Titanic was running with a list to port before she hit the iceberg. Is that right? And would it have exposed more of the starboard hull to the berg if true? I don't recall reading about her running with a list to the port side.
The list to port on Sunday was briefly mentioned by two survivors.


Mr. Chambers - US Inquiry
"The ship had a list to port nearly all afternoon."

Lawrence Beesley - From his book.
"I then called the attention of our table to the way the Titanic listed to port. I had noticed this before, and we all watched the sky-line through the portholes as we sat at the purser's table in the saloon. It was plain she did so, for the sky-line and sea on the port side were visible most of the time and on the starboard only sky. The purser remarked that probably coal had been used mostly from the starboard side." "The previous listing to port may be of interest."


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Aaron_2016

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On a related note. When the Olympic approached New York in 1919 the ship listed to starboard when thousands of troops went to the starboard side to see their loved ones waiting for them.


Olympic1919.png



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Kyle Naber

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I think someone from a boat on the starboard or port side of the stern could only see a shape first being horizontal and then going down first at the break area, the poop deck going down last. It probably would have been too dark to see if there was a list or not from a far distance. I think the stern would have gone to a very steep angle head down and port, but just very low in the water:

breakup12.jpg


Here, the stern section reaches the steep trim angle of 45 degrees, higher than the breaking point, but still very low in the water, while listing heavily to port.

Screen Shot 2018-09-06 at 1.28.52 PM.png


Yes, the stern is listing heavily to port, but it could also look like it's going head down if you thought the deck facing you was the side of the ship. This is just an idea. But I think this may explain some discrepancies.
 
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Kyle Naber

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Here's some more accounts that support the port list:
(These are all from http://www.paullee.com/titanic/sinking.php)

IMG_1588.jpg

Even though the account places the break in the wrong place, it supports Joughin's testimony that the port side of the ship never returned and it only sank lower.

IMG_1590.jpg


This describes the stern tipping over and settling down instead of rising back up.

IMG_1593.jpg


Esther described the after part going "with a heavy list" and although Eva's account changed from time to time, she eventually settled on agreeing with her mother about how the stern leaned over.

IMG_1595.jpg


Dahl describes seeing bodies being sent over the side of ship, probably caused by the list. Joughin describes this same phenomenon.
 
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Aaron_2016

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I believe the huge crowd of passengers were thrown over the side after she broke in two. They appeared like bees as their lifejackets were visible to those in the lifeboats. Mr. Osman said - "She was white around there, and it looked like a big crowd of people." When the ship rolled over to port the funnel support wires on the starboard side would break with the strain or possibly the starboard side burst open first which cut the starboard side wires first, and the 4th funnel would fall over to port towards Mr. Dillon. As the stern rolled violently over to port the huge crowd of people in the aft well deck would fall into the sea. Mr. Joughin said "many hundreds" were thrown over.


funnelportside.png


Mr. Prentice was on the port side of the poop deck and saw "hundreds" of bodies difting in the water towards him as he looked over the side. Perhaps the crowd were thrown over the side and the 4th funnel splashed into the sea and pushed all of those people in the water passed the stern and Mr. Prentice could see many of them were dead, presumably killed by the 4th funnel falling and also the crushing effect of the weight of the crowd being thrown over the side into a huge pile of bodies which were dead and alive as described by Mr. Prentice.


Skip to 41:30




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Kyle Naber

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I wonder if Prentice was able to hang on because of the blade sign on the railing. The poop deck had a lot of machinery and benches and the docking bridge, so I wonder if those things prevented those in that area clung to those. The well deck possibly was too empty for anyone to be stopped from being thrown over?
 
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Aaron_2016

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I wonder if Prentice was able to hang on because of the blade sign on the railing. The poop deck had a lot of machinery and benches and the docking bridge, so I wonder if those things prevented those in that area clung to those. The well deck possibly was too empty for anyone to be stopped from being thrown over?
I believe there were only a few people on the poop deck. Mr. Prentice said he looked around and seemed to be on his own. Mr. Osman was asked: Q - Did you see any of them climb up there? (pointing at the poop deck). A - It looked blacker. She was white around there [indicating], and it looked like a big crowd of people.

I believe the poop deck "looked blacker" as there were fewer people there and she appeared to be much whiter on the aft well deck as the third class passengers had been waiting there for a considerable time during the evacuation and were trying to climb up to the boat deck, and it wasn't until the ship began to sink more rapidly that they realized all of the boats had gone and they were just about to turn around and make their way towards the poop deck when she suddenly gave a violent roll over to port "and she chucked them / many hundreds I should say".


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Kyle Naber

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I think I’ve asked this question in another thread, but is it possible that the ship was “vertical” before the breakup? At certain points of view, the 20-25° angle of the ship would have looked very extreme, and then exaggeration is added during the re-telling of the story. Then to some, the lights go out, and the stern settled further down into the water, missing the break. This would make 25° be the greatest slope the ship ever experienced on the surface. The keel separates completely when the stern is in a horizontal configuration, and it rolls over and sinks with a point of rotation at the poop deck.

I know Frank Prentice said the stern rose back up, but could this be him experiencing the the broken end of the stern going down, while the poop deck remained in pretty much the same spot? It would feel as if it were going back up by the slope increasing again.