What if it happened during the day?


I have been wondering: What if the collision had happened during the day and not at nighttime, in the dark?
Let's assume for the sake of a discussion that the circumstances of the collision were exactly the same (as in: same iceberg, same position of other ships, same ammount of damage at the same locations and so on). What could happen differently?

Personally I think the biggest advantage would have been the fact that passengers would not have been asleep, so it would have been easier to warn them of the danger (more people would probably have seen the collision with their own eyes as they would have been on the promenade and the upper decks) - therefore perhaps the passengers would have realised the danger faster and the first boats would not have been as empty as they were in real life?

What is your opinion? What would have been different?
If it had happened in the day, I don't think there would have been a collision in the first place. They would have seen the danger in plenty of time to see and avoid it.

Adam Went

If, hypothetically, the ship had still hit the iceberg during the day then i'm not sure there would be a great deal of difference, other than the already mentioned fact that the majority of the passengers would be up and about and everything would be able to be seen more clearly. I'm not sure whether this is a good thing or a bad thing, as more passengers may have panicked/entered lifeboats, or it might have had the reverse effect. Also passengers in the water might have stood a slightly better chance of survival than they did when they entered the water in the early hours of the morning, but overall I think the differences would actually be quite minimal.

>>Of course, that's what I thought too, but this is a "what if"<<

That was my take on the what if. Daylight = you can see it = you can avoid it = you DO avoid it = history could care less about Titanic because nothing would have happened.

With that out of the way, if the accident had happened as it did in the same fashion it did in the real waking world, I doubt the outcome would have been signifigently different for some of the reasons which Adam mentioned, but also because with the damage being the same, the results are that the ship still sinks.

I think it might...notice that I say MIGHT...have made a difference in how the boats were loaded as people could see what would have been going on and would have been a bit less reluctant to enter the boats when offered a seat.
Anyone who thinks the accident could not have happened in the daytime has never been in really heavy fog. You can be right on top of something and you don't see it until it's too late, even in daytime.

The outcome might actually have been somewhat worse, too. Radio doesn't transmit as far during daylight hours, which might have prevented some ships from receiving distress calls, given the limitations of 1912 Marconi equipment, though I'll leave that question to those with more actual knowledge of the topic. But if you think the disaster was bad the way it happened, imagine it with no Carpathia arriving.
It happened at night. History does not reveal its alternatives.

-- David G. Brown

Very true. But one's imagination can. For example, suppose a helm order was given to avoid a danger, and for some unknown reason the helm jams at a critical moment, and there is no way to avoid a collision. This actually happened to HMS Hawke when she struck Olympic in Sep 1911.
If it had happened during the day, the chain of the events would have ocurred in more or less the same way... but there would have been a lot of complaints about the incompetence of the White Star's staff for not avoiding the iceberg in the first place.

Adam Went

If it had happened during the day, Captain Smith probably would have been on the bridge, and would he have taken a different course of action to Murdoch?? ;-)