What if she HAD missed the berg


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Dave Moran

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Apr 23, 2002
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This may have been discussed many times before - if so, a quick precis of opinions would be nice - but one thought occurs to me.

Suppose for the sake of argument that the ' port around' manouvre was succesfully completed. What would have happened then ? After all, ' Titanic' is still heading at full speed into a thick ice field . Would Murdoch have had the presence of mind, and the authority, to stop the ship, or would she have continued dodging bergs all night ? Was the accident then inevitable - sooner or later she was going to hit one ?

Your opinions are invited ...
 

Dave Gittins

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Mar 16, 2000
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I think they would have come to their senses with a sudden jerk. Murdoch had authority to stop but Smith was soon on the bridge very quickly anyway. Smith would have probably ordered slow ahead until he met the icefield. After that, who knows? Maybe he would have used the radio to try to find out what sort of a mess he was in, but given his attitude to radio he might not have.
 

Tracy Smith

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I can't imagine that they would have stopped the ship for the night, as the Californian did, but perhaps they would have proceeded at a much slower speed, with additional lookouts, until the sun came up and they could better see where they were going.
 
May 8, 2001
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What would they have done? How about Jerk Ismay out of his suite, open a can of whoopass on him, and either strap him to the front of the ship holding a lantern, or thrown him in the brigg for the rest of the journey?! NO?! Well, it was a thought....
Seriously, I think Tracy is correct that they would have attempted to slow down and procede with caution.
Colleen
 

Adam McGuirk

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Lol, good one Colleen..Or perhaps make him a stoker....Funny sight, Ismay shovelling coal(Laughs while listening to his favorite ccr song, are they from, by where you live Colleen?). I agree with Tracy too, they probally would have gone half ahead until dawn.
Adam
 

Jason D. Tiller

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LOL Colleen!
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I also agree with Tracy, that they would have slowed down until morning.

Best regards,

Jason
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Jan 31, 2001
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I agree. It would make sense for them to slow down; I'm sure that close call would make them realize what a dangerous area they were lurking in.

Quoting from "Ghostbusters II": "Better late than never!"


Cheers,
happy.gif


-B.W.
 

Adam McGuirk

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I still don't know why an experienced sailor like Smith was going full ahead in the first place through there.
Tracy, you said they would have additional lookouts, do you know the maximum that could fit up there?
Thanks,
Adam
 
Sep 20, 2000
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Dumb question, perhaps, but how would they just "slow down until morning" when they were only about 5 miles away from a 1- to 2-mile wide ice field at 11:45 p.m.?

One way or the other, a definite decision was going to have to be made in 10-15 minutes.
 
May 5, 2001
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Well to Answer the original author of this thread, Dave Moran:

I guess you can sum up Titanic's journey through the ice field, if she had missed the infamous berg that did her in, to negotiating traffic at faster than usual speeds.....you may indeed dodge traffic because of your skills but sooner or later, you're bound to hit something.....I think Titanic was destined to leave the surface that evening..one way or another.

Regards,
Bill
 
Jul 9, 2000
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More likely a definate decision would have to be made right then and there. The problem being that after one close call, they would know they were in some ice, but in the dark of the night, how would they know whether it was five inches away, or five miles away or just how deep the roadblock was?

They would be playing a guessing game with lethal consequences if they guessed wrong, and indecision is an proven effective way of getting people dead!

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
May 9, 2000
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Brandon said: "Also, had she missed the iceberg, this website probably wouldn't exist."

I believe if the Titanic had missed the iceberg we probably would have this site - but with the name of a different ship...
 
Jul 9, 2000
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I suspect Henning is absolutely correct. There was really nothing in any way unusual about the way the Titanic was operated. Go through the testimonys and you'll see that it's a very common thread that just about all the mail boats were run at their best speed in all conditions save reduced visibility. Somethimes not even then.

Recall that rather chilling photograph in another thread where the Olympic blew on by the Natucket lightship at high speed in the fog. She didn't miss by much and one year, she didn't miss at all! The lightship was sliced in half and most of her small crew was lost. Keeping schedules was everything and still is.

Unfortunately, not much has changed since then save that the shipping routes were changed to move the traffic out of harms way. That the Blue Ribband competition was alive and well is reflected in the fact that the crack liners only sought to become faster and faster still.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 

Allan Clarke

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Feb 27, 2002
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I think Lightoller put it in perspective when he lamented the failure to get the ice warning from the Mesaba to the bridge. For him that was the reason for the loss of "that magnificent ship" and the 1502 souls. Reading between the lines, he is suggesting that they would have slowed the ship down and upon encountering heavy ice taken every precaution to navigate through or around it.
I think Brandon has an interesting point. I was interested in what Shakleton had to say at the British Inquiry. Basically, it wasn't the ice that sank the Titanic, but our increasing demands for more speed and better service to the detriment of safety.
One last point. A few years before 1912 and there would have been no wireless messages. Ships have gone down because of ice damage before 1912 and after 1912. I suppose the ultimate lesson is for our species to be less arogant about the infaliblity of our knowhow. It was only 20 years ago that the drill rig the Ocean Ranger sank in heavy seas with all 84 souls lost and supply ships standing by helplessly looking on. She too had been labelled "unsinkable."
Allan
 
Jan 31, 2001
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Thanks Jason; it's good to be back on the board.

Perhaps we would be on Encyclopedia Lusitania, Henning!


Cheers,
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-B.W.
 
Mar 3, 2001
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Well out of the tragedy came some good events. For example if she had missed the burg who knows how long it would have been before they formed the International Ice PAtrol, coast guard, things like that. How much more ignorant would mankind have become, possibly leading to a greater tragedy? Not to mention we would probably never have heard of Titanic in the year 2002. She would have been just another ship that sailed and was scrapped. I'm of the mind that all things happen for a reason. So that's my humble opionion
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