What if there were a ship to come to Titanic side in time


Yana

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Let's assume there were a ship to reach Titanic in time. What would have changed? I know that it took lots of time to lower lifeboats. Then lifeboats should have transferred passengers to another ship, and come back for the next group. How this next group could have been loaded to the boats? Could have they used a gangway for doing this? Would there be enough time to save more lives? Thank you.
 

Yana

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Thank you, Michael.
I'd like to ask you one more question please.
If there were enough lifeboats at Titanic, would they have had enough time to load them with the passengers and safely lower them to the ocean? Thank you.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>If there were enough lifeboats at Titanic, would they have had enough time to load them with the passengers and safely lower them to the ocean? Thank you.<<

In my opinion, no.

The ship sank in two hours and forty minutes and of the twenty boats they had, they only launched 18 successfully. The last two floated off as the ship went down.

The thing is that if they had enough boats, there would have been no good reason not to fill them all with anybody who came along so it still would have resulted in more lives saved. Even more could have been saved if they had started to evacuate the ship sooner then they actually did.
 

Adam Went

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The only trouble is that some lifeboats and their passengers were more willing to go back for survivors than others - some were intent on rowing as far away as possible.

There certainly wouldn't have been enough lifeboat seats in any case by far, even if they had all been launched successfully and filled to the brim, but certainly many more lives could have been saved.

Cheers,
Adam.
 

Jim Currie

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Hello Yanna!

Theoretically.. yes! Given the prevailing conditions during the early hours of April 15; it would most certainly have been possible for every living soul to have been transferred from Titanic to another ship. However... and it's a big 'however'...it would depend entirely on the type of rescue ship. Lets suppose it was in fact Carpathia or a ship like her.

In some photographs of survivors I have seen.. it shows side-doors in Carpathia's hull. These are very large water tight double door entries for gangways.

To create a rescue scene.. we have to change a few things.

First: Carpathia is the ship approaching Titanic at or near midnight. For the previous 20 minutes; both ships have been in contact and between them, have designed a passenger transfer plan. The plan consists of the rescue ship approaching Titanic and stopping close-to her...say about 200 yards away.
As Carpathia approaches Titanic, she swings-out all her own lifeboats and fully crews as as many as possible. She also opens her side doors ready to receive survivors.
All her own passengers are awakend and moved well clear of the entries but distributed evenly over the ship. In the meantime; The Titanic boats are made ready as normal. However, the boats are each pre-loaded with about 40 passengers.. all have been informed of the plan! The remainder are arranged in groups to facilitate loading of lifeboats in an orderly manner.
As soon as Carpathia is in position and stopped,she launches her empty lifeboats. These head across the 200 yard gap to Titanic. In the meantime, Titanic's first wave of survivors is in the water and starts heading for Carpathia.
On the way, they are passed by Carpathia's boats heading for Titanic's gangway doors.
The boats from each ship arrive at their respective destinations about the same time. The first load of survivors is unloaded onto Carpathia and Titanic's empty boats head back. At the same time, the boats from Carpathia are loaded with Titanic survivors and head back to Carpathia. Two trips of Titanic's boats would transfer 1800 souls leaving 428 people to be transferred by Carpathia's boats.

An undermanned ship's lifeboat would make about 2 knots in conditions of flat calm... that's 101 feet a minute, meaning it would take about 6 minutes to make the trip between ships. Each lifeboat would be unloaded as it arrived at Carpathia. This would take about 5 minutes. So in theory; a sort of conveyor system could be quickly set up. Boat leaves Titanic and is back alongside her for more passengers about 20 minutes later. They could also have rigged an endless line between the two ships and used Carpathia's winches to pull boat-loads of people across the intervening space. Empty boats being attached to it for the return journey. Lots to play with here!

JC
 
Oct 8, 2011
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You must remember that one of the reasons the boats weren't fully filled is that there simply wasn't enough time to wait around for passangers to come along.

Take Murdoch at lifeboat 1. He loaded it with 12 people, and then after waiting a while, he decided to lower it away as he couldn't wait any longer; the ship was sinking fast and there were still several boats to be launched.
 

Adam Went

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It shouldn't have come to that though. The officers knew the severity of the situation, even if the passengers didn't want to accept it. If they wouldn't get in the lifeboats voluntarily, they should have been forced to get in there, even if it meant literally being thrown into them, as a few passengers eventually were.

If you're short of lifeboats in the first place, you don't lower a boat with a capacity of 40 with 12 people, or a boat with a capacity of 65 with less than half of that.

Cheers,
Adam.
 

Jim Currie

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The problem seems to have been that there was too much indecision on the part of some of the wives and daughters.
There was also the very serious problem of lowering boats full of people using manila falls. Modern boats have single point lowering systems using very flexible steel wire ropes.

According to many of the crew, including Pitman; they thought the ship would not sink. There was little urgency until it was too late!
In 1912, you didn't man- handle a lady unless it was in sheer desparation.. nothing seems to have changed!
mad.gif



Ard.
 
Oct 8, 2011
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You seem to be quite knowledgeable, Jim, so I need to ask you something. Do any ships these days actually have the row boats as lifeboats like Titanic did? I understand that cruise ships have those big orange ones, but do any cargo or oil tanker ships not have motorised boats? Please ignore my ignorance.

Thanks in advance.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Stefan, except for some really old ships, just about everything in service now has a motor in it. Even a coastal vessel with something which is barely more then a punt is easily fitted with an outboard motor and a tank of petrol. The last time I saw a ship with lifeboats which had to be rowed, she was a museum vessel.
 
Oct 8, 2011
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Thanks for that, Michael.
Now to go back on topic, the Titanic was labeled as "unsinkable" or at least that's what the majority of the crew thought at the time, so that's why I suppose they weren't in a hurry to load the boats.
 

Jim Currie

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Hello Stefan.

In 1912; every British merchant ship (and probably American, French and German ones too)was bound by law to carry lifeboats. Thre ere very specific rules set out by the then Merchant Shipping Acts.
There were some ships which did have motor lifeboats but these were few and far between. In the main: lifboats were equipped with a complete set of oars, spare oar(s) and a steering oar. In addition; they were equipped with a mast and a sail.

JC
 

Yana

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Thank you, everybody. Jim, you mentioned Titanic gangway doors, but Titanic was sinking. Does it mean that eventually gangways door would not have been available for the use simply because they were under the water?

I have been to Ross Sea with Kapitan Khlebnikov, Russian ice breaker. They used a few ways to get us to the land or the ice. Sometimes they used helicopters, sometimes they used zodiacs, and sometimes they parked at packed ice and used gangways, but when we reached Ross Ice Shelf the landing was performed by a different means. The helicopters could not have been used because of the bad weather, of course zodiacs and gangways were out of the question too. So they came with an original decision: they loaded people in the cargo containers and lowered us to the Ice Shelf. Only one man from Austria refused this arrangements. He said he was not a cargo, but a person :) His wife told me he simply was scarred.
I am telling you such a long story in order to show that sometimes some unusual decision could make a difference. Of course for us it was only a difference between putting feet at the famous Ice Shelf, but sometimes not ordinary solution could make a difference between life and death.

So, were there something at Titanic that could have made the lowering lifeboats easier and faster. Should have they been lowered without people, only with a few members of the crew to row, and then pick up the passengers from these gangway doors? I am sure this way of loading would have been not so scary for the passengers, and maybe more would have gone in.
Thank you.
 
Mar 12, 2011
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The problem with that idea Yana, would be herding people back below decks after going to all the trouble of getting them up on deck to begin with. This would have gotten even more difficult later on when it became obvious that Titanic was foundering.

P.S. Welcome to the board. Now go to your account settings and set them to show your full name next to your post.It keeps the mods happy =)
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>Now to go back on topic, the Titanic was labeled as "unsinkable" or at least that's what the majority of the crew thought at the time, so that's why I suppose they weren't in a hurry to load the boats.<<

I think it's more like the passengers were not in a hurry to get into the boats, and it's not hard to understand why. When you're on a nice warm, "safe" ship, getting into a freezing boat on a freezing night to be lowered into a yawning black gulf into freezing water can be seen as something of a leap of faith.

Especially for the ladies in their restrictive clothing.

We did an experiment to demonstrate this at the Titanic Symposium at the Maine Maritime Acadamy back in 2004 where all the instructor had to do was leap from one table to another while attired in a period dress. When the tables were a modest three feet apart, she understandably balked, and the floor beneath her was not 70 feet away.

>>So, were there something at Titanic that could have made the lowering lifeboats easier and faster.<<

Probably not. I've worked Welin style davits and while they were as good as anything you could get back then, working them was still done by way of manual co-ordination and muscle power. A very labour intensive and time consuming operation even for trained hands who know what they're doing.
 

Jim Currie

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Hello everyone!

It has been mentioned before but in case anyone missed it:

The deploying of the lifeboats from the stowed position to the ready-to-load position was, as Michael points out; very efficient. It was the bit that came next which was the problem... the boat- lowering arrangement. This consisted of two men.. one each end of the boat on the boatdeck beside the bow of the lifeboat. Each had a manila (natural fibre rope) to attend to. With this rope, they lowered the boat to the sea. The rope acted through a block and tackle. Obviously a man was not strong enough to just slaken the rope through the bolck himself so the in-board part of rope was would tound a crusafix -shaped post on the boat deck. it took the full weight of the boat and the man merely had to slacken the rope round the post. In theory this was OK but in practice, one rope sometimes jambed while the other was free; it often did so with a sudden jerk which put great stress on the rope holding the end of the boat. The more people on the boat, the greater the stress on the rope. It followed that if they had time, best practice was to lower the boat partially loaded to reduce the risk of breaking (old-time risk assessment) then fully load it when it was in the water or closer to the water.
Even if a rope did not jamb; it was very important to make sure the ropes were slackened evenly. Otherwise, one boat end would be tilted down with obvious risk to those in it!

Hello Yanna!

Most certainly the forward gangway doors would eventually be submerged and the after ones would be way-up in the air. However,I was envisaging the first hour and concentrating on Carpthia's gangway doors



JC
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>However,I was envisaging the first hour and concentrating on Carpthia's gangway doors <<

That just might have had a ghost of a chance of working too. The fact that there was a dead flat calm out there that night would have helped. Had the Atlantic been acting in it's usual caprecious manner however, fergedaboudit!
 

Arun Vajpey

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>>If there were enough lifeboats at Titanic, would they have had enough time to load them with the passengers and safely lower them to the ocean? Thank you.<<

In my opinion, no.

The ship sank in two hours and forty minutes and of the twenty boats they had, they only launched 18 successfully. The last two floated off as the ship went down.

The thing is that if they had enough boats, there would have been no good reason not to fill them all with anybody who came along so it still would have resulted in more lives saved. Even more could have been saved if they had started to evacuate the ship sooner then they actually did.

Yes, but is it not overlooking one probability? IF the Titanic was carrying enough lifeboats for all passengers and crew on board (as all ships did after the Titanic disaster enquiries) AND the crew had received proper training about loading and launching lifeboats (as it happened after the Titanic disaster) AND boarding passengers were given clear instructions that in the event of an accident they must follow the crew's instructions, then lifeboat launching would have started 15 to 20 minutes earlier than it did. Then, with 16 pairs of davits to launch from they could have launched 16 lifeboats in one round, even if it was not all at once. Therefore, properly equipped and trained, it might have been possible to rescue everyone on board.
 

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