What if Thomas Andrews had not been aboard


Paul Lee

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Aug 11, 2003
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I got this from a section in the RINA report a few years back. If Thomas Andrews had not been aboard, would Captain Smtih et al have realised as soon as they did that the ship was doomed?

Paul

 
Jun 12, 2004
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I would think that the captain would have. After all, he went below not long after the collision and assessed the damaged for himself. It stands to reason that he, Hutchenson, Wilde, and Boxhall would have, or did, realize the seriousness of the situation early on.

However, I would have to postulate whether or not the loading of the boats would have been conducted in as organized fashion that it had. Would the boats have been uncovered and loaded into the davits when they had? Would the rule "women and children first" have been so stringent? Would more people have died? (it is my contention that Andrews had a direct effect over the quantity of those saved). True, there were certain protocols that seamen followed, as there are now, and that would stand whether Andrews had been on board or not, but it seemed that his role had a major influence over how things were done that night. His input, it seems to me, was one of those conditions that had sent everything into motion onboard.

How would it have been different? That's another question altogether. I guess we'll never know for sure, only that, considering his influence in the crew's reaction to the collision, things would have likely been different.

I could ask the same thing regarding Ismay. Would things have been different if he hadn't been on board? If so, how?...

And if Gracie or Beesley hadn't been onboard, we wouldn't have had the detailed, captivating accounts that we now have. Everyone played a role; each person's experience was significant in some way.

Interesting question, Paul.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>I could ask the same thing regarding Ismay. Would things have been different if he hadn't been on board? If so, how?.<<

That's really hard to say. It's not for nothing that mariners regard owners or their representatives as an "Aquired Taste" with bloody damned few of us ever aquiring that taste. Whether merchent or military, we tend to regard CEO's, congresscritters, ministers, chairmens of the board and the like as unwanted debris best left on the pier.

There is very little in the way of direct evidence that Bruce Ismay interfered with the navigation and operations of the Titanic, but any such interferance need not be direct or even all that overt. *Legally,* the only one with the final say on anything on board a ship at sea was the commander of the vessel. At best, the owner or a representative could only make "suggestions." The practical reality is that a commander could ignor any such "suggestions" but would do so at his own risk. Make a habit of it and he would pull in one day to be met by some bloke on the pier who would say, "Hallo Captain Sacked, I'm Captain NewHire...your replacement."
 
Jun 12, 2004
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>>Whether merchent or military, we tend to regard CEO's, congresscritters, ministers, chairmens of the board and the like as unwanted debris best left on the pier.<<

I have a feeling that all these vermin would no doubt disagree with you, and, based on what you said:

>>>The practical reality is that a commander could ignor any such "suggestions" but would do so at his own risk. Make a habit of it and he would pull in one day to be met by some bloke on the pier who would say, "Hallo Captain Sacked, I'm Captain NewHire...your replacement."<<<

The administrative stick-up-the-arses would, unfortunately, have the last word.

This kind of breed is a good argument for destroying the world.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>I have a feeling that all these vermin would no doubt disagree with you, and, based on what you said:<<

"Vermin" is too kind a word and an insult to Vermin everywhere.

Cordially,
The Vermin.
wink.gif


>>This kind of breed is a good argument for destroying the world.<<

Somebody ring up Darth Vader. Rumour has it he has a planet buster available.
evil.gif
 
Feb 24, 2004
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My own experience is that, the higher up the corporate hierarchy you are, the less critical your presence is to the efficient, day-to-day running of your operation. The more hands-on you are, the more likely it is things will get fouled up fast.

Roy
 

Noel F. Jones

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May 14, 2002
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I would conjecture that Andrews was consulted largely because he was there to be consulted in a confirmatory capacity.

Otherwise, once it became apparent that the vessel's floodable length had been exceeded, just about anybody who was aware of that parameter - certainly any deck or senior engineer officer - would have known she was doomed.

As I recall, Andrews came up with a flotation computation of 'one hour, two at the most' - hardly the acme of precision!

Noel
 
Dec 2, 2000
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In fairness, you need the corperate guys to keep tabs on the books. Hell, somebody has to make sure that there's more black ink then red ink on the ledgers or the enterprise will go bust all too soon. What you *don't* need, and what no seasoned mariner ever wants is to have these people underfoot calling the shots when they have have no clue what they're doing. People can get killed that way, and it's too easy to get dead on a ship as it is.
 
Jun 12, 2004
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>>What you *don't* need, and what no seasoned mariner ever wants is to have these people underfoot calling the shots when they have have no clue what they're doing.<<

Michael, I would argue that Andrews was that exception - he certainly did seem to have a clue what was going on, even argue crucial points, such the number of lifeboats required, at committee meetings. It was my impression that he and Wilding stood on the same ground regarding safety and practicality, although not entirely against luxury. Andrews also seems to recognize and respect the knowledge and capacity of the seamen on board the ship. It is because of this that I contend Andrew's value and on board that night. Despite the experience and knowledge of the officers, there was information that only he could provide or ascertain, no offense to the seamen. The flotation computation, which Noel pointed out, was one such piece of crucial information brought to the officers' attention through this man's presence, and that information was necessary, especially regarding the loading and lowering of 20 lifeboats with as many of 2,200 people as possible. Time, as we know, was of the essence!


>>People can get killed that way, and it's too easy to get dead on a ship as it is.<<

And those who survived as well as those who conducted investigations into the disaster found that out.

way too easy, indeed!
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>Michael, I would argue that Andrews was that exception -<<

And I wouldn't disagree with that either. It helps to know that as a naval architect, he had an intiate understanding of the ship.

>>Despite the experience and knowledge of the officers, there was information that only he could provide or ascertain, no offense to the seamen.<<

None taken. I'm not so sure he was the "Only one" who could have provided that crucial information though. As Noel pointed out, the ship's floodable length is information that would have been known to the officers. (Unless they were asleep or brain dead.) I suspect his value however was in pointing out the inevitable in a timely manner.
 

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