Where the Propellers Damaged?


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Aaron_2016

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Correction - Were not Where. :rolleyes:



Survivors believed there was something wrong with the propellers or something wrong with the engines themselves and how the ship went slow ahead after the collision. Were they testing the propellers? Were they damaged?


Joseph Wheat:
Q - As you judged it at the time, what did you think it was?
A - Well, I thought she had cast one of her propeller blades. It sounded to me like that.
Q - Have you been on a ship where that has happened?
A - Yes.
Q - And you thought it was that?
A - Yes, I thought it was the same thing.


George Crowe - "I thought one of the propellers had been broken off."

Edward Wheelton - "It felt as if it was the dropping of a propeller or something like that."

William Ward - "I thought at first it was the propeller gone, the way she went."

Dr. Washington Dodge - "When an officer - I do not know his name - hurried by I asked, 'What is the trouble?' He replied: "Something is wrong with the propellers; nothing serious."

William Burke - "I thought probably she had dropped her propeller, or something."

I think Lightoller also said he believed they had lost a propeller.



Do you think the collision had damaged the propeller or the shaft? Now comes a follow up question. Did she make any significant headway or none at all when she went slow ahead?


Boxhall heard the bell ring in the crows nest and proceeded to walk towards the bridge when he felt the collision. That would take a matter of seconds, but Joseph Scarrott said he went out and saw the iceberg "about five or eight minutes" after the crows nest bell rang. Did the iceberg damage the propeller and cause the Titanic to make little headway?

This obviously brings the question that if she did make headway full ahead, then there clearly must have been a second iceberg which Scarrott said he observed "about five or eight minutes" later. QM Olliver saw a blue iceberg taller than the boat deck, yet Boxhall saw a low lying berg lower than the railing on the forewell deck. The survivors said the Titanic was moving slowly and was barely moving forward at all when they saw the iceberg pass the ship. Some even took their time after they felt the jolt and still had time to see the iceberg pass the ship. I asked myself, how is that possible unless there was a second iceberg which caused the ship to stop a second time.

Gretchen Longely felt a jolt which alarmed her and she went onto the corridor twice. She was relieved when she felt the engines going again but when she returned to her cabin a third time she saw ice being pushed against her window and believed the ship actually struck the second iceberg. Doctor Washington Dodge felt the jolt / vibration and after he questioned the officer in the corridor he returned to his cabin and persuaded his wife not to get dressed. He said he went out again and this time:

"A little while later, still feeling nervous, I went up to the promenade deck and there saw a great mass of ice close to the starboard rail....."

Does this mean a second iceberg had caused the fatal damage since Dr. Dodge had observed it a significant time after the first jolt? Was there only one iceberg and it had somehow wedged itself against the ship and the Titanic made little headway all that time? Did the iceberg damage the propeller and despite going slow ahead after the collision she couldn't make any significant headway? Is it possible that a growlers and flow ice were being sucked into the propellers and disturbing the flow of water which stopped her moving forward properly?

Any ideas why an iceberg was seen so long after the jolt which some believed was a problem in the engine room or propellers.


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Arun Vajpey

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I was under the impression from Walter Lord's A Night to Remember (first chapter 'Another Belfast Trip') that upon hearing and/or feeling the impact some passengers and crew imagined that the Titanic had dropped propeller blade. I may be wrong, but Lawrence Beesley might have been one of them.

But AFAIK the stern section did not suffer any damage from the iceberg and so in all likelihood the propellers were not damaged.
 

Rob Lawes

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May Scarrott have been talking about estimating 5 to 8 minutes after 7 bells sounded for 23:30 (11:30pm)?

As I speculated in the 'engines in reverse' thread. I wonder how many people mistook the engines going astern as vibration from the impact? It's not too difficult, even for someone on their first voyage, to gauge where a large vibration had come from. Either from the pointy end or the blunt end.
 
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Aaron_2016

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May Scarrott have been talking about estimating 5 to 8 minutes after 7 bells sounded for 23:30 (11:30pm)?

As I speculated in the 'engines in reverse' thread. I wonder how many people mistook the engines going astern as vibration from the impact? It's not too difficult, even for someone on their first voyage, to gauge where a large vibration had come from. Either from the pointy end or the blunt end.

I also thought this, but Lookout Fleet was asked at the American Inquiry:

Q - You saw this, then, before or just after seven bells?
A - Yes, sir.
Q - Was it just before or just after?
A - I do not think we struck seven bells. I believe it was just after seven bells.
Q - You said you did not believe that they struck seven bells, and then you said it was just after.
A - It may have been just after. We never, generally, ring bells up in the crow's nest every half hour; we generally miss it.
Q - Then it was just after half past 11 o'clock that you saw it?
A - Yes, sir.

However at the British Inquiry the surviving crew understandably played by the book ("whitewash" - Lightoller)

Lookout Lee told the British Inquiry:

"The first thing that was reported was after seven bells struck; it was some minutes, it might have been nine or ten minutes afterwards. Three bells were struck by Fleet, warning “Right ahead,” and immediately he rung the telephone up to the bridge, “Iceberg right ahead.” The reply came back from the bridge, “Thank you.”

It's safe to say Lee's evidence at the British Inquiry is questionable because previous to this (before they were briefed by White Star officials?).

Major Peuchen told the American Inquiry that he had spoken to Fleet in his lifeboat. Peuchen told the American Inquiry:

"I was interested when I found he was in the crow's nest, and I said, "What occurred?" In the conversation he said he rang three bells, and then he signalled to the bridge......the only thing he said was that he did not get any reply from the bridge.......I heard afterwards that really the officers were not required to reply.....I spoke to the second officer on the boat regarding the conversation; and he told me it is simply a matter of whether the officer wishes to reply or not. He gets the information, probably, and acts right on it without attempting to reply to the crow's nest."

This puts the entire events surrounding the collision and the accepted evidence in doubt. Lightoller said, "I felt more like a legal doormat than a mail boat officer." Quartermaster Olliver told the American Inquiry the order he heard was "Hard a-port" not hard a-starboard and saw the captain order half speed ahead after the collision. His evidence would have brought a serious case of negligence against the company. He was of course (no surprise) not called to give any evidence at the British Inquiry.


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Doug Criner

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Wreck photos show the starboard wing propeller with no damage visible to two blades or to the center boss. (A third blade is buried in the seabed.) Since the hull contacted the iceberg on the starboard side, any prop damage would be to the stbd prop. I think this is a red herring.
 
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Aaron_2016

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Wreck photos show the starboard wing propeller with no damage visible to two blades or to the center boss. (A third blade is buried in the seabed.) Since the hull contacted the iceberg on the starboard side, any prop damage would be to the stbd prop. I think this is a red herring.

Survivors said the Titanic listed to port during the voyage. Lawrence Beesley said it was very noticeable. Norman Chambers told the American Inquiry - "The ship had a list to port nearly all afternoon." Would this cause the starboard propeller and shaft to stick out more towards the iceberg?


Quartermaster Rowe said the iceberg was less than 10 feet away from the stern and how it was "almost touching it." Could it break off a blade?


propellerstarboard.PNG



Here is a photo of the starboard propeller. Looks like the 3rd blade is missing or completely buried. Anyone know what the gap is in the below photo? Is that where the blade would have been?


propeller.PNG




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Doug Criner

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The rectangle you drew on the wreck photo is not where the third blade would have attached to the boss. But anyway, red herring.
 

Doug Criner

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More: if the buried third blade struck the iceberg, wouldn't the other two blades be expected to show some damage?

For the sake of argument, let's assume that the prop(s) were damaged in the collision. What new would that add to our understanding of the collision or its aftermath?
 
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Aaron_2016

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There is certainly a gap or something unusual in the rectangle. Perhaps that is where the bolts which held the 3rd blade in place should be? Just trying figure out why Captain Smith went half speed ahead after the collision. I think checking the propellers is quite possible.


QM Ollivers - "After she struck; she went half speed ahead."

Q - Who gave the order?
A - The captain telegraphed half speed ahead.
Q - How long did he go ahead half speed?
A - Not very long, sir.
Q - One minute, two minutes, five minutes?
A - I could not say the number of minutes, because I had messages in the meantime.
Q - But you know he went ahead half speed?
A - Yes, sir; I know he went ahead half speed.


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