Where was Murdoch standing?

Arun Vajpey

Arun Vajpey

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What was the most likely physical position that Murdoch was standing when he heard the iceberg alert? If he was in one of the bridge wings, would he have run to put himself in the midline facing the bow so that he could see the relative positions of the iceberg and the Titanic before giving that "Hard-a-Starboard!" order? Would that mean that the closing iceberg was (or appeared to be) slightly more towards the starboard side of the ship so that the "porting around" option seemed most logical?
 
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Mark Baber

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Moderator's note: The title of this thread has been changed to better describe its subject.
 
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Jim Currie

Jim Currie

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What was the most likely physical position that Murdoch was standing when he heard the iceberg alert? If he was in one of the bridge wings, would he have run to put himself in the midline facing the bow so that he could see the relative positions of the iceberg and the Titanic before giving that "Hard-a-Starboard!" order? Would that mean that the closing iceberg was (or appeared to be) slightly more towards the starboard side of the ship so that the "porting around" option seemed most logical?
That is a good question, Arun.

It could also be asked in another way. For example: Why did Murdoch order hard left rudder instead of hard right rudder?

When the three bell warning was sounded...wherever he was...Murdoch would have looked ahead. He would be looking for a light. If he did not see one with the naked eye, he would look with his binoculars (he may even have skipped the first action.
When he was sure he was seeing an iceberg or an object of danger, he would look to see where clear water was and head for that.
His hard left rudder order tells me that he saw clear water to the left of the object ahead and that the iceberg was so close, that he could see it in a mirror image of the how AB Scarrott saw it. I quote: "The highest point would be on my right, as it appeared to me." Here's one I dodged earlier.
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Arun Vajpey

Arun Vajpey

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Sorry to renew a thread that's over 3 years old, but I was trying to get a mental picture of what the iceberg would have looked like to Murdoch as he stood at the cente of the navigating bridge; then I remembered this thread. As Sam has explained in his new book (and elsewhere), after spotting and identifying the iceberg ahead, Murdoch spent a shot but finite timeframe during which he determined what action he was going to take.

In his article Encounter in the Night, Sam has produced some excellent serial sketches of how the closing iceberg might have looked to Fleet and Lee from their vantage point in the Crow's Nest. But they had only one central reference point - the prow of the Titanic ahead against the horizon. But because of the elevated position of the Crow's Nest, the prow would have been quite low from the lookouts' vantage point.

But Murdoch's position was further aft and 20 feet or so lower than the Crow's nest and so from his vantage point the prow would have been "closer" to the horizon "above" it. But more importantly Murdoch woud have had the second reference point of the foremast ahead. My question is, would he have 'lined-up' his position, the foremast and the point of the ship's prow in order to gauge the position of the iceberg relative to the Titanic's line of travel?
 
Samuel Halpern

Samuel Halpern

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There would be no need to line anything up. The berg would have been seen directly ahead of him as he looked at it. In fact he would not want to be on the ship's centerline because he would be looking through windows and would have the foremast and other rigging directly obstructing his view. IfI have time I'll try and draw a picture.
 
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