- Apr 26, 2017
That's almost exactly what my theory addressI believe the "shaking" and "reeling" of the ship would throw the funnels over as the bow and stern rocked from side to side as they tore and twisted each other apart until they broke free. Survivors saw all 4 funnels intact when she broke. At the Inquiry they said there were 2 explosive sounds up to 20 minutes apart. One was heard before she sank, and the second during the sinking. Lightoller said the ship was gradually listing more to port and when the last boats that were forward were ready for lowering the ship "got a righting movement and maintained it". Frank Prentice said the last boats that were aft were ready for lowering when the ship was going down by the head and he then felt the ship had righted herself and they were able to lower the boats aft. First thing that comes to mind is that the ship was bending or breaking already at this early stage. It may not have been noticeable to those far away in the lifeboats, but to those aboard it was. The righting sensation may also have been caused by the coal bunker in boiler room 5 bursting and the water rushing aft via the open watertight doors and filling the ship in the centre which would ease away the downward tilt for a while until she finally broke apart. e.g.
Albert Pearcey was in collapsible C which was the last boat lowered on the starboard side.
Q - Did you notice when you rowed away whether the ship had any list?
A - Yes, the ship had a list on her port side.
Q - Did you notice whether she was down by the head?
A - No, I did not notice.
Q - Did you notice whether she appeared to be going deeper into the water forward, did you notice that?
A - No.
Q - Did you see the vessel go down?
A - Yes.
Q - Were you facing her when she went down?
A - Yes.
Charles Joughin was in the stern section when collapsible C was lowered.
"I did not notice anything. I did not notice her being much down by the head."
Q - Do you mean that the list to port was more serious?
A - I thought so.
Q - Than being down by the head?
A - I thought so, yes.
I believe the ship was already beginning to buckle and the sea was flooding the centre of the ship and the sides were splitting open and allowing water to enter. If the two explosive sounds were 20 minutes apart then there may have been a breach in the hull which allowed the sea to flood the centre of the ship for 20 minutes before she finally sagged in the middle and broke. The bow would then take a sudden plunge before bobbing and reeling as the water roared in from the back. I believe very little focus is ever made on the breach of the hull caused by the break up and if this was a gradual breach then what compartments would be immediately flooded and what effect this would have on the ship and the angle in which she sank.