Would the sinking Titanic really create suction


Jun 12, 2004
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>>Also remember that the man to whom you respond has a Ph.D. in Physics. I think he has a clue... Eh? Which one?<<

I was referring to Paul Lee. Sorry.


>>"I got to the starboard side of the poop; found myself in the water. I do not believe my head went under at all... Notice the qualifiyer in red. He may have been right, or he may have been so distracted...having a ship sink beneath you and struggling for your life is good for that...that he may not have noticed.<<

Not only that, but he didn't say that his hair didn't get wet, only that "his head didn't go under." A person's head can get wet without going under water, especially in a large body of water like the ocean.


>>People DO survive freezing water for longer than experts reckon - the Estonia and other examples. But they are the younger ones with strong hearts and good subcutaneous insulation.<<

Which could point to the possibility that the children in the water may have been the last to die? (Sorry, didn't mean to disturb anyone with that. I'm alluding to a significant point).


>>a person who has consumed even moderate amounts of alcohol and whose face is submerged in cold water is quite likely to have cardiac arrest.<<

Let's not forget about the shock factor involved, too. I had mentioned the same principle brought about when cold water should come in contact with hot boilers. An explosion is very possible. I would think that freezing water coming in contact with warm bodies would have a similar effect on human nervous and cardio-pulminary systems. That, in turn, may affect a person's thinking and perception. As someone said, perceptions may seem different between someone in the water and someone in a lifeboat. Alcohol would broaden the gap between those different perceptions.


>>so much is written about its adverse effects, and much of it is tinged with moral judgements, that I personally rarely believe any of it...I don't think Joughin himself said he was drunk - I think he said he had 'some' drink (sorry, don't have his account handy to check). I think it was authors of secondary material who interpeted that to mean 'drunk'"<<

That's what I mean when I said that secondary sources, are corrupted by interpretation and personal value. Although these sources provide developed information than what's presented in the primary sources, I find it wise not to trust them, and that's one factor that determines a primary source from a secondary one--secondary sources are affected by outside interpretation, primary sources aren't. Sorry, I realize that this goes into another thread, but I saw it and felt a need to bring it to the forefront.

>>the boiler rooms directly below would have been flooded at this time, so the oft quoted explanation of the boilers bursting doesn't quite ring true. Also, if the boilers had burst, surely there would have been some evidence of this on the wreck?<<

I would think that the explosion of the boilers
would have brought about distinctive affects, such as heated water (depending on the number of boilers that had possibly exploded) and big holes in the bottom of the bow section. Thinking about it, that may have accelerated the sinking process. The evidence to the contrary suggests that the boilers did not explode. Another Titanic myth?
 
Jun 12, 2004
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>>However, if the boilers in room 5 were left opened after the fires were drawn, then water should have entered them, and over the top of the funnel uptake to the boilers in room 6, causing them to be quenched immediately. That this didn't happen is open to debate of course!<<

By the time that water flooded the forward vents and the funnel uptake, the fires in both of the forward boiler rooms were most likely cooled. We're talking a little over two hours here. The water rushing aft from the bottom (over the bulkheads and through the bottom deck plates) would have cooled the boilers long before the water entered the first funnel uptake. Doesn't this seem likely?

However, the rush of hot air that Lightoller felt suggests that not all the boilers in 5 & 6 were extinguished, which does pose a mystery, hmmmmm.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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It's all relative Paul. The air down below was quite warm compared to the temperature of the water. Being in freezing water for a minute or so then being blasted up by trapped air in the shaft would feel quite warm by comparison. It has nothing to do with fires in the boilers.

As far as dampers in BR 6 is concerned, the fires were drawn out according to fireman George Beauchamp before the room was abandoned. "After the order was given to shut up, an order was given to draw fires. I could not say how many minutes, but the order was given to draw fires."

According to Fred Barrett, he and Jr. 2nd Eng. John Henry Hesketh, who was right next to him, jumped through the WTD into BR 5 before it closed while there were firemen still working in BR 6. The engineer in charge in BR 6 was Jr. Assistant 2nd Eng. Jonathan Shepherd who probably gave the orders to draw the fires. This would have occurred after Barrett and Hesketh had left. According to Beauchamp, "When the order was given and everything was shut up, someone shouted "that will do," and I went to the ladder then, the escape ladder." It probably took about 15 minutes to draw those fires and it was probably Shepherd that said "that will do." We know that Shepherd must have come down the escape into BR 5 to join Hesketh and Barrett there because Barrett and Shepherd were ordered to go back to BR 6 by Hesketh. When Barrett and Shepherd tried to return to BR 6 they could not go down because there was "8 feet of water in it," and that section, BR 6, had already been abandoned.

It should be noted that Barrett did not know how far above the tank top the floor plates really were. He said, "The plates were supposed to be six feet above the tank tops. That is what it is reckoned to be." However, they were really about 2 feet above the tank top. His estimate of 8 feet of water is way off. Although he at one point used the words "eight feet above the plates," he probably saw water that was only about 2 feet above the plates and thinking that the plates were 6 feet above the tank top, gives his estimate of 8 feet of water in BR 6. He also was probably mistaken as to the time he and Shepherd went back into BR 6. Barrett guessed that the water rose about 6 feet in about 10 minutes since leaving BR 6. Well, Shepherd stayed long enough for Beauchamp and the other firemen to draw the fires before coming down into BR 5. So we are talking about a good 15 to 20 minutes minimum between the accident and being ordered back to BR 6. Also, when BR 6 was abandoned the water level was just coming over the plates according to Beauchamp, that's about 2 feet above the tank top. My guess is that water was rising in BR 6 at a rate of about 2 feet every 15 minutes, not 6 feet in 10 minutes as Barrett believed.
 

Hilary Popple

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Mark, I take your point about 'controlled' as opposed to 'uncontrolled' sinking and absolutely agree with you. My uncle emphasised that they made very sure that the ships he deliberately sunk went down evenly (as opposed to upending like the Titanic) and very slowly. Can I just clarify that when I said he was alone,I meant he was the last one left on board when the ships actually went under. Obviously he did not do the whole thing alone and there were people waiting in a boat nearby to pick him up! As my uncle's grandfather went down on the Titanic, he took particular interest in the experience and wondered how it would have compared, the circumstances however being totally different.
 
Jun 11, 2000
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Yes, Hilary - I realized what you meant - that he was the last on board, and not the only one. Even so, not an enviable position to be in really. When I was in Athens in the 1970s (time of oil crisis) Pireus harbour was simply crammed with rusting tankers - scores of them it looked like - and I often wondered what happened to them. I assume they were broken up somewhere, but maybe they were coaxed out into deeper water and sunk by people like your uncle.
 

Hilary Popple

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Unfortunately, I think that's correct. He worked for a salvage company but I suppose some ships were beyond salvage and at the time sinking them in deep water seemed the best option. I know he didn't exactly enjoy it, particularly as (mentioned earlier) his grandfather went down on the Titanic and it must have seemed a rather ironic thing to do.
 
Jun 12, 2004
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>>As my uncle's grandfather went down on the Titanic, he took particular interest in the experience and wondered how it would have compared, the circumstances however being totally different...his grandfather went down on the Titanic and it must have seemed a rather ironic thing to do.<<

Not sure if I'd want to be in that position (as that of your uncle), but such an experience does open one's eyes to the reality of the horror. I'm sorry that you uncle, and your ancestor, had to go through that.
sad.gif
I was on a boat when it sunk, and I'm telling you, there's nothing as disturbing as watching, and feeling, a boat sink into the water beneath you. It's enough to bring it all home.
 

Hilary Popple

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M Stafford aka Albert Bryant, a Greaser. There's more about him on a thread here somewhere but I haven't posted for ages until yesterday. There is a photo on the biogs but I haven't got round to writing his biog yet.
It certainly didn't put my uncle off going to sea - he's been there all his life and lives on a boat to this day!
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>I assume they were broken up somewhere, but maybe they were coaxed out into deeper water and sunk by people like your uncle.<<

Depending on how bad the condition of the hulls were, that might have been the only recourse available to the owners too. Can't say as I know this for sure, but I wouldn't be surprised by it. The preferred option would be to sell off the ships for scrap and at least get something back for them, but it's not unknown for some to be in such bad shape that they don't survive the tow to the shipbreakers. The Cape of Good Hope has claimed a bunch of them too.

If the owners were aware of such...and it would be amazing if they didn't...it wouldn't be much of a stretch to see how turning a few of them into artificial reefs would be a safer bet.
 
Jun 12, 2004
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I presume that sinking old wrecks would be the most economical (easiest and cheapest) way of disposal? I can see that, too, but really old ships hold some historical value. That's one reason that I am disappointed that the Olympic was dismantled. What a Titanic treasure trove that would be if it had been preserved like the QM2. Talk about taking a jump back into time. I bet the tours would have been incredible.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>I presume that sinking old wrecks would be the most economical (easiest and cheapest) way of disposal?<<

These days, it just might be, depending on what sort of regulatory constraints the shipowner is facing in a given country. The former USS Oriskany (CVA-34) is to be disposed of by sinking as an artifical reef and even that's running into problems over environmental issues. This despite the fact that the ship is being subjected to a very thorough clean up.

>>but really old ships hold some historical value. <<

Quite right. They do. Unfortunately, preservation is by no means a cheap undertaking and there are museum ships afloat now that are badly in need of some hull work befor they do something really embarassing...like sink at the pier. This damned near happened to the sloop of war USS Constellation. This vessel was in such bad condition when she was taken over by a new organization that she was literally being held together with steel cables wrapped around the hull.

I expect the problems of preserving museum ships nd disposing of old vessels that are not to be preserved are going to get a lot worse befor the lawmakers start to get their act together.
 
Jun 12, 2004
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>>These days, it just might be, depending on what sort of regulatory constraints the shipowner is facing in a given country. The former USS Oriskany (CVA-34) is to be disposed of by sinking as an artifical reef and even that's running into problems over environmental issues. This despite the fact that the ship is being subjected to a very thorough clean up.<<

Hey, Michael, do you think any government(s) or international environmental agencies should have a say in determining how older ships should be disposed, or do you think that such issues should be determined by the International Seamen's Association (not sure of the correct title) or the International Mercantile Marine (IMM), in collaboration with the Coast Guard? After all, those who work on the sea (and you should know) are aware more than anyone else as to the realities of the marine world. I would figure that part of the problem has to do with confusion or conflict over who has authority regarding these kinds of issues.

I was also wondering if you'd agree with the same question above being applied to conduct at sea. Remember when we were talking about whether or not it would have been appropriate for Lightoller to have been evasive at the Inquiries? Do you believe that it's up to certain seamen and marine organizations to investigate, determine, and resolve what may or may not be erroneous behavior at sea as opposed to having relevant governments taking control of such investigations? This, of course, is always a sticky and incessantly controversial situation. When I met and talked to Dr. Kervorkian several years ago, one of his major claims was that Assisted Suicide was a matter for the AMA--not the U.S. government. I wondered if the same principle should apply to issues at sea.

Another point, too, is that with civilians who are put in harm's way while on the water, perhaps due to the negligent conduct of those working aboard ships (should that be the case), the families of those civilians involved naturally should be concerned and have a right to have a voice in such issues. I'm not saying that this would happen, but isn't it possible that if an investigative committee set up by the IMM or other pertinent organization were to find fault on the behalf of one of its own, cover-ups are easily to result? In order to deter such a possibility, would it not be appropriate to have assigned an outside body to provide an objective investigation? Such questionable behavior, of course, can, and does, occur everywhere, so such protocol should not be exclusive to just activity at sea.

I was curious as to your thoughts and perspective on these points...
 
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No, I mean the one anchored in California (San Francisco?). The one that is either a museum or a hotel and has gained the reputation of being haunted. Supposedly, it's the one that ran through a smaller ship and sent its entire crew to the depths. The legend goes that the screams of the dead from that tragedy can still be heard in the bow...at least I think that's the QM2, unless that's the QE or QE2. Sorry.

By the way, I don't mean to be 'absurd' with the ghost legend, as I know that there are many here who do not believe in ghosts and hauntings, but that's one thing that's made it famous in contemporary times.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>Hey, Michael, do you think any government(s) or international environmental agencies should have a say in determining how older ships should be disposed,<<

The short answer is "yes" and they already have a role for better and for worse. As to professional seamens/mariners/shipfitters/shipbreakers organizations, I think they certainly should have some input if only because they often have a better understanding of the practical realities involved. They should because they have to do the actual work. The real trick is drafting and enforcing policies, regulations and laws which actually deal with the problems that are realistic and which can be enforced without owners and shipbreakers losing their shirts on the deal.

When you get down to it, it's all about the unkind and unforgiving world of economics. Give the owners and entreupenaurs an incentive to do things by the numbers and they'll do it. However, if doing things by the numbers bankrupts the parties involved, they'll go someplace...like Alang...where it's not a problem.

>>Do you believe that it's up to certain seamen and marine organizations to investigate, determine, and resolve what may or may not be erroneous behavior at sea as opposed to having relevant governments taking control of such investigations?<<

Actually, I think they should work together. This might not be as dicey as some think either. As you pointed out, mariners understand the practical realities involved and would serve as a check against overenthusiastic bureaucrats who would prefer to go strieght to the hanging rather then take the time to understand the ground. By the same token, your own peers will tend to be tougher in the case of real misconduct for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that they'll know if somebody is trying to pull a fast one on him.

Take note of as an example that Captain Lord's staunchest supporters as well as some of his very harshest critics have been mariners.

>>Another point, too, is that with civilians who are put in harm's way while on the water, perhaps due to the negligent conduct of those working aboard ships (should that be the case), the families of those civilians involved naturally should be concerned and have a right to have a voice in such issues.<<

And you'll notice that they often do. Even if not part of the investigation, they often have lawyers representing them at the inquiries. If you check the opening proceedings for the BOT inquiry, you'll see any number of representatives for interested parties who were there and vyiing to ask questions. Here are some examples which I've excerpted verbatim from the transcript;

Sir Robert Finlay: My Lord, I desire to associate myself on behalf of my clients, the owners of the "Titanic,"

Mr. Thomas Scanlan, M.P.: I have to apply, my Lord, on behalf of the National Sailors' and Firemen's Union of Great Britain and Ireland, and the personal representatives of a number of their members who were members of the crew, and on behalf of a certain number of their members who are survivors, to be represented in the terms of Rule 5 of the Statutory Rules and Orders to which Sir Rufus Isaacs has referred.

Mr. W. M. R. Pringle, M.P.: My Lord, I desire to apply to the Court for leave to appear on behalf of the Ship Constructors' and Shipwrights' Association.

Mr. Thomas Lewis: My Lord, I desire to make an application to represent the British Seafarers' Union.

Mr. Clement Edwards, M.P.: My Lord, I appear on behalf of the Dockers' Union, a number of whose members formed a part of the crew, some of whom were drowned and some of whom survived.

Mr. L. S. Holmes: My Lord, I appear on behalf of the Imperial Merchant Service Guild, which is a society of Officers of the mercantile marine, numbering over 15,000.

Mr. Botterell: My Lord, may I say that I appear here upon instructions on behalf of the Chamber of Shipping.

Mr. W. M. R. Pringle, M.P.: My Lord, may I make a further submission to you? I think that the Ship Constructors' and Shipwrights' Association has a somewhat special interest -

Mr. W. H. Champness: My Lord, I represent the widow of a deceased first-class passenger who was drowned.

Lots of vested interests involved here.

>>I'm not saying that this would happen, but isn't it possible that if an investigative committee set up by the IMM or other pertinent organization were to find fault on the behalf of one of its own, cover-ups are easily to result?<<

Cover ups already result unfortunately. It's not for nothing that Lights referred to the BOT proceedings as a whitewash, and this was a government run show. I'm not sure any alternative could be worse, but having additional independant parties involved who are not in bed with the shipping lines couldn't hurt in my opinion.
 

Jason D. Tiller

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"No, I mean the one anchored in California (San Francisco?)."

That's the one I'm talking about. She is actually located in Long Beach, California and is a floating hotel and caters to different events, such as weddings. For more info, click HERE and HERE.

As for the Queen Mary 2, she is the second ship to be given that name. She made her maiden voyage earlier this year on January 12 from Southampton to Fort Lauderdale and in April was made the new flagship of the Cunard line. For more info, click HERE for Cunard's website.

"Supposedly, it's the one that ran through a smaller ship and sent its entire crew to the depths."

That would be the incident between the Queen Mary and the British light cruiser HMS Curacoa on October 2, 1942, which killed many people that were aboard the Curacoa and caused considerable damage to both ships, so that's probably where the ghost stories originate from.
 

Shaya

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There is no scientific evidence behind a big ship having a suction or anything similar. It is commonly believed but not true at all. Think about it why would a small ship not have a suction but a big ship would. They both contain air the water has to rush in for them both. It doesn't work like that. The sea is massive and if you take a bucket full of water out of it it won't cause a void or suction. Basically the ocean doesn't work like that and the movie Titanic just did it for excitement and because it was common belief in 1912