Total Posts:3|Showing Posts:1-3
Jump to topic:

Saving the Titanic

Amoranemix
Posts: 520
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/10/2015 4:25:12 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
It is almost 103 years ago that the Titanic sunk and I would like to present some ideas about how the ship could have been saved. Hence I post this in the science thread iso the history section.
I first present a sequence of events, observations and speculations that may be of interest to those interested in this disaster.

- In September 1911 Titanic's sister ship Olympic, commanded by captain Edward J. Smith, collided with the cruise ship Hawke. Following repairs delayed the maiden voyage of the Titanic to April, a period with many ice bergs in the north Atlantic.

- There was exceptionally much ice in the North Atlantic that spring, over 1000 icebergs while the average is about 500. Most icebergs come from the west coast of Greenland and are swept south by the Labrador current. On the fatal night the Californian, a 450 foot steamer, was even blocked by an almost 30 miles long and 3 miles wide ice barrier. The Titanic had taken the southern route in an attempt to avoid the ice.

- Meteorological conditions were exceptional the night of 14th to the 15th of April 1912. It was moonless, clear, cold and calm. The warm air of the Gulf current formed a layer over the cold air of the Labrador current. Conditions were excellent for a cold sea mirage.

- At 21,5 knots, close to its maximum of 23 knots, the Titanic was sailing too fast for the circumstances, but it was normal procedure at the time to steam fast in clear weather when there were icebergs.

- A mirage that lifted the horizon behind the iceberg and the rippleless sea made an iceberg hard to spot.

- The spotters in the crows nest lacked binoculars, but it's doubtful that having some would have made a difference.

- Captain Stanley Lord of the Californian misidentified the Titanic as a smaller vessel. The breaking of light through the layered atmosphere may have deformed the ship's appearance.

- It took 17 seconds (my own measurement from 'Curiosity: What sank the Titanic') from both spotters spotting the iceberg till the order to steer port was given.

- When the iceberg was spotted the propellers were stopped. They were probably put in reversed by I doubt they actually reversed (and the central one could not be reversed) because that would have taken more time than the minute that was approximately available. Keeping forward thrust would have improved the manoeuvrability of the ship.

- The Titanic was tested to have a stopping distance of 790m.

- The Titanic was equipped with a state of the art remarkable piece of technology : a wireless telegraph. It's purpose was to serve the elite passengers, not to improve the safety of the ship. As a consequence, the wireless telegraph was badly exploited : not all ice warnings reached the bridge, the position accompanying the SOS was 17 km off and the nearby Californian was unaware the Titanic was in distress. This disaster caused the world to realize how wireless telegraph could contribute to maritime safety and new rules were enforced.

- It is rumoured that a steering error was made.

- Ramming the iceberg head-on could perhaps have limited significant leaks to the prow and probably saved the ship.

- The collision ripped open 6 holes over 6 of the 16 compartments over 90m of hull., two more than the ship's design limit. The 6th compartment, boiler room 5, had only a small leak.

- The rivets near the prow were of inferior quality and in some places only two rows of rivets were used where three were recommended; causing rivets to pop, separating the metal sheets that formed the hull. (This is disputed in the documentary 'Titanic, case closed' by National Geographic.) Rivets served the function that welds do today.

- The highest bulkheads only reached to (and included) deck D.

- The Titanic had restarted her voyage for a few minutes after the collision, which accelerated water intake and reassured passengers.
- A fire had weakened the bulkhead between boiler room 6 (the fifth compartment from the prow) and boiler room 5 (sixth compartment). This bulkhead was later breached under the pressure of the water in boiler room 6.

- The Titanic had no alarm system. All passengers had to be told personally to evacuate.

- Each of the 9 decks were differently organized and easy to get lost in.

- Attempts to at communication via morse lights between the Titanic and the Californian were made, but the signals were scrambled by scintillation.

- At the time, the more compartments a ship had, the fewer life boats it required. The philosophy of the Board of Trade was to make ships harder to sink rather than have dangerous ships with lots of life boats. There was only room for 1178 people on the life boats, while there were 2224 people on board. Life boats' main purpose was to transboard passengers in case of an emergency.

- An outside door on D deck was open, perhaps to evacuate people onto life boats. It accelerated flooding of that deck.

- The ship showed very little list, making evacuation easier.

- The evacuation was badly organized : the crew lacked training, third class passengers were held up below, there was a woman and children first policy and the Californian was believed to be nearby. Given the calm sea, overloading the life boats was probably recommended.

- The crew managed to keep electricity flowing till the last few minutes. That was possible because the generators were in the stern. All 35 engineers and electricians perished.

- The Titanic took 140 minutes to sink, which was long. 3 Years later the passenger steamer Lusitania sank in 18 minutes.

- The stern could probably float on its own after the ship broke in two, but was pulled down by the bow and the midsection.

- The water temperature was only -1 degrees Celsius, far too low for people to survive until the arrival of the Carpathia 4 hours after the Titanic sank.

- 1517 people died.

- The Titanic was discovered in 1985 at 49" 56' West and 41" 43' North depth of 3784m : http://www.titanic-whitestarships.com...
The earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the earth.
Amoranemix
Posts: 520
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/10/2015 4:35:33 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Here follow ideas to save ship or people that I haven't seen on this forum yet. Some come from the documentary 'Titanic: The Final Word with James Cameron'.

1) It is unclear to me whether preserving boiler room 5 could have saved the ship (the sixth compartment from the prow). The Titanic was only designed to survive the flooding of 4 forward compartments, but structures usually can perform beyond their design limits. Only little water was leaking into boiler room 5. Therefore, reinforcing the bulkhead between boiler room 5 and 6 could have prevented it from failing and thus limit the flooding to 5 compartments i.s.o. 6. At least it would have slowed the Titanic's demise.

2) It has been suggested to use cloth to plug the holes that were small. I am not clear though how one could get the cloth at the holes. An alternative is to bind some mattresses together and lower them with ropes. They are sturdier and once over a hole the water pressure will push them against it, partly plugging it. They would probably have to weighed down or they would simply float. Perhaps boiler room 6 could have been sufficiently plugged for the pumps to handle the incoming water.

3) Sail backwards towards the Californian, which was only 10 miles away. There are few problems with that idea though :
- It is not certain the ship they saw was the Californian. It could have been a much smaller ship and the distance to it was at is unclear.
- The Californian was sailing away from the Titanic and so the Titanic could have been unable to catch up with her.
- Evacuating people in life boats would be more difficult while sailing.
- Transferring people from the Titanic to the Californian may have proven difficult.

4) Take all the life jackets put them in one of the forward compartments so that it wouldn't completely flood. People that ended up in the water were dead anyway, with or without life jacket. I find it hard to believe though that you could have enough impact with this measure. If 1 life jacket creates 10l of buoyancy and you manage to use 3000, then you would have added 30m^3 of buoyancy to a forward compartment. That's only a small room.
If that were actually a viable plan then it could be used to improve that safety of ships in general. You could equip lower decks of ships with air bags that can be inflated in emergencies.

5) It has been suggested to put as many people as possible on the ice berg. An alternative is to sail towards the pack ice, probably the ice that blocked the Californian, which was supposedly less than 10 miles away. People can walk on pack ice.

6) A way to prevent the prow from sinking would have been to add weight to the stern. Some weight that was amply available was coal from the boiler rooms. If 100 people were to carry 20kg each (10kg per bucket) and a round trip took 6 minutes, then they would have transported together 2 tons per 6 minutes or 20 tons an hour. I suspect you'd need at least 10 times as much to make a significant impact.
A quicker way to add weight to the stern would be to move people there. 2000 people of 75kg way 150 tons. That probably wouldn't be enough though.
The only way I can see to make enough impact is to make holes in the stern. It would at least slow down the sinking of the prow. That would leave more time to search for other options to save the ship, like reinforcing the bulkhead between boiler rooms 5 and 6. The problem is that before you will put holes in your ship you need to be almost sure it is otherwise lost.
Adding weight to the stern could increase stress to the hull in the middle of the ship and cause it to break sooner. There are two contradictory scenarios on how the ship broke : downwards (the middle sinking first, as ships suffering catastrophic damage in the center usually do) and upwards (the prow sinking first, the upper deck being unable to resist the pull stress from the flooding prow). The latter seems more likely.

7) A few seconds could probably be save by improving reaction time to the warning from the crows nest. A few seconds was all that was needed.

8) Another thing they could have done different is to simplify the morse signal made with the morse lights. Rather than tell the Californian they are sinking and ask them to come, they could have tried repeating an SOS-signal over and over again.

The documentary 'Titanic: The Final Word with James Cameron' also presented a case for the myth that was busted by the sinking of the Mythanic in Mythbusters that downdraft can suck someone down. The team thinks that the momentum of the water bulb following Titanic downwards was big enough to deform her by crashing onto her after she hit the bottom.

What do you guys think ?

PS : The sinking of the Lusitania will have occurred 100 years ago on May 7th. Don't forget to commemorate that. 1198 People died.
The earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the earth.
tkubok
Posts: 5,044
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
4/16/2015 12:23:08 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 4/10/2015 4:25:12 PM, Amoranemix wrote:
It is almost 103 years ago that the Titanic sunk and I would like to present some ideas about how the ship could have been saved. Hence I post this in the science thread iso the history section.
I first present a sequence of events, observations and speculations that may be of interest to those interested in this disaster.

- In September 1911 Titanic's sister ship Olympic, commanded by captain Edward J. Smith, collided with the cruise ship Hawke. Following repairs delayed the maiden voyage of the Titanic to April, a period with many ice bergs in the north Atlantic.

- There was exceptionally much ice in the North Atlantic that spring, over 1000 icebergs while the average is about 500. Most icebergs come from the west coast of Greenland and are swept south by the Labrador current. On the fatal night the Californian, a 450 foot steamer, was even blocked by an almost 30 miles long and 3 miles wide ice barrier. The Titanic had taken the southern route in an attempt to avoid the ice.

- Meteorological conditions were exceptional the night of 14th to the 15th of April 1912. It was moonless, clear, cold and calm. The warm air of the Gulf current formed a layer over the cold air of the Labrador current. Conditions were excellent for a cold sea mirage.

- At 21,5 knots, close to its maximum of 23 knots, the Titanic was sailing too fast for the circumstances, but it was normal procedure at the time to steam fast in clear weather when there were icebergs.

- A mirage that lifted the horizon behind the iceberg and the rippleless sea made an iceberg hard to spot.

- The spotters in the crows nest lacked binoculars, but it's doubtful that having some would have made a difference.

- Captain Stanley Lord of the Californian misidentified the Titanic as a smaller vessel. The breaking of light through the layered atmosphere may have deformed the ship's appearance.

- It took 17 seconds (my own measurement from 'Curiosity: What sank the Titanic') from both spotters spotting the iceberg till the order to steer port was given.

- When the iceberg was spotted the propellers were stopped. They were probably put in reversed by I doubt they actually reversed (and the central one could not be reversed) because that would have taken more time than the minute that was approximately available. Keeping forward thrust would have improved the manoeuvrability of the ship.

- The Titanic was tested to have a stopping distance of 790m.

- The Titanic was equipped with a state of the art remarkable piece of technology : a wireless telegraph. It's purpose was to serve the elite passengers, not to improve the safety of the ship. As a consequence, the wireless telegraph was badly exploited : not all ice warnings reached the bridge, the position accompanying the SOS was 17 km off and the nearby Californian was unaware the Titanic was in distress. This disaster caused the world to realize how wireless telegraph could contribute to maritime safety and new rules were enforced.

- It is rumoured that a steering error was made.

- Ramming the iceberg head-on could perhaps have limited significant leaks to the prow and probably saved the ship.

- The collision ripped open 6 holes over 6 of the 16 compartments over 90m of hull., two more than the ship's design limit. The 6th compartment, boiler room 5, had only a small leak.

- The rivets near the prow were of inferior quality and in some places only two rows of rivets were used where three were recommended; causing rivets to pop, separating the metal sheets that formed the hull. (This is disputed in the documentary 'Titanic, case closed' by National Geographic.) Rivets served the function that welds do today.

- The highest bulkheads only reached to (and included) deck D.

- The Titanic had restarted her voyage for a few minutes after the collision, which accelerated water intake and reassured passengers.
- A fire had weakened the bulkhead between boiler room 6 (the fifth compartment from the prow) and boiler room 5 (sixth compartment). This bulkhead was later breached under the pressure of the water in boiler room 6.

- The Titanic had no alarm system. All passengers had to be told personally to evacuate.

- Each of the 9 decks were differently organized and easy to get lost in.

- Attempts to at communication via morse lights between the Titanic and the Californian were made, but the signals were scrambled by scintillation.

- At the time, the more compartments a ship had, the fewer life boats it required. The philosophy of the Board of Trade was to make ships harder to sink rather than have dangerous ships with lots of life boats. There was only room for 1178 people on the life boats, while there were 2224 people on board. Life boats' main purpose was to transboard passengers in case of an emergency.

- An outside door on D deck was open, perhaps to evacuate people onto life boats. It accelerated flooding of that deck.

- The ship showed very little list, making evacuation easier.

- The evacuation was badly organized : the crew lacked training, third class passengers were held up below, there was a woman and children first policy and the Californian was believed to be nearby. Given the calm sea, overloading the life boats was probably recommended.

- The crew managed to keep electricity flowing till the last few minutes. That was possible because the generators were in the stern. All 35 engineers and electricians perished.

- The Titanic took 140 minutes to sink, which was long. 3 Years later the passenger steamer Lusitania sank in 18 minutes.

- The stern could probably float on its own after the ship broke in two, but was pulled down by the bow and the midsection.

- The water temperature was only -1 degrees Celsius, far too low for people to survive until the arrival of the Carpathia 4 hours after the Titanic sank.

- 1517 people died.

- The Titanic was discovered in 1985 at 49" 56' West and 41" 43' North depth of 3784m : http://www.titanic-whitestarships.com...

Its easy. We kill the batman.

Wait, i mean, we avoid the iceberg. Thats it.