The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #46522   Message #690890
Posted By: Celtic Soul
15-Apr-02 - 09:44 PM
Thread Name: BS: Remembering the Titanic
Subject: RE: BS: Remembering the Titanic
Fascinating folklore, regardless of it's accuracy or no.

My understanding of the events that led up to the catastrophe that was the sinking of the Titanic is that it was a series of events one on top of the other that led to the ultimate demise of the ship.

The ships designer wanted to make it under time to NYC, and pushed the bridge crew to faster speeds, even when it was not advisable. The rudder was too small for the size and mass of the ship. The ocean the night the ship hit the berg was like glass, and so there were no flashes of white water at the base of the berg (the only way to see one at night from a safe distance in those days). Additionally, it was foggy. The Captain was not on the bridge at the time the berg was sighted. The crew chose to try to steer away from it, but could not miss it altogether, as the rudder was not large enough to move the ship in time. The ship was designed with chambers (8 or 9?) front to back. These chambers (walled sections of the lower portions of the ship) were supposed to keep water from filling the entire ship, *but*, as the ship could not steer away from the icerberg completely, the berg scraped down the side, compromising too many of the chambers, making for too much water in the hull...Ironically, the ship would likely have *not* sunk had she hit the berg dead-on. The belief in her invincibility made for the lack of enough lifeboats...why waste the room on the beautiful decks of an unsinkable ship? The flares that they shot off were visible to another nearby ship, but the color was not the one then known for signaling help. The other ship thought she was sending off fireworks.

If not for any one of these factors, the ship (or at least, more of her passengers) may have survived.

The crew of Apollo 13 had much the same sort of happenstance. Many little things all added up to disaster, thankfully, one that did not involve their deaths.