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America's Boating Club

Save The Titanic

By Swanson Poer, AP

There is a good chance the Titanic could have been saved with a knowledge of piloting and ship handling.
According to the movie, as soon as the iceberg was sighted the order given was hard to port and full astern with the engines. The mistake was full astern with the engines.
As in all big ships, things happen slowly. With full left rudders and full forward thrust by the propellors, the ship did slowly start a left turn. As a matter of fact, enough turn for the bow to miss the iceberg. As the engines were recersed so was the thrust against the rudders. The ship was now set up for a right turn. The full effect of the turn came just as the bow cleared the iceberg. The first third of the starboard side of the ship was forced against the iceberg with such force to open a gash into the forward compartments. As the ship turned on its center of gravity the aft section of the ship was forced away from the iceberg with no damage. The rest is history.
The mistake was that the ship should never have been put in reverse, thus reversing the direction of the turn.



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Updated 21 Sep 15