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Old January 9th, 2017, 08:55 PM   #11

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Originally Posted by paranoid marvin View Post
I think the argument was twofold; if there hadn't been a fire then the ship wouldn't have been travelling so quickly (the only way to deal with the fire was to shovel coal in to the furnace as quickly as possible). At a lower speed the impact may not have been so great or there may have been none at all. Secondly the weakened bulkhead wouldn't have saved the ship, but it probably wouldn't have sunk before a rescue ship saved the passengers.
The fire had nothing to do with the speed the Titanic was traveling. The Titanic's average speed on her maiden voyage was 21.44 knots, almost the same as her sister Olympic's maiden voyage. The fire was in one coal bunker - the Titanic had 22, so faster shoveling from that single bunker would have had a minor effect on the Titanic's speed. Also, according to Leading Fireman Charles Hendrickson and Leading Fireman Fredrick Barrett, the coal bunker was emptied and the fire was out sometime on Saturday. That's an a minimum 23 hours and 40 minutes before the Titanic struck the iceberg, so the long since extinguished coal fire had nothing to do with the speed the Titanic was going. If the bulkhead did collapse due to being weakened by the fire, it seems wildly unlikely that it hastened the Titanic's sinking by an hour and 40 minutes - water would still flow over the top of the bulkhead. At best, it would allow the last two collapsables to be launched instead of floating off the sinking deck, which might have saved a couple dozen more.
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Old January 10th, 2017, 03:59 AM   #12
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The sinking of Titanic in real time:

161 minutes and 18 seconds.

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Old January 10th, 2017, 06:28 AM   #13

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Not just that - did you see the programme? According to it, the high speed was because of the need to get the burning coal out of the bunker and into the furnaces ASAP. The decision not to change course was because the vessel didn't carry enough coal to reach her destination if she diverted - she had not fully filled her bunkers because of shortages and potential delays due to possible industrial action by miners.
I find it very hard to believe that the captain of Titanic - or of any other vessel, would not be aware of a bunker fire - by all accounts he was a highly competent and experienced officer.
Also, to my mind, indicative of the potential seriousness of the fire is that of a boiler room crew of over a hundred, only 8 signed on for the final leg to America - the rest presumably had doubts!
Mike
The Titanic departed Southhampton with roughly 1000 more tons of coal than the Olympic had on her maiden voyage. They had a coal reserve large enough to steam for a couple days long than it would have taken to reach New York. The Titanic had 13 leading firemen, 163 firemen, and 73 trimmers who made the trip. Only 9 firemen and trimmers had failed to join or deserted the ship.
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