|Survivor accounts by James G. Clary|
|Posted on Wed 19 Jan 2005 (81959 reads)|
Excerpted from The Last True Story of Titanic, by James G. Clary
The relatively short two hours and forty minute life of Titanic after she struck the iceberg always intrigued me. Intriguing because I was quite familiar with the sinking of the Italian Line Andrea Doria after collision with the Swedish-American liner Stockholm off Nantucket Island, July 25, 1956. The August 6, 1956, Life Magazine cover photo shows the Andrea Doria with a severe starboard list which she sustained within minutes after the collision.
I figured that Andrea Doria's collision wounds had to have been far more severe than those of Titanic because within just a few moments this list occurred. However, despite this grave predicament, the Andrea Doria remained afloat for almost eleven hours. Why was there this major after-collision-life time difference between these two vessels? It had to have been the fact that the Andrea Doria did not, could not, move on again after her collision.
Everything came into focus after reading the statement made by Titanic survivor Lawrence Beesley in his account, The Story of the Titanic as Told by its Survivors. His chronicle was considered one of the four most credible Titanic accounts in existence. He related, "The ship had now resumed her course, moving very slowly through the water with a little white line of foam on each side. I think we were all glad to see this: it seemed better than standing still." It was the only hint of Titanic starting up again after the collision in any account. More hidden evidence of the start up was found in the American and British inquiries, in old newspaper accounts, and from an interview of the late survivor Edwina (Troutt) Mckenzie. Yes, the Titanic did resume her course at half speed, gushing sea water directly into her bow wounds at an accelerated rate estimated to be over twelve and a half tons a minute! Here was the reason the great ship sank so fast.
The time spent by Beesley ascending and descending stairs, reading in his stateroom for ten minutes, talking with and assisting other passengers after discovering Titanic had started up again (about 12:15 a.m.), until he was on deck the third time to realize the vessel had again stopped (about 12:45 a.m.), was about thirty minutes. It appears quite logical then, that Titanic had steamed on for at least twenty minutes during this interval of at least thirty minutes. Therefore, for twenty minutes or more, massive amounts of sea water were driven forcefully into the wounds at her bow, thus gravely reducing, second by second, minute by minute, the precious time she had left before sinking.
To exasperate the already grim situation was the gaping hole in Hold NO. 1, as described in testimony given by Edward Wilding in the British Inquiry. Wilding, a respected naval architect and head draftsman at Harland and Wolff at the time Titanic was built.
For the complete and detailed saga of this incredible episode along with many other unknown Titanic facts, I invite you to read, The Last True Story of Titanic.
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Posted: 2005/8/4 15:17 Updated: 2005/8/14 23:21
From: Buckeye Arizona / 40miles/63km w. of Phoenix Arizona
I've been doing some research on Capt. Smith, I'm still looking for his history as a seaman to capt. can you help?
but this is the first time I've ever knew the titanic got underway after the iceberg. I find this very interesting!