Would another hour before sinking made a difference?

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I clipped this from a 2/19/98 news article in Reuters.

George Tulloch, president of RMS Titanic, the New York company organizing August's expedition, rejects claims that rivets were a problem or that those who died might have lived. [I deleted a paragraph about rivits.] "' I don't think we should try to create the potentially illusionary thought that there would have been another hour for people. What impact does that have on the historic fact that you died? I don't think it has any."

I understand his point that historically it doesn't matter that they died at 2 or at 3, but it got me thinking what would difference would an hour have made? Would everything just been more drawn out or would have the whole thing been simply moved out an hour later or would Californian's crew convinced themselves something was up and went to their aid or would the people in the lifeboats answered Capt. Smith's calls back to the ship?

-- crystal smithwick (crystal@9v.com), February 23, 1998


Crystal- I think the only thing that would have helped save the people on the Titanic was if the sinking could have taken long enough for the Carpathia to arrive before it totally went under....I think the Californian still would have ignored everything even had it taken another hour, and once the people were in the water death came fairly swiftly, and everybody still would be dead before the Carpathia arrived.

-- Laura (lrc@usit.net), February 23, 1998.

One hour wouldn't have made any difference; the Carpathia didn't arrive until about an hour and a quarter after the final plunge. Two hours *might* have made a difference, but it would have been cutting it close at best. Remember, most people lasted only about 10-20 minutes in the cold water. Pulling 1500 separate people, many of whom couldn't swim, out of the water would have been a *very* daunting task, even for one as prepared as Captain Rostron.

Also, the faulty rivits theory is popular these days, but even the scientists who have proposed it are cautious about claiming certainty on this issue. Not enough rivits have been tested to have a statistically meaningful sample. Furthermore, it isn't clear, and may never be, how much they contributed to the opening of the ship's hull to the sea. Many factors went into creating the holes that sank Titanic, and I doubt we'll ever know precisely how they all worked.

-- Thomas Shoebotham (cathytom@ix.netcom.com), February 23, 1998.

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