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Thread: Titanic II

  1. Top | #11
    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    The RMS Lusitania (1907-1915) was sunk by a German submarine in WWI.
    • Tonnage: 31,550 GRT
    • Displacement: 44,767.0 tons - 40,600 mt
    • Length: 787 ft - 239.9 m
    • Beam: 87 ft - 26.5 m
    • Height (boat deck): 60 ft - 18.3 m
    • Height (aerials): 165 ft - 50.3 m
    • Draft: 33.6 ft - 10.2 m
    • Decks: 9
    • Capacity: 3,000

    In 1910, the Lusitania was hit by a rogue wave about 23 m / 75 ft height. The ship suffered some damage, but nobody was injured or killed, and the ship continued to NYC, arriving a few hours late.

    Then on 1915 May 7, as it was near southern Ireland on its way from NYC to Liverpool, a German submarine launched a torpedo into it. When it hit, it exploded, and that explosion was followed by a second one. The ship sank in 18 minutes, and of the 1,960 people aboard, 1,193 died and 761 survived.

    The sinking of that ship was an outrage in Britain and the US, but President Woodrow Wilson refused to get involved in the war. "There is such a thing as a man being too proud to fight. There is such a thing as a nation being so right that it does not need to convince others by force that it is right" he stated in a speech.

  2. Top | #12
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    The HMHS Britannic (1915-1916) was a sister ship of the Olympic and the Titanic, and it served as a British hospital ship in WWII. It sank from running into a mine near the Greek island of Kea in the Aegean Sea. Of the 1,065 people on board, 1,035 survived and only 30 died.


    Advancing to World War II, it had the greatest number of civilians killed in a maritime disaster, from the sinking of the cruise ship MV Wilhelm Gustloff (1938-1945)
    • Tonnage: 25,484 GRT
    • Length: 684 ft 1 in - 208.5 m
    • Beam: 77 ft 5 in - 23.59 m
    • Height: 183 ft 9 in - 56 m
    • Draft: 21 ft 4 in - 6.5 m
    • Decks: 5
    • Capacity: some 1,900

    It was sponsored by the Nazis' Strength through Joy (Kraft durch Freude) organization. It sponsored lots of leisure activities, and this ship would add cruise-ship excursions.

    It was named after a Swiss Nazi leader who was murdered by a Jewish medical student in 1936. MV = motor vessel, a reference to the ship's diesel engines.

    But during WWII, it was first a hospital ship then a barracks ship, and toward the end of the war, it was used to evacuate refugees from the easternmost parts of Germany. On 1945 Jan 30, the ship departed Danzig, now Gdansk, with some 10,500 people on board, well over its nominal capacity. It had four captains on board, and they disagreed on the best course of action. Like whether to keep the ship's navigation lights on or off. They decided on the lights on for a while, and that was enough to catch the attention of Soviet submarine crews. One submarine then sent three torpedoes into the WG, and the ship sank in 40 minutes. Of all the people on board, only 1,252 survived, picked up by nearby German ships.

    Another ship used in this evacuation effort, the SS Cap Arcona (1927-1945), succeeded, but it was soon used as a prison ship for German concentration-camp inmates, and mistakenly sunk in May 1945 by the Royal Air Force, killing some 5,000 people. The RAF also attacked two nearby ships, killing an additional 2,000 people.
    • Tonnage: 27,561 GRT
    • Length: 678 ft 10 in - 206.90 m
    • Beam: 84 ft 7 in - 25.78 m
    • Draft: 28 ft 5 in - 8.67 m
    • Depth: 46 ft 11 in - 14.30 m
    • Decks: 5
    • Capacity: 1,800

  3. Top | #13
    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    I now turn to the SS Andrea Doria (1953-1956). That ship was one of several Italian ships named after a 16th cy. admiral from Genoa, Andrea Doria. In Italy, Andrea is a man's name, from removing the final s in the original Greek form, Andreas. "For a country attempting to rebuild its shattered economy and reputation after World War II, Andrea Doria was an icon of Italian national pride. Of all Italy's ships at the time, Andrea Doria was the largest, fastest and supposedly safest."
    • Tonnage: 29,083 GRT
    • Length: 701 ft 5 in - 213.80 m
    • Beam: 90ft 3 in - 27.50 m
    • Capacity: 1,700


    On 1956 July 25, the Andrea Doria was on its way from Cannes FR, Naples IT, and Gibraltar to New York City, and another ship, the Stockholm, half the size of the AD, was on its way from NYC to Gothenburg SE. The Stockholm was designed for traveling near the Arctic Ocean, and its bow was reinforced for icebreaking duty. But the Stockholm's crew decided to send that ship a bit north of where eastbound ships usually travel -- and into the path of westbound ships. Ships that included the Andrea Doria that day.

    The Andrea Doria was traveling through some fog near Nantucket Island, and its crew had closed the watertight bulkhead doors as a precaution. But the Stockholm was only beginning to approach that fog. Both ships saw each other on their radars, and both attempted to avoid collision, though they did not try to make radio contact with each other. The Andrea Doria turned leftward and the Stockholm turned rightward, and the two ships ended up colliding around 11 pm local time.

    The Stockholm broadsided the AD, and both ships took on water. The AD got a dangerous list, and the Stockholm lost about 10 m / 30 ft of its bow, but only the first of the Stockholm's compartments got flooded. The AD sent out distress messages, and some nearby ships moved in to assist, rescuing nearly all of the AD's passenger and crew. The AD's captain, Piero Calamai, stayed on board and he considered the possibility of towing the ship to shallow water. But it was evident that the ship was doomed, and the captain and remaining crew departed around 9 am. The ship capsized (tilted over) and sank bow first, disappearing at 10:09 am, 11 hours after the collision.

    Out of the 1,704 people aboard the Andrea Doria, 1,660 survived and 46 died, mostly as a direct result of the collision. The Stockholm had 742 people on board, with 5 of them dying from the collision.

  4. Top | #14
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    The MS Estonia (1980-1994) was a cruiseferry that operated in the Baltic Sea, carrying cars in its lower decks. It was a roll-on-roll-off (ro-ro) ferry, where one drives one's car onto it and then off of it. At the bow end of the ship was a "bow visor", a part of the ship on a horizontal hinge that could be moved upward and out of the way of the cars.
    • Tonnage: 15,598 GT
    • Length: 509 ft 11 in - 155.43 m
    • Beam: 79 ft 5 in - 24.21 m
    • Draft: 18 ft 4 in - 5.60 m
    • Decks: 9
    • Capacity: 2,000 passengers, 460 cars

    On 27 Sep 1994, the Estonia departed Tallinn, Estonia for Stockholm, Sweden.

    The ship suffered a bad storm, and on 1:00 am local time, the ship's people heard a metallic bang. This was followed by similar noises for the next 10 minutes. The visor came loose and water flooded into the car desk, making the ship have a bad list. By 1:30, it listed 60d, and by 1:50 90d. It soon sank.

    Of the 989 people on board, 137 survived and 852 died, many of them trapped in the ship.

  5. Top | #15
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    I'll conclude this series on passenger-ship disasters with the Costa Concordia (2006-2012), though I intend to discuss more general features.
    • Tonnage: 114,147 GT
    • Length: 952 ft 1 in - 290.20 m
    • Beam: 116 ft 6 in - 35.50 m
    • Draft: 26 ft 11 in - 8.20 m
    • Depth: 46 ft 6 in - 14.18 m
    • Decks: 13
    • Capacity: 4,880

    The ship was on a cruise from Civitavecchia on the west coast of Italia near Rome, and stopping off at Savonia NW Italy, Marseille S France, Barcelona NE Spain, Palma S Majorca island, Cagliari S Sardinia island, and Palermo N Sicily before returning to Civitavecchia. On its way out of Civitavecchia, the ship was to pass by Giglio Island ("JEElyo") a little off the coast.

    On the way, Captain Francesco Schettino decided on a course very close to the island. He said later "I was navigating by sight, because I knew those seabeds well. I had done the move three, four times." He saw waves breaking off a nearby reef, and he tried to avoid it. But at 21:42 or 21:45 local time, the ship hit that reef and the reef tore a big gash in the ship's hull. Water poured in, and the engines and generators were knocked out, cutting out the ship's electricity.

    Passengers heard a sudden, loud bang, and a crewmember called it an "electrical failure". Another one said afterward that "We told the guests everything was [okay] and under control and we tried to stop them panicking".

    There is a bizarre claim about this ship disaster. That in a restaurant, this song was being played: Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On", the theme song from the 1997 film "Titanic".

    The ship listed to port, and then to starboard, but at 22:12, a ship officer stated only that the ship had an electrical blackout. Then at 22:20, some crewmember told the passengers that "We have solved the problems we had and invite everyone to return to their cabins." A ship's cook claimed that Captain FS ordered dinner at 22:30.

    At 22:26, FS told the port authorities at Livorno that the CC was taking on water, and he requested a tugboat. Port authorities were not alerted to the collision until 22:42, and the order to abandon ship was at 22:50. From Wiki
    Staff or 2nd captain Roberto Bosio, is said to have coordinated some of the deck officers in much of the evacuation. He began to evacuate the ship before Schettino's order. Many junior officers and crew members who were aware of the severity of the situation also began readying lifeboats and moving passengers from their cabins before the abandon ship orders were given, a move that has been characterised as a "mutiny".

    A third engineer officer from the ship's engine room also pointed out that "Unlike the captain, we were there until the end. We did all we could to avoid catastrophe."
    Some people jumped overboard to try to swim to safety, but 3 drowned and 7 were critically injured.
    The local fire chief said his men "plucked 100 people from the water and saved around 60 others who were trapped in the boat". Five helicopters from the Italian Coast Guard, Navy and Air Force took turns airlifting survivors still aboard and ferrying them to safety.

    According to investigators, Schettino had left the ship by 23:30.

    In one telephone call from the Coast Guard to Schettino, Captain Gregorio De Falco, a captain from Livorno, repeatedly ordered Schettino to return to the ship from his lifeboat and take charge of the ongoing passenger evacuation. At one point in the call, De Falco grew so angry at Schettino's stalling that he raised his voice and told Schettino, "Vada a bordo, cazzo!" (translated as "Get the fuck [back] on board!", "Get [back] on board, for fuck's sake!" or "Get on board, damn it!" depending on the source). One of these calls took place at 01:46.[80] Despite this, Schettino never returned to the ship from the lifeboat into which he claimed he had "fallen".

    At 01:04, an Air Force officer who was lowered on board by helicopter reported that there were still 100 people on board. Father Raffaele Malena, the ship's priest, said he was among the last leaving the ship at around 01:30. The deputy-mayor of Isola del Giglio, Mario Pellegrini, who went on board as part of the rescue operations, praised the ship's doctor and a young Costa Concordia officer, Simone Canessa, the only officer he met on board, for their help. He and Canessa were "shoulder to shoulder" until 05:30. One of the missing crewmen, a waiter, was last seen helping passengers.

    At 03:05, 600 passengers were evacuated to the mainland by ferry. At 03:44, the Air Force officer reported that 40 to 50 people were still on board. At 04:46, the evacuation was noted as "complete" on the Port of Livorno's Harbour Master log. The next day, the survivors were transported to Porto Santo Stefano, where the first center for coordination and assistance was established.
    from Costa Concordia disaster

    The next day, rescue divers were sent into the ship to look for missing people, and they found some survivors as well as bodies of those who died.

    Of the 4,252 people aboard the CC, 32 died in that accident.

    A year and a half later, in the middle of 2014, the ship was salvaged by attaching giant floats to it, first on the ship's port side, interrupting to get the ship upright, and then on the ship's starboard side. The ship was then towed to Genoa for scrapping. That was started for the upper decks in 2015 May, and the floats were off by 2016 August. Most of the ship was gone by 2017 January, and it was all gone by July of that year.

  6. Top | #16
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    Wikipedia has


    In the freak-coincidences department, in 1898, Morgan Robertson wrote a novella, The Wreck of the Titan: Or, Futility
    The Wreck of the Titan: Or, Futility is a novella written by Morgan Robertson and published as Futility in 1898, and revised as The Wreck of the Titan in 1912. It features a fictional British ocean liner Titan that sinks in the North Atlantic after striking an iceberg. Titan and its sinking are famous for similarities to the passenger ship RMS Titanic and its sinking 14 years later.
    But was it a freak coincidence? The author having ESP?
    Although the novel was written before RMS Titanic was even conceptualized, there are some uncanny similarities between the fictional and real-life versions. Like Titanic, the fictional ship sank in April in the North Atlantic, and there were not enough lifeboats for all the passengers. There are also similarities in size (800 ft [244 m] long for Titan versus 882 ft 9 in [269 m] long for the Titanic), speed, and life-saving equipment. After the Titanic's sinking, some people credited Robertson with precognition and clairvoyance, which he denied. Scholars attribute the similarities to Robertson's extensive knowledge of shipbuilding and maritime trends.
    Even the name was appropriate for such a big ship.

  7. Top | #17
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    In the late 1970's, Isaac Asimov wrote a science essay, "The Floating Crystal Palace", collected in "The Road to Infinity". IA had a regular science-essay column in Fantasy & Science Fiction magazine, and I have several collections of his essays for that publication.
    Last month (as I write this) my wife, Janet, and I crossed the Atlantic on the Queen Elizabeth 2; then, after one day in Southampton, we crossed right back.

    We did this for a number of reasons. I have a pair of talks each way, Janet is crazy about ships, and both of us found ourselves in an island of peace away from the cares of the workaday world. (Actually 1 managed to write a small book while on board, but that's another story.)

    In one respect, though, was disenchanted on this particular voyage. It had always been my dim assumption that there was one word that is absolutely taboo on any liner. You might say something was "very large," "huge," "monstrous," "gigantic," but you would never say something was -- well, the adjective begins with a "t."

    1 was wrong. One evening on the ship, a stand-up comedian said, "I hope you'll all be joining us at the big banquet tomorrow, folks. We're celebrating the anniversary of the Titanic."

    1 was shocked! Hesven knows I've never been accused of good taste in my off-hand humor, but this, I thought, was going too far. Had I known he was going to say it, I might have tried to round up a committee for the feeding of poor, deserving sharks by throwing the comedian overboard.

    Did others feel the same way?

    No, sir! The remark was greeted with general laughter. with myself (as far as could tell) the only abstainer,

    Why did they laugh? I thought about it., and an essay began to build itself in my mind. Here it is --
    He then continued with explaining icebergs. A "floating crystal palace" was how St. Brendan (ca. 550 CE) or his chroniclers described them.

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    Timeline of largest passenger ships - I looked up every ship in that list and got that ship's statistics.

    The first in that list was the SS Royal William (1831-1860), credited with being one of the first ships to travel across the Atlantic Ocean mostly on engine power. Its crew used its sails only as a backup in case of engine maintenance. It was rather small by later standards, with a length of 49 meters and a beam of 13 meters. Its tonnage or internal volume was 1,370 GRT or 3,880 cubic meters.

    There was a roughly exponential trajectory from there to the ca. 1914 German Imperator-class liners (Imperator/Berengaria, Vaterland/Leviathan, and Bismarck/Majestic). The White Star Olympic-class trio (Olympic, Titanic, Britannic) were not far behind.

    The Titanic itself had a length of 269 m, a beam of 28 m, a draft of 10.5 m, a keel-to-funnel-top height of 53 m, a volume of 46,328 GRT or 131,000 m^3, and a displacement or mass of 53,158 metric tons.

    The next record setters were some 20 years later, in the 1930's, with the Normandie and the Queen Mary. Their size records would not be beaten very much until the mega cruise ships of recent decades.

    The Queen Mary: length 311 m, beam 36 m, draft 11.8 m, volume 80,774 GRT or 229,000 m^3, and mass 78,642 mt.

    So the Titanic wasn't exactly one-of-a-kind, though it was still one of the largest passenger ships in the world for some decades.

  9. Top | #19
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    Wikipedia has a page on Largest ship (disambiguation)

    In Rogue wave and List of rogue waves, "In February 1926 in the North Atlantic a massive wave hit the British passenger liner RMS Olympic, smashing four of the bridge's nine glass windows and doing some other damage." So the Olympic survived that one also, in addition to collisions with 3 ships and 1 submarine.

    I looked in List of longest wooden ships for size records for wooden ships. The champion is the Wyoming (1909-1924) (length 140 m, beam 15.3 m, draft 9.3 m). It was a 6-mast sailing ship, and it tended to bend enough in heavy seas to let water leak in. Its crew used steam pumps to pump that water out. It met its end in heavy seas, sinking with all its crew.

    All of them more than 80 meters long were built in the early 19th cy. and later, with the exception of some barges from the Roman Empire. There are a few early-modern ships that were longer than 70 m, like the Adler von Lübeck and the HMS Sovereign of the Seas, but there are plenty of them that were 56 - 69 m long.

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