View Single Post
  #79 (permalink)  
Old January 14th, 2012, 06:54 PM
Paul Motter's Avatar
Paul Motter Paul Motter is offline
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: in my office!
Posts: 11,010
Send a message via AIM to Paul Motter

Yes - here is how I see it...

The ship hit a rocky shoal someplace on the port side - that was the jolt.

Everyone says everything happened quickly.

Now - hitting the first rock and tearing the hull open is not what stopped the ship, it continued to coast along. First of all, the captain said he wanted to get closer to shore before evacuation.

Plus the power failed. Even if the ship had power it could not stop on a dime, the coasting would have continued but they may have been able to turn it or slow it down.

As the ship coasted forward it approached a land mass on its starboard side - the island which continued to slope in the same direction underwater as it does above water. When the ship hit shallower water the keel was pushed outwards; by the sloping underwater terrain so the top of the ship would tip towards the island.

In other words - the second contact with land, which was the first contact significant enough to stop the ship hit the keel first and the ship kept going forward - tipping more & more until it stopped.

Then, since it was already tipped to that side as more water flowed in it gathered on the side of the ship that was already tipped downwards, causing the ship to list more & more to starboard.

If you picture a ship straight up = |

and the | hits land: /

then you see the top of the ship tips towards the land, regardless of where the original tear occured. The tear was still enough underwater, although on the far side, for water to continue flowing in, and either that flow stopped, or it is possible the ship could have filled with water more and more and slid to the bottom of the underwater mountain that it hit.

This could have been far worse, actually, if the ship had been going faster when the same sequence of events occured (then the ship would have hit harder, the hull on the other side could have torn open and the ship could have filled with water instantly and slid to the bottom of the sea.

Or it is possible it is now sitting in a "saddle" of sand between two islands, in which case it is stable.

But I now understand why people jumped - the land was right there, and they saw that the ship could possibly fill up with water and sink.
Reply With Quote