Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I Could've Saved Everyone on the Titanic. Here's How

   Because this year commemorated the 100 year anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, there was a considerable coverage of that memorable event. In my previous blog I noted that, in the past, people were more polite and courteous. I’m beginning to believe however that it was our ancestors’ colossal pride and fear of being viewed as cowardly that got 1502 passengers killed that fateful day. It appears they decided drowning in icy waters was preferable to showing worry or concern about their predicament.

   I’m not a Titanic buff; there are those who can give an accounting of every minute, following the striking of the iceberg. In this case, such detail isn’t necessary. There was only one problem they needed to solve once the ship began sinking, and that was ‘How do we get all these people off the ship and onto another floating vessel.’ The nearest vessel, The Carpathia was reported to be 4 hours away. At the rate the ship was sinking, their rescuers would not arrive in time.

   Now here’s where the weirdness comes into play. We all know the Titanic didn’t have enough lifeboats to accommodate all the passengers, but it was reported that most of the lifeboats launched were only partially filled. 

   How in blazes did that happen? When offered a seat on the lifeboat did several hundred turn it down? Did someone say, “Thank for the offer, Hiram, but I’m going to wait for the next one. Don’t want to seem too anxious to stay alive and not drown in freezing waters.”

   And what was with those jackaninnie musicians who, as the ship was sinking, continued to play?

   Seriously? If I was on that ship and saw that, I would have stormed over and said, “You know, as much as I enjoy a rousing rendition of ‘Waltzing Matilda,’ Ephraim, I believe your time could be better spent helping me rip these bathtubs out of the first class cabins, plugging the drain holes and getting people off this sinking deathtrap!”
   That’s right, there were bathtubs in the first class cabins that could easily be converted into life rafts.

   “Okay, fine,” you might say, “but there weren’t enough to save all 1500.”
   “Au contraire,” I would reply, showing my mastery of the Spanish language.

   You see, the only way to save all 1500 would be to transfer those presently on the lifeboats to another vessel then come back for the others. There was sufficient time.    

   The Titanic took several hours to sink. The problem however, was there was no other vessel in the area to transfer them to.

   But there was. And I’m not talking about the SS Californian that was reportedly within range but hadn’t received the Titanic’s distress call.
   The other floating vessel I’m referring to was as big as the Titanic, was stationary and could accommodate all the passengers until help arrived.

   What is that vessel you ask?

   The iceberg.

   I’m amazed that no one thought of the iceberg as a safe haven. It certainly was big enough, and if you doubt that just remember, it was so large and stationary, it ripped a huge hole into the side of the thickest hull ever created.

   But perhaps the iceberg was totally submerged.

   Nope . Do the ice cube test. Fill your sink with water then take some ice cubes from the ice cube tray and drop them in. The widest part of the cube will always flip to the top and rise to the surface.

   And think about just how large it must have been! It didn’t give way when struck by the biggest ship in history. Instead it ripped the Titanic wide open.

   So to recap. Boat hits iceberg. Instead of pretending I’m not the least bit frightened, I step up, tell those in the lifeboats to take the passengers to the iceberg, drop them off, then come back and get the others. In the meantime, I’d have the bathtubs ripped out, plugged tight then set to sea to join the others.
   It’s a shame I wasn’t there. If I was, Leonardo DiCaprio would still be alive.

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