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View Diary: Titanic: How the US Investigation into the Sinking Almost Didn't Happen (44 comments)

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  •  Left Third Class Locked Below (4+ / 0-)

    The ship's operators weren't found liable for leaving the Third Class passengers locked below decks, with the grilles designed to keep the lower classes from mixing inappropriately with the worthy classes. They drowned because the staff didn't unlock them after the collision.

    So much for the government interest in them, though "most of its passengers were immigrants who were about to become American citizens."

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Tue May 13, 2014 at 03:33:11 PM PDT

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    •  Well they did try to go down and (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Penny GC, RiveroftheWest

      bring women and children up. But if you don't speak English and you are afraid to leave your husband, you're not likely to go up.
         Also the deck that had the ice on it after the collision was a steerage deck. And some steerage passengers did get up early.
         Also I thought that the metal gate things were myth. The Titanic didn't have that.
        They did have crewmen, who themselves difn't know what was actually going to happen, they also had "Little Hitler Syndrome."

      No, it's the coconut oil, got to go, got to go. In today's news, the African country of Somalia has traded places with the U.S. state of Georgia. Said one Georgian resident, "Here we go again. Last time we got free vodka."

      by nellgwen on Tue May 13, 2014 at 03:43:33 PM PDT

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    •  that is a common myth, but it's not true (7+ / 0-)

      Although there were a number of gates that separated the first, second and third class areas, there were no gates that prevented access to the boat deck. And indeed, a higher number of third class passengers actually survived than second class.

      What DID happen what that many of the third-class passengers on the lower decks were told to stay below because the crew had fears for the lifeboats. The crew were afraid the wooden lifeboats might buckle or crack on the way down, so they decided to launch them half-empty, then fill them the rest of the way from the ship's gangplank (on the lower decks) after the lifeboats were already in the water--so many third-class passengers were told to stay on the lower decks for that. But for some reason, none of the lifeboats ever went to pick up anybody at the gangplank.

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Tue May 13, 2014 at 03:50:38 PM PDT

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      •  Procedural Liability (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Well, the Wikipedia article about Titanic passengers says so, and cites a 2009 French book published by WW Norton & company:

        Ship's regulations were designed to keep third class passengers confined to their area of the ship. The Titanic was fitted with grilles to prevent the classes from mingling and these gates were normally kept closed, although the stewards could open them in the event of an emergency. In the rush following the collision, the stewards, occupied with waking up sleeping passengers and leading groups of women and children to the boat deck, did not have time to open all the gates, leaving many of the confused third class passengers stuck below decks.[26]

        26. (French) Piouffre, Gérard (2009). Le Titanic ne répond plus. W. W. Norton & Company. p. 317. ISBN 978-2-03-584196-4.

        Do you have a citation that proves that's just a myth?

        In any case, the alternate scenario you described also leaves the crew responsible for failing to get those passengers into lifeboats. Whether they failed to follow their training, or whether the training was defective; whether the lifeboats deployment was botched or not properly planned/trained - it's all the crew and White Star Line responsibility. Yet no liability for it was assigned by the Congressional inquiry. More reason to believe the "aspiring Americans" weren't the interest of the Congressional inquiry.

        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

        by DocGonzo on Wed May 14, 2014 at 09:16:14 AM PDT

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        •  the eyewitness testimony from the survivors, (0+ / 0-)

          including the survivors from Third Class, makes it clear. At both the British and the American hearings.  The "locked gates" myth is a myth.

          In the end, reality always wins.

          by Lenny Flank on Wed May 14, 2014 at 01:58:02 PM PDT

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