How long could they have survived?

Smitty500magSmitty500mag Member Posts: 12,899 ✭✭✭✭
edited May 2019 in General Discussion
The Titanic sunk in water that was 12,500 ft. deep (2.37 miles). If someone was trapped in a room with an air pocket would they have survived until the ship hit bottom or would the pressure have killed them on the way down?

If the pressure didn't crush the room it looks to me like they would have survived until the oxygen ran out. That would have been a very dark and scary place to die. They probably died of fright if nothing else.

I would image a lot of our brave sailors experienced the same thing on sinking ships during WWI & WWII. May they rest in peace.

That reminds me of a story speaking of brave sailors. My uncle John, on my Dad's side of the family, was on a ship in the South Pacific during WWII that was sunk by the Japanese but he survived. Odd thing happened concerning that story. My uncle John never told anybody the details of what happened on the ship not even his wife, mother or brothers. In fact he never mentioned he was on a ship that had been sunk.

A year or so after he had died my Dad got a phone call from someone on the History Channel that was wanting info on uncle John. They said they were doing a story on the ship and the crew, and was trying to contact uncle John to attend the reunion they were having. My dad told them he had passed away about a year ago.

Sometime later Dad found out the date the show was being aired on TV so we could all watch. I was at my Dad's house the night it was on and we all sat around in disbelief as we had no idea any of the stuff they were talking about had ever taken place. Turns out that uncle John went below deck on the burning ship as it was sinking several times and saved several of his shipmates. They were interviewing some of the guys on the show and they had tears in their eyes as they told their stories. One of them said "that was the most beautiful sight I had ever seen was that big raw boned boy from Tennessee as he pried that hatch open and pulled me out." Uncle John was 6'-5" tall and he was a big strong man.

The only story my Dad said he ever heard about his brother John in the war was him catching the mumps aboard a ship in the South Pacific and almost died. He was put off the ship into a hospital in the Philippines but while there they were over ran by the Japanese and he had to make a run for it even though he was still sick. He survived that too but then almost died from eating the only thing he had to eat which was a pineapple which he found out he was deathly allergic to. Talk about bad luck. He had a lot of bad luck but he was also lucky to survive I guess. Wish I could have talked to him and found out all the details but I guess he just wanted to forget it all.


  • Rocky RaabRocky Raab Member Posts: 11,031 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    First, serious kudos to your late uncle John. What you wrote reads like MoH material.

    On the initial question, there's no way an air pocket could have survived even the first 1,000 feet. It takes the technology and steels of a modern submarine to go that deep without imploding. The Titanic's obviously brittle decks? No freaking way. On the positive side, implosion is an instantaneous way to die.
    I may be a bit crazy - but I didn't drive myself.
  • remingtonoaksremingtonoaks Member Posts: 27,192
    edited November -1
    Great story about your uncle, and I think Rocky is right about your question
  • mogley98mogley98 Member Posts: 17,681 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I was on a Sub Rescue, after I got off some of my buddies were involved in working with the Titanic recovery, many still have a souvenier of a stryfoam cup they sent down with the mini sub like a shrunken head it is miniturized!
    Why don't we go to school and work on the weekends and take the week off!
  • babunbabun Member Posts: 11,497
    edited November -1
    For each foot of water depth, you add about 1/2 psi {.445} to surface pressure.
    At 12,500 feet deep you got about 6,000 psi.

    I had acetylene and oxygen bottles that were taken off a decommissioned WW2 submarine. They had over 5/8" thick steel walls. The thinking was they needed to be stronger in case of a sub going too deep. :shock:
  • Don McManusDon McManus Member Posts: 21,939 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    As noted, collapse of the bulkheads would have occurred fairly close to the surface.

    As an interesting side note, the deepest scuba dive on record is something around 1,000 feet.

    That is around 450 PSI water pressure (includes 14.7 psi for the atmosphere for you precision folks)

    IIRC, the guy reached that depth in less than half an hour, and took 15 or 16 hours to get back to the surface with the necessary decompression stages required.

    Some folks is nuts, in my opinion.
    Freedom and a submissive populace cannot co-exist.

    Brad Steele
  • spasmcreekspasmcreek Member Posts: 38,925
    edited November -1
    basic design flaw on the Titantic...water tight compartments...walls...no watertight tops to them ...when one filled up and spilled over a chain failure was in play....
  • fatcat458fatcat458 Member Posts: 151 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    spasmcreek wrote:
    basic design flaw on the Titantic...water tight compartments...walls...no watertight tops to them ...when one filled up and spilled over a chain failure was in play....

    Kinda like an EGG carton. Then sayen its UNSINKABLE :shock:
  • buschmasterbuschmaster Member Posts: 14,250 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I think Smitty meant an air bubble. water on both sides open to ambient water pressure.

    the air would get compressed and stay in equilibrium with the water pressure. so the question becomes how much water pressure can a person stand, and that would tell us what depth.

    of course there are other factors such as the ship rolling over, hull breaking in half, etc
  • wpageabcwpageabc Member Posts: 8,968
    edited November -1
    Cool story thanks for sharing...

    The titanic a story of big egos and big business gone haywire.
    "What is truth?'
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