GMT time of the sinking

GMT time of the sinking

Postby Ben Hopkins on Sat Apr 14, 2012 7:43 am

Hi,

A quick question. The titanic sank at 2:20am, I guess that this was 2:20am ship time. What would the equivalent time have been GMT in London?

Regards

Ben
Ben Hopkins
 
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Re: GMT time of the sinking

Postby Ben Hopkins on Sat Apr 14, 2012 8:06 pm

I apologise for replying to my own post, after some research I found a reply by Parks Stephenson stating:

"Titanic sank at 0220 local apparent time, which equated to 0547 GMT. This further equates to 0047 New York time, so the difference between NY and Titanic time would be 1 hour 33 minutes. Lord Mersey's final report uses 1 hr. 50 min. "

This is the answer I was searching for, mainly to be able to pay respect at the appropriate time.

Regards

Ben
Ben Hopkins
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2012 4:50 am

Re: GMT time of the sinking

Postby Jim Buchanan on Thu Jun 21, 2012 1:20 pm

I don't know if you are still interested in this Ben but it is actually a question that needs sorting out.

It all depends on whether you believe Boxhall and Lightoller.
Both men gave a 1 hour 33 minute difference between Titanic time and the time at New York. Since both these men were there and none of us were, it is perhaps a little presumptious of us to poo poo their answers.

There is a problem when trying to get the correct answer.. in 1912, there were two 'New York' times.

One was 5 hours slow of GMT ..Eastern Standard Time.. used by wireless operators. The other, the one used by ship's navigators, was 4 hours 55 minutes slow of GMT.

We can make a very good estimate as to the GMT time for 12 Noon on board Titanic on April 14. It was in fact 1458 hours. In other words Ship time was 2 hours 58 minutes slow of GMT.. 2hour 2 minutes fast of EST and 1 hour 57 minutes fast of New York time.

If the difference between ship time and GMT remained unaltered right up until Titanic sank, and she sank at ship time 0220hrs April 15, then she sank at 0518 GMT....0018 EST and 0023 New York. This effected other times as well.
For instance; if the the famous CQD distress signal was transmitted at 2225 EST then the equivalent times were 2230 New York April 14 and 0027hrs Titanic, 0325 GMT,April 15

But as I pointed out, The time difference between New York and Titanic at the time of sinking was given as 1 hour 33 minutes. Was that New York EST or New York navigator's time?


Titanic's clocks were to be retarded 47 minutes that night. The retardation was to be in 2 parts. The first part was to be 24 minutes.If the first part was made before impact, how would that effect the GMT time of sinking? Let's examine that question.

If GMT was 2 hours 58 minutes fast of ship time at Noon on April 14 and the clocks were put back 24 minutes, then ship time would be 2 hours 58 minutes plus 24 minutes = 3 hours 22 minutes slow of GMT.
This would make them 1hour 38 minutes fast of EST and 1 hour 33 minutes fast of New York time. It therefore seems that Lightoller was using navigator's New York time and not EST.

If we apply this to the 0220 time of sinking, we now get a GMT time of sinking of 0542, not 0547!

This would also effect other times and might explain some strange anomolies. For instance:
Why, if Smith new his ship was doomed within the first 10 minutes after impact, did he immediately call all hands to clear the boats yet wait another 37 minutes before he sent out a distress signal and then wait another 15 minutes before launching his boats?

If the clocks were set back 24 minutes then the distress signal was sent out at 3 minutes past midnight and the first boat was launched about 20 minutes after that. I submit that was a more obvious course of action given the rate of Titanic's sinking.

James.
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