Titanic 11:40 PM 14 April 1912


Iceberg (Photo credit: dnkemontoh)

First Officer Murdoch sights the iceberg from Titanic’s starboard (right) bridge wing, and turns to run towards the wheelhouse inside the enclosed bridge. Then lookout Fleet  spots the iceberg, rings the crow’s nest warning bell 3 times (indicating object dead ahead of the ship), and reaches for the bridge phone to warn the bridge.

Murdoch yells, “Hard-a-starboard!”

The quartermaster turns the wheel as Sixth Officer Moody watches quartermaster Hichens to insure the order is carried out, while the bridge phone rings. Murdoch returns to the enclosed bridge, he grabs the handles of the engine order telegraph and pulls them back to “all back full.”

The quartermaster has the ship hard, which Moody announces. Moody answers the bridge telephone.

“Are you there?”, asks Fleet.

“What do you see?”, asks Moody.

“Iceberg, right ahead!”, announces Fleet.

“Thank you.”, replies Moody. Moody then announces to the First Officer “Iceberg, Right ahead!”

While this is going on the engine room answers “all back full” on the engine order telegraph, and Murdoch immediately pushes the handles ahead to “all stop.” At first glance this seems improbable, but Murdoch does not have a quick way of communicating with the engine room, but going from ahead full to all back full in mid-ocean is highly unusual (the ship should be at ahead full until it is close to its next port). This unusual series of orders allows the first officer to warn the engineers the ship is in danger.

The iceberg is too close and will hit Titanic. The only thing Murdoch can do is to complete the port-around maneuver, which will move the back of Titanic away from the iceberg.

Titanic runs over the iceberg and the sterns turns away from the iceberg. Captain Smith rushes to the bridge and orders the ship to be sounded … he needs a damage report.

The memorial at Dalbeattie town hall to First ...

The memorial at Dalbeattie town hall to First Officer William McMaster Murdoch of the RMS Titanic. The inscription reads: (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Zoom on RMS Titanic's bridge and crow nest

Zoom on RMS Titanic's bridge and crow nest (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Several engine order telegraphs on the bridge ...

Several engine order telegraphs on the bridge of RMS Queen Mary (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Frederick Fleet

Frederick Fleet (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


The berg. This is the iceberg that matches the physical decription of one of Titanic's crew members. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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