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Thomas Andrews
Architect : R.M.S. Titanic
Thomas Andrews

At the time of the collision, Andrews had retired to his stateroom and was working on his notes. So engrossed in his work was he, that he had not noticed the jar of the iceberg scraping the ship.

Unlike Andrews, Captain Smith did notice the impact and immediately rushed from the chart room to the bridge to inquire of First Officer Murdoch, who had been on duty, what had happened. Murdoch replied that the ship had struck an iceberg. "I hard-a-starboarded and reversed the engines and I was going to hard-a-port around it, but she was too close. I could not do any more," he explained. Fourth Officer Boxhall could not report any damage below decks after his brief inspection, but a carpenter and a mail clerk soon burst onto the bridge announcing that the ship was rapidly taking on water. Smith then requested that Andrews be summoned to the bridge.

Smith and Andrews began their own inspection of the ship so that the builder could assess the damage. The pair kept to the crew passageways as much as possible, in order to avoid attention, and kept their expressions unreadable. Back in his stateroom, Andrews reviewed the damage with the captain: all of the first six watertight compartments were open to the sea. Though Titanic could float with combinations of up to four of these compartments breached, it could not do so with all six. As the weight of the water in the forward compartments pulled the ship down, it would spill over the tops of the bulkheads and continue until the ship sank. How long did they have? "An hour and a half," Andrews judged, after scribbling out some figures, "possibly two. Not much longer." He did not need to point out to Smith that the ship was carrying lifeboats enough for only half of the passengers.

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