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The Titan Tragedy


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1 hour ago, Tim the Tank Nut said:

What happened to the Titan is an entirely different thing in many regards but yet in some ways the same.  Tha passengers on the Titanic could reasonably expect a safe passage.  Their level of risk was an order of magnitude lower than the passengers on the Titan.  Even so, hubris ruled the day.

I feel for the billionaire's son especially (who was apparently not wanting to go).  On the level of risk, I'm wondering if it was more like 6 or 7 orders of magnitude more dangerous in the submersible than on the average ocean liner in peacetime....

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5 hours ago, Tim the Tank Nut said:

for my part I believe the Titanic tragedy stirs so much emotion because the whole thing from start to finish was and is so damn sad.  So much had to go wrong for it to end this way and yet in retrospect disaster was almost inevitable.

It's not about the Titanic sinking but the Lusitania sinking that I heard a passage that has always stuck with me.  A survivor was recounting his participation in the ordeal.  He states that "as I was in the water I was aware of the nearby floating baby baskets, each with a crying baby. One by one they sank and the cries were silenced.  There was nothing I could do"

The sinking of a passenger ship is a visceral thing.  It stirs some pretty strong feelings in all but the hardest souls.

What happened to the Titan is an entirely different thing in many regards but yet in some ways the same.  Tha passengers on the Titanic could reasonably expect a safe passage.  Their level of risk was an order of magnitude lower than the passengers on the Titan.  Even so, hubris ruled the day.

It's much harder for me to feel badly for today's victims compared to 1912.

Agree with the bolded bit with the exception of the young man killed.  He apparently was terrified of the ordeal and only went to make his father happy and now he's dead at such a young age.  That... is sad to hear.

Kind of related to this I was looking at the front page of reddit last night... and like 3/4 of the posts were basically discussions about how most folks didn't care and to the degree they were showing it.  Quite... interesting to see.  Seems to be a story where it's all over the news and your average person has gone "yeah... don't care" (that's the sense I got from reading some of those threads).

On another note did anyone else see the news where the US Navy picked up the implosion when it happened... but didn't say anything publicly?  (They did apparently pass this along immediately to the folks doing the search, though.)  I was curious about this when I first heard the news because even though it's been years since I've been into sub stuff I was positive the US had underwater listening devices everywhere in the Atlantic and should have been capable of picking something like this up.  Well... guess they did.

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5 hours ago, sunday said:

 

This is quite good. 

In theory carbon fibre can be used for a pressure vessel, but the safety margins need to be much higher, which takes away the advantages of a still relatively high specific compression strength. Safety margins could be perhaps reduced if the technology is perfected and well tested, and at the expense of the hull lifetime, but these precautions were not made. Because of the expected difficulty of such a program, there is limited consideration of these methods in naval submarine construction. 

There also is perhaps a problem with the join and looming production method. If the ring portion is stiffer than the inner tube (which will be the case) this will shear load the tube. CF is extremely strong in shear if the fibres are aligned in the right direction, but the looming means this is not the case. 

Possibly there was then fatigue or cracking induced near the join, and this then then to catastrophic failure of the CF tube. 

 

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17 hours ago, Stefan Fredriksson said:

James Cameron being interviewed by Anderson Cooper is good for us on the tech curve not knowing our bathtubs from our breeches.

Stinky pants, silver spoon man will tell you what you are to know. 

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1 hour ago, Skywalkre said:

 

On another note did anyone else see the news where the US Navy picked up the implosion when it happened... but didn't say anything publicly?  (They did apparently pass this along immediately to the folks doing the search, though.)  I was curious about this when I first heard the news because even though it's been years since I've been into sub stuff I was positive the US had underwater listening devices everywhere in the Atlantic and should have been capable of picking something like this up.  Well... guess they did.

It might have been a matter of having the idea to check the logs for that odd transient at about that time and on that triangulated area vs listening for the usual Russian Sub noises and cetacean songs. 

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On the carbon fiber issues, a friend who works at NSC Dahlgren noted a distinct lack of desire by Oceangate to sonogram the carbon fiber shell between dives to check for de-laminations from water getting under layers. 

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1 hour ago, rmgill said:

It might have been a matter of having the idea to check the logs for that odd transient at about that time and on that triangulated area vs listening for the usual Russian Sub noises and cetacean songs. 

What I read was that they had this info almost immediately, didn't report it, but passed it along ASAP to the folks running the search.  Some were saying "they couldn't blow their tech capabilities!" but that doesn't make sense given we found out just a few days later.  Seems like we found out later simply because there was no reason to put out news that it was likely an implosion because what they had wasn't definitive.

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5 hours ago, Skywalkre said:

Agree with the bolded bit with the exception of the young man killed.  He apparently was terrified of the ordeal and only went to make his father happy and now he's dead at such a young age.  That... is sad to hear.

Kind of related to this I was looking at the front page of reddit last night... and like 3/4 of the posts were basically discussions about how most folks didn't care and to the degree they were showing it.  Quite... interesting to see.  Seems to be a story where it's all over the news and your average person has gone "yeah... don't care" (that's the sense I got from reading some of those threads).

On another note did anyone else see the news where the US Navy picked up the implosion when it happened... but didn't say anything publicly?  (They did apparently pass this along immediately to the folks doing the search, though.)  I was curious about this when I first heard the news because even though it's been years since I've been into sub stuff I was positive the US had underwater listening devices everywhere in the Atlantic and should have been capable of picking something like this up.  Well... guess they did.

I think in Blind mans Bluff it was said that a sonar array (I seem to recall it was a USAF sonar array of all things) picked up the implosion of the USS Scorpion in 1968 off the Azores. Thats something like 2000 miles away. With signal processing, it seems likely the potential range has somewhat increased.

Why didnt they release it? Well, for the same reason they didnt release information about the Scorpion or the Dakar. To be be fair to them, they did let the search team know, but they figured it was unconfirmed, and why take a chance if someone might be still alive. Which is fair enough I guess.

Yeah, the 19 year old guy is a victim clearly. But I just read an article today about one guy passed up a cut price ticket because he had scheduling problems. At that point you think these guys were probably picking up cut price tickets on a largely non proven machine. I regret their deaths, and yet you cant help but think greed and stupidity have a role here in their deaths. Pretty much like Titanic IMHO.

Cameron is perfectly correct to draw comparisons with Titanic here. She is still trying to tell us something, and we still arent listening.

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4 hours ago, rmgill said:

On the carbon fiber issues, a friend who works at NSC Dahlgren noted a distinct lack of desire by Oceangate to sonogram the carbon fiber shell between dives to check for de-laminations from water getting under layers. 

According to one source, some of the material was out of date stuff from the aviation industry. When questioned whether that was wise, the owner said that after putting it through pressure test it had popped for a bit, but then stopped. The implication being that it would be fine.

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7 hours ago, rmgill said:

On the carbon fiber issues, a friend who works at NSC Dahlgren noted a distinct lack of desire by Oceangate to sonogram the carbon fiber shell between dives to check for de-laminations from water getting under layers. 

That is reckless, but given the other information, seems to be part of a pattern. 

Regarding delamination, the major risk would IMO not be from water penetration (voids creating permeability would be a really big issue, and involve some really major production flaw) but rather fatigue damage from high local stresses, especially when cycled. 

This is why I mentioned the issue of the join, which could have created such stresses. 
 

Edited by KV7
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3 hours ago, Skywalkre said:

What I read was that they had this info almost immediately, didn't report it, but passed it along ASAP to the folks running the search.  Some were saying "they couldn't blow their tech capabilities!" but that doesn't make sense given we found out just a few days later.  Seems like we found out later simply because there was no reason to put out news that it was likely an implosion because what they had wasn't definitive.

IUSS is not geared toward detection of singular events, but towards regular noises in specific frequencies, which is why it didn't get the K-129 or the Scorpion sinking. Tresher implosion was heard by the support vessel and then correlated to SOSUS.

That said, the data is there and once an event is reported, it can be correlated, which means that they had an expectation that the sub had imploded but no certainty, so calling off the search before the life support runs out to then find that the sub was still intact would have been tragic. 

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5 minutes ago, Stuart Galbraith said:

That both end caps seem largely intact would possibly imply that it was a join at fault?

Not necessarily, collapse mode for the Tresher and Scorpion saw the cylindrical section being crushed with the ends of the pressure hull being left more or less intact.

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2 hours ago, Stuart Galbraith said:

That both end caps seem largely intact would possibly imply that it was a join at fault?

Not really, a collapse in the centre of the cylinder unrelated to any joint effects also would leave the end caps intact. 

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17 hours ago, rmgill said:

On the carbon fiber issues, a friend who works at NSC Dahlgren noted a distinct lack of desire by Oceangate to sonogram the carbon fiber shell between dives to check for de-laminations from water getting under layers. 

This was first dive of the season, one would thought they would have used the offseason for testing. Is there any word whether the destroyed hull was rebuilt, or if it was same usee for 2022 dives?

They did rebuild the hull in 2020 after determining it had weakened too much, but perhaps they missed some critical aspect or weakness of the design.

Overall, after two successful seasons of operation, maybe some degree of complacency sneaked in? 'The design is proven now, we got this.'

I feel carbon fibre subs are pretty much ruined now, reputation-wise, much as hydrogen airships after R101 and Hindenburg.

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On 6/24/2023 at 3:46 AM, Stuart Galbraith said:

I think in Blind mans Bluff it was said that a sonar array (I seem to recall it was a USAF sonar array of all things) picked up the implosion of the USS Scorpion in 1968 off the Azores. Thats something like 2000 miles away. With signal processing, it seems likely the potential range has somewhat increased.

Why didnt they release it? Well, for the same reason they didnt release information about the Scorpion or the Dakar. To be be fair to them, they did let the search team know, but they figured it was unconfirmed, and why take a chance if someone might be still alive. Which is fair enough I guess.

Yeah, the 19 year old guy is a victim clearly. But I just read an article today about one guy passed up a cut price ticket because he had scheduling problems. At that point you think these guys were probably picking up cut price tickets on a largely non proven machine. I regret their deaths, and yet you cant help but think greed and stupidity have a role here in their deaths. Pretty much like Titanic IMHO.

Cameron is perfectly correct to draw comparisons with Titanic here. She is still trying to tell us something, and we still arent listening.

Here's a counter argument, to most it probably wasn't an unproven machine.  Apparently this submersible had made multiple visits for two years with this one being the 14th visit.  Obviously the design didn't hold up after repeated visits but it also wasn't the maiden voyage.  I'm sure to the average passenger it felt like proven technology at this point.  The media make it seem like it was the first trip but it wasn't.  And honestly, if I had money to burn and saw this video (check out 13 minutes in) I'd at least have put it on my bucket list.  

 

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I still don't get why this is a "tragedy"....

Doing dangerous shit is..well..inherently dangerous. 

"Sometimes you are the windshield, sometimes you are the bug".

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8 minutes ago, Sardaukar said:

I still don't get why this is a "tragedy"....

Doing dangerous shit is..well..inherently dangerous. 

"Sometimes you are the windshield, sometimes you are the bug".

You're right.  Outside of the story surrounding the young man (who apparently didn't want to go) this isn't a tragedy at all.  Everyone involved had the smarts to know the risks they were taking.

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7 hours ago, nitflegal said:

...to most it probably wasn't an unproven machine...

You are right here, and those "most" would have been wrong.

Fortunately, only a few were wealthy and foolish enough to lose their lives proving how unsafe that thing was.

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On 6/27/2023 at 1:17 AM, Sardaukar said:

I still don't get why this is a "tragedy"....

Doing dangerous shit is..well..inherently dangerous. 

"Sometimes you are the windshield, sometimes you are the bug".

There was a great post I read the other day, cross posted from a Submariner forum. It was basically saying in total, its very sad, but this is why we are professionals who take this stuff seriously and hence we are alive, and why you are dead. There is no place for dilletantes in submarining.

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Though, same could be said about the Mirs: Worlds' deepest diving submarine, made by a company with no submersible experience whatsoever, from previously untested material...yet they had splendid careers. People harp about Logitech game controller, but I sure would trust that over a touch screen...

Also, the email exchanges covering concerns about the design and the testing process are old, and predate subs testing program. I'm not familiar enough with 'proper' testing procedures, but it's not true they went into commercial passenger dives right away: it was tested over two years, and the hull rebuilt after an expert expressed concerns about the compression noises. 

It's possible some corners were cut over the testing process, maybe some critical weakness escaped the oversight. I am very curious to hear what happened between 2022 and -23 diving season: was the hull properly checked over possible fatigue, or perhaps rebuilt again?

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My understanding from the media coverage, it was not rebuilt. In fact what scared me, the material they employed in its construction was claimed to be life expired from the aircraft industry. When challenged about this, the CEO is reported to have aid 'Well we stuck it in the pressure tester. It popped for a while, and then it stopped'. If someone told me they built an airliner like that, I sure wouldnt get on it.

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5 hours ago, Stuart Galbraith said:

There was a great post I read the other day, cross posted from a Submariner forum. It was basically saying in total, its very sad, but this is why we are professionals who take this stuff seriously and hence we are alive, and why you are dead. There is no place for dilletantes in submarining.

Reminds me of Sergeant Major telling me: "When we pack a parachute, it stays packed!" :D

Certainly raised my confidence to whole new level... :P

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