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Solving a Titanic mystery.

SHORTLY BEFORE NOON ON APRIL 10, 1912, THE UNSINKABLE SHIP OF DREAMS, THE RMS TITANIC, CAST OFF FROM HER DOCK AT SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND, AND STEAMED AWAY ON HER MAIDEN VOYAGE.

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FOUR DAYS AND 14 HOURS LATER, SHE WOULD REACH HER ETERNAL DESTINATION-2 1/2 MILES BELOW THE CHOPPY, FRIGID WATERS OF THE NORTH ATLANTIC OCEAN.

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THIS TITANIC TRAGEDY WAS BLAMED ON AN ICEBERG.

BUT OTHER EXPLANATIONS HAVE BEEN OFFERED. HERE ARE A FEW OF THOSE ...

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WAS IT THE FAULT OF CAPTAIN EDWARD J. SMITH?

IT HAS BEEN SAID THAT HE HAD THE SHIP MOVING TOO FAST.

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IT HAS ALSO BEEN SAID THAT HE IGNORED ICEBERG WARNINGS.

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IT HAS BEEN SAID HE WAS SLEEPING WHEN HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN ON THE SHIPS'S BRIDGE ...

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... SAILING THE MIGHTY TITANIC TO THE SAFETY OF NEW YORK HARBOR.

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WAS IT THE FAULT OF THE TWO LOOKOUTS, FREDRICK FLEET AND REGINALD LEE?

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HIGH IN THE CROWNS' NEST OF THE FORWARD MAST, THEY STRAINED THEIR EYES PEERING INTO THE MOONLIT-DARKNESS OF THE BLACK SEA AND THE BLACK SKY.

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PERHAPS WITH BINOCULARS, THEY WOULD HAVE SPOTTED THE ICEBERG IN TIME FOR THE SHIP TO MANEUVER PAST IT.

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HOWEVER, THE BINOCULARS HAD BEEN LEFT BEHIND.

IT WAS A MISTAKE, BUT WAS IT THE MISTAKE?

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WAS IT THE FAULT OF THE BUILDERS, HARLAND AND WOLFF?

IT HAS BEEN CLAIMED THAT THE STEEL USED IN THE TITANIC HULL WAS TOO BRITTLE.

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USING MODERN TESTS, SCIENTISTS HAVE FOUND THAT THE STEEL ...

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... FULL OF SULFUR IMPURITIES, SHATTERS WHEN STRUCK LIKE GLASS HITTING PAVEMENT.

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WAS IT THE FAULT OF THE OWNERS OF THE TITANIC, THE WHITE STAR LINE COMPANY?

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DID J. BRUCE ISMAIL, PRESIDENT OF THE WHITE STAR LINE ...

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... ORDER CAPTAIN SMITH TO GO FULL SPEED AHEAD ...

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... IN ORDER TO SET A NEW SPEED RECORD FROM ENGLAND TO NEW YORK?

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DID THE MIGHTY SHIP SINK BECAUSE OF THE COAL FIRE ...

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... BURNING OUT OF CONTROL IN THE ENGINE ROOM?

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OR WAS THE TITANIC THE VICTIM OF AN ANCIENT CURSE ...

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... THAT EMANATED FROM THE EGYPTIAN MUMMY HOUSED BEHIND THE SHIP'S BRIDGE?

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PERHAPS, AS SOME HAVE SAID, THE ANGRY GHOST OF A STEEL WORKER WHOSE BODY WAS WELDED INTO THE HULL OF THE TITANIC WAS EXACTING REVENGE.

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OR MAYBE IT WAS SABOTAGE? WORLD WAR I WAS ON THE HORIZON AND PERHAPS THERE WAS INTRIGUE AFOOT.

OR MAYBE, JUST MAYBE ...

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... IT WAS SEAMAN HENRY SMEDLAP

SMEDLAP!

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YOU DIDN'T DO PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE ON THE WATERTIGHT DOORS

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NOW THEY'RE ALL RUSTY! THEY MAY NOT SLIDE SHUT IF WE NEED 'EM TO.

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DIDN'T THE CHIEF TELL YOU TO DO DAILY PM SINCE WE HUNG THEM A YEAR AGO!?

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HAVEN'T YOU HEARD THE NEWS, MATE? THIS SHIP IS UNSINKABLE!

WE DON'T NEED NO WATER-TIGHT DOORS. NO WATER'S GONNA REACH THOSE DOORS.

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I DON'T MIND DOING A LITTLE PM HERE AND THERE, BUT ONLY WHERE I THINK IT'S NEEDED.

NOW SHOVE OFF! I'M GETTING FORTY MORE WINKS!

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SEAMAN SMEDLAP'S FORTY WINKS HAS BEEN ALMOST A CENTURY'S WORTH OF WINKS. HIS FATAL MISTAKE WAS BELIEVING THAT HE COULD DECIDE WHAT NEEDED PM AND WHAT DIDN'T.

HE THOUGHT THE TITANIC WAS TOO BIG AND TOO POWERFUL TO BE SENT TO THE OCEAN'S FLOOR BY A LITTLE RUST ON SELDOM USE DOORS.

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DO YOU HAVE ANY TITANICS IN YOUR UNIT? MAY BE YOU CALL THEM A TANK OR A HELICOPTER . OR A FIGHTING VEHICLE. MAYBE YOU THINK LIKE SMEDLAP THAT PM ON BIG MODERN EQUIPMENT IS A WASTE OF TIME AND ENERGY.

SMEDLAP WAS WRONG COULD YOU BE?

PERHAPS NO ONE WILL EVER KNOW WHY THE MIGHTY TITANIC STRUCK AN ICEBERG AND SANK. BUT WE DO KNOW ONE FACT FOR CERTAIN: ALL EQUIPMENT WILL SINK TO THE BOTTOM OF THE NMC OCEAN WITHOUT PM. AND SOME OF THAT EQUIPMENT MAY TAKE "ALL HANDS" DOWN WITH IT.

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COPYRIGHT 2006 PS Magazine
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2006, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
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Title Annotation:Comic
Publication:PS, the Preventive Maintenance Monthly
Article Type:Cartoon
Date:Aug 1, 2006
Words:684
Previous Article:Huh? What aircraft?
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