Problem solving challenge

I attended a workshop last night on lateral thinking for innovation and there were a couple of exercises - and i know the MoT community, you love a good problem to solve.

So the example is the Titanic - a tragic accident where over 1,500 sadly died,

  • The iceberg it hit was approximated at 50 to 100 feet high and 200 to 400 feet long,
  • People would have survived for around 30 minutes in the freezing cold water
  • The lifeboats could only hold 50% of the passengers onboard.

The problem to solve: How could we have saved more people on the titanic?

Assuming don’t hit the iceberg in the first place is not an acceptable answer, could either get people on to the iceberg as it should be large enough to hold a lot of people. Or once everyone is in the water setup a rotation system where you get 25 mins in the water and then 25 mins in a lifeboat, though not sure how long that would be manageable as 25 mins in a lifeboat in the Atlantic probably isn’t long enough to warm you up to reset that 30 min period.

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We are looking for design capacity of at least another 1000 lifeboat places or we risk playing God to start with. Conjecture as to whether better evac. drills would have used the 50% lifeboat capacity more optimally are moot in the heat of a battle with the elements. It’s a rather droll challenge, but here goes.

  1. Use anything that will float such as pots from the galley ? un-insulated.
  2. Evac. onto the iceberg using a line? OR Using the lifeboats to get people into the berg might work, but it would probably only safely hold another 200-300 souls anyway? You would need multiple lines, and if the line fouled when the ship went under it may tip the berg, so discounting that option.
  3. I’m going with lifeboat transfers. Iceberg would be unsafe if there were winds, which we know there were not that day. But even if calm water, there is no way to re-load a lifeboat from the stricken vessel!

So sorry, nope nothing significant. I’m mostly shocked someone thought this was a good puzzle.

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I guess it is a shocking example - i never thought of the iceberg to start with - it was massive, so perhaps there could have been a way to get people onto it.
The main one for me, is redesigning things on the boat that could be used as floats perhaps - like beds, doors etc anything that could have had that extra function.