An article about the moon being to blame in sinking of Titanic, which appeared in both the Vancouver Sun and the Toronto Star on March 7th, was in error. The hypothesis put forward was that 100 years ago, on April 15, 1912, after the Titanic hit an iceberg and sank en route from Southampton to New York City, the incident may have been due to a tidal phenomenon occurring January 4, 1912, and that the unusual high tide caused Greenland’s glacier to calve sending numerous icebergs into the Labrador Current down to the trans-Atlantic shipping lanes.
The problem is it would take an iceberg drifting from Nuuk, Greenland to New York City, U.S.A. a distance of 3,000 kilometres two to three years, not three months. Icebergs travelling down Iceberg Alley to Newfoundland are the fastest in the world at seven kilometres per year! The average drift speed of an iceberg is 0.7 kph although sometimes speeds can be as great as 3 kph due to wind, waves, currents and iceberg size and shape. Icebergs don’t travel in straight lines but undertake whimsical paths, get stuck in shallow water and creep slowly in a variety of directions.
The Titanic had been warned about icebergs in the area but these warning were not taken seriously by Captain Edward Smith, who thought the new ship was powerful enough to withstand any act of nature in its path. The Captain may also have assumed that any icebergs that were to be found at 41 degrees north latitude (same latitude as New York City) would be of an inconsequential size and no threat to the gigantic ship. So in the evening the captain was off duty, and the ship plowed ahead at nearly full speed through the slightly misty moonless night and its calm waters towards icebergs that stood 100 feet above the water... the greatest bulk of it hidden underwater. We now know the result of such over-confidence.
About tides and leaving aside icebergs: coasts experience high tides every 12 hours and 25 minutes virtually. The earth rotates around the sun (approximately every 365.25 days), and the moon orbits the earth (approx. 13.4 times a year), twice a month sun, moon and earth are in a straight line at new and full moon causing spring tides, however, when there is a 'perigee' or an Extreme Proxigean, the spring tides are stronger and higher. The distance between the moon and the earth fluctuates from 356,400 km to 406,700 km - at its closest 'perigee' distance its called 'proxigee' and at the farthest 'apogee'. The word ‘spring’ has nothing to do with the spring season as such but with the gravitational force of the sun and the moon.
Dr. Fergus J. Wood, a research scientist implied that there may be a connection between proxigee-syzygy and coastal flooding, or other weather conditions such as high coastal winds/hurricanes or any other unusual earth movements such as quakes occurring on the same day. Proxigean Tides occur as follows: January 30, 2010; March 19, 2011; May 6, 2012; June 23, 2013; August 10, 2014; September 28, 2015, November 14, 2016; May 25, 2017; January 2, 2018; July 13, 2018; August 30, 2019; October 16, 2020; and December 4, 2021 and January 21, 2023. It's suggested that coastal communities avoid the beaches on these dates and keep an eye out for any meteorological disturbances.
Moon not to blame for Titanic sinking (6)