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Last Updated 09/12/2016
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Sharing the Board: Could They Both Have Survived?

You've probably seen this graphic floating around the internet, supposedly proving that both Jack and Rose could have fit on the piece of floating debris, therefore proving that they just didn't try hard enough. I've always maintained that the piece of debris could not support the weight of both of them, and it wasn't the size that was the issue. My ridiculously intelligent friend Dallas did the calculations to prove it. From here on out, this is all him.

The formula for buoyancy, can be found here.

Mass that can float = Density of fluid*volume displayed

Now, a quick check online yields that the mass of the average woman in the 1900s was 122 lbs, and the average mass of a man was 133 lbs, as seen here.

The density of ocean water ranges between 1000-1027 kg/m3, as seen here.

The panel on which Rose is lying looks to be about 7 feet long, 3 feet wide, and we'll say 6 inches in thickness, as I cannot really tell. Converting to SI units, then volume of the door looks to be approximately 0.297m3.

Now, assuming the volume displaced is around that value, as in the door is displacing the water, the volume displaced less than or equal to 0.297m3.

Assuming the panel to be made of oak, having a density ranging from 600-900 kg/m3, we have the following result:

Best case: Rose, Jack, their clothes, their full stomachs, and Jack's art supplies could float comfortably on the door.

Average case: Rose and almost half of Jack could stay afloat.

Worst case: Neither of them could stay afloat, but someone weighing less than 84 lbs could.

Of course, maybe the door wasn't made of oak, maybe they weighed less than the average or more. Obviously, the exact situation would have to be replicated in order to confirm.