Could Rose Have Saved Jack In TITANIC?! The Mythbusters Have Your Answer!

Could Rose have saved Jack from dying if only she let him on that damn door? Turns out she could have…but only if they did things exactly right!

Could Rose have saved Jack from dying if only she let him on that damn door?  Turns out she could have…but only if they did things exactly right!

This past Sunday night, Discovery Channel aired a MythBusters episode featuring the one and only James Cameron, as hosts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman tried to figure out how poor Leo DiCaprio could have been saved from a watery grave.

So what were the final results of the eternal debate?  Entertainment Weekly broke down all the tests done by the Mythbusters duo, which you could see below: 

• For the hypothermia tests, Cameron said Fifth Officer Harold Lowe, who rescues Rose in the film,
began his search about 20 minutes after the ship sank and continued for about 45 minutes, according to survivors. Since Rose is one of the last people to be rescued in the film — the officer hears her whistle
right as he’s about to give up — they decided 63 minutes is fair. To test whether a human could have
survived that long in freezing conditions, Jamie built ThermoMan, a dummy with gelatin flesh and a
water-heated copper cardiovascular system that was rigged to monitor body temperature. Once they
had him at 98.6° F, they submerged him in 29° water and timed how long it took him to reach deadly
hypothermia. They pronounced Jack dead at 51 minutes because his body temperature dropped to
below 85° F, which means he would have experienced loss of motor control and not been able to hold
onto the board. So the movie had that right: Jack would have drowned. 

In the second hypothermia test, ThermoMan was warmed back up to 98.6°, dressed in his wet clothes,
and set hovering above the freezing water in 29° F air. Though the drop of body temperate drop was
nearly identical, the difference was, when he reached the temperature that would cause him to become immobile, he was laying safely on top of the board. He wouldn’t have drowned. That bought him more time. As long as he was rescued before his body temperature dropped below 82° F, he could be revived. At 63 minutes, ThermoMan’s core body temp was 82.5° F. So technically, Rose would have been alive to be rescued.

• As for whether the board could have supported both Jack and Rose for 63 minutes, Adam first did
a small-scale test using dolls and a board made of the same wood used in the film. The board tipped
immediately and started to sink. Point for Cameron. Next, “Jack Savage” and “Rose Hyneman” did a full-scale test in the water, scaling up the board’s buoyancy to adjust for their increased mass as stand-ins for the actors — and outfitting “Rose” with a period-accurate life jacket made with the same materials and buoyancy as the one Winslet wears in the movie. It took “Jack” multiple attempts to be able to climb aboard and stabilize the board. But it sunk low enough in the water that drowning after loss of motor control would have been a danger. That’s when they tied Rose’s life jacket underneath the board, which raised it enough that they could position 80 percent of their bodies out of the water while resting on the board without needing to hold on. They made it 63 minutes.

So yes, as you can see, there is a specific way that Jack could have survived with Rose on the door, but only if the two were smart enough to try and pull the life jacket off Rose…(yeah, like that would have happened…)

So what did Cameron have to say about finally proving to the world that he was right about killing off his leading man?  “I think you guys are missing the point here. The script says Jack died. He has to die. So maybe we screwed up and the board should have been a little tiny bit smaller, but the dude’s goin’ down.”

Well, he is the director…

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