Thanks. The official time of the sinking was marked as 2.20am because that was the moment her lights disappeared and many assumed the ship had gone down at that moment, including several of the surviving officers who also believed she sank intact. However other survivors who were closer to the ship or still on the ship had stated the Titanic had broken apart and that her stern remained afloat for up to 20 minutes and that she sank around 2.30am. e.g.
"The lights went out after the second explosion." (Her lights disappear and many think she has sunk). "Then she gradually sank down into the water very slowly."
Q - How long a time would you say it was after the second explosion before she sank out of sight?
A - I should say a matter of about 20 minutes.
He heard two loud explosions and was asked how far apart in time did they occur. "I should say they would be about 20 minutes between each explosion. From the time I heard the first one until I heard the second one it would be about 20 minutes, sir."
However senior figures like 3rd officer Pitman said the ship 'disappeared' at 2.20am and he assumed she had completely sunk. He then stated that there were several explosions heard after she had disappeared and he told the Inquiry that they occurred after the ship had sunk i.e. after 2.20am.
"She sank around half past 2, from statements made by a man that was supposed to have jumped from the poop of the ship, that is, the quarter deck, into the water. He had a watch on, and as his watch stopped at 20 minutes past 2, he said she was in a sinking condition then and her stern on end, a man named Burnett, a storekeeper aboard ship."
I was hoping to piece together the watches from the passengers and crew who were both on the bow and the stern which might indicate how long the stern remained afloat. I believe the ship broke apart at 2.20am because that is the time that many on the bow had entered the water, and the remaining survivors and victims held onto the stern and their watches stopped near 2.30am. Could this indicate that the stern remained afloat for 10 minutes or is it possible that the stern sank immediately after the bow and their watches continued to work in the water for 10 minutes? Many thanks for any advice.