By PAUL THOMPSON
It is a debate that has raged since Titanic became one of the most successful films of all time: Did Rose leave Jack to die by not letting him up on the makeshift lifeboat as they floated in the ocean?
And now a U.S. television show has carried out a series of tests that show Leonardo DiCaprio's character could have survived the disaster had he lifted himself onto the raft from which Rose, played by Kate Winslet, was plucked.
The Discovery Channel's Mythbusters recreated the treacherous conditions after the Titanic sank in 1912 and, through hypothermia tests, discovered Jack would have survived the freezing conditions if he had climbed out.
As fans of the 1997 blockbuster will remember, Jack remains in the freezing water while Rose lies on top of a floating piece of the wreckage as he does not want to topple it.
In the dramatic climax to the Oscar-winning epic, Jack dies from hypothermia while Rose is rescued.
Titanic director James Cameron told Mythbusters he believed the wooden life raft would not have supported both Jack and Rose.
But the team found that if Rose had taken off her lifejacket and put it under the raft it would have given them enough buoyancy to keep both of them afloat.
Hosts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman then carried out a hypothermia test to see what would happen if Di Caprio's character had indeed climbed out of the water and onto the wooden door.
A dummy with gelatin flesh and a water-heated copper cardiovascular system that was rigged to monitor body temperature was used to simulate Di Caprio’s character.
The dummy’s body temp was set at 98.6° and dressed in wet clothes. It was then set hovering above the freezing water in 29° F air as if he were lying on the wooden raft.
The show found that as long as he was rescued before his body temperature dropped below 82° F, he could be revived.
After an hour on the raft they found the dummy’s core body temp was 82.5° F meaning Jack would have lived had he got out of the water.
In the film Rose was one of the last to be rescued. Historical documents show that Fifth Officer Harold Lowe, who was depicted rescuing Rose,looked for survivors 45 minutes.
In a separate test the 'Mythbusters' team found that had Jack remained in the water for over an hour he would have died from hypothermia.
Cameron, however, had the last word telling the TV show that Jack had to die as that’s what the script called for.
He said: '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.'