That Captain Smith believed the Titanic and the Olympic to be absolutely unsinkable is recalled by a man who had a conversation with the veteran commander on a recent voyage of the Olympic.
The talk was concerning the accident in which the British warship Hawke rammed the Olympic.
"The commander of the Hawke was entirely to blame," commented a young officer who was in the group. "He was 'showing off' his warship before a throng of passengers and made a miscalculation."
Captain Smith smiled enigmatically at the theory advanced by his subordinate, but made no comment as to this view of the mishap.
"Anyhow," declared Captain Smith, "the Olympic is unsinkable, and the Titanic will be the same when she is put in commission."Why," he continued, "either of these vessels could be cut in halves and each half would remain afloat indefinitely. The non-sinkable vessel has been reached in these two wonderful craft."
"I venture to add," concluded Captain Smith, "that even if the engines and boilers of these vessels were to fall through their bottoms the vessels would remain afloat."
No credible sailor of any rank ever believes that any ship is unsinkable. They can say all kinds of things, brag about the most unimportant stuff, talk big, and get drunk like the best of 'em, but no man who ever gone to sea, believes any ship is unsinkable. They know too well, the power of the sea.
There's also the question as to whether Smith said any of these things. Did they verbatim record the actual words of the captain or are they skewed for some apparent reason? Newspapers, especially the tabloids, aren't always known for accuracy.
The "man" who allegedly told that story was blowing smoke. Today it's called fake news.