A Trapped Captain


Inger Sheil

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Feb 9, 1999
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Fi -

Good post there on the Rappahanock. I always shudder when reading that passage in Marcus.

On a completely fluffy and superfluous note, did you see what appalling editing did to this scene in the CBS Titanic miniseries? Boxhall (or 'Boxy' as he might more rightly called - a Boxhall/Moody amalgam character) informs Murdoch that they are being morsed by the Rappahanock, and that she's warning them of ice...only problem is, someone stuffed up in the edit room and placed the incident while the ship was between Cherbourg and Queenstown.

~ Ing
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>(Sorry Michael)<<

Huh? For what? I hadn't known that the Titanic had come within visual distance of any other ships during her crossing, much less exchanged morse lamp signals with her.....so I learned something that I had either forgotten or missed completely. That always makes my day!

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 

Erik Wood

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Aug 24, 2000
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Fiona,

I would be most greatful if you could email me any and all info you have on the exact happening between the Rappahanock and Titanic. [email protected]

I think this adds something to the Lord and the Californian debate. The info I have said 10 miles away. The light was easily seen by 10 miles. So wouldn't it be able to been seen at over 10. Say 12. Maybe 11. But no more then 12. So if the officers of the Rappahanock could see the light amoungst all the others on Titanic at 10 miles. Couldn't Californian? If Boxhall could see the Rappahanock couldn't he see the Californian. If they used the lamps. As Fiona suggests. Lets have some feed back. Perhaps it is time to get those time tables back out??

Erik
 
K

Kellie Ann Spicer

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I think some people are forgetting that the Titanic's CQD position when sent to the Rescue ship Carpathia, was actually wrong. I on the other hand do not believe that Stanley Lord was even close to the Titanic at the time.

Captain Stanley Lord stopped for the night, he didn't crash like some people think. He received a message that their was an ice field a head of him. He then sent the message to other ships. He then decided to stop for the night since he didn't have passengers on board.

Captain Lord was exonerated in a special inquiry in 1992. They found that his ship was further away from the Titanic, than both American & British Inquiries had stated. Both Inquiries were looking for a way out and Captain Stanley Lord was there way out. J P Morgan was the real owner of the Titanic, he owned the MMI Insurance company that insured the White Star Line Fleet and got the ships built. Don't forget Captain Smith was involved in three separate accidents when he Captained the Olympic. Which cost the White Star Line alot of money. One incident went to court a number of times - costly indeed. That is how they got J P Morgan on board. They as in J Bruce Ismay and company were loosing money almost to the point of bankrupcy. So J P Morgan owned the White Star Line because J Bruce Ismay sold the White Star Line to him. He was an American. The American Inquiry couldn't blame him for the tragedy, now could they?????.

While the British Inquiry couldn't go around blaming their Government for the lack of Safety, could they?????. The White Star Line operators were manager's of the companies who wanted a British Inquiry. No telling who they wanted to blame??????.

Let's blame some poor Captain and get all of us exonerated. May Captain Stanley Lord Rest In Peace.

From Kellie
 
Oct 28, 2000
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Kellie -- the facts overwhelming support the notion that Californian did, indeed, see Titanic and its rockets as it foundered. Although less certain, Titanic most probably saw Californian as well. Arguments to the contrary involve piling incongruities upon improbabilities.

However, Captain Lord had all the reasons in the world not to go to Titanic's aid that night. He was trapped by the same ice as had damaged several ships previously and had now put the world's largest (and presumably "unsinkable") ship into distress. What sort of captain would take his vessel through such dangerous ice? The loss of Californian on an ill-starred rescue mission would only have added to the death toll.

Lord's problem was not what he did, but the way he did it. He should have acknowledged the distress rockets, logged them, and then written his entirely valid reasons for not moving. Instead, he remained aloof despite messages from his bridge watch. Then, he tried to weasle out from under the problem with highly improbable scenarios that involved third ships and extreme distances. He may have been an innocent man, but he acted guilty and that gave both the British and the American investigations what they needed--a villian.

The reason Lord is not allowed to rest in peace is the romantic notion that Californian "could have saved everyone." That was never true. Even if Lord had responded immediately after the first rocket, it is unlikely he could have arrived on the scene in time to have accomplished a transfer of people. Americans in particular have the Hollywood notion of the cavalry riding to the rescue at the last minute, just before the film ends. They want to believe that Californian could have accomplished the impossible. So, Captain Lord the real man has been replaced with a mythical captain who steadfastly refuses for all time to rescue the unfortunate victims of cruel fate. Great drama, lousy history.

So, the real Stanley Lord does, indeed, rest in peace. It is this artifical captain that is the subject of debate.

--David G. Brown
 

Erik Wood

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Captain Brown again writes some very good info on Captain Lord. Very well written. I don't think that I even need to respond.

Erik
 

Sam Brannigan

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Hi Kellie

This has to be far and away the most emotive issue regarding the Titanic Disaster but I cant help pulling you on a few points.

The incident you refer to which went to court was Captain Smiths involvement in the collision of the Olympic with the Hawke. White Star stood by Smith to the hilt as it was known that the QM at the wheel of the Hawke made an error which ensured the collision would occur.

After steering the wrong way the captain corrected him by telling him to turn to port and exclaiming "What are you doing!?"

It is fair to say that most agree now that there was no way the Admiralty would be held responsible in court so White Star bore the brunt, but rightly stood by Smith

As for Morgan getting involved in White Star, that had nothing to do with any mishaps Smith may or may not have been responsible for.

Morgan gained White Star (it is notable that Ismay had strong reservations about the deal)in 1901 as the jewel in the crown of the number of lines which made up the IMM, a huge fleet of ships intended to monopolise the North Atlantic run.

He also intended to buy Cunard, but they brilliantly fought of the deal by playing on the fears of the Admiralty having no merchant shipping of note for use during war, and they secured a &pound;2 million loan from the government which ultimately led to the creation of the Lusitania and the Mauritania, ships which set the in motion the creation of the Olympic class liners.

You seem to suggest that White Star got Morgan involved as a precursor to disaster and that they had control of the British enquiry.

As important and influential as White Star was, they weren't that good.

The debate will rage on about Captain Lord, and I've said my piece before which are in tune with Davids ideas.

I hope this helps in any way.

Regards

Sam
 
Jul 9, 2000
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Hi Kellie, see George Behe's post dated September 1st, 2000, 10:09am in the "Californian True Or False" thread for some insights on the '92 investigation.

Generally, I tend to be very suspicious of so-called re-appraisals undertaken 8 decades after the fact no matter what the outcome happens to be. Since they were a little bit dead, it's not as if the principles involved were available to offer testimony in their defence or rebuttal.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 

Tracy Smith

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Kellie, I understand and appreciate your defense of Captain Lord. As a Titanic buff, my special area of interest and research is Stanley Lord. I am interested in his entire life and career, not just the night the Titanic sunk. Through my reading, I have found that he was a well respected, competent, and professional mariner. Any information about his role in the Titanic sinking, I consider carefully in light of what I already know about the rest of his life.

Dave makes good points, especially about how the Californian could NOT have saved everyone on board. The best he could have done was trade places with Captain Rostron. You should read his book, The Last Log of Titanic, where he goes further into this topic. It's a very well written book, and I think he takes an even handed look at Captain Lord.

Erik has some interesting points to make about Captain Lord as well.
proud.gif
 
Dec 31, 2000
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Dear Mr Brown,
I concur with you... I believe that Capt. Lord should have logged the events as they unfolded and covered his butt!
Even if he could have gotten out of the ice safely, would he have been there in time to even pluck some from the water???
With the water as cold as it was, how long do you think many would have survived in it before he got there?
It is too late to go back now and repeat history.
But I also believe that making Capt. Lord a scapegoat for a number of factors that lead to the sinking of Titanic a terrible injustice.

Beverly
 
Jun 4, 2000
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Hello Erik,

The only place I have seen a distance given for the Rappahannock/Titanic encounter was on the Cameron CD ROM. Unfortunately my computer's CD ROM drive is kaput so I can't check on Cameron's source for this. Marcus doesn't give a distance, and neither do any of the others I've checked recently. Is the Cameron CD where you got the '10 miles' from? Is there information on where that figure came from?

Hello Kellie,

Last I read the MAIB report on the Reappraisal of Evidence Relating to SS Californian I can't say that I thought it exonerated Lord at all. The best interpretion I got was 'not proven' with a bit more blame flung at Stone - still a mighty tin can to have tied to your tail.

From the Report's Concluding Comments:


Quote:

I do not think any reasonably probable action by Captain Lord could have led to a different outcome of the tragedy. This of course does not alter the fact that the attempt should have been made...

...Neither party will be entirely satisfied with this Report, but while it does not purport to answer all the questions which have been raised it does atttempt to distinguish the essential circumstances and set out reasoned and realistic interpretations. It is for others if they wish to go further into speculation; it is to be hoped that they will do so rationally and with some regard to the simple fact that there are no villains in this story: just human beings with human characteristics.



I completely agree with the last bit.
happy.gif


Cheers,

Fiona
 

Erik Wood

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Fiona,

I did indeed get that 10 miles from that CD. It isn't the best source but it is a source. I can't find any other that gives me a solid sense of distance between the Rappahanock and Titanic. So I think for now I will stick with that 10 miles. Still working on this and a couple others. Good to see you back.

Erik
 

Matthew Lips

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Hi guys,
Being new to this whole discussion group, let me say what a pleasure it is to read some level-headed appraisals of Capt.Lord.

While leaning towards the anti-Lordite camp myself, I do think that the man has been given a raw deal by his more virulent detractors. I agree that he should have done something than he did (he could hardly have done less), but it's easy to jump to conclusions based on ninety-year-old "evidence!"

If Lord put the interests of his own vessel ahead of everything else, is that a reason to destroy him? Merely because he may have been far more cautious than Rostron does not in itself make Lord the villain of the century.

Hindsight is perfect sight. Rostron is undeniably the hero of the piece, but how differently we would judge him and Lord had the Carpathia blundered into an iceberg and suffered the same fate as the Big T!

Regards,
Matthew L.
 
Jun 4, 2000
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Helloo again Erik,

Have been 'confined to quarters' and was able to (partly) amuse myself by hunting for further references to Rappahannock in my Titanic library. The number of books that don't mention Rappahanock at all is quite surprising. There's no mention in the enquiries either - I even checked using a wildcard search to allow for alternative spellings. Hrm.

So far the only distance given is the 10 miles from Cameron's Titanic Explorer CD ROM. Being a simple trusting soul
wink.gif
I just can't trust it until I know the information's source. I hope to have access to a CD ROM drive in the next few weeks and will see if there are any notes accompanying that information.

Distance aside, I have another question regarding Rappahannock - on what night did the two ships meet? I have now have references to the encounter taking place (or not) on the Saturday night (April 13) and the Sunday night (April 14). Anyone?

Still searching,

F
 

Erik Wood

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It was either Friday night or Saturday night. I am not all that sure. I too am leary of accepting this as fact. Since this was the first I have heard on it I am treating it with much caution. The CD although good is not perfect as you will see.

Erik
 

Erik Wood

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Fiona,

If you would like I would be more then happy to send you (via email) my complete thoughts on the entire Lord situation and it's relevance to the Rappahanock.

Erik
 

Jake Peterson

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Mar 11, 2012
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As I've said in other threads, I have to feel sorry for Capt. Lord to some degree, when there were other ships in the region that didn't come to the Titanic's rescue until dawn. In particular, the Mt. Temple, who didn't try to navigate the icefield after spending all that effort to rush to their assistance. I did order that book "Titanic: a centennial reaprisal", so I'll get some more information on both Californian and the Mt. Temple when it arrives. Hope it gets here this week, as it shipped out yesterday afternoon. Local bookstore was out of copies.
 

Jake Peterson

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Mar 11, 2012
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Does anyone have a link or have the full article of Capt. Stanley Lord's interview when he pulled into port April 18, 1912? Couldn't find it in my local paper while searching the archives.

I'm going to look around the 'net and see what I can find, as well.
 

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