ALARM FROM LOOKOUT IGNORED, SAILOR SAYS


Arun Vajpey

Member
That explained nothing for it is not true.
Of course it is not true. If you look at the source of the source of the ET article link above, you will see that it was Saloon Steward Thomas Whiteley, probably the most accomplished liar and teller of tales that survived the Titanic.

About the only thing true about what he said was that he jumped into the water towards the end and injured his leg. Might have been a minor fracture. Look at the rest below.

  • Whiteley is supposed to have been one of the staff who served at the Wideners' dinner party to Captain Smith in the a la carte restaurant on the evening before the disaster. This is not corroborated but might be true. That said, Whiteley claimed that Bruce Ismay and Dr O'Loughlin also attended the party and at one point they all stood-up to toast the "mighty Titanic". In fact, while Ismay and O'Loughlin were in the restaurant that night, they did NOT attend the Wideners' party. The pair dined together at a separate table that had a view of part of the Wideners' table.
  • Whiteley was rescued by being pulled on board the overturned Collapsible B. But claimed that he swam for 5 hours (with a broken leg) before reaching the boat, by which time the sun was up. Even then the occupants refused to haul him on board and kept hitting him with their oars (not sure if they had any) even after he begged to be helped. He hung-on praying that someone would die so that he could take their place; eventually, someone did die and then they pushed the body overboard and hailed Whiteley up.
  • Whiteley claimed that he got on board the same lifeboat as the two lookouts Fleet and Lee, who had been on duty during the collision and that they told him about this nonsense of seeing the iceberg "15 minutes before" etc. As a matter of fact, they were never on the same lifeboat. Fleet was on Lifeboat #6, Lee on #13 and of course Whiteley was pulled on board Collapsible B.
  • He claimed to have spoken to Jack Phillips on board the lifeboat and that the latter told him of numerous ice warnings. Apart from the fact that there is no definitive evidence that Phillips ever made it to Collapsible B, even if he had, he died very early. Whiteley told a newspaper syndicate in New York that he knew that the Titanic's officers ignored numerous ice warnings.
  • Obviously, both Inquiry Committees saw through his charade and so he was not called in to provide witness in either the American or British investigation.
  • Sometime after his return to England, he told an unspecified newspaper that during his time in the water (the 'swimming for 5 hours in icy water with a broken leg' bit) he had swallowed so much seawater that doctors in America had to remove his stomach and replace it (with what is anyone's guess).
  • He is supposed to have filed a case against the White Star Line claiming that the Titanic had been un-seaworthy and the steering had been "negligent". The case never went to court.
  • What happened to him after 1914 is uncertain as he used various aliases (sometimes calling himself 'Thos Whiteley' for example) and impersonations. He claimed to have served in the Royal Flying Corps during the First World War but there is no definitive evidence of it or his claim to have been decorated for bravery 3 times.
  • After the war he claimed to have worked as an actor, associated with various movie companies and traveled "greater part of the world". He even elevated himself to 'film technician', 'co-director' and eventually 'Film Director'. In reality, his only proven film connection was a very brief role in James Whale's 1930 film Journey's End.
  • In a memoir published over 20 years after the disaster, Whiteley claimed that he had had no previous nautical experience before working on the Titanic. In fact, he had served on the sister ship Olympic.
So, it is from such a source that the story about the iceberg being seen 15 minutes before the officers took action originated.
 
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Thomas Krom

Member
Arun Vajpey said:
Whiteley is supposed to have been one of the staff who served at the Wideners' dinner party to Captain Smith in the First Class Dining Saloon on the evening before the disaster. This is not corroborated but might be true. That said, Whiteley claimed that Brice Ismay and Dr O'Loughlin also attended the party and at one point they all stood-up to toast the "mighty Titanic". In fact, while Ismay and O'Loughlin were in the Dining Saloon that night, they did NOT attend the Wideners' party. The pair dined together at a separate table that had a view of part of the Wideners' table.
The Widener party wasn't held in the fist class dining saloon on D-deck but in the á la carte restaurant on B-deck. Mr. Ismay and Dr. O'Loughlin (who was missing from his usual table in the first class dining saloon, he send his apologies of that to his table companions) were also in the á la carte restaurant nearby the table of the party. Thomas Whiteley couldn't have witnessed the toast since the á la carte restaurant had it's own (mostly Italian) waiters.
Arun Vajpey said:
Whiteley claimed that he got on board the same lifeboat as the two lookouts Fleet and Lee, who had been on duty during the collision and that they told him about this nonsense of seeing the iceberg "15 minutes before" etc. As a matter of fact, they were never on the same lifeboat. Fleet was on Lifeboat #6, Lee on #13 and of course Whiteley was pulled on board Collapsible B.
Although it is indeed true that both Fleet and Lee weren't in the same lifeboat together nor was any of them were on top of collapsible Engelhardt lifeboat B however Whiteley isn't the only survivor on upturned collapsible lifeboat B who claimed there were "lookouts" on the lifeboat who claimed their warnings were ignored if my mind serves me right. I cannot recall exactly who claimed it as well, but I can vaguely remember that someone else claimed it too. I believe that the person who claimed he was a lookout was telling a tall tale. According to Whiteley that "lookout" also said: "No wonder Mr Murdock shot himself"/"It's no wonder Mr. Murdoch shot himself." after they finished their tall tale about the ignored warning. Although Whiteley is sometimes listed as a witnesses of the suicide of an officer he never witnessed it first hand.
 
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Arun Vajpey

Member
The Widener party wasn't held in the fist class dining saloon on D-deck but in the á la carte restaurant on B-deck
Of course; sorry my bad. In my hurry to talk about Whiteley I made an error.

Ismay and O'Loughlin were there too that night but at a separate table.


Whiteley isn't the only survivor on upturned collapsible lifeboat B who claimed there were "lookouts" on the lifeboat who claimed their warnings were ignored if my mind serves me right
True, but if that NYT article above is to be believed, Whiteley told them that 3 separate ice warnings were sent from the Crow's Nest staff to the bridge over 15 minutes. He also said that he overheard conversation between them and they were "very indignant" that their warnings were unheeded by Murdoch.

15 minutes before the collision, it was still Fleet and Lee in the Crow's Nest.
 

Arun Vajpey

Member
The other thing is that at Titanic's speed, the iceberg would have been about 6 miles from the bow 15 minutes before collision. While that would have been within Fleet and Lee's horizon distance from their vantage point, it would have had to be a veritable mountain of ice for either of them to have been able to identify it as such. Human vision does not have anything like that kind of acuity and at 6 miles at night no one could have made out a dark mass obscuring part of the horizon.
 
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