All the Ships in the North Atlantic April 14 1912


I am looking for information on the approximate location of all known ships in the North Atlantic when Titanic hit the berg. I understand all the controversies surrounding estimating locations. I am just looking for best estimates. I am NOT interested in information about Lord and the Californian. If anyone has information about the other ships, specifically latitudes, longitudes or approximate miles and cardinal directions from the Titanic, I would greatly appreciate it. If you do not have exact locations, which I imagine don't exist, I would love any estimates and evidence or sources to back them up. Thanks.
 
Liza, this is a rather complicated question and frankly, not a very productive one. Quite simply, no ship was in a position to render useful assistance to Titanic, with the exception of Californian. Even in her case, she could have done little, even working on a "best case scenario".

The chart drawn by Captain Knapp is inaccurate, because it's based on Titanic's incorrect CQD position. All the distances and bearings of the various ships need small corrections. Having done that, we still have the same situation. Nobody could help.

The positions of the ships at the time they heard the CQD were necessarily a little rough. They were based on dead reckoning, which is always subject to errors. On some ships, limited celestial navigation was done and some had no precise fix for many hours, depending on their captains' practice.

I have a couple of positions handy. Mount Temple was in 41.25N, 51.14W, more than 60 miles from Titanic. Captain Rostron placed Carpathia in 41.10N, 49.12W. I've demonstrated elsewhere that this position is incorrect. Carpathia was really about 8 miles further east and about 50 miles from Titanic.

Other ships were much further away. Their approximate positions could be found, but they are academic. To rescue all or most of Titanic's company she would have needed to have a ship the size of Olympic or Mauretania four or five miles astern. It would still have been a dicey affair.

Those who designed and operated Titanic had expected that in the case of accident she would call for help on her radio. She would stay afloat until long after help arrived, as did Republic in 1909. Their luck ran out.
 
Dave,
I appreciate the information, but I'm not looking for it in order to be "useful." I really am hoping instead to show how their positions were not useful, how far they were from the Titanic, not how close. In effect, I'm hoping to draw a map keeping in mind all the flaws and inaccuracies of estimating positions at the time of the collision.
Liza
 
Hmm... I seem to recall in the book Titanic Voices that there is a page which contains a map of all nearby ships to the Titanic, including their distance and heading.
 

Paul Lee

Member
Theres a map of the vessels that responded to the CQD calls on my website http://www.paullee.com/titanic/pv.html and theres a discussion
on what ships were traversing the Atlantic at http://www.paullee.com/titanic/northatlanticships.html . I spent ages looking for ships and weather
logs and I couldn't find any for the interesting vessels.

David Gittins is right, as none of those vessels could really have helped. As he points out, if the Ypiranga hadn't been summoned to another CQD wild goose chase she would have been about an hour or two away, and then what...? Knapp's map is wrong though, despite Walter Lord's endorsement of it.
It uses the Trautenfels ice report, and says that the Titanic was on the eastern side of it. That is true, but the Trautenfels map was for earlier on
on the 14th April; by the next morning, the ice field to the north of the Trautenfels had drifted south, blocking the Titanic's route; she was stopped
to the east of this, but the distress location was to the west.
 
When you get down to the brass tacks of the matter, the big limitation was that of technology and in many respects, it still is. For all that the Atlantic was swarming with ships that night, not one was close enough which could have randered anything like useful aide before the Titanic sank. (Not even the Californian!) They just weren't fast enough and they were way out of position.

The Titanic might as well have been on the Moon.
 
Top