James B

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James, I am one of these very old captains you write about - hopefully with both feet still on the ground.
May you live till 120.
I helped to develop what you take for granted nowadays but I can still use the old stuff if the satellites go down You don't need to be like me.. you just need common sense.
My father was a Captain with similar seatime like you, got alot of old school atitude from him so Iam not exactly apaper seaman if you know what I mean.
You talk about modern practice and your experience. Tell me this:
If a lookout spots a target on the horizon, since he had nothing to do with it other than report it, what would be the purpose of him specifically identifying it for what it was if the bridge hadn't seen it at the same time? Or in most cases, they had since it had been picked up fifteen minutes earlier on the 40 mile range ring of the RADAR or there had been an audible warning sounded?
I always told my look outs, dont report what we see, look for what we dont see, especially while navigating in
Malacca strait where small unlit fast boats cross the bow (can only see the shadow and their wake), in any case I never tell them the crew not to report or get angry about it even when they report astar on the horizon as avessel. I hope this answers your question.
Here's another one for you:
If as you write "One thing you can be sure of, anyone who would have given the Captains binoculars to the lookouts would have booted of the vessel." why was there any captains serving on WL ships because WSl supplied binoculars for their lookouts.
Sorry, I dont understand your question.
Oh! and there was no panic at the lifeboats... in fact the very opposite. read the evidence and personal accounts.
In the begining the 1st class passangers were sure its just adrill, the life boats were still on board, no special event occured at the time and except the ships command no one was sure what happened.

When things went south it was adiffrent story, I can only imagine the 3rd class passangers which were left on board, Iam sure they were terrified when they found out they were about to go down with the vessel, there are alot of stories of those who survived, the only thing I understood was confusion and alot of suger coated tales to justify how they survived, the dead, may the rip, didnt tell any tales.
 

Seumas

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James you didn't answer my earlier question about what sources you are using for your information ?

There are a lot of very basic factual mistakes in your posts which other posters keep pointing out to you (but which you aren't acknowledging), finding out what erroneous sources you are using can help us put you straight on what to avoid and forget.
 

James B

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What I am saying is that just because several people, including Captains argued that a set if binoculars would not have made a difference or whatever, there was no reason to remove a set that was specifically provided to be used in the crow's nest. Those who did not feel that they would be helpful simply did not have to use it.
Like I wrote before, the thinking old practices of sea men who sailed on sailing ships were outdated the moment they steped on board the Titanic, the simple reason was that back then acommon speed of avessel was 10-12 knots during ocean crossings, you had time to act in ample time more or less (ships still collided and accidents happened), at 20 plus knots without proper means they had no chance, the only way I could think off is if one of the lookouts had binoculars and used then from time to time mybe they would have noticed it earlier and mybe it would have bought Murdoch alittle more time to avoid the Iceberg.
 

Seumas

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Like I wrote before, the thinking old practices of sea men who sailed on sailing ships were outdated the moment they steped on board the Titanic, the simple reason was that back then acommon speed of avessel was 10-12 knots during ocean crossings, you had time to act in ample time more or less (ships still collided and accidents happened), at 20 plus knots without proper means they had no chance, the only way I could think off is if one of the lookouts had binoculars and used then from time to time mybe they would have noticed it earlier and mybe it would have bought Murdoch alittle more time to avoid the Iceberg.
Every word of that is absolute rubbish.
 
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Like I wrote before, the thinking old practices of sea men who sailed on sailing ships were outdated the moment they steped on board the Titanic, the simple reason was that back then acommon speed of avessel was 10-12 knots during ocean crossings, you had time to act in ample time more or less (ships still collided and accidents happened), at 20 plus knots without proper means they had no chance, the only way I could think off is if one of the lookouts had binoculars and used then from time to time mybe they would have noticed it earlier and mybe it would have bought Murdoch alittle more time to avoid the Iceberg.
That's a pretty broad statement. A lot of practices they used were and still are relevant to today's modern world including operating a ship (like having lookouts) or anything else for that matter. Yesterday I used an outdated shovel to plant my garden. It worked just fine.
 
back then acommon speed of avessel was 10-12 knots during ocean crossings, you had time to act in ample time more or less (ships still collided and accidents happened), at 20 plus knots without proper means they had no chance

James - I'm afraid but that is simply not true. Just take the RMS Oceanic (many of Titanic's officers worked aboard her during their careers) - built/sailed in 1899, but it had a speed of 19 knots (21 max). 12 years before Titanic.


the only way I could think off is if one of the lookouts had binoculars and used then from time to time mybe they would have noticed it earlier

Binoculars were not used to spot objects but to identify them. Don't take my word for it, here is Lookout Frederick Fleet:
"If we fancied we saw anything on the horizon, then we would have the glasses to make sure." (Senate Inquiry) At the British Inquiry Fleet was also pushed on this matter and eventually stated:

Sir ROBERT FINLAY. Do you agree with this. This is what Symons says: “You use your own eyes as regards the picking up anything, but you want the glasses then to make certain of that object.” Do you agree with that?
Fleet - Yes.

Second Officer Lightoller when he was asked if binoculars would not have helped the lookouts identify what they saw as an iceberg sooner, replied: “He might be able to identify it, but we do not wish him to identify it. All we want him to do is to strike the bells.” (B14293)


mybe it would have bought Murdoch alittle more time to avoid the Iceberg.

Actually, it is now believed that Murdoch saw the iceberg at practically the same time as the lookouts. And there was at least one pair of binoculars on the bridge.
 
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Seumas

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What are your sources? Pirates of the Caribean or mybe Titanic 1997?
Tell me good sir, what is or was your Proffecian?
My profession is my own business.

The sources that this humble enthusiast uses are ...

Firstly the three most slap bang up to date books that have been subject to extensive peer reviews with positive results namely:
  • "On A Sea of Glass: The Life and Loss of the RMS Titanic" by Bill Wormstedt, Tad Fitch and J. Kent Layton.
  • "On Board RMS Titanic: Memories of a Maiden Voyage" by George Behe
  • "Report Into the Loss of the SS Titanic" by Samuel Halpern, Cathy Akers Jordan, George Behe, Bruce Beveridge, Mark Chirnside, Tad Fitch, Dave Gittins, Steve Hall, Lester J Mitcham, Capt. Charles J. Weeks & Bill Wormstedt.
Secondly, there is also the Titanic Inquiry Project (here at: Titanic Inquiry Project - Main Page ) which has the complete unabridged transcripts of bot American and British inquiries into the sinking.

Thirdly there are the extensive online library of research articles by the likes of (in no particular order) Parks Stevenson, Dave Gittins, Sam Halpern, Dr Paul Lee, Mark Chirnside, Dan Parkes, George Behe, the late Roy Mengot, Bob Read and Bill Wormstedt.
 
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My profession is my own business.

The sources that this humble enthusiast uses are ...

Firstly the three most slap bang up to date books that have been subject to extensive peer reviews with positive results namely:
  • "On A Sea of Glass: The Life and Loss of the RMS Titanic" by Bill Wormstedt, Tad Fitch and J. Kent Layton.
  • "On Board RMS Titanic: Memories of a Maiden Voyage" by George Behe
  • "Report Into the Loss of the SS Titanic" by Samuel Halpern, Cathy Akers Jordan, George Behe, Bruce Beveridge, Mark Chirnside, Tad Fitch, Dave Gittins, Steve Hall, Lester J Mitcham, Capt. Charles J. Weeks & Bill Wormstedt.
Secondly, there is also the Titanic Inquiry Project (here at: Titanic Inquiry Project - Main Page ) which has the complete unabridged transcripts of bot American and British inquiries into the sinking.

Thirdly there are the extensive online library of research articles by the likes of (in no particular order) Parks Stevenson, Dave Gittins, Sam Halpern, Dr Paul Lee, Mark Chirnside, Dan Parkes, George Behe, the late Roy Mengot, Bob Read and Bill Wormstedt.
Off topic reply by me: That's a good answer in today's messed up pc crap world. Today people will try to get you fired or worse if you tell a dumb joke on the interwebs. So for those still working don't post what company you work for. The only reason I even use my real name on this site is because it was requested. Everywhere else I go I use nicks. Just my 2 cents worth. Take it for what it's worth.
 

James B

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Off topic reply by me: That's a good answer in today's messed up pc crap world. Today people will try to get you fired or worse if you tell a dumb joke on the interwebs.
No need to be so dramatic. Its just the fact that people read few books and think that they have seen the light and know about the sea, reading doesnt make anyone an expert or atime traveler or give the right to call other opinions rubbish and if they do they need to explain what gives them the right to do it, as it seems and as I thought, he does not.
 
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James B

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James - I'm afraid but that is simply not true. Just take the RMS Oceanic (many of Titanic's officers worked aboard her during their careers) - built/sailed in 1899, but it had a speed of 19 knots (21 max). 12 years before Titanic.
You are right about that, you might know all the little details then I do but were they under pressure to keep top speed and does it change the fact that what if they got the all Ice warnings and slow down to lets say 12 knots for the night, would it still make no diffrence?
Binoculars were not used to spot objects but to identify them. Don't take my word for it, here is Lookout Frederick Fleet:
"If we fancied we saw anything on the horizon, then we would have the glasses to make sure." (Senate Inquiry) At the British Inquiry Fleet was also pushed on this matter and eventually stated:

Sir ROBERT FINLAY. Do you agree with this. This is what Symons says: “You use your own eyes as regards the picking up anything, but you want the glasses then to make certain of that object.” Do you agree with that?
Fleet - Yes.

Second Officer Lightoller when he was asked if binoculars would not have helped the lookouts identify what they saw as an iceberg sooner, replied: “He might be able to identify it, but we do not wish him to identify it. All we want him to do is to strike the bells.” (B14293)

Actually, it is now believed that Murdoch saw the iceberg at practically the same time as the lookouts. And there was at least one pair of binoculars on the bridge.
I read about it, thats why I think that old practice was wrong, the lookouts were higher and closer to the bow then the bridge, they should have seen it first. That also closes the subject of the claim that Murdoch was drunk, he did all he could, it wasnt his choice to sail so fast under these conditions.

Have anice weekend.
 
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No need to be so dramatic. Its just the fact that people read few books and think that they have seen the light and know about the sea, reading doesnt make anyone an expert or atime traveler or give the right to call other opinions rubbish and if they do they need to explain what gives them the right to do it, as it seems and as I thought, he does not.
What's so dramatic about my post. It's a simple fact. Scan the news...teachers, cops, businessmen ect getting fired everyday for something they said because someone got their little feelings hurt. I was merely pointing out you shouldn't make it easy for them by posting where you work if it's a paycheck you need. I was stating that his answer about his profession is the right response today. Nothing more than that. Cheers.

edited by me to avoid possible confusion. I'm not singling out anybody. Just a comment on the state of the internet today.
 
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James B

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What's so dramatic about my post. It's a simple fact. Scan the news...teachers, cops, businessmen ect getting fired everyday for something they said because some wanker got their little feelings hurt. I was merely pointing out you shouldn't make it easy for them by posting where you work if it's a paycheck you need. I was stating that his answer about his profession is the right response today. Nothing more than that. Cheers.
Its not relevent to the subject or the case. When acab driver try to tell alawyer how to win atrial or when the lawyer tell the gardrner how to use ashovel its seems strange and its ok to ask where is it coming from, noting less, noting more. Cheers.
 
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Its not relevent to the subject or the case. When acab driver try to tell alawyer how to win atrial or when the lawyer tell the gardrner how to use ashovel its seems strange and its ok to ask where is it coming from, noting less, noting more. Cheers.
It's called giving examples of a premise. Using analogies. When you say something like "the thinking old practices of sea men who sailed on sailing ships were outdated the moment they steped on board the Titanic" I was using the shovel analogy to say just because something is old doesn't mean it's outdated or not useful. I can't explain it more simply than that. I've stated before that I don't consider myself a good writer so maybe I'm not making my point clear. But you are right that this has veered off subject. That's my fault. I just thought Seumas made a good statement about his profession and stated why. So I will end this before the mods do. Cheers and have a good evening.
 

Jim Currie

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No need to be so dramatic. Its just the fact that people read few books and think that they have seen the light and know about the sea, reading doesnt make anyone an expert or atime traveler or give the right to call other opinions rubbish and if they do they need to explain what gives them the right to do it, as it seems and as I thought, he does not.
I agree with the correspondent in question regarding your interpretation of the available written evidence.

However, I also agree with your observations regarding "armchair sailors". You may have noted that 99% of authors on the subject base their work on the interpretation of what they too have read and not from actual experience. Your utterances make me wonder if you might be guilty of that very same practice.
In fact, I have discovered that when interpreting the evidence, it seems that experience is a decided disadvantage.

Perhaps English is not your first language? If so, then you have one-up on most of us. On the other hand, if you are simply winding us up, then you are doing very well. ;)

PS "Cutty Sark" was a sailing ship in the 1800s and she made 17.5 knots.
 

James B

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Your utterances make me wonder if you might be guilty of that very same practice.
I can understand from where its coming from, I logged in only to smash the theory that Murdoch was drank, I always felt sorry for the guy and the thread boiled my blood. I had no intension on learning or educating anyone.
In fact, I have discovered that when interpreting the evidence, it seems that experience is a decided disadvantage.
At some cases it could be true, as amatter of fact I think its relevent to the Master and officers of the Titanic, to sail many years on the same route and as long as noting happened every thing was fine till the luck run out doesnt make the old practices safe, especially if the old precautions were ignored like stopping the ship or at least to slow down at be able to stop if needed.
if you are simply winding us up, then you are doing very well. ;)
Wish it was true, I rather stir my cup of coffe at home and write about storms (in acup or amovie) then actually being in one, mybe I wouldnt even take the Murdoch tread as an offence to every sailor who sailed on aship.
PS "Cutty Sark" was a sailing ship in the 1800s and she made 17.5 knots.
Not all ships were built for speed back then and its true even today. The diffrence is that today you can download updates to electronic charts including navigation warnings as much as you like any time, no more suprises and risks, no more Titanics as long as no one does anything stupid (Francesco Schettino).

Ps, on aflat calm sea she wouldnt be making way at all so they didnt have that problem.
 
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>>several people, including Captains argued that a set if binoculars would not have made a difference<<

One can argue that a set of binoculars in crow's nest could have made things worse. If the job of the lookout in the nest is to report that an object was seen in a general direction, then using the glasses by them to identify what was seen before reporting adds unwanted delay in informing the bridge where the decisions are made.
 

george harris

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>>several people, including Captains argued that a set if binoculars would not have made a difference<<

One can argue that a set of binoculars in crow's nest could have made things worse. If the job of the lookout in the nest is to report that an object was seen in a general direction, then using the glasses by them to identify what was seen before reporting adds unwanted delay in informing the bridge where the decisions are made.
Sam -

I agree that wasting time with binoculars trying to positively identify what was seen ahead is bad. However, using them occasionally to scan ahead could be helpful in spotting something that is far ahead. There were two lookouts in the nest and only one of them at a time could have used the binoculars. The other lookout would still be using his unaided eyes, so there would be a backup to the lookout with binoculars. As soon as either of them saw an object dead ahead, they would ring the bell to alert the bridge. Any identification of the object using binoculars would be performed after the bell had been struck. But, the point made earlier by James B is a good one; if one of the lookouts occasionally used the binoculars to see dead ahead for a greater distance, I think it certainly would have increased the chances of seeing the iceberg. Not having a potentially useful tool in the nest that night was a mistake. It perhaps could have been the fatal mistake.

George
 
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James B

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Not having a potentially useful tool in the nest that night was a mistake. It perhaps could have been the fatal mistake.

George
Its was just the final nail in the coffin, alot of mistakes happened well before that:

1) They called the ship unsinkable, creating asort of over confidence in the myth over common sense and logic like no need for more life boats for all the passangers

2) Speed, they were going too fast in conditions that didnt allow Mordoch or any other officer or even the Captain to take action in ample time.

3) They radio operator was not instructed to listen carefully and to relay all ice warnings, no one made sure at least twice per watch to "sit on his head about it" all of which may have helped, or not, it all about self awarness and responsibility to know and decide whats more important, focusing on junk mail or ice warnings, one thing is for sure, his last "shut up messege" to the Carlipornia sealed the fate of the ship and all who died that night, if he did his job he would have alerted the Captain that they are headed into a death trap. This was the major cause in my opinion but its still part of the chain or errors.

4) Proper look out by the officers and look out, its easier said then done when the Ice bergs are hidden in the dark and at 21.5 knots, every one should have been on thier toes and with binoculars which an important tool of the watchman, this might have given them the extra time to avoid that ice berg but mybe they would have hit another one.
As it seems that ice berg was not the only one in the area, if it was the case
they shouldnt have been there in the first place and if they did know Iam sure the Captain would have stopped at once till morning.

 
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Arun Vajpey

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One can argue that a set of binoculars in crow's nest could have made things worse. If the job of the lookout in the nest is to report that an object was seen in a general direction, then using the glasses by them to identify what was seen before reporting adds unwanted delay in informing the bridge where the decisions are made

I agree that wasting time with binoculars trying to positively identify what was seen ahead is bad. However, using them occasionally to scan ahead could be helpful in spotting something that is far ahead.
Yes, one can potentially put forth that argument, but one can also debate the other scenario. What the lookout sees or thinks he sees in the distant horizon with naked eyes may not be identifiable for a brief amount of time. Can the lookout keep ringing the 3 bells to alert the bridge each time they see 'something' in the horizon or do they wait a few seconds to be certain that they are seeing something? If the latter, could that time lag could have made the difference specifically with the Titanic?
There were two lookouts in the nest and only one of them at a time could have used the binoculars. The other lookout would still be using his unaided eyes, so there would be a backup to the lookout with binoculars
That's a great point. IF Fleet did see a 'haze' in the horizon shortly before he identified it as a solid object, one has to consider what it could have been on such a clear, starlit night. If the 'haze' was merely a small area ahead where he lost the sight of the horizon, it could only have been the very first sighting of the berg. From Fleet's statements, it is suggestive, if not conclusive that he saw the 'haze' a short time before he identified a solid object ahead and rang the bell. The point I am asking - and NOT insisting - is whether that time lag could have been 30 to 40 seconds and if so, could binoculars then have made a difference?

As George says, Fleet could have alerted Lee and then one of them could have grabbed the binoculars while the other continued to scan with the naked eyes. That way, the binoculars could only have been an additional tool and not an "instead of" gizmo

if one of the lookouts occasionally used the binoculars to see dead ahead for a greater distance, I think it certainly would have increased the chances of seeing the iceberg. Not having a potentially useful tool in the nest that night was a mistake. It perhaps could have been the fatal mistake.
Possibly, but I am not even trying to suggest going that far. What I thought would be practical was for BOTH of then scan with their naked eyes and use the binoculars only if one or both saw something ahead. As mentioned above, only one of them could and would be using it while the other continued to scan with his eyes. Perhaps Fleet, who saw the 'something' first, alerts Lee but continues to fixate on that spot with his naked eyes while Lee grabs the binoculars. The first one to identify the object ahead rings the bells immediately.

The point I made earlier was that if binoculars were completely useless and a potential hazard in the crow's nest, they would never have provided them in the first place.

Also, why did Murdoch have binoculars? It would not increase his visual distance to the horizon, only appear to bring it - and any object in the way - closer. And if it was a mere 'little more than a kid's toy' as someone put it, why would he have a set of weighty binoculars around his neck during a long watch? After all, Fleet and/or Lee could only ring the bells and/or use the telephone to the bridge; they had no control over the action to follow, which was entirely Murdoch's decision. Murdoch probably used his binoculars during the 12 seconds or whatever it took him from hearing the bells to deciding what order he was going to give. If the duty officer felt the need to use the binoculars to help him, how can we positively argue that a trained lookout with a longer visual horizon distance could not have done so?
 
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