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Now days the matter is clear and it is mentioned in the colregs in rule 5: every vessel shall at all times maintain a proper look-out by sight and hearing as well as by all available means ....
A productive discussion would be what were the regulations before,
The following was in effect at the time of the disaster:
1621100942883.png

It leaves a lot open to interpretation. However, under the Explanatory notes and Observations to these, I found this one reference to the use of glasses:
"If the use of glasses will enable an object to be seen sooner, the neglect by the look-out to use glasses will constitute a bad look-out."
I understand that the original recording of Lord's voice making these observations, and giving these answers, still exists
It was once available on-line but later taken down after the written transcript became available. I was lucky enough to hear these taped interviews when they were easily available. The transcript appears to be accurate and can be cited as such if need be.
I have a special fondness for buccaneers, pirates and privateers.
You've probably been watching Pirates of the Caribbean too many times.
 
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James B

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The following was in effect at the time of the disaster:
View attachment 76683

There is aresemblance to the colregs which are valid today, rule # 2 part A, as far as the responibilities of every one on board and even in land to make sure that all is in good order. No one can claim that they didnt know, didnt see or didnt hear.

As far as It leaves a lot open to interpretation, its true but thats for the court to decide after an incident who is more to blame if there is acollision between 2 ships and etc, for every one involved with operation of the vessel in practice its adiffrent story, as it is written clearly, noting will exonerate and the word special circumstances which covers all other possible scenerios which are not mentioned in the colregs.
 
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george harris

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It leaves a lot open to interpretation. However, under the Explanatory notes and Observations to these, I found this one reference to the use of glasses:
"If the use of glasses will enable an object to be seen sooner, the neglect by the look-out to use glasses will constitute a bad look-out."

Thanks for that information Sam. Very nicely done.

1. The British Inquiry must have known about that.
2. The lookout (Fleet) testified that he wasn't given binoculars.
3. Even though binoculars were used on Titanic's trip from Belfast to Southampton.
4. Even though they were always used during the 4 years that he was on the Oceanic
5. Fleet was not lying about 2, 3, and 4 above.
6. Fleet testified that if he had binoculars, he would have seen the iceberg
sooner.
7. How much sooner? "Enough to get out of the way."
8. Nobody challenged his statements. Nobody called him a liar. Nobody followed up.
9.
Why not?

George
 
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6. Fleet testified that if he had binoculars, he would have seen the iceberg sooner.
7. How much sooner? "Enough to get out of the way."
8. Nobody challenged his statements. Nobody called him a liar. Nobody followed up.
9.
Why not?
George, Fleet's testimony amounted to an opinion, not a fact. I'm sure Jim can attest to the fact that turning just a little sooner could easily have resulted in the ship striking the berg further aft, possibly in the machinery spaces or even near the stern, depending exactly when the turn is started. A ship doesn't turn like an automobile. It turns by swinging her stern outward. It's almost like driving a automotive vehicle in reverse.
 
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The following was in effect at the time of the disaster:
View attachment 76683
It leaves a lot open to interpretation. However, under the Explanatory notes and Observations to these, I found this one reference to the use of glasses:
"If the use of glasses will enable an object to be seen sooner, the neglect by the look-out to use glasses will constitute a bad look-out."

It was once available on-line but later taken down after the written transcript became available. I was lucky enough to hear these taped interviews when they were easily available. The transcript appears to be accurate and can be cited as such if need be.

You've probably been watching Pirates of the Caribbean too many times.
"You've probably been watching Pirates of the Caribbean too many times."
You would be wrong about that. I've seen the first one exactly once. Not a Depp fan. But I will admit I've seen "Captain Blood" at least a dozen times over the years.
 
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Jim Currie

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The following was in effect at the time of the disaster:
View attachment 76683
It leaves a lot open to interpretation. However, under the Explanatory notes and Observations to these, I found this one reference to the use of glasses:
"If the use of glasses will enable an object to be seen sooner, the neglect by the look-out to use glasses will constitute a bad look-out."

It was once available on-line but later taken down after the written transcript became available. I was lucky enough to hear these taped interviews when they were easily available. The transcript appears to be accurate and can be cited as such if need be.

You've probably been watching Pirates of the Caribbean too many times.
If you had used the expression "open to interpretation", to an Examiner, Sam, you would have been chucked out of the Exam Room and given sea-time (even if you challenged that coloured distress signals nonsense).
However, What is to interpret? It tells you quite simply that not even God himself will get off with it if The Rules are not complied -with. Nor will he get off with the consequences for not having followed The Rules.
The only "out" was the last sentence - Special circumstances of the case.
In fact, the Titanic disaster was a classic example of why that Rule was created.

If Smith had survived, his lawyer could have argued that his client had:

1, not neglected to show the regulation navigation lights
2. not neglected to keep a proper lookout
3. not neglected to take the precaution which might be required by the practice of ordinary seamanship.

H
owever, his coupe de gras would have been, that given the special circumstances of the case - flat calm and dangerous ice where it not normally was encounters - his client was an innocent victim of bad luck

We know from the evidence what the "ordinary practice" was in such circumstances.
A proper lookout was also covered by the ordinary, universally accepted definition and practice of good seamanship as well as common sense.
The special circumstances of the case simply means a situation not normally encountered.

The big problem here is the individual inability to recognise the difference between an instrument as a basic need for navigation and an instrument as an aid to navigation. Binoculars, in the hands of a lookout, were not even aids to navigation
 

Jim Currie

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"If the use of glasses will enable an object to be seen sooner, the neglect by the look-out to use glasses will constitute a bad look-out."

The above has nothing to do with this subject. It refers to the conduct of the lookout and has limited value in that it has to be proved that the lookout would have seen the object sooner had he used the glasses.
In our case, there were "lookouts" with and without glasses and they seem to have seen the same thing at the same time.
As has been pointed out before - height of eye had no effect on the interval between sighting and impact, so binoculars are just another red herring
 
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You need to re-read your entire pre 1783 history. I think you will find that there were very many more that a few mercenaries on land and sea involved. The French, Spanish being but two of them.
Well this has veered off from the topic. I'll take responsibility for that. The mods can delete this if they want. I would understand that. I could name many more that aided the colonists either directly or indirectly. The Dutch, Sweden, Russia...ect. Some native american tribes joined the cause too. My point was without them the american navy would not have been able to put up the fight they did and the revolution would not have been successful in the time it was. Eventually it would have been. Like all empires that proceeded it, theirs collapsed too.
 

george harris

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George, Fleet's testimony amounted to an opinion, not a fact. I'm sure Jim can attest to the fact that turning just a little sooner could easily have resulted in the ship striking the berg further aft, possibly in the machinery spaces or even near the stern, depending exactly when the turn is started. A ship doesn't turn like an automobile. It turns by swinging her stern outward. It's almost like driving a automotive vehicle in reverse.
Yes, it was his opinion, not a fact. But, would you agree that it was a reasonable opinion? After all, he was there when it happened. He was a trained lookout who had experience with binoculars and could be expected to know something about the advantages and limitations of them.

Do you (or anyone else) know if some sort of “test” was done to determine if a lookout using binoculars could see an object sooner (further away) than he could see the same object at the same distance without binoculars?

My question 9? Total silence from the Inquiry and it’s report and recommendations seems to suggest that they were faced with a dilemma, so they chose to ignore the issue of binoculars.

George
 

Arun Vajpey

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I dont agree with that statement, lack of cabins doesnt mean that there was no space on deck, hallways, engine room and even monkey Island, the vessel didnt need to sail like ajungle banana boat, just wait till Captain Rostron arrived with his ship and transfer most of the passangers.
I meant over and above those who were already in lifeboats. What I was trying to say is that over the 706 who actually survived, perhaps another 10 or so might have been rescued by the Californian had it responded immediately but I doubt even that.
 

Mike Spooner

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Seeing the endless discussion on the pros and cons on binoculars I put another angle on the subject where this should of never happen in the first place, if a Officer did his job properly!
If I was a lookout man and board the ship and always given a pair of binocular I would regard it no more than the tools of the trade. The performance and how they are used is not the point at all. It is down to who is responsibility for them and clearly hasn't done his job!
Now correct me or not wasn't it the second Officer who was in charge of binocular for the crow nest men? Dave Blair the second Officer sailing down from Belfast to Southampton was in charge of the binocular and I see there was no problem and used. The company policy was when in port the binocular is kept in the second officer cabin under lock and key. Probably for security reason as they where an expensive item.
However in Southampton there was a rather short change of notice in the Officers. Where Blair is removed off the ship and replaced by a demoted Officer Charles Lightoller from first to second Officer which he couldn't be to please about. The binocular now come under Lightoller reasonability where one has to ask did he check to see if the binoculars were there before set sailing? We hear about the missing key to the locker and all chances that Blair forgot to hand over the key. Whether the binocular where in the locker or not I can't quite get my head around it. But never a less Lightoller should of check out before set sailing.
It only when a lookout man asked for them which they always have been given out, that Lightoller will realise O dear I never check beforehand. Lightoller does have options on hand but never takes them up as followers:
1. To check for a spare key
2, No spare key found break into the locker
3. Ask the captain if they can used the spare pair reserved for the pilot whilst at sea.
It is that last question if he feels uncomfortable to ask the captain, the very man whom demoted him and would get an ear bashing for it! Or is the case by keeping your mouth shut is the safe option and hoping the captain doesn't hear about it.
 

Thomas Krom

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The company policy was when in port the binocular is kept in the second officer cabin under lock and key. Probably for security reason as they where an expensive item.
However in Southampton there was a rather short change of notice in the Officers. Where Blair is removed off the ship and replaced by a demoted Officer Charles Lightoller from first to second Officer which he couldn't be to please about. The binocular now come under Lightoller reasonability where one has to ask did he check to see if the binoculars were there before set sailing? We hear about the missing key to the locker and all chances that Blair forgot to hand over the key. Whether the binocular where in the locker or not I can't quite get my head around it. But never a less Lightoller should of check out before set sailing.
It only when a lookout man asked for them which they always have been given out, that Lightoller will realise O dear I never check beforehand. Lightoller does have options on hand but never takes them up as followers:
1. To check for a spare key
2, No spare key found break into the locker
3. Ask the captain if they can used the spare pair reserved for the pilot whilst at sea.
It is that last question if he feels uncomfortable to ask the captain, the very man whom demoted him and would get an ear bashing for it! Or is the case by keeping your mouth shut is the safe option and hoping the captain doesn't hear about it.
1621161619967.png

However keep in mind that the key former second officer Blair took with him wasn't of the binoculars locker, but rather of the crow's nest telephone. While leaving port the second officer is usually had his departure position in the crow's nest.
 
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Seumas

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Seeing the endless discussion on the pros and cons on binoculars I put another angle on the subject where this should of never happen in the first place, if a Officer did his job properly!
If I was a lookout man and board the ship and always given a pair of binocular I would regard it no more than the tools of the trade. The performance and how they are used is not the point at all. It is down to who is responsibility for them and clearly hasn't done his job!
Now correct me or not wasn't it the second Officer who was in charge of binocular for the crow nest men? Dave Blair the second Officer sailing down from Belfast to Southampton was in charge of the binocular and I see there was no problem and used. The company policy was when in port the binocular is kept in the second officer cabin under lock and key. Probably for security reason as they where an expensive item.
However in Southampton there was a rather short change of notice in the Officers. Where Blair is removed off the ship and replaced by a demoted Officer Charles Lightoller from first to second Officer which he couldn't be to please about. The binocular now come under Lightoller reasonability where one has to ask did he check to see if the binoculars were there before set sailing? We hear about the missing key to the locker and all chances that Blair forgot to hand over the key. Whether the binocular where in the locker or not I can't quite get my head around it. But never a less Lightoller should of check out before set sailing.
It only when a lookout man asked for them which they always have been given out, that Lightoller will realise O dear I never check beforehand. Lightoller does have options on hand but never takes them up as followers:
1. To check for a spare key
2, No spare key found break into the locker
3. Ask the captain if they can used the spare pair reserved for the pilot whilst at sea.
It is that last question if he feels uncomfortable to ask the captain, the very man whom demoted him and would get an ear bashing for it! Or is the case by keeping your mouth shut is the safe option and hoping the captain doesn't hear about it.
If you had bothered to read Thomas Krom's, Jim Currie's and my own posts from the previous page you would have found that every word of what you just posted is complete and utter rubbish.
 

James B

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View attachment 76687
However keep in mind that the key former second officer Blair took with him wasn't of the binoculars locker, but rather of the crow's nest telephone. While leaving port the second officer is usually had his departure position in the crow's nest.
Ok, so Blair was not to blame for the key but why didnt he tell Charles where are the binoculars? Keys should also have been handed over properly, I suspect that the human error factor played arole in the matter, both officers heads were some where else, anger and frustration may have clouded thier judgment.




The debate on if they were important is not relevent or not is as some one here likes to write alot "rubbish", the rules clearly states that proper look out should be kept, it should have been in the crows nest, binoculars were never used as ballast, they were there because the rules say proper look out sould be kept at all times other wise why bother buying them (and then hiding them so no one could find them).

I do agree and I wrote it before that the look out issue played avery small role in the fate of the Titanic, the extra few meters may have not changed the outcome, alot of things that happen before the collision were the major issue which affected and prevented the early detection and proper action the collision.
 

Jim Currie

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I wish some of you would read the evidence properly. How difficult is it to understand the following?
17494. Do you remember when the "Titanic" was leaving Belfast - you signed on the "Titanic" as look-out man, we know - were a pair of glasses given you?
A: - Yes.
Glasses were given to Hogg when the ship left Belfast
17495. For the crow's-nest? A: - Yes.
They were given to him for use in the Crow's Nest
17496. Who gave them to you, do you remember?
A: Mr. Blair, the acting Second Officer then.

The acting Second Officer Blair, gave them to Hogg. Note the use of the word "acting". This means that Blair knew he was only temporary and that when they got to Southampton he would be discharged, and the word "acting" would be written his Discharge Book. Consequently, he would not have any animosity toward his employers at that time. It was then, and for very many years thereafter, standard practice.
17498. Did you notice how they were marked?
- "Theatre, Marine and field." "Second Officer, S.S. 'Titanic.'"
The Binoculars (glasses) were dual-purpose - for outdoors and for use in a theatre, therefore were not specifically for use as an aid to visual detection at sea. They were specifically in the care of the Ship's Second Officer and not specifically for use in the Crow's Nest
17500. Was "Theatre, Marine, and field" the same?
- No, you worked them as you wanted to use them.

Unless the binoculars in question were prismatic, the field of vision was limited. Prismatic binoculars were a fairly recent innovation in 1912.
17501. When you left the ship at Southampton, what did you do with those glasses?
- Mr. Blair was in the crow's-nest and gave me his glasses, and told me to lock them up in his cabin and to return him the keys.

Blair must have been in the Crow's nest on the passage up to Southampton. Note the use of the possessive pronoun "his". These were not specifically for the Crow's Nest
17502. Who returned the keys?
- I gave them to a man named Weller, as I was busy on the forecastle head.

If Hogg was on the forecastle head at that time, he was off duty and working at the forward berthing station.
17503. As far as you were concerned, the glasses, you were told, were to be locked up in the cabin of the second Officer?
- I locked them up.

If this statement is true, then Hogg gave the glasses to Weller but forgot to give him the keys. Then after his forecastle head duty, went to the 2nd Officer's cabin and locked the binocular box - thereafter leaving the keys on the 2/Os desk or in the lock.
17504. And they were locked up. When the ship left Queenstown were there any glasses in the crow's-nest? A: - There were none when we left Southampton.
17506. When you left Southampton? A: - I did not exactly ask for them, but my mates asked for them at that time.

Hogg was told that a Lookout asked "someone" for binoculars on leaving Southampton but that man did not get them
17507. Did you ask for them at all after you left Queenstown? A: - After I left Queenstown.
17508. You personally asked for them? A: - I personally asked. 17509. - Mr. Lightoller.
17510. Will you tell us what you said to him, quite shortly, about it? A: - I said, "Where is our look-out glasses, Sir?" He made some reply, I did not exactly catch it. "Get them later," or something like that.
17511. At any rate, you did not get any? A: - I did not get any.

The evidence points to Lightoller having ben asked twice for the binoculars. leaving Southampton and Queenstown.
If Lightoller used the expression "later" with reference to getting the binoculars, that suggests that the binoculars were still on board Titanic- still locked in the box in his cabin and the that, he, Lightoller was either in his bunk when asked, or too busy to stop doing what he was doing when asked and subsequently, the question of binoculars slipped his mind.
By the same token, if the binoculars were of paramount importance to the Lookouts - why did not any one of them persist in getting them from Lightoller?


The foregoing illustrates that there were (as Thomas very clearly shows) two sets of keys and that the ones taken ashore by Blair were the ones to his cabin. How many of you have checked out of an hotel and forgotten to give back the room key?
 
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What the Titanic needed to do was pretty much what everybody else was doing: they needed to NOT be in the icefield in the first place, and take it a bit slower and easier if they found themselves in a situation were they had to have a go at it.

The Californian stopped for the night when they realized that they were in some deep doodoo, and the Mount Temple stopped short on the other side as they had specific company rules to avoid going into ice fields for any reason. For Carpathia, going in was a calculated risk...a gamble...but Captain Rostron went to a lot of trouble to mitigate that risk. Even then, with extra lookouts in place, they still almost hit something which would have gone nowhere when they tried to.

Regarding the binoculars issue which everybody seems to be hung up on: opinions obviously vary a bit on their utility. James B and I have some obvious points where we don't exactly see eye to eye and perhaps never will. That's actually alright as such experiences tend to fall into the realm of the subjective rather than the absolute. It takes a LOT of experience to correctly use binoculars to search with and even with the very best available, if you scan too quickly, it's easy to miss something.

The thing is that the instruments we enjoyed the use of...for whatever reason....had the coated and prismatic lenses which gathered light and rendered severe tunnel vision less of a problem. The instruments which the lookouts could have and most likely would have used had they been offered did not.
 
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James B

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What the Titanic needed to do was pretty much what everybody else was doing: they needed to NOT be in the icefield in the first place, and take it a bit slower and easier if they found themselves in a situation were they had to have a go at it.
Thats the only thing that would have saved the Titanic.
The Californian stopped for the night when they realized that they were in some deep doodoo, and the Mount Temple stopped short on the other side as they had specific company rules to avoid going into ice fields for any reason. For Carpathia, going in was a calculated risk...a gamble...but Captain Rostron went to a lot of trouble to mitigate that risk. Even then, with extra lookouts in place, they still almost hit something which would have gone nowhere when they tried to.
It was not agumble, he was confident with his knowledge/skills. And amature would have been able to pull it off.
 
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Oh it was a gamble alright, but it wasn't reckless. Captain Rostron knew what he was about and did as much as he could to minimize the risk. Everything I saw in his testimony told me he was very good at working things out on the fly.
 
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h it was a gamble alright, but it wasn't reckless. Captain Rostron knew what he was about and did as much as he could to minimize the risk.
He gambled with the lives of others who had no say in what he was going to do. Once icebergs were cited, and they were, the risk becomes greater, especially since the vessel he was heading for was sinking. Rostron would not have known exactly what precautions were taken beforehand on Titanic before she ran into the berg, only that she struck a berg was reported sinking. Luck was on his side, nothing else. The world would have a far different view of him if Carpathia suffered the same fate as Titanic did.
 
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James B

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He gambled with the lives of others who had no say in what he was going to do. Once icebergs were cited, and they were, the risk becomes greater, especially since the vessel he was heading for was sinking. Rostron would not have known exactly what precautions were taken beforehand on Titanic before she ran into the berg, only that she struck a berg was reported sinking. Luck was on his side, nothing else. The world would have a far different view of him if Carpathia suffered the same fate as Titanic did.
As I wrore before, he was on the bridge the whole time and he got the job done, thats the bottom line. I would rather put my faith and personal safety in the hands of Captain Rostron in asimilar situation then in the hands of Captain Smith in flat calm, full speed ahead and in aship that everyone said she couldnt sink but thats just me.
 

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