It is well known that 4th Officer Boxhall and Captain Smith made a mess of working out where

*Titanic*was when she hit the iceberg.

Captain Smith placed her at Latitude 41-44;North, Longitude 50-24'West, Boxhall placed her at Latitude 41-46'North, Longitude 50-14'West. In fact, the wreck is situated at Latitude 41-44'North, Longitude 49-57'West. There are finer definitions but round numbers will do for this.

It can be seen that Captain Smith was nearest with his latitude but his Longitude is almost exactly 20 miles too far to the West. His is the easiest mistake to explain.

In his BBC Interview in 1962, Boxhall said that Captain Smith told him he had used the ship's estimated position for 8 pm that night as the basis for calculating a distress position. Boxhall told him he was wrong. "She was about 20 miles AHEAD of that sir". But in that interview, Boxhall's memory was possibly partly influenced by the 1950's film, "A night to Remember" since he had been an adviser to the film maker. What if he was mixed-up? What if it was the

*8 pm estimated*position that was 20 miles ahead of the actual one calculated from star sights?

I tried this. When this theory is aplied to Captain Smith's distress position of 41-44'North, 50-24'West. we arrive at the position of 41.45.7 'North, 49.57.2 'West.. a point in the same Longitude and 1.7 miles to the north of where Titanic's wreck now lies. I think that's fairly conclusive.

But what about Boxhall's faux pas? How did he get it so wrong?

Boxhall said that he used the star fix position for 7-30pm (Probably 7-38pm) that night as his base and used a speed of 22 knots from there to a time of 11-45pm. He does not say what run or lapsed time he used but I believe he used the run time of 7-38pm to 11-45pm plus 48 minutes.. a total of 4 hours 50 minutes. The extra 48 minutes consisted of double the planned clock set-back of 24 minutes. His mistake was two-fold. He used he wrong speed and he compensated twice for a 24 minute clock set-back carried out by 5th Officer Moody before he, Boxhall arrived back on the bridge.

Over to you.

Jim C.