Sam, I hope you agree now that the rockets seen at 3:30 were actually not rockets themselves, but flashes at the base. So in the light of this, I believe we should take another look at 2:40 flares. Rostron was probably closer to the boats at 2:40 than you believe he was. Maybe he was close enough to see the flare. Another possibility is that he might have seen a reflection of the flare ( there were many highly reflective icebergs all around).However, the earliest that rockets were seen from those in the boats was about 45 minutes before the first boat was picked up. (See Boxhall, American inquiry p. 911). Distress rockets (actually socket signals) of the kind used on passenger vessels of the time would go to heights of 600 to 800 feet. If Carpathia started to send them up as early at 2:45am they should have been seen by those in the boats. They were not.