Captain Rostron


William Oakes

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William (or is it Bill), te nada.:cool: I have been insulted by experts (few on this site). I also have a skin like a rhino.
Thank you for sharing with me about the sea anchor, I learned something new from you.
I'm Bill.
My brother's name was Jim... cancer took him at age 47... but I digress.
I kindof thought that you weren't offended.
A man who has seen and done as much as you doesn't get offended.
From one Rhinocerous to Another, cheers my friend.
 

Jim Currie

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Thank you for sharing with me about the sea anchor, I learned something new from you.
I'm Bill.
My brother's name was Jim... cancer took him at age 47... but I digress.
I kindof thought that you weren't offended.
A man who has seen and done as much as you doesn't get offended.
From one Rhinocerous to Another, cheers my friend.
Cheers! We really should not get our knickers in a twist about long-dead individuals. But to a cantankerous old fart like me, this site is a life-line (Thanks Phil for your idea):D:D:D:D:D, and thanks Bill for your understanding.;)
 
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I would have to look that up. When he joined-up, he was in the cavalry - The Greys - and had a grey horse. Great stories about them in the book. Then when they ran out of men, he was transferred to a few other mobs before ending up in the Argylls. His Youngest brother was also in the Argylls. I have a plaque of all 5 with silhouettes and regiments and a newspaper cutting about a battle they were in somewhere. I'll dig it out and let you know. Half my stuff is still in packing boxes after my move from the Island,. My Dad was also in the Argylls Home Guard in WW2 "too old for the bun-fight"he used to say. :D
Same with one of my grandfathers. He had retired right before WW2 as a Chief Carpenters Mate and he got called back to duty. I don't think they had to call him back very hard. But because he was up there in military years he ended up being an instructor or something. One of my great uncles flew with Eddie Rickenbacker in his squadron but I never got to meet him. Would have liked to have chatted with him. That would have been interesting.
 
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Paul Burrell

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You and your cohorts completely miss the point...Rostron, by his actions, turned that rescue mission into a competition to see who would get there first. All the ships responding to the SOS had wireless, so ask yourself: why was Rostron keeping radio silence?
The truth that you and your pals are studiously ignoring, is that if Rostron hadn't been such a poor navigator, he would never have got there and if someone else hadn't had the idea of green flares he would have ended up where everyone else did... at the wrong place. HE GOT THERE BY LUCK - NOT SKILL.
Additionally; how much praise did Rostron afford his own crew at both Inquiries? I'll tell you NONE! His evidence was filled with personal pronouns me, me, me...I, I, I
As for your ideas on life boat survival. You should try it some time.
If you "think" concerning a subject, then you must surely base your thoughts on a modicum of knowledge of that subject. However the results of your "thoughts" illustrate a profound lack of knowledge of the subject "Survival at Sea" All sizes and shapes of humans have survived miraculous journeys in open boats in all parts of the world.
Oh! and a sea anchor is simply a canvas cone-shaped bag with a hole in the end at the end of a painter about three or four lengths of the boat. It never touched the sea bed. If it did, it would be as much use as a chocolate fireguard.
If you don't want an argument then don't post bland statements disguised as fact.
I think any rescuer would have had to be lucky to reach the survivors given Boxhall’s distress position was wrong
 

Jim Currie

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I think any rescuer would have had to be lucky to reach the survivors given Boxhall’s distress position was wrong
Not really, Paul. Captain Lord of the Californian would have found them.

When Lord received the confirmation of Titanic being in distress, it was 6 am. However, he had been on the upper bridge with Groves before midnight the previous day and although he claimed he did not know the exact bearing of the nearby vessel until much later, he knew it had been in a SE'ly direction. Yet at 6 am he was being told of a vessel in distress in a SSW'ly direction This would have created a dilemma - go left or right?
However, he called for, and got confirmation of, Boxhall's distress position and thereafter, made for it.

As he neared Mount Temple, he would realise that something was wrong.( More soul searching by Lord?)
Apart from an unclear first message from the Frankfurt - by 7 am that morning, there was still no confirmation that Titanic had sunk. There was no sign of Titanic herself nor were there any signs of the recent disaster at the distress position. Consequently, as far as Lord and others knew, Titanic was still afloat.
Incidentally. this idea was fair, since Rostron was keeping silent about it.
At around that time, Lord would call for confirmation of the bearing of the nearby vessel and the "rockets" seen in her direction during the early hours of the morning. As soon as this was confirmed. it would, in turn, confirm his suspicion that what Stone and Gibson had seen was indeed Titanic's call for help and that the distress position given by Boxhall was too far to the west.
He would not have guessed the true distress position, but would have calculated it from his 10-21 pm April 14, stopped position.
In fact, Lord and Moore of the Mount Temple stated under oath that they did not think the distress position was correct.

Consequently, Lord's skill - not luck - would have discovered the survivors at about 8-30 pm that morning...and without the aid of green lights.

More to the point: Rostron must have known from very early on, that several vessels had diverted to come to the aid of Titanic, yet he did not think to keep everyone updated from 4 am until almost 8 am. Why?
 

Arun Vajpey

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Consequently, Lord's skill - not luck - would have discovered the survivors at about 8-30 pm that morning...and without the aid of green lights.
There is too much "favourable bias" and supposition involved in that claim. If Lord was such a good and skilled Captain, whay did he not order his wireless operator woken up to check what was going on? It did not matter that the messages that Lord received were unclear and/or conflicting; any man of even average intelligence would have known something was amiss and since Lord knew that they were in the middle of an ice field, the least he could have done was to get his wireless op to check. If all was well, Evans could have gone back to bed and Lord relaxed in the chart room as he was doing before.

For reasons best known to himself, Captain Lord did not take that simple step. No matter which way you try to cover-up for him Jim, you will not convince the majority that there was no laxity on board the Californian that night, something even Lord himself admitted.. Yes, any action that Lord could have taken probably would not have made much difference, but that's besides the point. Claiming that he would have "eventually" discovered the lifeboats later that morning is a bit like the old horse and stable door story.

Rostron might not have done everything by the book that night and morning, but he did rescue every one of the survivors bar those who were already dead or dying due to exposure. There might have been some luck involved but to claim that he was a pompous fool who did everything wrong and somehow got away with it will not wash, again no matter how hard you try. Such things simply do not happen in real life.

You'll excuse me for saying so, but your previous post seems to suggest that personally you are sorry that it was Rostron and not Lord who saved all those people. Please tell me Jim, would your sentiments have been the same if one or more of your loved ones had been on the Titanic?
 
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James B

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There is too much "favourable bias" and supposition involved in that claim. If Lord was such a good and skilled Captain, whay did he not order his wireless operator woken up to check what was going on? It did not matter that the messages that Lord received were unclear and/or conflicting; any man of even average intelligence would have known something was amiss and since Lord knew that they were in the middle of an ice field, the least he could have done was to get his wireless op to check. If all was well, Evans could have gone back to bed and Lord relaxed in the chart room as he was doing before.

For reasons best known to himself, Captain Lord did not take that simple step. No matter which way you try to cover-up for him Jim, you will not convince the majority that there was no laxity on board the Californian that night, something even Lord himself admitted.. Yes, any action that Lord could have taken probably would not have made much difference, but that's besides the point. Claiming that he would have "eventually" discovered the lifeboats later that morning is a bit like the old horse and stable door story.

Rostron might not have done everything by the book that night and morning, but he did rescue every one of the survivors bar those who were already dead or dying due to exposure. There might have been some luck involved but to claim that he was a pompous fool who did everything wrong and somehow got away with it will not wash, again no matter how hard you try. Such things simply do not happen in real life.

You'll excuse me for saying so, but your previous post seems to suggest that personally you are sorry that it was Rostron and not Lord who saved all those people. Please tell me Jim, would your sentiments have been the same if one or more of your loved ones had been on the Titanic?
Let it go, its alost cause, if Rostron was from Scotland there wouldnt be any debate.
 
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Arun Vajpey

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Let it go, its a lost cause, if Rostron was from Scotland there wouldnt be any debate.
I don't think that comes into it. By an odd coincidence, both Rostron and Lord were born in Bolton, which was then a part of Lancashire unless I am mistaken and closer to Glasgow than London (16 miles closer by road ;) )
 
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James B

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I don't think that comes into it. By an odd coincidence, both Rostron and Lord were born in Bolton, which was then a part of Lancashire unless I am mistaken and closer to Glasgow than London (16 miles closer by road ;) )
One was ahero, an enemy, the other was called a zero (easier to like if you had ahidden agenda).
 

Julian Atkins

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I would like to think we could have a reasonable considered debate about Rostron and concentrating on the facts.

Jim is well known as being provocative on here ... I won't comment further though I could do.

Jim's comment that Rostron was in some kind of competition to get to Titanic I don't think makes sense, nor that it was thought Titanic had not sunk.

Durrant made clear in his testimony to the British Inquiry that at 5.15am (Californian time) on the 15th April he told Evans that Titanic had sunk.

Rostron and Cottam ought I suggest to have concluded exactly the same as Durrant had.

Rostron didn't in my view institute a period of radio silence. We don't know the full facts. We know that the Carpathia ignored many wireless messages that early morning and Cottam didn't send out another message till after all the boats had been rescued. My supposition is that Rostron told Cottam to get some 'kip' and breakfast. I have no evidence for this, but neither has Jim's suggestion that Rostron called for radio silence.

What we do know is that Cottam was subsequently exhausted and Bride (ill, and with frost bitten feet) was asked to help Cottam.

As for the suggestion of Rostron being aware of "competition" I don't think this can be substantiated. The only other possible contender was the Mount Temple. Everyone else via the Marconi set was too far away to be any "competition".

What we also know is that the Carpathia had quite an old Marconi set, and in the Smithsonian is a duff capacitor off the Carpathia when the set was repaired when it got to New York.
 
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Jim Currie

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There is too much "favourable bias" and supposition involved in that claim. If Lord was such a good and skilled Captain, whay did he not order his wireless operator woken up to check what was going on? It did not matter that the messages that Lord received were unclear and/or conflicting; any man of even average intelligence would have known something was amiss and since Lord knew that they were in the middle of an ice field, the least he could have done was to get his wireless op to check. If all was well, Evans could have gone back to bed and Lord relaxed in the chart room as he was doing before.

For reasons best known to himself, Captain Lord did not take that simple step. No matter which way you try to cover-up for him Jim, you will not convince the majority that there was no laxity on board the Californian that night, something even Lord himself admitted.. Yes, any action that Lord could have taken probably would not have made much difference, but that's besides the point. Claiming that he would have "eventually" discovered the lifeboats later that morning is a bit like the old horse and stable door story.

Rostron might not have done everything by the book that night and morning, but he did rescue every one of the survivors bar those who were already dead or dying due to exposure. There might have been some luck involved but to claim that he was a pompous fool who did everything wrong and somehow got away with it will not wash, again no matter how hard you try. Such things simply do not happen in real life.

You'll excuse me for saying so, but your previous post seems to suggest that personally you are sorry that it was Rostron and not Lord who saved all those people. Please tell me Jim, would your sentiments have been the same if one or more of your loved ones had been on the Titanic?
Read the evidence properly, Arun.

1. The nearby vessel had been stopped and in sight for at least an hour and despite attempts to contact her in the normal way, refused to answer. Such a vessel is not in distress.
2. Lord was told about a single rocket, in the direction of, not from the nearby vessel.
3. The description given to him did not fit a distress rocket.
4. Under the foregoing conditions, only an idiot who did not trust his officer would have called the W/O at that juncture. In any case, if Lord had called Evans after the first sighting, Lord would have made the same decision as he made at 6 am, and he would have disregarded the rockets seen and tried to push through the ice to the wrong place. :eek:
5. Paul alluded to luck being relative to all players finding the survivors Lord did not rely on luck and that is what I was pointing out. He simply put 2 and 2 together and got 4.
6. try not to be so personal in your observations. I assess Rostron as a professional, not as a movie-goer or an avid penny dreadful reader. My assessment of the man as a navigator and a seaman has nothing whatsoever to do with how many people he saved. He is, in fact, the last of many such individuals and ship's crew actions I have assessed for Lloyds Underwriters over the years. This time I have done it free of charge.

A "without prejudice" assessment shows that Rostron rescued all these folk despite his actions, rather than because of them. If that is not true then show me why.
7. Likewise, with Lord. I view his case without prejudice. My professional assessment of that man's abilities and actions is that he acted in accordance with the degree of urgency indicated by the information he received. If my professional assessment does not agree with the ideas of laypersons who much prefer the "pointing finger" approach, then so be it. It is, as they say, no skin off my nose.
8. My assessments of Rostron and Lord would be the same, regardless of your question.

Stay safe.
 
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James B

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As for the suggestion of Rostron being aware of "competition" I don't think this can be substantiated. The only other possible contender was the Mount Temple. Everyone else via the Marconi set was too far away to be any "competition".
The only thing I could think of that could mybe make sense is that he was after personal glory, mybe back then in anone politicly correct world it was considered as an opportunity to make aname for himself, Charles lightoller mentioned that "Lord missed an opportunity" so it made me try to think from adiffrent angle but there is no proof so I didnt even try to raise the subject in order not to make wild guesses against a dead man, may he rest in peace, that cant defend himself. If some one looked for a negative he would find it even in some one with the purist intensions, noting is certain but the end result which is he saved hundreds of people so I will give Captain Rostron the benfit of the doubt, he earned it.
 

Jim Currie

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I would like to think we could have a reasonable considered debate about Rostron and concentrating on the facts.

Jim is well known as being provocative on here ... I won't comment further though I could do.

Jim's comment that Rostron was in some kind of competition to get to Titanic I don't think makes sense, nor that it was thought Titanic had not sunk.

Durrant made clear in his testimony to the British Inquiry that at 5.15am (Californian time) on the 15th April he told Evans that Titanic had sunk.

Rostron and Cottam ought I suggest to have concluded exactly the same as Durrant had.

Rostron didn't in my view institute a period of radio silence. We don't know the full facts. We know that the Carpathia ignored many wireless messages that early morning and Cottam didn't send out another message till after all the boats had been rescued. My supposition is that Rostron told Cottam to get some 'kip' and breakfast. I have no evidence for this, but neither has Jim's suggestion that Rostron called for radio silence.

What we do know is that Cottam was subsequently exhausted and Bride (ill, and with frost bitten feet) was asked to help Cottam.

As for the suggestion of Rostron being aware of "competition" I don't think this can be substantiated. The only other possible contender was the Mount Temple. Everyone else via the Marconi set was too far away to be any "competition".

What we also know is that the Carpathia had quite an old Marconi set, and in the Smithsonian is a duff capacitor off the Carpathia when the set was repaired when it got to New York.
Who me? Provocative?:eek:

Think before you write, Julian. Or read the evidence in full.
Rostron: Day 1 US Inquiry:
"At 2:40, I saw a flare, about half a point on the port bow, and immediately took it for granted that it was the Titanic itself, and I remarked that she must be still afloat, as I knew we were a long way off, and it seemed so high."

Think about it! By 2-40 am, Carpathia had been underway at full speed for 2 hours yet Rostron thought she must still be afloat. So tell me when did he know she had sunk?

Durrant could not have known that Titanic had sunk until 6-45 am; According to his PV.he last heard Carpathia calling Titanic at 2 pm EST.
"
2.00M.P.A. calls M.G.Y.

At that time, Titanic had already sunk, so why would Carpathia be calling her? incidentally, 2 pm EST was 3-46 am Carpathia time and by then she was about 4 miles from Boxhall. (remember my word about Marconi and the mafia;)).
In addition, the same PV shows that Durrant had no further contact with Carpathia, nor was she heard on the air-waves for another 4 hours, until 6-45 am -
4 3/4 hours wireless silence. yet everyone else was listening in the whole time...Durrant in particular. and the operators on Frankfurt, Birma, Olympic and Baltic to name but 4.
 

Arun Vajpey

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Lord was told about a single rocket, in the direction of, not from the nearby vessel.
3. The description given to him did not fit a distress rocket.
4. Under the foregoing conditions, only an idiot who did not trust his officer would have called the W/O at that juncture. In any case, if Lord had called Evans after the first sighting, Lord would have made the same decision as he made at 6 am, and he would have disregarded the rockets seen and tried to push through the ice to the wrong place
I am sorry Jim, but that will NOT wash, not even a little. Remember, we are dealing with human conjectures and reactions here and not just nautical regulations and SOPs.

Lord had rightly stopped his ship because he considered it too risky to continue through the ice field at night. That act already placed him and his ship at the lower level of "alert" ie there was a risk factor involved around them and in the general part of the ocean. The fact that Lord was not sleeping in his cabin but resting in uniform in the chart room also suggests that the situation was not routine.

There is too much discrepancy in what the Californian's officers and crew claimed they told Lord and what he claimed he was told. That is all in the testimony which all of us have read and so let us not waste space and time going through all that again; I am sure you know what I mean. But in choosing to believe only certain aspects of their statements - the ones that support your theory - you are displaying confirmation bias (Thanks Sam, for correcting me).

Suffice it to say that at the very least, Lord should have known that something out of the ordinary was going on. Under those circumstances, it would be a simple and expected duty to wake the wireless op and get him to check. There is nothing difficult or 'idiotic' about that; in fact, Lord's failure to order Evans to check was an idiotic act. No matter how hard you try, you are not going to convince most people that there was no need to check. The late Leslie Harrison (now, there was a pompous fool; I saw him on TV and read his book) might have agreed with you.


My assessments of Rostron and Lord would be the same, regardless of your question.
Are you not being a tad evasive here Jim? OK, I'll ask the question again; let us forget about your assessment of Lord or Rostron for a moment.

If you were a very senior Cunard official on board the Carpathia and Rostron had just informed you about the distress call from the Titanic on which your family were passengers, what would be your reaction? If Rostron told you that he was going to proceed to the position given with all possible haste (as he actually did) would you try to request him otherwise? (let us consider Rostron's rejoinder to you as immaterial)
 
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Arun Vajpey

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As for the suggestion of Rostron being aware of "competition" I don't think this can be substantiated.
Competition? Is that not rather silly and unprofessional where saving of human lives was involved? I would have thought that the first and only objective was to rescue the Titanic's survivors, not by whom. If Captain A got to them first and rescued them ahead of Captain B, the latter's first sentiment would be relief and then to congratulate his opposite number.

Conditions were very different yes, but I have not read anywhere that the various craft that went to the aid of Lusitania's survivors 3 years later were 'competing' with one another. I would have thought mutual co-operation would be more appropriate.

A "without prejudice" assessment shows that Rostron rescued all these folk despite his actions, rather than because of them
Jim, that comment in itself is prejudiced IMO.
 

James B

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Competition? Is that not rather silly and unprofessional where saving of human lives was involved? I would have thought that the first and only objective was to rescue the Titanic's survivors, not by whom. If Captain A got to them first and rescued them ahead of Captain B, the latter's first sentiment would be relief and then to congratulate his opposite number.
The option that he did it out of true care and compassion doesnt even exist in other opinions, I guess that you need to undersand these 2 words first in order to think about it after in every aspect of life.

To write that Capt Lord thought about salvage so Capt Rostron thought about it too is not prejudice? It equals to to tread which brought up atheory that 1st officer Murdoch was drunk, why ? Because of his nationality? because all seamen drink? I was against that tread not only because it was based on prejudice but because it lacked basic understanding on Ship handling and maneuvering to understand Murdoch couldnt avoided the collision. There was another ironic speculative claim that if Murdoch wouldnt have taken action at all (it would have happened theoritcly if he was in fact asleep) and the ship would have stroke the ice berg head on she wouldnt have sank and fewer people have died, I also dont agree with that theory, after the initial head on impact her hull would have brushed against the ice berg in the same manner but with greater force causing greater damage/ flooding. This kind of action could have realistic if by some miracle the speed would have dropped at once to 6-10 knots, below that it would have been just another marine accident.

While knowledge is clearly not the issue here, the lack of compassion to the survivours which on the good grace of Capt Rostron who risked his ship and his reputation to saved them were spared from "just afew hours more" (as if they were waiting in line for aconcert or to buy the latest edition of Nike shoes) of uncertainty and even death of those who were old or weak to endure the experiance is mind boggling. There are other ways to prove apoint, destroying adead mans reputiation and his good name is not one of them.

Written without prejudice.
 
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