Hanna Turunen

Hello! Can you tell me all duties what Lightoller had got in Titanic, please?
David G. Brown

David G. Brown


Lightoller was 2nd Officer, so he took the 6 to 10 watch, AM and PM. He was preceeded on the 2 to 6 by Chief Officer Wilde, and followed by 1st Officer Murdoch on the 10 to 6 watch. When on duty, the ship's senior officers were governed by articles 251 through 260 of the IMM/White Star company rulebook. A few of the key rules are given below:


152 Station.--At sea the station of the Officer of the Watch is on the Bridge, which he must on no account leave, either night or day, without being relieved.
When the Watch is changed, the Officer who is being relieved will remain on the Bridge and in charg during the change; he will see that the seamen placed as look-outs do not quit their posts until relieved, and he must deliver to the Officer relieving him all orders which have still to be excuted. He is the responsible Officer until he leaves the Bridge, and must not leave the Bridge until the Officer relieving him has had time to familiarize himself with his surroundings.

252 Duties. (a) He must remember that his first duty is to keep a good look-out, and avoid running into danger, and though it is desirable to obtain the position of the ship as often as possible, he must on no account neglect his look-out to do so. He must also preserve order in the ship.
(b) He must not alter the course without consulting the Commander, unles to avoid some sudden danger, risk of collision, etc.
(c) When he believes the ship to be running into danger it is his duty to act at once up on his own responsibility, at the same time he will immediately pass the word to call the Commander.
(d) When it is his duty to alter the course for some approaching or crossing vessel, he must do so in plety of time, signify by sound signals such alteration, and give such vessel a wide berth.
(e) He must call the Commander at once if it becomes foggy, hazy, if he does not think he can seea safe distance, or if in doubt about anything.
(f) He is expected to make himself thoroughly conversant with the usual Channel courses and to be throroughly posted in the run of the ship. Any doubt he may have as to the safety of the position of the ship or of the course steered he will immediately express to the Commander in a respectful manner.

253 Steering and Compasses. -- He must pay particular attention to the steering and the course the ship makes. He must steady the ship on hear course by standard ever half-hour, and must compare the compasses every Watch, the comparisons to be entered in the Compass Comparison Book for reference. He will also ascertain the deviation as often as possible."

In addition to the above, as Second Officer, Lightoller was given specific instructions in articles 351 and 352:

"351 Duties -- The Second Officer will have charge of a Watch, and attend to the duties of Watch Officer.

352 Duties in Port.-- The second officer will, under the direction of the Chief Officer, share with the First or senior Second Officer the responsibility for the holds, will examine them carefully after cargo has been discharged, see that holds, bilges, etc., are properly cleaned, and great care must be exercised to see that no packages are overlooked between ports. He will give a written report of his examination to the Chief Officer. He will be responsible for any special cargo designated by the Management stowed in the holds under his charge, and he will watch such cargo carefull until it is locked or covered up and the same Officer who has seen it loaded must see it unloaded at port of discharge."

Each officer had "rounds" of the ship to be made after he was relieved from the Bridge. According to Lightoller, his took about an hour after he went off duty.

-- David G. Brown