They had to strike the bells every thirty minutes, but during clock setback the Intervall between 7 bells and 8 bells would have been enlarged or reduced....
True, Titanic sailed in the Edwardian era, but the importance of rules and customs was only slightly changed from that earlier period.
But, that was not the way of 1912 or the conduct of Titanic’s voyage. Their system of change raised the real possibility of confusing the performance of half-hourly time checks. Hence, two clocks; one for the crew and another for passengers and official ship's time. But, that took place only during the period during which the time was changed from one day's noon to another.
-- David G. Brown
Good question, indeed. Hichens, Rowe and Fleet exspected to be releaved at 12.23 not altered time.....The question should be asked: " If the engines were useless after 11-55 pm, why on earth would the captain keep a man on the wheel for another 28 minutes when every last one was needed to clear the boats. Anyway, by 12-20 am, the boats were cleared and ready for lowering and filling.
I have some problems with the testimony of Fleet, his testimony in US looks sowewhat unsettled, unsure:Sam:
Fredrick Fleet - Lookout:
5217. How long after you had taken your place in the crow's nest? A: - The watch was nearly over. I had done the best part of the watch up in the nest.
5218. How long a watch did you have? A: - Two hours; but the time was going to be put back - that watch.
5219. The time was to be set back? A: A: - Yes, sir.
5220. Did that alter your time? A: - We were to get about 2 hours and 20 minutes.
5255. You remained in the crow's nest? A: - I remained in the crow's nest until I got relief.
5256. And Lee remained in the nest? A: - Yes.
5257. How long did you stay there? A: - About a quarter of an hour to 20 minutes after.
5258. After what? A: - After the accident.
5217. How long after you had taken your place in the crow's nest? A: - The watch was nearly over. I had done the best part of the watch up in the nest.
17318. Then did you remain on the crow's-nest? A: - Yes.
17319. Until eight bells? A: - Till eight bells went.
17320. At eight bells, in the ordinary course, you were relieved? A: - Yes.
1041. What was that you heard about the boats?Good question, indeed. Hichens, Rowe and Fleet exspected to be releaved at 12.23 not altered time.
Now have a look on the testimony of Mr Rowe:
Senator BURTON. Where were you the night of the collision?
Mr. ROWE. I felt a slight jar and looked at my watch. It was a fine night, and it was then 20 minutes to 12.
I looked toward the starboard side of the ship and saw a mass of ice. I then remained on the after bridge to await orders through the telephone. No orders came down, and I remained until 25 minutes after 12, when I saw a boat on the starboard beam.
I think Rowe is not switching between altered and unaltered time. His statement is given consequently in unaltered time. Supposed, the collision occured at 12.04 unaltered time, it is unlikly that a boat was lowered at 12.25.
Hichens was supposed to stay on duty in the wheelhouse unless new orders were given. The question is where the order to clear the boats was given, on the Bridge or outside? So Hichens did not get it, or he was forgotten similar as was Rowe.
Hello Markus,I have some problems with the testimony of Fleet, his testimony in US looks sowewhat unsettled, unsure:
Mr. FLEET. Well, I reported an iceberg right ahead, a black mass.
Senator SMITH. When did you report that?
Mr. FLEET. I could not tell you the time.
Senator SMITH. About what time?
Mr. FLEET. Just after seven bells.
--- maybe there is one anchor point here, would that be 11.30 or 11.53?
Senator SMITH. How long after you had taken your place in the crow's nest?
Mr. FLEET. The watch was nearly over. I had done the best part of the watch up in the nest.
Senator SMITH. How long a watch did you have?
Mr. FLEET. Two hours; but the time was going to be put back - that watch.
Senator SMITH. The time was to be set back?
Mr. FLEET. Yes, sir.
Senator SMITH. Did that alter your time?
Mr. FLEET. We were to get about 2 hours and 20 minutes.
Senator SMITH. How long before the collision or accident did you report ice ahead?
Mr. FLEET. I have no idea.
Senator SMITH. About how long?
Mr. FLEET. I could not say, at the rate she was going.
Senator SMITH. How fast was she going?
Mr. FLEET. I have no idea.
Senator SMITH. Would you be willing to say that you reported the presence of this iceberg an hour before the collision? Mr. FLEET. No, sir.
Senator SMITH. Forty-five minutes? Mr. FLEET. No. sir.
Senator SMITH. A half hour before? Mr. FLEET. No, sir.
Senator SMITH. Fifteen minutes before? Mr. FLEET. No, sir.
Senator SMITH. Ten minutes before?
Mr. FLEET. No, sir.
Senator SMITH. How far away was this black mass when you first saw it?
Mr. FLEET. I have no idea, sir.
Can you not give us some idea? Did it impress you as serious?
Mr. FLEET. I reported it as soon as ever I seen it.
Sam, I more or less agree with everyting.And by the way, if the clock had been put back that night then the time from 7 bells at 11:30 to 8 bells would have been 53 or 54 minutes, not the usual 30 minutes, and the accident would have happened 33 or 34 minutes after 7 bells was struck. But we have multiple sources, including lookout Lee who was up in the nest with Fleet, who said that the accident happened about 10 minutes after 11:30, not 33 or 34 minutes after.
Hello Sam.This is all starting to sound like a broken vinyl record. At the risk of repeating myself for the Nth time:
Read carefully Fleet's words in answer to the question of how long of a watch did they have. He did not say that his watch lasted two hours and twenty minutes. What he did say was that it lasted 2 hours, but they were suppose to get about 2 hours 20 minutes.. His exact words were: "Two hours; but the time was going to be put back - that watch...We were to get about 2 hours and 20 minutes." He never said they got 2 hours and 20 minutes. In the so called normal course of events, a lookout's watch up in the nest lasted 2 hours which was served fours times a day except for the 10pm to midnight lookout watch and midnight to 2am lookout watch. Those were the only ones that were either longer or shorter than normal because of the clock change that occurred around midnight.
Hichens was simply saying that he had no idea if they ever put the clock back that night. Up until the time he left the wheelhouse, at 12:23, he did not see it go back. He was very clear that he was at the wheel 1 hour and 40 minutes when three bells were struck up in the nest, and then was relieved when QM Perkis arrived at 12:23. If the clock had gone back earlier, then Perkis should have arrived by 12:00 altered time, which by the way, is what Perkis said he did; i.e., waited until he was due on deck at midnight. It was when Perkis arrived that a senior officer noticed them in the wheelhouse and ordered them to go to help clear the boats.
And by the way, if the clock had been put back that night then the time from 7 bells at 11:30 to 8 bells would have been 53 or 54 minutes, not the usual 30 minutes, and the accident would have happened 33 or 34 minutes after 7 bells was struck. But we have multiple sources, including lookout Lee who was up in the nest with Fleet, who said that the accident happened about 10 minutes after 11:30, not 33 or 34 minutes after.
As for Bosun's mate Haines, he was simply setting the record straight about when the ship struck. As Fleet said, the clock was supposed to go back during his watch on deck. Haines removed the ambiguity about the time when he said that the right time without putting the clock back was 20 minutes to twelve. He didn't say the right time without putting the clock back a second time. For me, it doesn't get any clearer.
And the other point I keep repeating is the physical evidence of the two log readings that we were given, the 45 mile advance over two hours and how it relates to the 260 miles between noon and the collision. If the time period from noon to collision was 12 hours and 4 minutes, as you and David keep insisting, then the average two hour advance of the ship through the water would have been 43.1 miles, well under what we were told. However, if the time between noon and the collision was 11 hours 40 minutes, then the average advance of the log works out to 44.6 miles, which fits right in with what we were told.
Oh, I also left out those that were waiting up in the smoking room for the clock change to occur at midnight so they could set their personal timepieces to the new time which never happened because an accident got in the way. Or those that had their watches set earlier that evening to ship's time and noticed that the ship struck at about a quarter to twelve.
Hello Jim, very good remark, I agree.Studied in the cold light of day or to be more precise, in retrospect, the evidence of both lookouts as to what they saw and when they saw it is very suspicious. However, if you examine the responses of their questioners, you will discover that they too were probing... trying to get to the truth. The persistent repetition from the questioners must have been terrifying in itself. However, put yourself inside the heads of the Lookouts, or Helmsman Hichens.
These men had just witnessed and subsequently survived the most horrifying incident in their lives up until that moment. No one in the entire world had previously seen such a thing.
Interesting point. That means deviating from normal routine 8 bells were struck at 12:00 unaltered time.As we learned from Bosun's mate Haines, the clock had not been put back yet when the ship struck at 11:40. Just looking at the clock it appeared they were due on watch in about 15 minutes time soon after the accident happened. Nobody appears to have asked if the clock had been put back or not. They went up the nest just as the clock was approaching 12:00. Once up there, 8 bells were struck as usual, and they stayed up there for about 20 minutes before attempting to call down to the bridge upon seeing people running about with belts on.
As Markus pointed out, the reason Boxhall was in the wheel house when the call from Rowe came in was that he just fired off a distress rocket. Rowe was also asked about the location of these devices:If Rowe had adjusted time and received the detonator order at 12-25 am, then the first rocket could not have been fired before he and his mate reached the bridge with the detonators. This must also have been near to the time when Boxhall had been to the Wireless Room with the revised distress position. Why else would he have been in the wheelhouse to answer the phone when everyone else was out on deck, helping with the boats?
Just to clarify the times given by Rowe. Even if he adjusted his watch back 23 minutes the 11.40 and the 12:22 are to be interpreted in unaltered time?As far as Rowe, he knew full well that the clock was to go back near midnight by about 23 minutes, ...
By the way, in a letter he wrote to Ed Kamuda of the THS in 1963, Rowe said: "At about 11:40 I was walking from starboard to port and on turning round on the port side she gave rather an odd motion which was similar to going alongside a quay a bit heavy. I looked forward and was amazed to see what I thought to be a sailing vessel it was the colour as wet canvas and I said to myself, my - we've struck a windjammer but as we passed it we were so close I saw it was an iceberg and the engines started in reverse and the vibration on the poop was something terrific, I went across to the port side and pulled in the log in case it fouled the propeller, and then all was still. My watch should have ended at 12:22 but time went by and no relief turned up."
Hello Jim, some questions,
about the bells
I am wondering whether the bells were struck on the bridge or in the crow's nest.
The was a bell on the bridge, one in the Crow's Nest and one right forward beside the anchor windlass. In the normal course of events, the stand by QM on the bridge would keep an eye on a clock in the wheel-house which was always set to actual Watch time. Remember, this was a signal to the crew, not the passengers therefore it reflected any planned alterations or parts thereof. At the appropriate moment he would go out side the covered part of the bridge and ring the bell hanging there using a fancy knotted rope specially made for that purpose. Often, these were elaborately fashioned by a respected old hand. Sometimes by a Cadet or Apprentice being trained buy such a hand.
How do we know that they did not strike the bell? If 8 bells were not struck, what did Symon hear then?
11418. Before you go on telling us what happened then, can you give us any idea what time it was when you noticed this water reaching nearly to the coamings of the hatch? - I should think, roughly estimating it,
it would be about five minutes to twelve, because, as I was on my way to the deck, so they struck eight bells in the crow's-nest.
If they did strike 8 bells in the Crow's Nest (which I seriously doubt) then they most certainly such them on the bridge first of all. Time was taken exclusively from the bridge. It was the only place where accurate time could be had. That's where the chronometers were.
May be he could not tell whether the bells sounded from the crow's nest or from the bridge, but he heared 8 bells. If the clock was not set back we must not imperatively follow that 8 bells were not struck.
Yes we must, Markus. As I pointed out, the only source of accurate time was the bridge. The 8 bells heard was an accurate signal that told everyone that those on duty on the 8 to Midnight Watch had been on duty for 4 hours and 24 minutes. It was a highly significant time signal. It told everyone that the 8 to Midnight Watch had ended and the Midnight to 4 am had started; that the day of April 14 had come to an end and that a new day, April 15 had started. They were not struck until that moment. The time on anyone watch or clock was secondary. After the end of April 14, the bell system of time notification would start all over again.
Hichens was relieved at 12.23, Rowe was waiting until 12.25. Why should'nt the standby quartermaster be able to strike 8 bells at 12.23?
There was nothing to stop him doing so providing he was indicating the precise end of April 14, the end of the Watch and the start of a new one. If,as I firmly believe, Hichens was relieved on time, then he or more than like likely his relief, QM Perkis, rang the 8 bells heard by others.
QM Rowe had 12-25 am on a partly adjusted clock when he saw the first lifeboat. Like Hichens, he should have been relieved at 12-23 am on an unaltered clock. In fact. he was relieved 25 minutes late. That being so, then when his watch showed 12-25 am. the unaltered time was 12- 48 am.
For my understanding he explains very well that Boxhall had detonators at hand before he got the phone call from Rowe. I quote from the article:
Now we shall see that Boxhall was already busy with rockets on his own when he unexpectedly got the opportunity to call up assistance.
The above quotation is the result of the analysis if the evidence of Boxhall given at the UK Inquiry. Then, Boxhall stated:
"I knew one of the boats had gone away, because I happened to be putting the firing lanyard inside the well-house after sending off a rocket, and the telephone bell rang. Somebody telephoned to say that one of the starboard boats had left the ship, and I was rather surprised."
That quotation suggests that rocket(s) had been fired before the launching of lifeboat No. 7. It does not fit with any of the available evidence which overwhelmingly indicated that the first rocket was fired about 7 minutes after the first boat was launched... 12-32 am.
I'm afraid that you make exactly the same mistake as did Seanan and others who have written on this subject... not reading the evidence carefully. Your quote comes from a combination or abstract of the US Inquiry evidence given by Boxhall in the UK 5 weeks after the event. Consider the following evidence given by Boxhall on Day 3 of the US Inquiry, barely a week after the event.
3784. How are the rockets exploded? A: - The rockets are exploded by a firing lanyard.
3785. They shower? A: - They go right up into the air and they throw stars.
3786. How strong rockets do they have on these boats - what is the charge; do you know? A: - I do not know, sir; the Board of Trade regulations govern that.
3787. Did they work satisfactorily? A: - Oh, yes.
3788. So that, so far as your manipulation of these signals and rockets was concerned - They were quite satisfactory.
3789. The failure to arouse the attention of this ship was not due to any impaired or partial success of these signals? A: - Not at all, sir.
3790. You say you continued to fire the rockets and give the signals? A:- Yes, sir.
3791. And then returned to the side of the ship? A: - Yes, sir.
3792. And assisted in the work of the lifeboats? A: - Yes, sir.
3793. All about the same time? A: - Yes, sir.
3794. Now, Mr. Boxhall, how many people were on the boat deck, the upper deck, where these lifeboats were located?
- At what time, sir?
3795. At the time you were clearing them; at the time they were lowered - the first ones were lowered? A: I do not know what time the first boat was lowered.
3796. Were you there when it was lowered? A: - I was around the bridge, but the first boat that was lowered was lowered away from aft.
3797. Lowered from aft? A: - On the starboard side. I received the communication though the telephone in the wheelhouse that the first boat had been lowered. I did not notice the time.
3798. Who lowered it? A: - I do not know who was aft.
3799. The communication did not tell you? A: - No; I do not know who it was that told me through the telephone.
Note the two different colours. These are to emphasise the fact that questions 3784 to 3793 inclusive are concerned with the nature of the rockets, how they were fired and their relationship to the mystery vessel approaching from the west. No mention of a detonator.
At question 3794. Senator Smith is finished with the rocket questions and moves on to a completely different subject...the people on the boat deck and the time when the first lifeboat was launched. At no time during this second exchange are detonators mentioned.
About Rowe, you wrote:
"Sorry, but I do not feel well about this. Rowe's watch ended at 12.00 adjusted time.
Do you think he was waiting another 25 minutes beyond the end of his watch? After 4 h 23 beeing on watch?"
Under normal circumstances, Rowe would have waited until 12-10 am by his watch. Then he would have called the bridge and reported that his relief was late. This would have initiated a search for QM Bright. However things were not normal. He knew that there was a possibility that due ti there being something wrong, QM Bright might have been employed elsewhere. I suspect his call to the bridge was less to do with telling them they had last a lifeboat and all to do with initiating an explanation as to why e had not been relieved.
Incidentally: Bright told his questioners that when he and Rowe arrived on the bridge with the detonators, he, Rowe, and Boxhall were employed sending up distress signals... about 7 minutes after the phone call?