How Far South did the Titanic Reach?

Nov 26, 2016
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True, Titanic sailed in the Edwardian era, but the importance of rules and customs was only slightly changed from that earlier period.
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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
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.
The log was read every two hours, but the last reading will cover an Intervall of 2 hours 23 minutes or 1 hour 37 minutes. So i think, the same can be done with the time Intervalls for compass check. I do not see why they need a separate time keeping procedure for that?
 

Jim Currie

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Apr 16, 2008
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Sam:

David wrote:
"There is too much crew testimony about the ship striking the iceberg some 20 minutes before change of watch to dispute this."[ a partial clock change.]

You replied:
"As you know, I do dispute this assertion. I do believe many who were awakened may have thought that they were due on watch in 20 minutes time, but those who were on duty and most aware of the true time such as Hichens and Haines knew otherwise."

Your belief is based on what? On what principal, do you believe crew members who were awake 5 minutes or even 10 minutes after the event were so stupid as to continue to be mistaken as to the time and when they were due on duty?

You declare that Hichens knew otherwise. That's rubbish and you know it. Hichens was perfectly honest on the subject of clock change. Do I need to remind you? I think not. However, I will make sure that those who may have short memories are reminded: Hichens clearly stated:

"I do not know whether they put the clock back or not. The clock was to go back that night 47 minutes, 23 minutes in one watch and 24 in the other."

What part of the foregoing illustrates Hichens's knowledge of a clock change?

Then there's the 'old sweetie'... the evidence of Assistant Bosun Haines.

Haines was in charge of the Starboard Watch.. the Watch on duty. It's members were to get an extra 24 minutes. He was not asked about a clock change, he simply volunteered information about a change.
None of us know whether he was referring to a full or partial change. However we must presume that he was perfectly aware that a change was to take place when he went off Watch at Midnight,. Therefore, the right time for the starboard Watch when impact took place, was 20 minutes to 12 without a change in the clock as it was then.

"but those who were on duty and most aware of the true time........................... knew otherwise."

They certainly did Sam. So why do you deny the following?

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.

In your post to David you wrote:

As you can see from the logbook pages in post #216 above, what you call true midnight (when the date changes) occurs at the end of the 12th hour of the PM when 8 bells are struck. In the case of Titanic that was to happen at 12 hours 23 (or 24) minutes after local apparent noon of April 14.

So can we now cut out this nonsense and agree that Lookouts Fleet and Lee were relieved in the Crows Nest at 12 Midnight...8 bells...20 minutes after impact...3:23 am GMT, April 15?
That the first CQD was received 3 minutes earlier at 11-57 pm. ship, 3:20 am GMT April 15, 10:20 pm EST New York?
That Bxoshall's CQD was received 5 minutes later at 12-02 am ship, 3:25 am GMT April 15, 10:25 pm EST New York?




 
Nov 26, 2016
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....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.
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.
 
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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.
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.
Senator SMITH.
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.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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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.
 

Jim Currie

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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.
1041. What was that you heard about the boats?
- I heard the Captain say "Get all the boats out and serve out the belts." That was after 12.
Hichens
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.
Senator SMITH.
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.
Hello Markus,

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. The newspapers, like this site, were full of ill-informed accusations directed in all directions.
However, unlike all of the other survivors, Fleet and Lee were the only ones who, in the vernacular, "Saw it coming". We have seen movies whereby the hero blames him or herself for the death of someone. If Fleet and Lee felt they should have seen that iceberg earlier, how must they have felt? The series of questions and answers you quoted answer that question.
 
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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.
Sam, I more or less agree with everyting.
The Overall Impression of reading the testimonies is, the persons of relieved watch exspected to be relieved at 12.23 equivalent with 8 bells, the persons of relieving watch intended to go on duty at 12 o'clock equivalent with 8 bells.
I think 8 bells were struck, and the time between 7 and 8 bells was 53 (or 54) minutes. See Symons, Br11418

Here some quotes from lookout George Symons:
11355. You heard afterwards what the time was? - Yes, I did not know the time then.
11356. What time was this? - By the time I got on deck it must have been about one bell, a quarter to twelve.
-- that would be 12.08 in unaltered time --
11359. What did you do when you got on deck? - I came on deck and I went into the mess room in the course of ordinary events to see if there was any coffee. From there I heard the water coming in to No. 1 hold. I looked down No. 1 hold, and hardly had I looked down there when the order came for "All hands on the boat deck."
11360. You said you looked down No. 1 hold. Before you got that order, "All hands on the boat deck," had you seen any water? - Yes, water coming in No. 1.
...
11417. When you got on to the boat deck, what order did you get then? - The order I got on the boat deck from Mr. Murdoch, and also the boatswain was, they gave an order to uncover the boats and get the falls out. I assisted generally in the boats on the starboard fore end, 3, 5, and 7.
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.
-- 12.23 unaltered time --

11721. I suppose this is what you are referring to, My Lord, I am now referring to his deposition made on 2nd May, 1912. The only passages I find which refer to this at all are these, and I think they contain the part he now wants to correct. It is quite short. It Begins: "Shortly after I had got on the boat deck I noticed rockets being fired at very frequent intervals from the bridge, Morse signals being used; and at about 12.30 I saw about one point on the port bow distant some five or six miles a light which I took to be the stern light of a cod bank fisherman."
That is right? - That is right.

This will put the start time for rockets beeing fired somewhere at 12.23, 8 bells.
The problem with the time arises as soon as we try to merge CQD and rockets seen from Californian with ship's time.

Reading the testimonies of Rowe, Hichens, Fleet the conclusion will be, no clocks were set back, and ship's time is 1.57 or 2.02 fast of new York time.
This will place the first CQD at 12.25! ship's time, and Boxhall's corrected Position at 12.35.
Stone, Gibson and Gill saw rockets between 0.40 and 1 .40 Californian time, this will be 0.50 to 1.50 Titanic ship's time.
Strange, 1 hour 10 minutes after the collision they would have started firing rockets.

Lightollers 1 h 33 minutes conversion does not match with the assumption that clocks were not altered, but it gives fairly reasonable results concerning the CDQ and the rockets:
First CQD: 11.58, corrected Position: 00.08.
To match the rockets, instead of stepping 10 minutes forward go back 17 minutes from Californian time:
Stone, Gibson and Gill saw rockets between 0.40 and 1 .40 Californian time, this now will be 0.23 to 1.23 Titanic ship's time.

Let's do a cross check with Boxhall's testimony:
15378. We have been told that at some time you called the other Officers; both Mr. Lightoller and Mr. Pitman said you called them? - I did. That was after I reported to the Captain about the mail room.
15379. Could you form any opinion as to how long that was after the impact? - No, but as near as I could judge; I have tried to place the time for it, and the nearest I can get to it is approximately 20 minutes to half-an-hour.
-- 12.00 til 12.10 --

15384. When the order was given to clear the boats what did you do; did you go to any particular boat?
- No, I went right along the line of boats and I saw the men starting, the watch on deck, our watch.
15385. Which side of the ship? - The port side, I went along the port side, and afterwards I was down the starboard side as well but for how long I cannot remember. I was unlacing covers on the port side myself and I saw a lot of men come along - the watch I presume. They started to screw some out on the afterpart of the port side; I was just going along there and seeing all the men were well established with their work, well under way with it, and I heard someone report a light, a light ahead. I went on the bridge and had a look to see what the light was.
15386. Someone reported a light ahead?
- Yes; I do not know who reported it. There were quite a lot of men on the bridge at the time.
15387. Did you see the light? - Yes, I saw a light.
15388. What sort of light was it? - It was two masthead lights of a steamer. But before I saw this light I went to the chart room and worked out the ship's Position.
....
15390. Was it after that you saw this light?
- It was after that, yes, because I must have been to the marconi office with the position after I saw the light.
--- 12.08 time for corrected Position -- Boxhall knew there was a light, therefore it makes sense to send rockets now and not to wait until 12.50.
15391. You took it to the marconi office in order that it might be sent by the wireless operator? - I submitted the position to the Captain first, and he told me to take it to the marconi room.
15392. And then you saw this light which you say looked like a masthead light? - Yes, it was two masthead lights of a Steamer.
15393. Could you see it distinctly with the naked eye? - No, I could see the light with the naked eye, but I could not define what it was, but by the aid of a pair of glasses I found it was the two masthead lights of a vessel, probably about half a point on the port bow, and in the position she would be showing her red if it were visible, but she was too far off then.
15394. Could you see how far off she was? - No, I could not see, but I had sent in the meantime for some rockets, and told the Captain I had sent for some rockets, and told him I would send them off, and told him when I saw this light. He said, "Yes, carry on with it." I was sending rockets off and watching this steamer.

To solve this never ending time problem we need a version which combines in some way the case that clocks were not set back, but ship's time has to be converted in NYT with 1 h 33 minutes.
 

Jim Currie

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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 Sam.

There is an old saying that if you keep repeating the same thing, people will begin to believe you. However, repeating the same thing over and over again does not make it the truth.

I suggest you take your own advice and stop selectively accepting evidence. In case you did not know it, an Attorney does not ask random questions... he asks them at random, However he has a purpose in asking them. Now I suggest you read the following exchange carefully in the light of that knowledge.

The Senator simply wanted to know how long it was, after impact that Fleet saw the iceberg, not the length of Fleets duty time. I suggest to you that Fleet had a guilt complex and attempted to divert the line of questioning away from answers that might in some way suggest that he was a cause of the disaster. In the following exchange he tells us two things. (1) that his time in the Crow's Nest was nearly over and that he was to be up there for about 2 hours and 20 minutes.

" "Senator SMITH.: How long after you had taken your place in the crow's nest [did you see the iceberg]? A: The watch was nearly over. I had done the best part of the watch up in the nest.... We were to get about 2 hours and 20 minutes."

Since the time of impact was 11-40 pm, that would tell his questioner that if his time up there was nearly over, he did not have almost 1/3 rd of his time still to serve in the Crow's Nest. Like you, Senator Smith might have had a problem getting his head round that answer but his advisers most certainly would not have had any problem with it.

Then the senator tried to get the answer... as to how long before impact did Fleet see the ice berg...another way:

"Q: How long a watch did you have? A: Two hours; but the time was going to be put back - that watch.
Q: The time was to be set back? A: Yes, sir.
Q: Did that alter your time? A: We were to get about 2 hours and 20 minutes.


Still no joy, Fleet was waffling again, attempting to divert his questioner. He knew very well that the 10 to 12 part of the 8 to 12 Watch was always longer that than 2 hours when going West. So did the good Senator, so back to the original question:

"Q: How long before the collision or accident did you report ice ahead?"

But hey! You are the one who advised "Read carefully Fleet's words in answer to the question of how long of a watch did they have". AND "but those who were on duty and most aware of the true time"

In light of your own advice, Why do you completely reject the following from Fleet

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.










 
Nov 26, 2016
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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.
Hello Jim, very good remark, I agree.
It was not so my intention to blame Fleet for giving vague or inaccurate testimony. Probably he had no watch at hand, so he had nothing else than the bell strokes as base for his time estimations. So we have got his statements "short after 7 bells" and "he went down a quarter of an hour or 20 minutes after the accident".

Senator SMITH. And then did you leave this place? Mr. FLEET. We got relieved by the other two men.
Senator SMITH. The other two men came? Mr. FLEET. Yes.
Senator SMITH. Did they go up? Mr. FLEET. They came up in the nest.
Senator SMITH. And you got down? Mr. FLEET. We got down; yes.

This looks as if he was orderly relieved at 12.23. But one can understand that in his situation he was not able to give precise time estimations.
My Point was, one can not take his testimony as proof that the collision occured 20 minutes before the end of his watch and squeeze other testimonies to make them fit.
The situation of Rowe was quite different. He had no reason to feel himself guilty for that accident. He was waiting on the poop deck waiting for the end of his watch and obviously did not realize something serious had happend before he saw the boat beeing lowered,
 
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Take what Lee said and what Fleet said about the time of the accident.

Lee: The first thing that was reported was after seven bells struck; it was some minutes, it might have been nine or ten minutes afterwards. Three bells were struck by Fleet, warning "Right ahead," and immediately he rung the telephone up to the bridge, "Iceberg right ahead." The reply came back from the bridge, "Thank you."

Fleet: I remained in the crow's nest until I got relief...About a quarter of an hour to 20 minutes after.

From Lee we see that the berg was sighted about 10 minutes after 7 bells, not 33 or 34 minutes after. This immediately tells me that the clock had not been put back. It was 11:40 unaltered ship's time, having spent two hours in the nest.

From Fleet we see that they both remained in the nest after that for only about 20 minutes when Evans and Hogg showed up to relieve them. That would make it 12:00 unaltered time.

How did Evans and Hogg know when to go up the nest? We find out from Hogg that he had to ask Evans what time it was shortly after they were awakened by the accident. Like almost everyone else in forecastle, they went out on deck and saw ice and then went back below. A clock keeping ship's time was available to them in the seamen's mess room. According to Hogg: "I asked the time, then, of my mate Evans, and he said, 'It is a quarter to 12. We will get dressed and get ready to go on the lookout'. I dressed myself, and we relieved the lookout at 12 o'clock, me and my mate Evans." 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. When Hogg comes down from the nest and goes to the boat deck he is ordered to go back to the forecastle head and bring back a Jacobs ladder, which he does. Then he is ordered by Murdoch to see that the plug is in the boat, No. 7, and then told to get in and go away with the boat. No. 7 was the first boat lowered.
 
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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.
Interesting point. That means deviating from normal routine 8 bells were struck at 12:00 unaltered time.

This will put Symon's appearance at the boat deck on 12:00 unaltered time iso 12:23 as I assumed in previous post:
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.

Furthermore I found they must have had a watch in the crow's nest, as they had to strike the bells:
Mr. HOGG. No, sir; we struck a bell. We never used the phone, only in going into harbors, or into ports, or in the case of anything serious.
Senator PERKINS. And you struck the bell every half hour?
Mr. HOGG. Yes. And for reporting ships you struck one, port; two, starboard; and three, right ahead.
 

Jim Currie

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[QUOTE="Markus Philipp,

Hello Markus.

Sam does not believe that the clocks were partly set back before impact. If they were not, then neither 1 bell nor 8 bells would ever have been sounded again on Titanic... no one could possibly have heard them. The sure fire proof of a clock set back before impact was the sounding of those bells. If you believe they were heard after impact, you cannot agree with Sam.
8 bells were and still are, only sounded when the full amount of a Watch has been served. By the same token. 1 bell is only sounded twice during a full Watch. The first time after the first half hour of the Watch which is of no importance to a Watch-keeper and 15 minutes before the proper time for the change of Watch. The latter being in many cases the only, accurate, official indication of Watch time.

We know they did not have a means of telling the time in the Crow's Nest but the bridge sounded the time bells every half hour. During the hours of darkness in the old days, the Lookout in the Crow's Nest or right forward at the bow would copy the bells sounded by the bridge and thereafter yell words similar to "All's well... lights are shining brightly". However, in passenger ships, they very often dispensed with the ringing if the bells after 10 pm when the passengers were sound asleep. Imagine the sounding of 2 x 5 bells, 2 x 6 bells, 2 x 7 bells and OMG! 2 x 8 bells when you are trying to sleep with your cabin porthole open.

As for QM Rowe: one of his tasks was to read the patent log at 10 pm that evening and at adjusted Midnight and report the readings to the bridge.
Rowe would have had unadjusted time up tor 10 pm and would most certainly require to have adjusted time at Midnight. Therefore at the stroke of 4 bells, 10 pm, he would read the Patent Log then retard his watch 24 minutes so that he would known exactly when the next reading was due at Midnight, the end of the 8 to 12 Watch which was 4 hours 24 minutes long and the end of the Log Book day of April 14. Therefore, when he said the ship hit the iceberg at 11-40 pm, that time was actually 12 hours and 4 minutes from Noon that day, not 11 hours and 40 minutes from Noon.
When QM Rowe saw that lifeboat at 12-25 am, it was 45 minutes after impact. This dove-tails neatly with the evidence of Pitman who said he got to lifeboat No.5 at about 12-20 am. At that time. No. 7 boat was in the process of being launched. That was 40 minutes after impact...12-20 am adjusted time...40 minutes after Rowe read the Patent Log.
Rowe also said that at that time, he was ordered to bring a box of Detonators from the poop. This suggests that the detonators for the socket distress signals were stored separately from the main projectiles. These detonators were supplied separately. The following from the Patent of the makers seems to prove this:

"The detonator to be used in conjunction with such exploding or sounding charges that are propelled by means of gunpowder We form of a tube of copper, filled half-way up with the usual detonating composition, and the other half of the tube we fill with fuse-powder, so as to make the detonator itself a time-fuse....Fig. 2 shows the detonator. It is made of a copper shell filled about half-way with a composition of fulminate of mercury, m, and completed by a charge of meal-powder...."

The "usual detonating composition" was fulminate of mercury, a highly unstable explosive material.

In his evidence, Rowe stated:

"I telephoned to the fore bridge to know if they knew there was a boat lowered.They replied, asking me if I was the third officer. I replied, "No; I am the quartermaster." They told me to bring over detonators, which are used in firing distress signals."

Many in these pages think Boxhall was firing signals before Rowe advised him of the first lifeboat launch, his evidence indicates that he was not. In fact, he could not do so until he received the means for doing so..the detonators which seem to have been stored in a locked cabinet as far away from any place they might do harm if the accidentally ignited. In my day we had a Gun Room to store them in.

Boxhall stated :

"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.... I was around the bridge, but the first boat that was lowered was lowered away from aft...- 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...
3807. What did you do after receiving that communication?...A: - I went outside again and was assisting generally... I went on the port side."

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?

Forget about Lightoller's 1 hour 33 minute difference between ship time and EST New York. It was actually 1 hour and 38 minutes. Before the partial clock set back it was, by all round agreement , 2 hours and 2 minutes. After the 24 minute set back, it was 1 hour 38 minutes. With this in mind, and the delivery of the detonators to the bridge, reconsider Californian's rocket sightings.

If we accept the evidence of Californian's wireless operator that clocks were 1 hour 55 minutes FAST of EST New York. this means that the fisrt rocket was seen by her Second Officer at 10-50 EST. The time on a partially adjusted clock on Titanic would then have been 00-38 am...13 minutes after the order to bring the detonators was given.
If we accept the evidence of Californian's master, Captain Lord, that the clocks were 1 hour 50 minutes FAST of EST, New York, then the fist distress signal from Titanic was seen from Californian when the time on the sinking ship was 12-33 am.
It therefore took QM Rowe and his mate a little under 13 minutes or 8 minutes to unlock the detonator cabinet and bring the contents to the bridge.
 
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Hello Jim, some questions,
about the bells
I am wondering whether the bells were struck on the bridge or in the crow's nest.
Mr. HOGG. No, sir; we struck a bell. We never used the phone, only in going into harbors, or into ports, or in the case of anything serious. Senator PERKINS. And you struck the bell every half hour?
Mr. HOGG. Yes. And for reporting ships you struck one, port; two, starboard; and three, right ahead.


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.


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. 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?

You quoted in post #230 from Fleet:
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.

"Till eight bells went" - I should say, these bells sounded from the bridge.

About the rockets
there is a very good article in this board, Titanic's Rockets by Senan Molony.
Titanic's Rockets
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. His evidence specifically states that he had sent up rocketry when he got the sudden chance to order that even more rockets be brought up from the stern of the ship.
Boxhall 15593. - 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.

About Rowe, you wrote:
Therefore at the stroke of 4 bells, 10 pm, he would read the Patent Log then retard his watch
24 minutes so that he would known exactly when the next reading was due at Midnight,
the end of the 8 to 12 Watch which was 4 hours 24 minutes long and the end of the Log Book day of April 14.
Therefore, when he said the ship hit the iceberg at 11-40 pm, that time was actually 12 hours and 4 minutes
from Noon that day, not 11 hours and 40 minutes from Noon.

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?
 
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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?
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:

Senator BURTON. Were there any detonators or other signals kept aft?
Mr. ROWE. The detonators, such as the distress signal rockets, green lights, and blue lights..
Senator BURTON. Were there any kept forward?
Mr. ROWE. Yes; on the fore bridge.
Senator BURTON. On the after bridge, too?
Mr. ROWE. Not on the after bridge. There was a private locker aft.

The distress signal were referred to as detonators because they detonated with a laud report and threw out stars when they reached a height of about 600 feet. They were propelled upward by a charge located in the base of the signal. It was a single unit, not separate components. When fired, two reports were heard. The first, when the base charge fired propelling the rest of detonating charge upward; and the second, when the explosive charge burst at altitude, which was set off by the timed fuse. A full description of these signals can be found here: http://www.titanicology.com/Californian/WhatColorWereThey.pdf.

As far as lookouts and bells, the IMM Company rules (No. 254) required that ship's bells be struck every 1/2 hour [there were no exceptions to this listed] and answer by the lookouts, and at night to report that the lights are burning brightly when doing so. It was also a requirement that lookout men report to the OOW on the bridge when relieved, and the name(s) of the relief given and entered into the log book.

As far as Rowe, he knew full well that the clock was to go back near midnight by about 23 minutes, and lacking any other information, I believe he would have set his timepiece back by that amount at that time. Thereafter, he would be on altered time expecting to be relieved when his watch showed midnight again. All events described by him suggest that is what he did.

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."

In a another letter he wrote in 1968, Rowe said: "By the time I arrived on the bridge, there was seven rockets fired but I did not determine how many was left as you can guess it was a bit dark at the time but you can take it for granted that 7 was fired."
 
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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."
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?

Here the statement of quartermaster Bright (US Inq):
"I went out to the after end of the ship to relieve the man I should have relieved at 12 o'clock, a man by the name of Rowe. We stood there for some moments and did not know exactly what to do, and rang the telephone up to the bridge and asked them what we should do. They told us to bring a box of detonators for them - signals. Each of us took a box to the bridge. When we got up there we were told to fire them - distress signals."

Reading this one has to conclude the relief turned up at 12 altered time or 12.23 unaltered time.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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Markus, I can only give you my opinion of what was said.

The 11:40 and 12:22 times that Rowe wrote about in 1963 were unaltered April 14th times. That fits well with what we read from Hichens who said the ship struck at 11:40 and he was relieved by QM Perkis at 12:23.
It was Hichens, by the way, who was the one that told us about the clock going back 23 and 24 minutes, respectively, thereby extending the time of the 8 to 12 and 12 to 4 watch periods by those times.
The evidence from QM Bright says that he admitted to showing up late in relieving Rowe out on the poop deck. His words were "to relieve the man I should have relieved at 12 o'clock", clearly implying he did not show up on time. Notice, that Bright was referring to altered time when he said 12 o'clock. That altered time would have corresponded to 12:23 on a clock or watch showing unaltered time. The same reference to 12 o'clock altered time was used by QM Perkis when he spoke about waiting to go on deck after he was told that the ship struck an iceberg by the joiner. Perkis said, "He told us, then, that we had struck something. I took no notice of it. I stayed there [in the QM's quarters down on E deck] until I though it was time to turn out to relieve the deck at 12 o'clock." As we know from Hichens, Perkis arrived to take over the wheel at 12:23 when they both were told to go and help clear the boats.

The other thing that people need to be careful about is when trying to correlate events such as when the firing of distress signals began and ended. What we know from Californian is that 2/O Stone saw what appeared to be a rocket appear over the stopped steamer off his starboard beam at about 12:45am, and that the last of a total of 8 rockets was seen at about 1:40am. Was the first one he noticed the first one fired? The exact number of distress signals that sent up from Titanic is not really known. Apparently, nobody really counted. Boxhall said that they went up at about 5 minute intervals, "Well, probably five minutes; I did not take any times."

Anyway, that's another story altogether.
 

Jim Currie

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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?

 

Jim Currie

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[QUOTE="Samuel Halpern, post: 382771, member: 137378"]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:

I take it then that you now wish to disassociate yourself from that part of "The Lifeboat Launching Sequence Re-Examined. By Bill Wormstedt, Tad Fitch and George Behe, with contributions by Sam Halpern and J. Kent Layton" which clearly indicates that the first rocket was not fired before QM Rowe saw that first boat in the water but until after the third lifeboat, No. 9, was launched?

You quoted:

"Senator BURTON. Were there any detonators or other signals kept aft?
Mr. ROWE. The detonators, such as the distress signal rockets, green lights, and blue lights..
Senator BURTON. Were there any kept forward?
Mr. ROWE. Yes; on the fore bridge.
Senator BURTON. On the after bridge, too?
Mr. ROWE. Not on the after bridge. There was a private locker aft."

Read the evidence properly, Sam. The Senator asked a question about 2 different things...detonators or 'other signals'.

A full description of these signals can be found here: http://www.titanicology.com/Californian/WhatColorWereThey.pdf.

Much as I enjoy your publications, I don't need to re-read your version, Sam. I am very familiar with all kinds of distress signals, including the one under discussion. However, if you insist:

On Page 9, you show an illustration of the inside of one of these things. It shows a single integral detonator. This is the secondary detonator.
On Page 11, you reproduce a page from the Illustrated Naval and Military Magazine which gives verbal instruction for firing. It includes a sketch of the bits and pieces needed for doing so, One of these is the Friction Tube which is supplied separately... one for each projectile. These are the fulminate of Mercury Detonators... highly unstable little bits of explosive.

You also quote Lightollers on page who confirmed:

"You insert the cartridge in this socket; a brass detonator [friction tube], which reaches from the top of the signal into the charge at the base, is then inserted in this hole.."

In your article, you go into great detail about the photograph of the box on the sea bed containing projectiles which was found at the wreck site.
To me that box could not have been a 'part box', it must have been full at one time and by measurement, might originally have contained 32 projectiles and the firing lanyard. Of that box you wrote:

"It is not absolutely certain that the box containing the signals seen on the ocean floor was a box that was actually supplied by the manufacturer of these signals. What was discovered on the seabed at the wreck site was an opened decaying box containing 17 unfired socket signals. Of the 36 socket signals carried on Titanic, we know that some were kept on the forebridge and some in a quartermaster’s locker under the poop. We also know that Quartermasters George Rowe and Arthur Bright each brought a box of these signals from under the poop to the forebridge at the request of Fourth Officer Joseph Boxhall"

Unless that was a magazine box, in which case, it would have contained all the projectiles, it was delivered from the BoT approved suppliers. This suggests that Titanic was supplied with 32 of these in one box and 4 in another. So Rowe and Bright could not have brought 2 boxes.
If all the signals fired came from the box in the photograph (Why should they not have done so?) then the box originally contained 17 + 8 = 25 projectiles. However you guess it contained 28 projectiles. So what the heck was in the boxes brought to the bridge by Rowe and Bright? Detonators?

"The distress signal were referred to as detonators because they detonated with a laud report and threw out stars ..."


And you know this because....?

As far as lookouts and bells, the IMM Company rules (No. 254) required that ship's bells be struck every 1/2 hour [there were no exceptions to this listed] and answer by the lookouts, and at night to report that the lights are burning brightly when doing so. It was also a requirement that lookout men report to the OOW on the bridge when relieved, and the name(s) of the relief given and entered into the log book.

It may well have been Sam. However these rules were to be followed under normal circumstances but at the time, circumstances were anything but normal. Additionally, you may or may not know it but Company Rules were enforced at the master's discretion. We have proof of that from the evidence of Lookout Fleet:

"5833. You said you did not believe that they struck seven bells, and then you said it was just after.
- It may have been just after. We never, generally, ring bells up in the crow's nest every half hour; we generally miss it."


"By the way, in a letter he wrote to Ed Kamuda of the THS in 1963, Rowe said: . My watch should have ended at 12:22 but time went by and no relief turned up."

In a another letter he wrote in 1968, Rowe said: "By the time I arrived on the bridge, there was seven rockets fired but I did not determine how many was left as you can guess it was a bit dark at the time but you can take it for granted that 7 was fired."

Do I really need to dissect the foregoing or simply rip it up for toilet paper?
 
Mar 22, 2003
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See the attached note from J. Powel, district manager of the MMSA, to Leslie Harrison regarding his interview with George Rowe in June 1963.
Rowe letter June 12 1963.jpg

Also, in Rowe's 1963 letter to Kamuda he wrote:

"They asked me if I knew where the distress rockets were stowed I replied yes and he said bring as many as you can to the fore bridge. I went down under the poop to the locker and got a metal case I don't know how now if there were 9 or 12 rockets in it."

What's interesting about Rowe, in his letters and at the two inquiries in 1912, he never acknowledged that Bright eventually showed up. Bright talked about him and Rowe each carrying a box of signals to bridge.

As far as the use of the term detonator, this what Lowe described:

Mr. LOWE. He [Mr.Ismay] was there, and I distinctly remember seeing him alongside of me - that is, by my side - when the first detonator went off. I will tell you how I happen to remember it so distinctly. It was because the flash of the detonator lit up the whole deck, I did not know who Mr. Ismay was then, but I learned afterwards who he was, and he was standing alongside of me.

What would have lit up the whole deck is when the signal burst into stars at height.