Hello Michael.The problem for me is that testimony contradicts the evidence in many details here.
Boxhall states he allowed 22 knots when he worked up his distress position. However, his distress position requires a speed of almost 25 knots from The Corner if my math is right (approx. 144.6 miles from The Corner / 5h50m run time) It also requires the ship to run much further over the ground than the patent log had registered through the water. Smith's is even more ridiculous. I hadn't investigated this topic very much previously, but I'm a little baffled that nobody caught this mistake back then. The data available in 1912 gets you pretty close to the actual wreck location if you don't screw up while doing the math.
It's the same with the slow down before turning the corner. Any speed or distance you lose before turning the corner has to be made up in order to get Titanic to the wreck site. Granted that it's a small fraction if the distance is only some 4-5 miles to be made up.
In any case, the testimony and the numbers don't add up to me, and I don't yet have a theory to explain the discrepancy.
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?
You'd make a great fiction writer Aaron. There are enough of those on this site to begin with. There was no course change since the last which took place at 5:50pm to put the ship on a course toward a point south of the Nantuckett lightship. There is zero evidence to show otherwise.The wireless operator on the Californian - was confident that Phillips had received his last message. I wonder if Phillips sent it to the bridge and as a direct result they immediately changed course and moved further south just before the collision.
1.. No, it doesn't. I've cited the evidence showing the boatswain piped "all hands on deck" at 10 minutes to midnight, and that five minutes later the assembled crew were getting the order to clear the boats.That means the order for "All hands on the boat deck" came about 20 minutes after the collision, about the same time that Boxhall called on the off duty officers.
Could you tell about that message allegedly from Phillips to his family please? Ive never heardTo answer Rob's post above, it's obvious that the bridge team all knew more than what they included in their testimonies. This is not surprising. Official inquiries are designed to pin blame and not to improve public safety. You learn quickly not to volunteer information because what you say will often come back to "bite" you. (Personal experience in a U.S. Coast Guard inquiry.)
Motives are more critical in understanding history than the usual facts -- dates, times, places, etc. Yet, we never really know motives because they exist only inside a single person's head. Even if someone admits a motive there is always uncertainty that the admission was fully accurate. One thing we all know is the desire to cover our mistakes. Was that the motive? Sunken ship and more than 1,500 victims is hardly something that can be swept under the rug. So, it's unlikely anyone was trying to hide the outcome of the night. But self-preservation is something altogether different. Jobs and careers were at stake. One slip of the tongue could cost a man his career that he had spent most of a working lifetime acquiring. Motive enough? We can only speculate.
But, our speculation should not be limited to the bridge team. There are so many oddities and obfuscations surrounding the Titanic sinking. Why did stories of the ship steaming for Halifax surface on both sides of the Atlantic before the truth of the sinking was known? What about that message allegedly from Phillips to his family? Why was Bride offered so much money to keep his mouth shut? How could Boxhall have heard Murdoch's report to Captain Smith when his duties forced him to be off the bridge? Why did Boxhall say he didn't see the accident, then describe it in vivid detail? Why was Olliver overlooked when he testified to the "hard a-port" helm order? Why was crew time used for the famous 11:40 o'clock time of the accident when the voyage was still being conducted on unaltered April 14th time? Why didn't somebody investigate why Barrett claimed to be forced out of a boiler room by catastrophic flooding when another survivor of that same compartment never saw any such thing and remained at his station for 20 minutes after impact? Why did the ship send two sets of distress coordinates? Why was the second (allegedly corrected) set of coordinates so far off? Why did Captain Smith begin evacuating his ship so early when it was designed to float long enough for help to arrive? Why did Titanic's compartmentalization and bilge pump system fail so miserably? Why did the official inquiries dismiss the breakup when about half the people interviewed describe what we know actually took place? Why did Lightoller and Ismay work so hard aboard Carpathia to get the surviving crew members out of the United States as quickly as possible? Why did the British inquiry libel Captain Lord? What happened to Moody after he was interviewed by a reporter in New York? And so it goes.
Please, I'm not a "Titanic Truther." I don't believe there was any dark conspiracy, switched ships, or anything of the sort. But I do think there were some deliberate efforts to confuse what actually took place that night in order to hide some unpleasant truths. Why else would so many mysteries surround what is allegedly just a simple case of run-down-an-iceberg-and-sink?. Why so many mysteries?
-- David G. Brown