Ice field blocking Californian from Titanic?

M

Mila

Senior Member
Mila,

Here's an accurate plot of the Marengo April 14/15.

View attachment 40030

Thank you Jim!

So, when Maltin says about Morengo:

"On the night of the collision and sinking of the Titanic on the 14/15th April 1912 she was in the same longitude as the Titanic and only one degree south, and her log records both the clear, starlit night and the great refraction on the horizon" it is as wrong as it could be?
 
M

Mila

Senior Member
Cheers. The Marengo was 40 - 60 miles south west and saw great refraction on the horizon. The ice field was enormous with icebergs dotted both east and west of the ice field. The thing is, if the refraction I see makes a lighthouse 30 miles away appear on the horizon 10 miles away at night, then it would mean the Marengo was 30 - 40 miles away from the ice field and it would appear just slightly beyond the horizon 10 miles away owing to the refraction. They may not have seen the ice, but they would have seen the effects of it. The Titanic's lookouts saw the haze on the horizon 2 hours before they struck the iceberg. I believe the refraction caused the elevation of the ice field, and the Marengo may have seen something similar and described it as refraction. Would be interesting to know if the Marengo had seen any ships that day and if they were basing the 'great refraction' on how the other ships looked on the horizon, or if they were noticing the horizon change without the presence of other ships and ice etc.


View attachment 40026


.

Aaron, Maltin claims Marengo reported refraction, when she was one deg. from the Titanic on the night of the sinking (in particular at midnight) , but your map shows Marengo's position at noon, not midnight. They saw no refraction on that time. So whatever refraction they saw at midnight was hundreds kilometers away from the Titanic, and we do not know what was they call "refraction". No single ship reported seeing a mirage or a refraction close to the wreck site either on the day of the sinking or before.
 
Jim Currie

Jim Currie

Senior Member
Thank you Jim!

So, when Maltin says about Morengo:

"On the night of the collision and sinking of the Titanic on the 14/15th April 1912 she was in the same longitude as the Titanic and only one degree south, and her log records both the clear, starlit night and the great refraction on the horizon" it is as wrong as it could be?

Titanic was at longitude 49-57'West. when she was sinking. If Marengo was at 56 03 West at Noon on the 14 then Maltin is, as you say,"as wrong as could be". Because at Midnight, April 14. the Marengo was 152.5 miles West South West of the sinking Titanic. She would have close to the northern edge of the extension to the Gulf Stream and the water would be warm...more chance of fog than a mirage. Total nonsense!
 
A

Aaron_2016

Guest
I don't see how they could be 152.5 miles away. The position of the Marengo for noon April 15th shown on the map you presented above shows the Marengo was not far from the Carpathia judging by the distance between the other plots on the map and the position of the Marengo at noon on April 15th. She was south of the wreck, but would still be within a 50 mile radius of the ice field when she saw great refraction at midnight. I believe the reason the refraction grew greater and greater throughout the day and into the night was in correlation to their approach of the huge ice field, and as they came closer and closer, the refraction grew greater and greater. There were a number of icebergs which I understand were dotted to the west and east of the ice field, and a number of them could have skimmed on the northern edge of the gulf stream as they drifted west. The Marengo was too far to see the ice, but not too far to see the atmospheric effects of it.

e.g.


Refraction1a



.
 
Jim Currie

Jim Currie

Senior Member
I don't see how they could be 152.5 miles away. The position of the Marengo for noon April 15th shown on the map you presented above shows the Marengo was not far from the Carpathia judging by the distance between the other plots on the map and the position of the Marengo at noon on April 15th. She was south of the wreck, but would still be within a 50 mile radius of the ice field when she saw great refraction at midnight. I believe the reason the refraction grew greater and greater throughout the day and into the night was in correlation to their approach of the huge ice field, and as they came closer and closer, the refraction grew greater and greater. There were a number of icebergs which I understand were dotted to the west and east of the ice field, and a number of them could have skimmed on the northern edge of the gulf stream as they drifted west. The Marengo was too far to see the ice, but not too far to see the atmospheric effects of it.

e.g.


View attachment 40034


.
Hello Aaron.
In fact, by calculation, the midnight position of the Marengo puts her 159 miles ESE of the sinking Titanic. At Noon on the 14th, she was about 280 miles to the WSW of it.
 
Last edited:
M

Mila

Senior Member
Hello Aaron and Jim,

I requested and got copies of the Marengo's logs.
She reported seeing refraction on both April 14 and April 15.
On April 14 she was rather far from the wreck site, but she reported seeing refraction on 8 a.m. April 15. At 8 a.m. she was around 80 miles ESE from the wreck site (Is this correct, Jim?). Then at noon she was the closest to the wreck site, but reported no refraction. The next time the refraction is mentioned is 4 p.m. April 15.
So this is clear that Maltin's claim about Marengo being only one deg. away from the wreck site on the night of April 14/15 is wrong.
Still it is very interesting that they saw that refraction for 2 days, (including one at midnight).
I disagree with Jim, about the temperature of the water. I believe she was in cold water too, but the air for most of her observations was much warmer. In any case Marengo's "much refraction" proves nothing about the situation with the Titanic. Marengo's observations are not for the same place and not for the same time.
 
Jonathan Granato

Jonathan Granato

Member
I've been thinking about the 'if the Californian had rec'd the first wireless transmission, every life would have been saved', pathos &c. What follows is my own theory that it wouldn't have made any difference. The first SOS went out around midnight. The Californian is stuck in pack ice. It's shut down for the night. So, maybe by 0030 15th April, maybe, Lord could have gotten the boilers lit and hopefully been on his way to the collision site. With luck arrives 0100. Gets as close as safely poss. to Titanic. Now, the lifeboats have to row to the Californian. They are populated by civilians and maybe a boat with 65 passengers can offload in possibly 10 minutes if a crewman is screaming bloody murder at them. Then the empty lifeboat rows back to Titanic. It's now 0145 or so. How are you gonna transship 1500 passengers before the Titanic founders?
Please correct any incorrect info. here. I'm not claiming anything other than recitation of what I already know. I mean, I've been passionate about the Titanic for 51 years. It's taken me this long to come up with this. I blame it all on The Rolling Stones, my slow learning curve. Cheers. P.S. I grandfathered this post here rather than start a new thread and send half this board into apoplexy. :eek:
 
Dr. Ajmal Dar

Dr. Ajmal Dar

Member
Hi Jonathan,

You are completely right. Anyone who thinks the Californian could have saved many or all of the 1500 people is insane and they shouldnt be commenting on this site.

Regards,

Ajmal
 
H

Harland Duzen

Member
One thing everyone seems to overlook is that the Carpathia struggled with just 700 people with many sleeping in the dinning or writing rooms and this was despite her being a passenger steamer.

The Californian was even smaller than the Carpathia and was a tramp steamer filled with an general cargo and only cabins for 54 passengers. That and the fact that unlike Carpathia she had no doctors onboard and only a crew of 54 would have led to the following:

Californian would of arrived and had between 700 people in boats AND / OR 1500 people in the water swarming around the ship trying to get on and all the crew (including Lord and the officers) would be struggling to lower the 6 lifeboats and man them to help pick them up without themselves being swamped (also, what effect would an extra 700 - 2000 people have on the weight of a fully ladened cargo ship?)

Following this or arriving to find just the lifeboats, they would pick up them up and have nowhere but the deck and the few cabins for the cold and wounded to rest. They have no doctors and barely any medicine to administer between 700 people.

Lord would without a doubt, been completely overwhelmed and would have been forced to transfer the survivors to other ships with more supplies like the Carpathia or Olympic, leading to more trauma for the survivors.

If anything, it was possibly a good thing that the Californian was the first ship to arrive given the lack of aid, helpers and space they had, unlike the Carpathia.

Back to Topic!
 
Samuel Halpern

Samuel Halpern

Member
The Californian issue has never been one of 'could she have saved all'. The Californian issue has to do about seeing a vessel sending up distress signals and failing to go to the aid of that vessel.
 
Rob Lawes

Rob Lawes

Member
As far as the 'it's ok, Californian would have arrived too late even if they had picked up Titanic's first CQD' school of thought goes, it very much depends on how much value you place on a single life.

Remember those souls clinging to collapsible's A and B and those fished out of the water in boat 14. Californian may not have been able to save everyone but saving someone would have been a start.
 
Last edited:
A

Aaron_2016

Guest
I thought Captain Lord said the boilers were ready and they were capable of steaming at short notice? My understanding is that nets (like mail or fishing nets) would have been thrown over the sides of the Californian and the people in the lifeboats (or the people in the water if she came close to the scene) would have climbed up the nets and survived. The Carpathia would then arrive about 2 hours later and the passengers would be transferred over. The Carpathia would not have enough space for 2,200 extra passengers and crew, and possibly the Birma and Virginian would take the rest.


.
 
R

Robert T. Paige

Member
The Californian issue has never been one of 'could she have saved all'. The Californian issue has to do about seeing a vessel sending up distress signals and failing to go to the aid of that vessel.
I would have to go back to check to see if I have it correct, but didn't one of the persons on the British Investigation say "If Californian had heard, answered and had not failed to have gone to Titanic's aid, most, if not all of the crew and passengers would have been saved." Or words to that effect ?

It does there seem that there would have not been space enough for some 2,200 persons on Carpathia, much less on Californian ?
 
Last edited:
Samuel Halpern

Samuel Halpern

Member
Yes Robert, it was the Cmmissioner who wrote something to that effect in the final report. He didn't know what he was talking about, and I'm sure his advisors weren't consulted either when he wrote his poorly thought out conclusion.
 
R

Robert T. Paige

Member
Thanks, Samuel -
Would there have been even the slightest possibility that " most, or all 2,200 persons" could have been saved by whatever means under the most favorable conditions ?
 
Last edited:
Top