Ismay

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Andrew J. Evano

Member
I agree that Ismay should have taken some responsibility for his company's ship by remaining on board. However, I believe that his leaving wasn't simply "because it was there". I think he was scared, understandably, and because he honestly thought it was his right due to his position within the company. I think women and children present or not, he still would have wormed his way into one of the boats. Otherwise he would have remained with Cpt. Smith and/or Thomas Andrews and attempt to come up with any other options for the ship.

Just an opinion really.
 
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John Meeks

Guest
I've reflected upon Ismay's situation many, many times, and compared it with my own actions at certain times during my life...we all are human, after all.

But, before I join Jason, Dan and Brandon, in the cave, I also agree most wholeheartedly with Andrew's assessment. His leaving wasn't totally 'alright'.

But, it did yield a somewhat fortuitous benefit, didn't it! What a guy to have your teeth into at the inquiry....!

Any more 'cold ones' in that cave...?

Regards,

John M
 
Michael H. Standart

Michael H. Standart

Member
Smith, seems to me the thrus of your arguement is "Everyone else is suffering, so I should suffer and perhaps consider suicide as well" in regards Ismay. Can't say as I agree with it or even see what possible benefit there would be in it. It wouldn't have changed anything.

I suppose it's really a moot point though. Considering the pasting that Ismay took in the "Court of Public Opinion", he probably wished he'd gone down with the ship anyway.

Time for me to crawl into that cave with the others.
 
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Andrew J. Evano

Member
I dont think it is a matter of dying simply because everyone else is doing it. I think it is a matter of responsibility. Ismay was a representative of the ship's owners. As such, it wasnt his place to leave the ship prior to the passengers. I could buy his leaving better had he actually stepped onto a boat with the intentions of helping. However, this was not the case. Also, I wonder what else is out there about Ismay that put him fairly low on the social totem pole. One would think that such a high ranking executive with the White Star Line would have been invited to dine with the Wideners or one of the other prominent tables. I think there are parts of Ismay that were unsettling to the first class passengers.
 
S

Smith Mize

Member
Michael-

In a way, that is what I'm saying, but not in so many words. Maybe: "I am responsible for this ship, therefore I will stay." (10 words, heh...). If he were a man traveling with a wife, who had nothing to do with the ship, I would not be writing this.

- Smith [email protected]
 
Dave Gittins

Dave Gittins

Member
I think we should be wary of applying Edwardian morals to the situation. Somebody once raised this scenario.

Imagine that a large modern office block is on fire. Many workers are dieing and millions of dollars of damage is being done. Would we expect the CEO to stay in his office and fry, even if he was partly responsible for a shortage of sprinklers? I think not! We'd expect him to face the music afterwards, but we wouldn't judge him by a code that mostly derives from notions found in romantic books. Life isn't an Italian opera.
 
Tracy Smith

Tracy Smith

Member
And let's not forget about the 90 years of hindsight and the emotional distance we have from the sinking of the Titanic.
 
Michael H. Standart

Michael H. Standart

Member
Andrew, Edward, with all due respect, I understand where you're coming from, but I can't really sympathize. It all sounds like classic scapegoating and I just don't see the point. And I think both Dave and Tracy make some extremely valid points here. It's easy enough to sit in judgement of somebody 90 years after the fact, especially when doing so in the cozy comfort of our respective studies.

It's quite another to actually live the horror on a cold night on a ship sinking into freezing waters. Things aren't quite so clear then. One might ask what "right" Ismay had to survive. One might also ask what "right" anyone had to survive.

If Ismay must die because others are, shouldn't everyone just go along for the ride out of sympathy to those who don't have a chance?

I think not!
 
Jason D. Tiller

Jason D. Tiller

Staff member
Moderator
Member
Hi John,

"Any more 'cold ones' in that cave...?"

Yes, there's plenty! Come on in!

Best regards,

Jason
Happy
 
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Andrew J. Evano

Member
The reference to the office block is valid, however, I think rules of the sea are a little different. Men who made their lives on the ocean are a different breed. I think they had more of a soldiers mentality. Their line of work was not one of business and corporations. They were passionate about that they did and saw their livelihood as a calling. Nobody is saying the general crew was wrong for looking for safety, but the officers, by their very nature, were charged with the well-being of passengers, crew, and property (i.e. the "T" herself).
 
Michael H. Standart

Michael H. Standart

Member
I don't know if I'd call it a soldiers mentality so much as I would call it a brotherhood and (these days) sisterhood of people who make their livlihood on the sea.

As to the line of work not being one of business and corperations, I would beg to differ on that, but that is a whole different thread!
Wink
 
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Andrew J. Evano

Member
I guess it is naive of me to suggest that seamanship has nothing to do with corporations. I suppose its more wishful thinking.
 
Michael H. Standart

Michael H. Standart

Member
It's relevant insofar as really bad seamanship leads to ships...very expen$ive a$$ets...ending up on the bottom. If a company's seamen make a habit of this, it's rarely long befor the corperation itself also ends up on the bottom. I can think of one early 19th Century steamship outfit...the Collins line if memory serves...which learned this the hard way. After losing several ships, people for some odd reason started to figure they'ed live longer if they booked passage with somebody else. Not surprisingly, Collins went belly up.

And remember that maritime trade is quintessentially about business. That was the reason every commercial vessel from a fishing boat to the Great Liners was built.

This is not to say that seamen welcome the presence of company officers, but that's another rant still. Suffice to say that just about every mariner I've ever known would be quite happy if the corperate bigwigs would tend to the books and let the sailors do the sailing.

All else aside, there tend to be fewer casualties and fewer corpses that way!
 
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Andrew J. Evano

Member
While writing a response to another thread I re-read Herbert Pitman's testimony about the loaunching of boats on the Starboard side. Though not extremely relevant to Ismay and his alleged cowardice, there is a point illustrated in regards to officer mentality. When Pitman was being lowered in boat 5 I believe he had said goodbye to Murdoch. Murdoch simply said "good luck to you" and bid his farewell. When Pitman was asked if he expected to see Murdoch again he said "yes". When asked if he thought Murdoch thought he would see Pitman again he said "no". He went on to explain the manner in which senior officers behaved and Murdoch embodied a sailor, in my opinion. He knew his fate and went on to save others as best he could. Ismay on the other hand, cared not once he knew the fate of the ship and behaved in a panicked selfish manner. I realize, having never been in that situation, that one shouldnt criticize to the extreme the actions of someone else in face of disaster. But it illustrates the fundamental difference between Corporate Officer and Ships Officer.
 
Michael H. Standart

Michael H. Standart

Member
Panicked? Selfish? Maybe. Or more likely he wasn't in total control of his faculties that night. People react very differently to a crisis and the important difference between Ismay and the crew of the Titanic was that they at least had some training and experience to deal with this sort of thing.

Ismay didn't.
 
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