Respectfully, guys, you are missing my point. I have no disagreement with anyone about whether Carpathia (or Californian, for that matter) should have stayed to pick up bodies. If you may recall, the Bremen's Captain Wilhelm said the same thing, i.e., that he didn't have the facilities to recover the bodies. I wouldn't have expected these rescue ships to pick up bodies.
P. Franklin, had ordered Leyland's Californian to stay on the scene, but Stanley Lord left anyway. That's when they sent out Mackay-Bennett. Notably, Franklin was to send a train to Halifax with a 700 person capacity on Monday, April 15, 1912. Thus, there were communications here that are not of record, in my opinion. The official communications that we are aware of, don't tell the full story. You pick up hints of things here and there, that suggest that some unknown communications were taking place.
Regarding the disclosure of bodies left floating out in the North Atlantic. I agree that this would be distressful for families of victims to learn. However, the Germans had already managed to get the word out, via Wilhelm and Bremen's passengers. Ismay even officially announced that Mackay-Bennett was sent out to pick up bodies, on April 21, 1912. So why did Rostron keep quiet about the bodies when he testified, much later on? Believe me, Rostron aligned himself with management to hush the bad stuff up. Leaving the bodies might have maligned his image as a hero, too. Maybe Rostron did not personally care about that, but the Steamship Companies certainly would have wanted to foster the image of a hero, just as they did that of an anti-hero, Captain Lord.
But regardless of the public's sensitivities, I think that when people testify under oath, they should always tell the truth. Viewing the transcripts of the British and American inquiries, it appears that there is a lot of lying going on. Frankly, hero or no hero, in my estimation Rostron appears to have been part of it, with his "one body" story.
Regarding Michael's point, I readily accept that spotting bodies at sea is very difficult. But you need to read Rostron's testimony. He admits he manuevered around so that no one would see the one body. He sent everyone inside for a chapel service. He saw the overturned collapsible. Then he and Ismay sent some really vague communications to the shore. Further, in this instance, the bodies were wearing lifejackets. According to at least one source, these lifejackets were visible from a considerable distance -- according to eyewitnesses aboard the Bremen.
I'll make it very clear: I'm not very sympathetic to the management of these steamship companies. The worst part of all this is that Oceanic Steamship Navigation Company walked away from an incredibly horrendous disaster, by hushing things up, utilizing favorable maritime liability laws, and focusing blame on Stanley Lord, and to some degree on Captain Smith and fate.
What do I think? I think the company should have gone out of business, its steamships sold, the proceeds paid to victims' relatives, and J. Bruce Ismay should have been indicted. The perpetrators of a disaster of this magnitude simply shouldn't go unpunished. And they did.
I don't expect anyone on this Board to agree with me, and it doesn't matter anyway. But frankly, there is very little that's redeeming about this story.
It's worth pointing out that so many of the survivors didn't want to talk about the Titanic disaster. These people must have felt oppressed. There were many suicides, and ensuing psychoses among them. Think about it, we have no idea what that experience was like. If we truly felt the disasster, we probably wouldn't have much to say, other than to look at it from an overall perspective, cry out loud, and express complete and unequivocal disgust for the robber barons that perpetrated it.