Mystery ship candidates


Jim Currie

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If Smith was thinking rationally I believe he should have tried to see that all of the boats were filled to capacity in order to save as many lives as possible. It appears that it was only Smith who came up with the bright idea of rowing to the light to drop people off and then return. He knew Carpathia was coming and could have figured out that she would be there before any boat could make a round trip, assuming he thought the unresponsive steamer was about the same distance that Boxhall did.

And speaking about boat #8. They had only about 25 people in the boat and it was being pulled by 4 men. They rowed and rowed, and never seemed to get any closer despite seeing the steamer pointing directly at them at one point. They were one of the boats that were the furthest away when Carpathia finally showed up. According to Rostron, the boats were scattered over a distance of 4 to 5 miles from where he picked up Boxhall's boat when it became light enough to see all around.
Smith was told that Carpathia would get there at 4-30 am. He was allegedly giving that order three and a quarter hours before she did.

Actually, there were 39 souls in boat No. 8 - 35 ladies and 4 crew., but that is of no consequence.

If the lifeboats had been filled to capacity from the beginning, there was a decided possibility that at the very least, the death toll would have been 65 higher and it had nothing to do with the "breaking her back" nonsense and all to do with the method of slackening off the manila rope falls and a thing called "shock load". AB Jones was right:
"Senator NEWLANDS. Would there be any danger of the boats buckling?
Mr. JONES.: Oh, no, sir."


The Countess of Rothes shared the steering of boat 8 with her cousin Gladys Cherry.
Of Captain Smith's demeanour at the time she told the New York Herald:
"Captain Smith stood shoulder to shoulder to me as I got into the lifeboat an the last words to able seaman Tom Jones - ' Row straight for those ship lights over there; - leave your passengers on board of her and return as soon as you can,' Captain Smith's attitude was one of great calmness and courage, and I'm sure that he thought that then ship - whose lights we could plainly see - would pick us up and that our life boats would do double duty in ferrying passengers to the help that gleamed so near."

Lady Rothes also stated:
"Indeed I saw - we all saw - a ships lights not more than three miles away' Turning to Lord Rothes Lady Rothes said:- 'I am a fair judge of distance am I not?' He answered 'yes, you are."

Of the lights themselves, she said :
"We pulled steadily for the two masthead lights that showd brilliantly in the darkness. For a few minutes we saw the ships port light then it vanished and the masthead lights got dimmer on the hoeizon until they too, disappeared."







The
 
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Cam Houseman

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The Countess of Rothes shared the steering of boat 8 with her cousin Gladys Cherry.
Of Captain Smith's demeanour at the time she told the New York Herald:
"Captain Smith stood shoulder to shoulder to me as I got into the lifeboat an the last words to able seaman Tom Jones - ' Row straight for those ship lights over there; - leave your passengers on board of her and return as soon as you can,' Captain Smith's attitude was one of great calmness and courage, and I'm sure that he thought that then ship - whose lights we could plainly see - would pick us up and that our life boats would do double duty in ferrying passengers to the help that gleamed so near."

Lady Rothes also stated:
"Indeed I saw - we all saw - a ships lights not more than three miles away' Turning to Lord Rothes Lady Rothes said:- 'I am a fair judge of distance am I not?' He answered 'yes, you are."

Of the lights themselves, she said :
"We pulled steadily for the two masthead lights that showd brilliantly in the darkness. For a few minutes we saw the ships port light then it vanished and the masthead lights got dimmer on the hoeizon until they too, disappeared."
A great example that Smith was not losing his capability, Jim
 
Mar 22, 2003
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Lady Rothes also stated:
"Indeed I saw - we all saw - a ships lights not more than three miles away' Turning to Lord Rothes Lady Rothes said:- 'I am a fair judge of distance am I not?' He answered 'yes, you are."

Of the lights themselves, she said :
"We pulled steadily for the two masthead lights that showd brilliantly in the darkness. For a few minutes we saw the ships port light then it vanished and the masthead lights got dimmer on the hoeizon until they too, disappeared."
Poor Pitman. He too thought the light he saw was about 3 miles away. But he also thought it was a lamp from one of the other lifeboats.

AB Thomas Jones who in charge of boat #8:
"He [Smith] told me to row for the light, and land the passengers and return to the ship. I pulled for the light, and I found that I could not get near the light, and I stood by for a little while. I wanted to return to the ship, but the ladies were frightened, and I had to carry out the captain's orders and pull for that light; so I did so. I pulled for about two hours, and then it started to get daybreak, and we lost the light; and then all of a sudden we saw the Carpathia coming, and we turned right back and made for the Carpathia."

They rowed for 2 hours and couldn't get any closer. Now why do you think that was?

A simple quote from one master mariner: "you cannot judge by a light at sea."

And by the way, regarding lifeboat occupancy, I suggest the following:
 

Jim Currie

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Poor Pitman. He too thought the light he saw was about 3 miles away. But he also thought it was a lamp from one of the other lifeboats.

AB Thomas Jones who in charge of boat #8:
"He [Smith] told me to row for the light, and land the passengers and return to the ship. I pulled for the light, and I found that I could not get near the light, and I stood by for a little while. I wanted to return to the ship, but the ladies were frightened, and I had to carry out the captain's orders and pull for that light; so I did so. I pulled for about two hours, and then it started to get daybreak, and we lost the light; and then all of a sudden we saw the Carpathia coming, and we turned right back and made for the Carpathia."

They rowed for 2 hours and couldn't get any closer. Now why do you think that was?

A simple quote from one master mariner: "you cannot judge by a light at sea."

And by the way, regarding lifeboat occupancy, I suggest the following:
Of course, you can. Moore was hiding something. He was pulling the wool over the eyes of those he knew he could waffle.
If you can see the horizon you can judge the distance of a light or lights. It is either on it, beyond it, or on the bit between you and the horizon - the sea surface. If you know your height of eye, you know the distance to the horizon and can use the wet bit like a "ruler".
Your eyes naturally focus on your own particular horizon and are drawn to anomalies 10 degrees below it. That is one of the first things a Lookout and budding OOW learns... to look slightly above the horizon - anything strange draws the eyes down.

A moving ship as described by Lady Rothes and Boxhall moves faster than an undermanned lifeboat.
If you are thinking "current"... forget it. If you had ever rowed one of these things in a current, across a current, against wind, or both you would know what I am talking about.

However, let's say you are correct.

If that lifeboat had been heading NW across a 1 knot+ southerly setting current and there had been a fresh wind from the north at the same time, she would have "crabbed her way to the westward and in a very short time, would have been up against the eastern edge of the pack ice. Not only that, but she would have been in clear sight of Mount Temple and her smaller companion who according to Moore, arrived shortly after Carpathia.

As for your recommendation? I can read and perfectly understand the same source so why would I bother?
 
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Mar 22, 2003
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I mean if you see a light potentially belonging to a steamer possibly only 10 miles away while you were on a sinking ship, I can see why he had hope
The boat was half empty. Given what he was told by Andrews, I would think that the priority would be to see that they load the boats to near capacity, thus saving as many lives as possible, and tell them to try and reach that steamer off their port bow, which apparently appeared to be within a few hours of rowing distance away. It just seems incredible to me, for Smith to tell those in #8 boat what he told them to do, unless he dismissed Andrew's opinion altogether and thought his ship would not really sink. It's called denial.
 
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Arun Vajpey

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And speaking about boat #8. They had only about 25 people in the boat and it was being pulled by 4 men. They rowed and rowed, and never seemed to get any closer despite seeing the steamer pointing directly at them at one point. They were one of the boats that were the furthest away when Carpathia finally showed up. According to Rostron, the boats were scattered over a distance of 4 to 5 miles from where he picked up Boxhall's boat when it became light enough to see all around.
Exactly. By the time Lifeboat #8 was launched at 01:00 am, information about the Carpathia was sketchy at best. Also, there were 3 more boats already in the water. If they had followed Smith's directive and rowed for the light, lifeboats might have become even more scattered by the time the rescue ship arrived. I have always thought that Smith's order made no sense but then there are 'experts' who will continue to argue on this point just for the heck of it.


If Capt. Smith failed to take precautions prior to the collision, you don't think he made up for it during the sinking?
By doing what exactly?
 

Jim Currie

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The boat was half empty. Given what he was told by Andrews, I would think that the priority would be to see that they load the boats to near capacity, thus saving as many lives as possible, and tell them to try and reach that steamer off their port bow, which apparently appeared to be within a few hours of rowing distance away. It just seems incredible to me, for Smith to tell those in #8 boat what he told them to do, unless he dismissed Andrew's opinion altogether and thought his ship would not really sink. It's called denial.
The priority was to see the boats launched safely. Loading them to full capacity was no guarantee of that and consequently, a guarantee that more would have been saved.

The method of launching a boat fully laden from maximum boat deck height above the water had very real risks. I have pointed this out before.
The weakest links in launching Titanic's lifeboats were the individual manila rope falls at each end. If these were slackened off unevenly or with a jerking motion, one end of the boat would tilt downward. if they jerked or suddenly jammed, a shock load was imposed into the rope which would exceed the SWL and cause it to break, tipping everyone and everything out of it. The value in tons of shock load was directly proportional to the weight of the contents. However, rather than go through it all again, I refer you to my post No.8 in

Purpose of launching the lifeboats halffilled​

 

George Jacub

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I remind you and others that this thread by member James 23 was a question regarding the identity of possible mystery ships.
New York Sun, May 2, 1912 Page 4
PASSED THE SINKING TITANIC
Kura, Believed the Mysterious Boat, Reaches Port
Special Cable Dispatch to The Sun
Algiers, May 1. The mysterious steamer which was in the vicinity of the Titanic when she foundered is believed to have been the cargo boat, Kura, from New York for Algiers, which arrived here to-day.
The Kura left New York on April 13. She has no wireless apparatus. The captain reports that he encountered icebergs and a fog on the night that the Titanic was wrecked, but he only learned of the disaster last night.
 

Seumas

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New York Sun, May 2, 1912 Page 4
PASSED THE SINKING TITANIC
Kura, Believed the Mysterious Boat, Reaches Port
Special Cable Dispatch to The Sun
Algiers, May 1. The mysterious steamer which was in the vicinity of the Titanic when she foundered is believed to have been the cargo boat, Kura, from New York for Algiers, which arrived here to-day.
The Kura left New York on April 13. She has no wireless apparatus. The captain reports that he encountered icebergs and a fog on the night that the Titanic was wrecked, but he only learned of the disaster last night.
There is more chance of me playing up front for Scotland at the upcoming European Championship than there is of the Kura being "the ship that stood still".

Dr Paul Lee did a full rundown on all these silly claims of other ships having been in the area and seamen claiming that they "saw the Titanic go down but we sailed away". All absolute rubbish of course.
 
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Cam Houseman

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The boat was half empty. Given what he was told by Andrews, I would think that the priority would be to see that they load the boats to near capacity, thus saving as many lives as possible, and tell them to try and reach that steamer off their port bow, which apparently appeared to be within a few hours of rowing distance away. It just seems incredible to me, for Smith to tell those in #8 boat what he told them to do, unless he dismissed Andrew's opinion altogether and thought his ship would not really sink. It's called denial.
**conjecture alert :)**

what if it was better to have the first few boats leave somewhat loaded, rather then having a panic and the lifeboats overcrowded and sunk, like what happened on the Lusitania?

You do not want to be on a sinking ship with panicking passengers right? Maybe Smith had the Officers say, "Ah its just an exercise, you'll be back on board by breakfast" to calm them down. Maybe Smith had the band come and play to calm them down. So when Smith saw the light potentially close enough to rescue everyone, he immediately thought they had no reason to worry, and all would be swell.

Didn't Captain Smith also want the boats to come back, but the seamen never came back.

I think Captain Smith could've performed in some areas better, but he made up for it in others.
 

Jim Currie

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There is more chance of me playing up front for Scotland at the upcoming European Championship than there is of the Kura being "the ship that stood still".

Dr Paul Lee did a full rundown on all these silly claims of other ships having been in the area and seamen claiming that they "saw the Titanic go down but we sailed away". All absolute rubbish of course.
Not all of them Seumas. I know of at least 2 he missed but I'm keeping these for the moment as I am having some research done but will reveal all in due course.
 
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Jim Currie

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So what is the name of the two missing mystery ships that Paul Lee missed?
All in good time, my friend... al in good time.
I am a great admirer of Paul's work. His research is meticulous to say the least and we all owe a debt of gratitude to his perseverance.
However, I'm sure that he would be the first to admit that is not the gathering of data, but what you do with it that matters in the end.
 
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