No Excuse for Capt Lord's Inaction

Samuel Halpern

Samuel Halpern

Member
At least, as far as Phillips and Bride were concerned, theirs was "6 on, 6 off" .
They probably had the liberty of just working this out between the two of them.
That was only during their nighttime hours Robert. There were no set times during the daytime hours between 8am to 8pm. The deck crew on the other hand stood 4 on/4 off day and night with the exception of the two dog watches (4 to 6 and 6 to 8pm) which were 2 on/2 off to shift things around from day today.
 
David Webster

David Webster

Member
Regulation distress socket signals that were supplied to steamships in 1912 typically went as high as 500 to 600 ft up (although one advertisement by Cotton Powder Co said 600-800 ft). According to Boxhall, Carpathia was firing what he called regulation socket signals that he notice from the boat about 45 minutes before being picked up. We know these signals were seen from the bridge of Californian as well as Evans messaging that that they were firing rockets at that time because his 'we are firing rockets' message was picked up by Mount Temple and Coronia about that time.

As far as the rules were concerned, even today there is ambiguity as to how often they should be sent up.
In 1912, the wording was: “Rockets or shells throwing stars of any colour or description, fired one at a time at short intervals.”
The current wording is: "Rockets or shells, throwing red stars fired one at a time at short intervals."

Although the words were changed to say red stars, the wording continues to say 'short intervals' which is a very subjective term. The every minute business applies only to the firing of guns or other explosive devices used to attract attention by sound.

When Stone was being questioned about what he saw that night:
8027. I suppose before you sat for that examination, you read something about signals? - I learned them.
8028. Do you mean to tell his Lordship that you did not know that the throwing up of “rockets or shells, throwing stars of any colour or description, fired one at a time at short intervals,” is the proper method for signaling distress at night? - Yes, that is the way it is always done as far as I know.
8029. And you knew that perfectly well on the night of the 14th of April? - Yes.
The Commissioner: And is not that exactly what was happening?
8030. (Mr. Scanlan.) You have heard my Lord put that question. That was what was happening? - Yes.

Stones excuse for not recognizing these signals as distress signals was:

8031. (The Commissioner.) The very thing was happening that you knew indicated distress? - If that steamer had stayed on the same bearing after showing these rockets -
8032. No, do not give a long answer of that kind. Is it not the fact that the very thing was happening which you had been taught indicated distress? - Yes.
8033. (Mr. Scanlan.) You knew it meant distress? - I knew that rockets shown at short intervals, one at a time, meant distress signals, yes.
8034. Do not speak generally. On that very night when you saw those rockets being sent up you knew, did you not, that those rockets were signals of distress? - No.
8035. (The Commissioner.) Now do think about what you are saying. You have just told me that what you saw from that steamer was exactly what you had been taught to understand were signals of distress. You told me so? - Yes.
8036. Well is it true? - It is true that similar lights are distress signals, yes.
8037. Then you had seen them from this steamer? - A steamer that is in distress does not steam away from you, my Lord.
8038. You saw these before this steamer steamed away from you? - I saw them at the same time the ship started to alter her bearings.
8039. (Mr. Scanlan.) But for a long time while this ship was stationary like your own, you noticed at frequent intervals that she was sending up rocket after rocket? - No.
8040. I thought that you told my learned friend that you had counted the rockets. Here is what you said. You said you had not your binoculars when the first rocket went up and you did not see the stars. Then you took your binoculars and you saw two other rockets and in each case you saw stars? - Yes.
8041. Did not those come in fairly quick succession one after another? - Yes.
8042. What do you mean by saying that you did not see them coming in quick succession one after another? - I said that the ship was altering her bearing from the time she showed her first rocket; she commenced altering her bearing by the compass.

He also was asked:
8048. When did you send word to the Captain that you noticed her steaming away.
8049. (The Commissioner.) It is 2 o’clock? - At 10 minutes past 1. I reported to the Master that she was altering her bearings, which was the same thing.

This was also claimed by Lord when he testified at the US hearings and later on. Yet we according to Gibson, who came topside after Stone reported to Lord, that the red sidelight of the steamer under observation that was firing these rockets did not disappear until after the 7th rocket was seen.

Someone or someones were lying.
One thing I know for sure is that the perps of this insurance scam didn`t do their homework re end game rescue. Lots of loose ends left to Parkinsons Law. It wouldn`t have hurt to wander on down toward where Lord knew the Titanic would be in the general direction of the white rockets. After all, he had not much else to do with his time with (reportably) zero passengers and only a cargo of woolen blankets. I can understand overlooking the flare detail when you are on an "unsinkable" ship .but in light of what was at stake, you`d think they`d get their signals straight. I`d say Lord was guilty if only because he was in collusion with the insurance scam involving the Olympic. Had he been given a chance to "clear his name" and reopen the case later on in life,I think the entire truth would have come out,and they all would have gone to jail,including the Judge.
 
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Robert T. Paige

Member
That was only during their nighttime hours Robert. There were no set times during the daytime hours between 8am to 8pm. The deck crew on the other hand stood 4 on/4 off day and night with the exception of the two dog watches (4 to 6 and 6 to 8pm) which were 2 on/2 off to shift things around from day today.
Samuel -
Thanks again !
Without going into any details , it's beginning to sink in just how "non - reg " we were in my brief Navy service. :-(
We also had the advantage of having not just two persons on duty while at sea.
We had twelve in our Division according to records I kept in a little notebook when I was in charge.



So this following is just in one more case of this comment from this non-sailor and opinion of 2019 vs. 1912 hind sight.
It seems to me that since Evans had said he had only been working Titanic , Titanic seemed to be very close , and he knew Titanic would have an operator on duty 24/7 , the next logical thing to do after not having any luck with the Morse Lamp would be to try to call Titanic to see if they had any information on rockets being seen anywhere . It seems to me that is a case of negligence on the part of Californian.
Again a case of twenty-first century hindsight from this contributor .
 
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Harland Duzen

Member
One thing I know for sure is that the perps of this insurance scam didn`t do their homework re end game rescue. Lots of loose ends left to Parkinsons Law. It wouldn`t have hurt to wander on down toward where Lord knew the Titanic would be in the general direction of the white rockets. After all, he had not much else to do with his time with (reportably) zero passengers and only a cargo of woolen blankets. I can understand overlooking the flare detail when you are on an "unsinkable" ship .but in light of what was at stake, you`d think they`d get their signals straight. I`d say Lord was guilty if only because he was in collusion with the insurance scam involving the Olympic. Had he been given a chance to "clear his name" and reopen the case later on in life,I think the entire truth would have come out,and they all would have gone to jail,including the Judge.

Hello David Webster,

Firstly welcome to ET!

Secondly, We currently don't have any evidence of what cargo the Californian was carrying during her Westbound Titanic Voyage, other than it was a "Miscellaneous Cargo". although we know what she carried on her Eastbound trip to Liverpool and can make an assumption based on this and the cargo carried by another ship, The Armenian.
(, see Californian's cargo and Post #66 by Paul Slish, published on December 8th 2006 AND Post #71 by Paul Slish, published on December 9th 2006).

Lastly, There is no evidence that the Olympic or Titanic were switched or that any Insurance Scam was attempted by the White Star Line (See The Titanic 'Switch' Theory: Exposed).

Hope this helps.
 
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Robert T. Paige

Member
Here is a bit of trivia in reference to ship board operations.
At least on some Navy ships there are many other areas where there is no watch standing as such.
In the Army , a Division is a large group.
In the Navy, a Division is a small group. More like a squad would be in the Army .
 
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