Order of lifeboat launching


Seumas

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You are welcome. My lifeboat launch order is a little different as it is a combination of survivor accounts but also following the list the ship had.
Ioannis I hope you don't mind me asking this. Do you work by yourself or as part of a research team (like Eaton & Haas, or Fitch, Layton & Wormstedt) ? Just wondering.

I enjoy reading all your research too. Learned a lot from it :)
 
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Mar 18, 2008
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Ioannis I hope you don't mind me asking this. Do you work by yourself or as part of a research team (like Eaton & Haas, or Fitch, Layton & Wormstedt) ? Just wondering.
There are projects were I have worked together with other researchers but mainly working myself.

I enjoy reading all your research too. Learned a lot from it :)
Thank you! :)
 
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Julian Atkins

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I have read this whole thread the last 2 days, plus the papers referenced namely


and


I congratulate the authors of the above.

There are one or two points I would like to raise, having read the above papers, plus this whole thread:

1. Ismay's testimony concerning Collapsible C clearly, to my mind anyway, suggests that the circumstances into which he got into Collapsible C, were 'down played', and with Rowe and others being party to this. This is why the unraveling of the timing of the loading and lowering of Collapsible C was so difficult. I also don't discount the British Inquiry attempting to show Ismay in a favourable light. The British Inquiry timing of 1.40am of #C is evidence of this.

One could easily argue that a 'cover up' was in place concerning Ismay as early as day 1 of the USA Inquiry. I do not dispute that #C left around 2am, and clearly by then there was a large degree of panic and shots being fired as the boat was loaded.

I would value some comments on my views on this, and how they relate to Ismay's testimony.

2. I have never seen a proper detailed analysis as to why Rowe would adjust his pocket watch (if he had one on him) retarding it by 23 minutes or so after the time he was supposed to be relieved by Bright. I would like to believe Rowe as a witness, not least how his testimony relates to The Californian, but I am having doubts. As I stated on the 'Time Again' thread, to retard a pocket watch requires you to wind the hands round advancing them less the amount of the retardation, and is not something one would forget. He wasn't the best of witnesses in my opinion, and was reticent, and may have been 'nobbled' like others in the WSL before the Inquiries. (And, yes, I am aware of all of Rowe's later correspondence with Walter Lord and Harrison). I would suggest Lightoller as the chief 'nobbler'.

If Ismay was "under opiate" as transmitted to Olympic from the Carpathia, how could Ismay possibly send all the other detailed Marconigram messages from the Carpathia, unless the "under opiate" was a 'ruse'?

3. Boxhall seems to have had a very 'cushy' time before he was sent away in Emergency lifeboat 2, and this supports a view I have that Boxhall was already ill, and the surviving officers 'covered' for him to the extent they could.

4. I disagree with Sam over the VERY precise timing declared by James Gibson on The Californian when reporting to Captain Lord of the 8 rockets seen at 2.05am "by the wheelhouse clock" at the British Inquiry. The wheelhouse was in darkness and unused, and during daylight the officers on the Californian used the chart room clock, as there was no clock on the flying bridge, by looking down through the skylight/glazed roof of part of the chart room. Gibson would have known the chart room had a clock, and it does not make sense to me that he made a detour to the unused wheelhouse first to check the time, when he would have known the chart room clock was in view for him to see as he entered the chart room where Captain Lord was on the short settee resting, and with the chart room electric lights on. Given the very confusing evidence of The Californian Officers and Gibson, the "2.05am by the wheel house clock" sticks out, at least to me, and I can't just get my head round it! (I personally think Gibson meant to say at the British Inquiry "2.05am by the chart room clock" which would make perfect sense to me!)

Sam's precision of Gibson's timing does not tally with everything else we can gauge from Stone and Gibson that 'Middle Watch'. Perhaps it should be re-titled the 'Muddle Watch' ? Nothing at all was precise, as Sam has commented elsewhere on other aspects of Stone and Gibsons' evidence. Those 2 dimwits were out of their depth to properly evaluate a lot of the detail that was going on, and be able to remember and recount it.

(In all this, I am rather more interested in a revisionist view of how it was Ismay boarded #C)

Cheers,
Julian
 
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Julian Atkins

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Just to add to the above, the early part of this thread was consumed with Senan Molony in effect stating that Ismay's testimony and parts of Rowe's testimony would have to be discounted to change the British inquiry timing of the 'launch' of Collapsible C from 1.40am to 2am. I don't have a problem with discounting either testimony in respect of these details.

But it does have wider implications, as I have attempted to suggest above.

Cheers,
Julian
 
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Julian Atkins

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Hi Seamus,

I had not read Paul Lee's "Ismay's Escape" before today, thanks to your prompting, and also re-read the Rowe article today.

Doesn't change anything I posted on here last night.

I should add that I was most interested in the use of The Californian to justify timings on Titanic for the launching of lifeboats and the firing of the distress rockets in my post 105 of the papers referenced. It is not something I had previously considered in any great detail. I would only add that neither Stone or Gibson gave any reference for their timings, except Gibsons' "2.05 by the wheelhouse clock". The remainder of their timings might relate to The Californian's peculiar ship's bell times, but all this is perhaps getting off topic and for a particular lengthy thread on here.

Cheers,
Julian
 
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Jim Currie

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Hello Julian. Perhaps I can enlighten you a little on the actions of QM Rowe and his personal time piece?

To begin, you must appreciate the duties to be carried out by Rowe and those before and after him while located at the stern.
Basically, they were there to keep a lookout for anyone falling over the side and to attend to ensign etiquette during hours of daylight. They were also tasked with reading the Patent Log and reporting their findings to the bridge. The last took place every 2 hours during daylight hours up to and including 10 pm. Thereafter they had to make allowances for any planned ship's clock alterations. The interval between 10 pm and Log Book Midnight was not 2 hours, but in the case of Titanic that night was probably 2 hours and 24 minutes. Thus, if Rowe wished to know when the ship' clock would read 12 o' clock midnight and consequently the exact moment when to read the Patent Log, he would either set his personal time piece back 24 minutes at 10 pm when he went on duty at 10 pm or wait until he heard the time bells from the bridge indicating a ship time. For instance, the sound of 1 bell. would tell him that he had 15 minutes left on duty and 15 minutes left before he had to read the Patent Log and report the reading to the bridge. If his watch did not read 11-45 pm at that moment, he would set it to do so. When it read 12 o' clock he would read the log.
 
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The wheelhouse was in darkness and unused, and during daylight the officers on the Californian used the chart room clock, as there was no clock on the flying bridge, by looking down through the skylight/glazed roof of part of the chart room. Gibson would have known the chart room had a clock, and it does not make sense to me that he made a detour to the unused wheelhouse first to check the time, when he would have known the chart room clock was in view for him to see as he entered the chart room where Captain Lord was on the short settee resting, and with the chart room electric lights on. Given the very confusing evidence of The Californian Officers and Gibson, the "2.05am by the wheel house clock" sticks out, at least to me, and I can't just get my head round it! (I personally think Gibson meant to say at the British Inquiry "2.05am by the chart room clock" which would make perfect sense to me!)
How do you know that wheelhouse was in darkness? Where was the QM, who was responsible for striking ship's bells every half hour, stationed that night? If the chart room's light was on, then why would Lord have to ask Gibson what time it was when he came down to the chart room to report that the steamer had gone out of sight?
 
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he [Rowe] would either set his personal time piece back 24 minutes at 10 pm when he went on duty at 10 pm or wait until he heard the time bells from the bridge indicating a ship time.
Two points:
1. Rowe went on duty at 8pm, not 10. His time out on the poop was to have been 4h 23m that night because of the clock change.
(Speaking of time change, those doing shift work in most of the the States this coming Saturday/Sunday night put in an extra hour as clocks go back at 2am.)
2. Hearing time bells from the poop would probably be quite difficult that particular night with steam blowing off from the safeties after she came to a stop.
 

Jim Currie

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Two points:
1. Rowe went on duty at 8pm, not 10. His time out on the poop was to have been 4h 23m that night because of the clock change.
(Speaking of time change, those doing shift work in most of the the States this coming Saturday/Sunday night put in an extra hour as clocks go back at 2am.)
2. Hearing time bells from the poop would probably be quite difficult that particular night with steam blowing off from the safeties after she came to a stop.
Rowe went on duty at 8 pm and was on duty at 10 pm. He read the Log at 10 pm and passed the reading to QM Hichens who noted it in the book then relieved QM Olliver at the wheel. The time of that reading had to be 2 hours after 8 pm.
In the normal way, when QM owe next read the log, it would be 2 hours and 24 minutes after the previous reading if the Titanic Officers followed protocol.
The only way Rowe could be sure that his watch was set to Log Book time and that the required lapsed time from 10 pm had been reached was to set it to a know standard. The only known standards available to him were 1 bell indicating that 4 hours 9 minutes of Watch time had passed and 15 minutes of it remained or 8 bells indicating that 4 hours 24 minutes had been completed.. If, as you suggest, he did not hear 1 bell, and you are probably correct, then next time check would be 8 bells and we know they were sounded.

Rowe stated in later years that he had not adjusted his watch that night. However, we both know that could not be true since he noted a time of around 45 minutes after impact for the first lifeboat launch and when he was ordered to bring the detonators for the pyrotechnics to the bridge.
According to popular belief, there was no alteration of the clocks before impact with the iceberg and the first lifeboat was launched at 12-40 am, that was 25 minutes after QM Rowe claimed he saw the first boat off the starboard side. It surely is no coincidence that the difference of opinion regarding time indicates that although QM Rowe did not fully adjust his watch, he most certainly partially adjusted it? That being the case, then he must have adjusted it to a standard before he left the stern and went to the bridge. 8 bells Midnight, would only be sounded after a period of 12 hours and 24 minutes after Noon on April 14. As I wrote earlier, we know they were sounded and the proof came from Lookout Fleet :

"17319. Until eight bells? A: m- Till eight bells went.
17320. At eight bells, in the ordinary course, you were relieved? A: - Yes.


If QM Rowe heard them then he would have had his time check and the knowledge that his relief was late.

As for the sound of steam venting?

There would have been two such periods. The first would be for a short period to adjust pressure while the engines were stopped but on standby. Julian will recall that trains in the station did the same thing/ The second would be for a much longer period while the boilers were being fully vented. That was going on while Phillips was trying to communicate with potential rescuers and the boats were being uncovered.

As to the question of 23 or 24 minutes for the first adjustment...Although QM Hichens stated that they were to get 23 minutes one Watch and 24 minutes the other, the standard practice in the British MN was for the Junior OOW to get the lions shares of extra duty. Boxhall was 4th Officer, Pitman was 3rd. If normal protocol was followed on board Titanic, then Pitman would have had an extra 24 minutes in his pit (Sorry about that but I couldn't resist it) and Boxhall would have had a minute more of extra duty than Pitman.
 
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Julian Atkins

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How do you know that wheelhouse was in darkness? Where was the QM, who was responsible for striking ship's bells every half hour, stationed that night? If the chart room's light was on, then why would Lord have to ask Gibson what time it was when he came down to the chart room to report that the steamer had gone out of sight?
Hi Sam,

My point was really in respect of the exactitude of Gibson's "2.05 by the wheel house clock", as a reference to what happened via timing on Titanic in the 2 articles I mentioned in my post 105 above.

This is getting a bit off topic, but...

At face value, Captain Lord asking Gibson what time it was (according to Gibson) when Gibson reported to him at 2am or thereabouts in the Chart Room is pretty innocuous on 'one hand'. I could write quite a bit about 'on the other hand' but this is not the thread to do this. But let us assume Captain Lord had been dozing and was 'woken up' by Gibson. Depending where the chart room clock was located on one of 4 walls, if it was the forward wall, it would have been in direct view of Gibson, but behind Captain Lord.

In Gibson's 18th April statement, the "2.05 by the wheel house clock" detail is omitted (and no time is provided as a reply to Captain Lord asking the time), and the timing is vague other than he reported to Captain Lord after the "Just after 2 o' clock she was then about 2 points on the Port bow, she disappeared from sight...."

All of Gibson's timings in his 18th April statement except getting to the bridge at 15 minutes after midnight, were prefixed with "about" so and so time.

The QM on The Californian was never stationed in the unused wheelhouse but was always on the flying bridge in Captain Lord's time on The Californian. The wheelhouse below the flying bridge was unused (see Captain Lord's taped recorded interview transcripts of 1961). As a result it would have been in darkness.

I haven't a clue whether 4 bells were rung at 2am on The Californian. There is no evidence of them being rung, except Gibson's reference to 2 o' clock in his 18th April statement. If they were rung, as would be expected, then why not Gibson state instead "I reported to the chart room shortly after 4 bells had been rung" instead of making a ridiculous detour via the unused wheelhouse to check the time, which time check was in any event completely irrelevant in the circumstances, (and unnecessary if he had heard 4 bells), and when, if required, he could check the chart room clock when he entered the room!

Cheers,
Julian
 
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Jim Currie

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Hello Julian. a little but-in.

The overhead skylight would be covered at night. This would be essential to ensure the night vision of the Officer on Watch.
There would have been an overhead light in the chart room but this would never be lit at sea except in an emergency. However, there would be a shielded light over the chart table on which would be spread the then current chart in use (North Atlantic - Western Sheet). The chatroom clock was usually on the bulkhead above the chart table/ When Gibson arrived to report to Lord, the latter was probably semi-comatose on the short chart room settee. he would be in almost complete darkness. The normal response to being awakened from a deep sleep when you can't see the time is to check if you are being called at the proper time. I don't see anything mysterious about Lord's response... in fact it was very, very normal given the situation.
 
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Julian Atkins

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Hello Julian. a little but-in.

The overhead skylight would be covered at night. This would be essential to ensure the night vision of the Officer on Watch.
There would have been an overhead light in the chart room but this would never be lit at sea except in an emergency. However, there would be a shielded light over the chart table on which would be spread the then current chart in use (North Atlantic - Western Sheet). The chatroom clock was usually on the bulkhead above the chart table/ When Gibson arrived to report to Lord, the latter was probably semi-comatose on the short chart room settee. he would be in almost complete darkness. The normal response to being awakened from a deep sleep when you can't see the time is to check if you are being called at the proper time. I don't see anything mysterious about Lord's response... in fact it was very, very normal given the situation.
Hi Jim,

This is getting somewhat off topic, but I agree with you obviously that the skylight of the chart room that protruded through the deck of the flying bridge on The Californian would have had screens/shutters at night for the reasons you state. My point was that during daylight hours, from the skylight into the chart room those on the flying bridge could view the chart room clock, and the additional point was that there was no ship's clock on the exposed flying bridge.

The other vital piece of evidence is that the chart room, and Captain Lord's adjacent cabin (where the speaking tube was located to the flying bridge), had no exterior windows other than the skylights in the ceiling protruding through the flying bridge deck above.

Captain Lord, after he had a conversation with Stone on the boat deck as Stone went up to start his 'Middle Watch', then retired to the chart room, with the lights (plural) on, and was fully dressed and with his boots on and his cap on, in case he needed to be called to the freezing cold flying bridge during the night while The Californian was stopped; he had also ordered his Chief Engineer (Mahan) to keep steam up in case The Californian was required to move at short notice.

Captain Lord lit his pipe, and read a book (it obviously wasn't the chart room copy of 'registered company signals!). One can discuss how a pipe full of tobacco would have kept one awake rather like having a strong cup of coffee.

Captain Lord then contacted Stone via the speaking tube around 12.35 or 12.40 - the exact timing is unclear - and further has an effect on the above 2 papers I mentioned, but the vagaries of the timing are not commented upon in those papers. Captain Lord was clearly still fully awake at this 'window' of timings.

Captain Lord was fully still awake when Stone then whistled down the speaking tube to him around 1.15am (Stone's evidence, not Gibsons' as to the timing), so Captain Lord was still awake at this time.

To get back to the thread, I don't myself consider that it can be shown conclusively that Stone missed the first distress rocket fired from Titanic. All we know about Stone as being a 'dimwit' suggests he probably did, but the dismissive approach I adopt is not the same as the authors of the 2 papers appear to adopt.

Cheers,
Julian
 
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Jim Currie

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Hello Julian. You wrote " To get back to the thread, I don't myself consider that it can be shown conclusively that Stone missed the first distress rocket fired from Titanic. All we know about Stone as being a 'dimwit' suggests he probably did, but the dismissive approach I adopt is not the same as the authors of the 2 papers appear to adopt."

If the evidence of Stone concerning pyrotechnics is properly analysed, it will be seen that he did not identify the first sighting as that of a rocket of any kind...just a"flash" in the sky. However, he obviously raised his binoculars in the direction of the "flash" because he was then able to positively identify 4 rockets throwing white stars.

A distress rocket is not and never was designed to be a "flash" in the sky. There was indeed a "flash " of detonation at altitude. However, this was immediately followed by a shower of magnesium flares (stars) which floated slowly seaward. The idea being that they would stay lit long enough for any potential rescuer to see them. If Stone simply saw a "flash" and nothing more then he was not seeing a distress rocket.
Unless he went fast asleep after the initial flash, he would, as everyone else would do, raise his binoculars and focus in the direction of the sighting. He must have done this, because subsequently he saw and positively identified 7 white rockets.

Now answer this question: Is it pure coincidence that these projectiles were marketed in boxes containing multiples of a dozen and that a box with 7 missing from it was seen on the sea bed by the wreck?
 

Julian Atkins

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Hi Jim,

With the greatest respect you are missing the point I made which was what the authors of the 2 articles mentioned was that Stone missed the first distress rocket entirely because he was on the speaking tube answering Captain Lord at the time.

I totally agree with you that what Stone subsequently described as the first of 8 white rockets was a "flash", but this "flash" was included as the first of what were subsequently described as 8 white rockets by Gibson when reporting to Captain Lord in the chart room shortly after 2am.

My point, which appears to have been lost, is that the exactitude of Gibson's "2.05am by the wheel house clock" in the 2 papers I referenced, ought to be reconsidered.

Cheers,
Julian
 
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My point, which appears to have been lost, is that the exactitude of Gibson's "2.05am by the wheel house clock" in the 2 papers I referenced, ought to be reconsidered.
Unless you can find some hard evidence to the contrary, the best we have is Gibson's statement to the wreck commission that the time was 2:05am by the wheelhouse clock when he was sent down to Lord. All other times given were approximate. Furthermore, there is zero mention of anyone else being on the upper bridge except for Stone and Gibson that night. When Lord talked of the wheelhouse not being used he meant that the ship was conned and steered from from the upper bridge when underway. The wheel in the wheelhouse was not used.
 

Julian Atkins

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Hi Sam,

The wheel in the wheelhouse was not used
I think that is rather stretching the evidence! Captain Lord stated the wheelhouse was unused. On a common sense approach, and interpretation, it wasn't used. Full stop.

The idea that it was used as a place to check the ship's time is to my mind ridiculous, as I have attempted to explain. Gibson's evidence on this at the British Inquiry just doesn't make sense to me, and contradicts the vagueness of his timings in his 18th April statement. And you will be well aware of, or ought to consider, other evidence from Gibson when his timings are unusual, and contradict Stone's, such as when he said in his 18th April statement he returned to the bridge at about 12.55, and also when he mucks up other timings at the British Inquiry.

The idea that Gibson should be used, in one particular instance, as providing a reliable 'source' for an exact timing, simply does not make any sense to me!

If Gibson's "2.05am by the wheelhouse clock" is used, it ought to be qualified in my opinion.

Cheers,
Julian
 
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Jim Currie

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Not really, Julian, I did not miss the point you were making. I was simply pointing out to you and any others who might waste time in reading this, that the evidence combined with physical fact does not paint a word picture of Stone's first flash as the first rocket sighting Bottom line: the man did not say he saw a rocket at that time. I also offer the finding of the rocket box on the sea bed as corroborative evidence.

As to the question of timing and the apparent dim-witted-ness of Stone and Gibson?

There are several bits of "time" evidence which are consistently glossed over by "experts" on this subject. T

1. Stone, who was the on-coming OOW seems to have been 10 minutes late in relieving Groves, the duty OOW on the bridge. That would have been considered almost a crime on a merchant or any other vessel.
2. Groves heard the sound of 1 bell and noted a time of 11-40 pm on his watch. 1 bell is not a clock time, it is a 15 minute warning to the on-coming Watch and a reminder to the out-going Watch to complete all duties in the remaining 15 minutes of work time.
3. Captain Lord saw his mystery vessel stop at 11-30 pm. 3rd Officer Groves saw his stop 10 minutes later at 11-40 pm.
4. Apprentice Gibson seems to have been 15 minutes late arriving on duty.
5. If Californian had not been stopped by the ice, then at Midnight, her clocks would have been retarded 12 minutes and after Midnight, would have been retarded a further 12 minutes making a total retardation of 24 minutes
6. When Californian stopped, her clocks were 3 hours 10 minutes SLOW of GMT.
7. The Local Mean Time for where Californian stopped was 10 minutes SLOW of ship time and 3 hours 20 Minutes SLOW of GMT.


Now, in light of the above, consider the confusion if Lord had decided that his ship's clock were to be retarded 5 minutes at Midnight and a further 5 minutes thereafter and those in bed did not know about it until they were called 15 minutes before going on Watch. If that had been the case, then Groves would either set his watch back the full 10 minutes or half of it...i.e. 5 minutes.

If Lord had adjusted the ship's clocks to Local Mean Time, then they would have been 3 hours 20 minutes SLOW of GMT. This being so, and Stone had fully adjusted time, then he saw his first "Flash" at 4-05 GMT.
QM Rowe said that he fired his last rocket at about 1-25 am and his watch was 3 hours 22 minutes SLOW of GMT which means he fired the last one at 4-47 am GMT The interval between Stone's "Flash" and Rowe;s last signal was 42 minutes. However, if Stone did not see his first rocket until 4-09 am GMT, (interval of 4 minutes)then the interval between first and last was 39 minutes. That is an interval of just under 6 minutes between each signal fired.

Interesting?
 

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