Port side lifeboat policy: WHO enforced it?

G

George Jacub

Member
Of 82 witnesses to appear before the Senate Inquiry, only one, Fourth Officer Joseph Boxhall, was asked to put on the record the difference between Titanic time and New York time, one hour and thirty-three minutes.

As I wrote before, he was the designated arbiter of the matter. The word arbiter is defined variously as

* a person who settles a dispute or has ultimate authority in a matter.

* a person or agency whose judgment or opinion is considered authoritative

* One agreed upon or appointed to judge or decide a disputed issue

From the way the issue was framed, it's obvious that Boxhall fits all of the above:

Senator SMITH.

Mr. Boxhall, you seem to be the one upon whom we must rely to give the difference between ship's time and New York time; or, rather, to give ship's time and give the New York time when this accident occurred.

Note that Boxhall was not asked for his opinion, but rather to state the time on the record. Later in the hearing, two other officers--his superiors, First Officer Lightoller and Third Officer Pitman--- confirmed the 1:33 difference in time.

All other suggestions of time differences are theories and hypotheses, defined by dictionaries as

*a proposed explanation whose status is still conjectural and subject to experimentation, in contrast to well-established propositions that are regarded as reporting matters of actual fact."

* an unproved theory; a conjecture

A hypothesis needs to be proved. And the proof in this case must---I stress, must---be equal or greater than the weight of three of the four surviving officers in agreement, with the fourth not asked.
 
Samuel Halpern

Samuel Halpern

Member
Of 82 witnesses to appear before the Senate Inquiry, only one, Fourth Officer Joseph Boxhall, was asked to put on the record the difference between Titanic time and New York time, one hour and thirty-three minutes.

As I wrote before, he was the designated arbiter of the matter.
He was designated the "arbiter" of the matter by Sen. Smith, who had no idea as to how different vessels in the same vicinity to each could have different times on board. This is the same Boxhall who was asked:

Senator BURTON: The captain of the Mount Temple maintains that the course as conveyed by the distress signal was wrong; that the Titanic was actually eight miles distant from the place indicated. What do you say as to that?
Mr. BOXHALL: I do not know what to say. I know our position, because I worked the position out, and I know that it is correct. One of the first things that Capt. Rostron said after I met him was "What a splendid position that was you gave us."
Senator BURTON: You gave them what position?
Mr. BOXHALL: 41º 46', and 50º 14'.
Senator BURTON: And you are satisfied that was correct?
Mr. BOXHALL: Perfectly.
Senator BURTON: You computed it yourself, did you?
Mr. BOXHALL: I computed it myself, and computed it by star observations that had been taken by Mr. Lightoller that same evening; and they were beautiful observations.
Senator BURTON: Who made the computations on them?
Mr. BOXHALL: I did.

Titanic sank in 41º 43.5'N, and 49º 56.8'W, about 13 miles east of Boxhall's "splendid position," of which Boxhall was "perfectly" satisficed that it was correct. So I guess George, we should also accept Boxhall as the perfect arbiter of all navigational questions when it comes to Titanic. After all, was it not he that you referred to as "the ship's navigator"? Obviously Capt. Moore had to be wrong when he said that Titanic could not have been in the place that Boxhall said it was, and that Robert Ballard was wrong in his position of the wreck.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Arun Vajpey, Jason D. Tiller and Julian Atkins
G

George Jacub

Member
Apples, meet oranges.

When Senator Smith called Boxhall " the one upon whom we must rely" I doubt he was using the Royal 'we'. He was speaking on behalf of all of the members of the Senate Inquiry, and, as I have pointed out many times before, he undoubtedly knew in advance what Boxhall (and every witness) was going to say.
When questioned about the discrepancy between his calculations and the Captain's of the Mount Temple regarding the Titanic's position, he was asked "What do you say as to that?" Senator Smith was leaving open the possibility that Boxhall got it wrong. (I wonder why you didn't point out that the Captain of the Mount Temple also got the Titanic's position wrong.)
And yes, it was I who called Boxhall Titanic's navigator. Given Mr. Murdoch's death the post of navigator opened up so I conflated the job of "navigator" with "the-man-given-the-task-by-the-Captain-of-working-up-the-latest-position-of-where-the-Titanic-was-as-it-was-sinking-into-the-ocean". Brevity trumped by history.
 
Samuel Halpern

Samuel Halpern

Member
I wonder why you didn't point out that the Captain of the Mount Temple also got the Titanic's position wrong.
Capt. Moore wasn't the one to calculate Titanic's position. He only knew what was given to him by his wireless operator (which was Boxhall's position) and then headed toward the given position. He later deduced that Titanic could not have reached the position given to him as it couldn't have crossed a 5-6 mile wide field of pack ice to his east, and he already knew his longitude was then already east of the SOS position given to him.

And by the way, the senior officers were not the ones involved in working up navigational data. That job was delegated to the four junior officers.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Arun Vajpey, Thomas Krom, Jason D. Tiller and 1 other person
G

George Jacub

Member
So you're saying that Boxhall was asked why his incorrect position was different than the Mount Temple's incorrect position. Boxhall explained the process he used to arrive at his position. While, you say, the Capt.of the Mount Temple "deduced" the Titanic's position "later". Or did he rely on his wireless operator to do the deduction?

And by the way, which junior officer do you say worked up the Titanic's position sent in the first CQD's?
 
Seumas

Seumas

Member
George, I'd gracefully admit defeat here if I were you.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Jason D. Tiller and Arun Vajpey
Arun Vajpey

Arun Vajpey

Member
Capt. Moore wasn't the one to calculate Titanic's position. He only knew what was given to him by his wireless operator (which was Boxhall's position) and then headed toward the given position. He later deduced that Titanic could not have reached the position given to him as it couldn't have crossed a 5-6 mile wide field of pack ice to his east, and he already knew his longitude was then already east of the SOS position given to him
Great post and that should stop any further discussion about dragging Captain Moore into Navigational discrepancies on board the Titanic. I was going to suggest to George that between 2 of Sam's books - Titanic - An Enigma in Time and Strangers On the Horizon would answer all of his questions but not sure he would accept the suggestion.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Jason D. Tiller and Seumas
G

George Jacub

Member
Inconvenvient truths can be painful. I wonder what advice you've given Sam after learning he's changed his mind about the order that the first port lifeboats were launched which upends the W-F-B launch order.

What time do you think the boatswain pipe "all hands on deck"? The right answer settles the time debate.
 
Arun Vajpey

Arun Vajpey

Member
I wonder what advice you've given Sam after learning he's changed his mind about the order that the first port lifeboats were launched which upends the W-F-B launch order.
I don't have to give Sam Halpern any "advice". Yes, there are a couple of things we might have small differences of opinion but that's what these forums are about. As for the "#8 vs #6" debate, for the present I am going along with the WFB sequence but as I have mentioned elsewhere, am willing to reconsider my position depending on the outcome of further discussions.

There was a time when many of us - very much including me - blamed Lightoller entirely for the port side lifeboat loading policy of "women and children ONLY. It was only recently that I began to think that with Smith and Wilde also around, Lightoller alone could not have enforced that plan. That is why I changed my mind about him a little and started this thread.

I believe Sam has expressed his views clearly and with dignity in the above posts. Those views are based on detailed research and analysis. You actually might find those books I mentioned above quite interesting.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Samuel Halpern
Arun Vajpey

Arun Vajpey

Member
I finally found an excerpt of the interview that Third Class passenger survivor Fahim al_Zainni (aka Philip Zenni) gave to The Dayton Herald on 25th June 1912. For some reason I am unable to copy and paste it but anyone can check this out through the archives; the article starts on Page 1 and continues on Page 5.

Al-Zainni was an interloper on board Lifeboat #6, the very first Third Class passenger to get off the sinking Titanic. In that interview he clearly said that he tired to get into the first lifeboat (on the port side) but was ordered out and told that it was "women and children only" by an officer. He saw that lifeboat lowered to the water and then "sneaked behind the officer's back" into the second lifeboat as it was being loaded, and hid under a seat. He was discovered only after the boat was rowing away from the ship and ordered to take an oar, which he did. He claimed that there were "three sailors" and only women passengers on Lifeboat #6 but after Hichens and Fleet, the "third sailor" was obviously Peuchen. Zainni would have been hiding under the seat when the Major was allowed to enter the lifeboat and likely missed the circumstances under which that had happened. In the darkness of the lifeboat, Zainni would not have known Peuchen to have been any different from the other two men.

He had given an interview earlier on 25th April 1912 with the Ohio newspaper Niles Daily News but I have not been able to find it so far.

Zainni may not have been the best of interviewees, but on 13th June 1912 he would not have had the slightest reason to make up or make a mistake with such a simple narrative. It would not have mattered to him a fig if Lifeboat #6 was the second, fifth or any other port boat to leave the Titanic and so what he said must have been true.

After Major Peuchen and Martha Stone, this statement from Zainni is the third one with two reference points indicating that Lifeboat #8 was lowered to the water several minutes ahead of Lifeboat #6.
 
G

George Jacub

Member
Paul Lee reprinted the Niles Daily News story in a story on his site headlined Titanic: Hidden Figures. Here's what he wrote:

The only interview this author knows of with this interview was the "Niles Daily News" of 25/4/12: "Zanni made an effort to leap into one of the boats, but an officer of the boat stood with a drawn revolver in hand and all the men were compelled to stand back at the command, ‘Women and children first.’ Zanni made a second unsuccessful attempt to leap into the boat and was ordered back by the officer, but a moment later the officer turned and he made a leap, landing in the middle of the boat. He took refuge under one of the seats and the boat was pulled away. There was twenty women and three men in the boat. Zanni was placed at the oars."
 
G

George Jacub

Member

Reprinted on Encyclopedia Titanica​

************************************************************

Survivor from Titanic arrives in Niles​

Philip Zanni Tells a Tragic Story of His Rescue​

Niles Daily News​

Thursday 25th April 1912

Assisted in Rowing Lifeboat Away from Sinking Ship
The first survivor of the ill fated ship the "Titanic" that has reached Niles is Philip Zanni [sic], and [sic] exceptionally well-spoken Assyrian who arrived in the city last night at 8 o'clock from New York and is a guest in the home of his friends: Messrs Shaker and Abraham of Furnace Street, who are doing everything in their power to assist him in recuperating from the effects of the great fright and shock to which he was subjected in his miraculous escape from the fast sinking vessel.
A representative of the News called on Mr Zanni this morning and he told him his story in a most graphic manner. He and a companion had retired for the night and were sound asleep. Zanni was awakened by his companion who heard the crash of the boat against the iceberg and both leaped from their berths and ran to the upper deck. The greatest confusion was evident on all sides and men were lowering the lifeboats. Zanni made an effort to leap into one of the boats, but an officer of the boat stood with a drawn revolver in his hand and all the men were compelled to stand back at the command "Women first." Zanni made a second unsuccessful attempt to leap into the boat and was again ordered back by the officer, but a moment later the officer turned and he made a leap, landing in the middle of the boat. He took refuge under one of the seats and the boat was pulled away. There were twenty women and three men in the boat and in order to escape from the suction of the great ship those in the boat realized that it was necessary to row quickly. The men called on the women to row, when Zanni made known his presence and was placed at one of the oars. They rowed a distance of about two miles guided only by the morning star which shone brightly in the heavens and stopped when they believed themselves to be safely away from the ship, and watched the great "Titanic" sink with its cargo of souls aboard. The cries of distress from those on board are still ringing in the ears of Mr Zanni and he feels just as all the other survivors feel that many more lives might have been saved in the boats.
The sight of the sinking ship, after one plunge, bow downward, will never be forgotten by any of the people who were in the lifeboats. It was nearly five o'clock when they sighted the "Carpathia" coming toward them, and one great cry went up from the lifeboats, and lanterns were waved frantically.
Mr Zanni tells of the kindness shown toward them by the captain and officers of the [illegible] boat and of the [illegible] trip to [illegible] New York. On their arrival they were shown every kindness by the waiting throngs. He was taken to the office of the Hebrew sheltering and immigration Aid Society where he was provided with clothing and rendered every assistance.
An incident which tends to prove the utter selfishness of shallow-minded people is related by the young man. When the survivors were being raised into the Carpathia a woman who was in his lifeboat pleaded with him to save her dog, which she had clasped tightly in her arms since leaving the "Titanic." Zanni informed her politely that human beings came first and the clung desperately to the little animal until someone lifted her to the deck of the boat.
Mr Zanni was married four months ago and left his wife in France. He goes to Cincinnati soon where he will engage in business.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Samuel Halpern and Arun Vajpey
Arun Vajpey

Arun Vajpey

Member
Thanks. In the interview with The Dayton Herald, he told them that he was thrown out of the first lifeboat which was then lowered to the water and then sneaked into the second. I have not been able to properly download, copy or paste it but it is in the archives.
 
Samuel Halpern

Samuel Halpern

Member
As written in the W-F-B lifeboat article, “considering all the conflicting accounts regarding these two boats, it is clear that not all of the accounts can be correct.” So pick you favorites.

In support of No. 6 being lowered before No. 8 there is the very specific primary evidence account of Frederick Fleet that No. 6 was lowered before No. 8. Then there are the primary accounts of Ella White, and Marie Young that No. 8 was the second boat lowered. And then then there are the secondary accounts from Margaret Swift, Dr. Alice Leader, and Caroline Bonnell that said No. 8 was the second boat lowered. Then there is AB Jone's primary evidence that only two boats remained on his side of the ship when No. 8 was lowered. They would be No. 2 and No. 4 of those fore port-side boats which weren't launched until much later on.

Another interesting tid bit that comes up at times has to do with the lack of seamen when these boats were being lowered. When No. 6 was going to be lowered, a seaman had to climb out of the boat to man one of the falls. Lightoller then had just two at his disposal at the falls to lower the boat, and we know about his sending the good major down into the boat when Hichen's called up. When No.8 was being lowered, Capt Smith had to man one of the falls with the help of a steward (see Crawford) because of the lack of trained seamen around the boat at that time. Boat No. 8 went away with only two seamen in it, as did No. 6.
 
Samuel Halpern

Samuel Halpern

Member
Lightoller: "It is absolutely necessary to have a seaman on each fall. No one else can lower a boat. I was calling for seamen, and one of the seamen jumped out of the boat and started to lowering away."
 
Top