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Arun Vajpey

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I'm just not seeing it at all. The boats were spread out, in the dark. Even if they could have gotten their quicker than most estimate they could, they might have gotten to one boat. As for the people in the water after 15-20 minutes or so when nobody was making noise anymore it would have been very difficult to locate any of them till the sun came up. I know its kind of a morbid question but how long did it take for the people in the water to disperse where if Carpathia did get a boat in the water they could have gotten many or any at all that would have made a difference?

I believe the people in the water would already have been somewhat scattered within the hour after the Titanic disappeared below the surface.

Looking at the most optimistic scenario (I am sure that Jim Currie or someone else with nautical experience will correct me on the details)

- Stone sees the first rocket at 12:45 am. He immediately yells for a crew member to waken 'Sparks' Evans and also speaks down the tube to report to the Captain.
-Captain Lord immediately orders all crew to be alerted and issues appropriate instructions for the Californian to be on its way to the rescue. Additional lookouts are posted, lifeboats readied and the Captain arranges to get feedback from Evans regularly.

I am assuming that it would take at least 10 minutes for the Californian to be on its way; that's 12:55 am. I support the view that the two ships were about 14 miles apart that night and the Californian had a max speed of 12 knots. But it was night and there were icebergs and growlers about. So, it would be about 02:05 am by the time the Californian got to within half-a-mile of the Titanic, just as Collapsible D was being lowered. From that point, the Californian would have to slow down and proceed more cautiously because of the other lifeboats already on the sea. For the time being, the crew of the Californian ignore those already safe in lifeboats and concentrate on the sinking Titanic; but by then the bigger ship is almost gone and the crew of the Californian cannot get too close without endangering their own ship.

Therefore IMO, the Californian would not have been able to rescue anyone off the by then rapidly sinking Titanic's decks.

Meanwhile, the crew of the Californian lower their lifeboats. They had 6 of them (4 standard and 2 small, I believe) with a total capacity of around 220. We can only imagine the terribly difficult task of the crew manning those boats to row into the masses of life-jacketed bodies all around. Amid the screams in the dark, those still conscious would be trying to get to the boats even as the boats tried to get to them; there would be the danger of the boats being swarmed by the stronger ones and the crew on board would had difficulty in deciding whom to haul in and in what order. Meanwhile, many survivors struggling in the water would have become unconscious and soon afterwards died.

It would have been an almost impossible task and that's why I feel 50 more saved would have been the best possible scenario had Californian reacted promptly.
 

Arun Vajpey

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I believe the people in the water would already have been somewhat scattered within the hour after the Titanic disappeared below the surface.

In case someone misunderstood the above post, I believe about an hour after the Titanic sank, almost all of those who could not make it into a lifeboat would be dead. Stories about male survivors "swimming for hours" under those conditions is purest fiction and mostly brought about by survivor's guilt.
 

Jim Currie

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In case someone misunderstood the above post, I believe about an hour after the Titanic sank, almost all of those who could not make it into a lifeboat would be dead. Stories about male survivors "swimming for hours" under those conditions is purest fiction and mostly brought about by survivor's guilt.
Absolutely! Body core temperature would have dropped very quickly any hypothermia would have quickly st-in
 
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Absolutely! Body core temperature would have dropped very quickly any hypothermia would have quickly st-in
I have read that the length of time you would stay alive is about the same as the water temperature (degrees Fahrenheit)
Water temperature 32 , you would die in about 32 minutes, etc.
The colder the water, the quicker you would die.
Warmer, you would stay alive longer.
 

Arun Vajpey

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I have read that the length of time you would stay alive is about the same as the water temperature (degrees Fahrenheit)
Water temperature 32 , you would die in about 32 minutes, etc.
The colder the water, the quicker you would die.
Warmer, you would stay alive longer.
That time-temperature "formula" is completely untrue. While it is correct that hypothermia (and hence unconsciousness and eventual death if not rescued) sets in more rapidly in colder water, there are many other variables. The general physical condition of the person, any underlying health issues (eg heart disease), age and whether they are moving. Controlled swimming (not thrashing about) might help in delaying hypothermia to some extent.

Interestingly, the effect of gender on hypothermia is debated. All other conditions being equal, women vasoconstrict faster than men and so feel the cold sooner than their male counterparts. But whether this actually translates to more serious effects of hypothermia is more difficult to determine. Women have a higher proportion of subcutaneous fat than men but this may not help in delaying effects of hypothermia better to any significant extent.
 
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Agree that lots of different variables would be at work but probably only counted for minutes among most. I still think a lot probably succumbed to thermal shock...heart attack, stop breathing ect. I don't know if they are still there but they used to have warning signs about the water coming out of Hoover Dam. Warning people not to jump in the water because of that. Its like 38* or so. Theres been people killed from doing it.
 

Jim Currie

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I have just arrived back in Scotland but my Titanic Data (like the ship herself) is still at sea on it's way here. When I get time, I will publish The Robert Gordon Institute Survival School Notes on the subject. I was an active pupil there several times Arun is right , there are many variable to be taken to consideration. The Arctic Warfare School has done many studies on the subject.
 

Arun Vajpey

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I have just arrived back in Scotland

What you need to settle in is
1591713544319.png
 

Arun Vajpey

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You're on when I'm in Scotland next. I personally prefer Bushmills Single Malt but might get lynched if I ask for that in Scotland. Having said that, I tired the Royal Portrush once and thought that it was superb. But at £99 a bottle....
 

Arun Vajpey

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Oh, I did not have to pay for it. It was a collective gift from the colleagues of a Scottish doctor at his retirement party and I was invited.
 

Arun Vajpey

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Why can't you drink the occasional spirits? I might have missed something and so forgive me if I have.
 
Nov 14, 2005
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Oh nothing dramatic. I just found that when I retired it was too easy to just lay around and drink Jack and cokes to excess. The occasional would easily turn into the daily. No way to spend your fourth quarter. So I just cut it all out and got busy again. No big deal.
 
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Rob Lawes

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A while ago, we had a discussion regarding other members of the crew of the Californian and why they were never called to give evidence.

I saw today that in the famous picture of the crew outside the inquiry, apart from the ships officers and Evens, there were three others in the photograph, namely Firement G Glenn, Greaser W Thomas and Seaman W Ross.

Clearly they weren't taken of the ship and sent to the inquiry without reason so, a) I wonder why they were never called? and b) I wonder what evidence they would have given?
 

Rob Lawes

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Most likely Sam.

An interesting selection from the crew though. AB Ross may well have been the lookout at the time and I would have expected him to be called to the inquiry but, I wonder what the Fireman and the Greaser were there for?

Perhaps they were there to be questioned on what Gill had said?

Amusingly, I've noticed the deck boy on the crew list has the same family surname as me so who knows, it may well have been a distant relative.
 

Arun Vajpey

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Perhaps after reviewing their depositions it was decided that there didn't seem to be much more added value to calling them. Just guessing.

Or, with the British Inquiry, were some people worried that certain (uncalled) witnesses might say things that they did not necessarily want to hear? I was thinking on those lines because the British Inquiry took place over a month after the disaster and there would have been a few press interviews in the interim.
 

Steven Stuart

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Steven, given your interest in mystery vessels, You might be interested in Albert Moulton Foweraker's 1913 analysis of the Californian affair based on his own research into the reported events, and his personal correspondence with Captain Lord. Part of that correspondence included having access to the April 18, 1912 written statements of 2/O Herbert Stone and Apprentice James Gibson that Lord withheld from the inquiries the year before. His analysis, which he called “A Miscarriage of Justice,” was published in consecutive issues of Nautical Magazine from April through July in 1913.

Foweraker decided on three main conclusions:
1. There were two unidentified steamers between Titanic and Californian: Steamer “X” that was observed by Californian and fired low-lying rockets or Roman candles; and Steamer “Z” which was observed by Titanic that at first approached and later turned away.
2. Titanic’s reported position was wrong since it would have placed Titanic on the western side of a thick ice barrier that ran north to south blocking her path westward.
3. Californian’s overnight position was consistent with her route to Boston, the position of the ice fields, and her 6:30am position was “indisputable” and 26 miles from where he believed was the actual disaster site.
(All of this was, of course, well before the discovery of the wreck site.)

Foweraker provided several hand drawn diagrams within his published article
showing the positions of various vessels involved and their relation to the icefield that ran more or less north to south. In fact, besides mystery vessels X and Z, Foweraker decided that there were five other mystery vessels in the vicinity of the disaster, not counting the six vessels that he did identify:
Californian, Titanic, Carpathia, Mount Temple, Frankfurt and Almerian.

I provide a summary and analysis of his Miscarriage of Justice articles in App. K of my book, Strangers on the Horizon, which includes several of his charts, including one that was attributed to Lord.

What is your considered opinion of Foweraker's analysis, Sam? What do you think he got right, got wrong, has anything changed with regards his conclusions since the Titanic's discovery in 1985, etc?

This thread seems to have exhausted itself of late, alas... but for the record, let me give my possible final opinions (and anyone feel free to correct me);

- If Titanic's bow was facing north, could the mystery vessel seen by both Titanic and Californian alike have been one and the same? It would certainly clear up one or two loose ends if so...

- If Titanic's bow was facing WNW (as I've always believed but no longer sure about, thanks to Sam, credit where its due), then by the laws of both physics and reason, the vessel seen by Californian could NOT have been Titanic, likewise Californian could not have been the vessel seen by passengers and crew of the foundering Titanic. In such a scenario, I agree with Foweraker and others that more than one mystery vessel was present in that ice field and surrounding area, and have thus remained unidentified to this day.

These two scenarios I cannot decide upon, if either are remotely accurate, and it'll take a much smarter and more qualified person than me do so with any qualitative authority.

As far as the erstwhile Captain Stanley Lord and the final analysis of his actions (or lack thereof) that night; I do believe his vessel was made an undeserved scapegoat at the two subsequent inquiries... I do not believe they could have changed a single thing about the final outcome nor (likely) saved a single life by the time they arrived on scene had Lord got Stone to waken Evans and fire up the wireless after the initial 1:15am rocket report down the whistle tube.

But the fact remains that, as Arun correctly stated, Lord was a trained and qualified and experienced professional who would have been able to waken himself almost immediately to a state of full awareness and readiness at the drop of a hat, so the 'half-asleep' argument may just have been a fallible human moment of fatigue at an unfortunate time, or Lord was trying to cover his rear (and career) from an unexpectedly ferocious blowback once word got out about Californian's role in the sinking... we'll never know.

Although he escaped official censure, Lord did deserve some of the criticism he received... it was legitimate to question why exactly he never went back on the bridge or even got his OOW Stone to see what, if anything, was being transmitted over the wireless once reports of rockets were given to him... rockets mean something on the open sea and Lord should have known the use of company signals was prohibited on the Atlantic routes by regulation.

In short; even if nothing could have been changed or anyone saved by Californian's potential immediate rescue attempt, nonetheless there is a disconnect in what Lord did and what was expected of a trained and professional mariner... he did nothing legally wrong, but fell short of what anyone would have hoped the skipper of a relatively nearby vessel would have done if that anyone was on a ship sinking beneath their very feet!

I sympathize with Lord's plight, and the man himself, but he was not blameless in this incident, and that's an aspect of this incident where my opinion has changed.

And there you go, that's my two cents for what it's worth...

As Captain Kirk once so memorably quipped, "it's been... fun".

Hailing frequencies closed.
 
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