Stanley Lord guilty as charged


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>>Are there any ideas of how many more would have been saved ?<<

IF the Titanic hadn't hit the iceberg in the first place. If the whole comedy chain of errors which led to the interaction with the iceberg had never happened, IF standard navigation practices had been a little different, the Titanic would have made it to the other side of the Atlantic in one piece and nobody would ever have heard of the second sister of the ship that stood still.
 

Jim Currie

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Here is a short version of the documentary that shows there was refraction in the immediate area, and how the difference in temperature created the effect.




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Aaron, I have argued this point with Tim Malton. It is a bit of speculative sensationalism. There is no abnormal refraction when the temperature between the intervening sea and air to a height of 100 feet above sea level varies very slightly. That was the case that night in the vicinity of Titanic and the Californian. Additionally; they were at the center of an intense Anticyclone where there was no wind and very little moisture in the atmosphere.
Malton bases a lot of his work on the idea that there was a sharp barrier between the Labrador Current and the Gulf Stream. More nonsense. In fact, the Gulf Stream's northern edge was some 15 to 20 miles south of where Titanic sank. The Labrador Current loops south, then east then north at about 42 North, 49 West. If the Labrador Current had been as far south as Tim Malton and others believe it was, then Carpathia would never have found Boxhall and she would have been south and west of the false distress position. The popular Californian v. Titanic tale is based on a single factor. It depends on Titanic having swung northward after impact with the ice and putting the Californian on her port bow. That did not happen and could not have happened. If it had done, how could Titanic have turned her bow against the fabled Labrador Current? If, by some miracle of physics, that had happened; why then did Titanic stop turning to the right yet the Californian, which was turned exactly as is claimed Titanic was, continued to swing slowly to the right under the momentum of the initial turn?
The Maltin story, like most the stories about the Californain is like a Garden Riddle...full of holes.
 

Harland Duzen

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Aaron, I have argued this point with Tim Malton. It is a bit of speculative sensationalism. There is no abnormal refraction when the temperature between the intervening sea and air to a height of 100 feet above sea level varies very slightly. That was the case that night in the vicinity of Titanic and the Californian. Additionally; they were at the center of an intense Anticyclone where there was no wind and very little moisture in the atmosphere.
Malton bases a lot of his work on the idea that there was a sharp barrier between the Labrador Current and the Gulf Stream. More nonsense. In fact, the Gulf Stream's northern edge was some 15 to 20 miles south of where Titanic sank. The Labrador Current loops south, then east then north at about 42 North, 49 West. If the Labrador Current had been as far south as Tim Malton and others believe it was, then Carpathia would never have found Boxhall and she would have been south and west of the false distress position. The popular Californian v. Titanic tale is based on a single factor. It depends on Titanic having swung northward after impact with the ice and putting the Californian on her port bow. That did not happen and could not have happened. If it had done, how could Titanic have turned her bow against the fabled Labrador Current? If, by some miracle of physics, that had happened; why then did Titanic stop turning to the right yet the Californian, which was turned exactly as is claimed Titanic was, continued to swing slowly to the right under the momentum of the initial turn?
The Maltin story, like most the stories about the Californain is like a Garden Riddle...full of holes.
While I don't entirely agree with this (just my opinion) I noticed in the inquires particularly with Groves that he was asked multiple times if there was haze and kept saying no as did Lord and several other members of the crew.
 

Harland Duzen

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In the show, Tim Maltin had analysed weather records and sightings from ships which had observed weather patterns which showed there was some sort or environmental effect occurring in the area. Plus Parks Stephenson seems to agree with Maltin's findings.

Back to Topic, does anyone actually know of any shipping companies codes for "Company Signals" while feasible some were lying in the inquiries, Is it feasible they were company signals that contained the colour "white"?
 
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>>Are there any ideas of how many more would have been saved ?<<

IF the Titanic hadn't hit the iceberg in the first place. If the whole comedy chain of errors which led to the interaction with the iceberg had never happened, IF standard navigation practices had been a little different, the Titanic would have made it to the other side of the Atlantic in one piece and nobody would ever have heard of the second sister of the ship that stood still.
Thanks again, Michael-
That does seem as IF that would have been the only way that more would have been saved ?

Even IF Californian could have reached Titanic before it sank it does seem that there would have been no way that all or many more could have been saved as I believe (it was Lord Mersey ? ) was accusing Californian of not doing by not coming to the aid of Titanic immediately ?

The only way that the arrival of the Calfornian could have saved more would have been IF Californian had arrived soon, Titanic's lifeboats were loaded to capacity and safely transferred to Californian.Then gone back to Titanic and repeated the process. It would have been a hopeless impossibility even IF everything had gone perfectly ? Considering Californian was the only rescue ship involved.....Carpathia couldn't and didn't arrive until much later ?

Again this is just my opinion strictly from a layman's (or more from a "landlubber's) point of view.
 
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Jim Currie

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In the show, Tim Maltin had analysed weather records and sightings from ships which had observed weather patterns which showed there was some sort or environmental effect occurring in the area. Plus Parks Stephenson seems to agree with Maltin's findings.

Back to Topic, does anyone actually know of any shipping companies codes for "Company Signals" while feasible some were lying in the inquiries, Is it feasible they were company signals that contained the colour "white"?
As far as I know, Tim Maltin is not qualified to analyse weather. His interpretation of the SS Morengo Log Book is wrong, For instance, he has a Eurika! moment with that ship's position vis-a-vis water temperature and Titanic's location. The Morengo was heading east, 40 odd miles to the south of the Titanic location and slap-bang in the middle of the Gulf Stream easterly extension. From about 7-30 pm on the evening of April 14 until dawn on April 15, an intense high-pressure system dominated the area. Flat calm conditions prevailed. Air and sea temperatures were very close and would remain so in excess of 100 feet above sea level. Conditions for abnormal refraction require a rapid temperature inversion in the first 100 feet above sea level. Such conditions did not exist between Titanic and the Californian. Here are the actual figures from the Californian's Log Book. during the critical time:

Air. Water.
Noon 14 50 56
4 p.m. 37 36
8 p.m. 32 27
Midnight 27 28
April 15 - 4 a. m. 29 29

I did this for a living, Martin. I kept the weather log for the UK Met office on an Anchor Line ship running between the Uk and New York so perhaps I might know a little about the subject?;)
 

Harland Duzen

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Well that's another questionable Titanic Documentary ticked off the list of worthy sources (not that I had) Back To Topic!

I been reading Lord's account, and I feel the reason he didn't think the rockets were distress signals was the timing between the messages sent to him by Gibson and Stone.

(Times aren't approximate and Californian's Time)

12:50: 1 rocket reported by Stone

01:15: told by Stone rockets have been fired

02:05: Woken by Gibson and told ship gone and steamed away.

Currently to me, it seems given the giant gaps in time, Lord didn't think they were distress rockets because from what he's been told by Stone and Gibson they been fired with large gaps between, sounding more like the theory that the ship in the distance was replying / responding to a ship further south.

------------

Also, I got a theory that the Yellow Funnelled Ship seen from Californian Might be Carpathia.

Earlier on this forum, I mentioned the paddington rail disaster in 1999 as an example for a earlier theory that Lord fell asleep from exhaustion.

Anyway, a major reason for the crash was the driver mistook a Red signal (meaning Stop) for Amber (Proceed with Caution) and it was found that the sunrise in the morning had reflected on the red glass and made it shine with a yellow glare.

Given how the Californian crew say daybreak began appearing around 4am, one could theorise that the early sun's glare on the Carpathia's metallic red funnel created this effect from a distance leading to the confusion over a yellow funnelled 4 masted ship.
 
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Aaron_2016

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The way I see it. Passing ships recorded the temperatures and we can see by Tim's findings that they dropped sharply and then rose sharply in that area during the day and night and several ships that passed over her location and near it recorded "great refraction" so there is no doubt about it that there were atmospheric effects. It's in their logs after all, so the effects were real. 3rd officer Groves said - "There was absolutely no doubt her being a passenger steamer, at least in my mind." He saw her deck lights and two masthead lights. What is interesting is that the Titanic only had one masthead light, but he also said the ship was approaching them almost head on and this would mean the two masthead lights he saw would be one above the other and that would occur with refraction as it would elevate the masthead light and reflect it which created the false impression there were two masthead lights, one above the other. They also watched the vessel list heavily and saw her port light rise high up which was also an effect of the refraction as her port light was rising instead of falling. I just find it difficult to believe there was another ship that fired rockets, listed heavily and disappeared and then fired more rockets in the morning. It had to be the Titanic and the Carpathia.


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IF all some 2200 persons from Titanic could have been safely transported to Californian ?
Would there have been enough space on Californian for them ?
Would their weight ? .....at least 165 tons ?....have affected Californian's stability ?
How about getting them to New York ?
Would Californian been of all that much help ?
 

Harland Duzen

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IF all some 2200 persons from Titanic could have been safely transported to Californian ?
Would there have been enough space on Californian for them ?
Would their weight ? .....at least 165 tons ?....have affected Californian's stability ?
How about getting them to New York ?
Would Californian been of all that much help ?
2200 persons: Unless Californian began heading towards Titanic before she even stuck the iceberg thanks to Lord or someone having telepathic vision.

Enough space: Probably not, all the survivors would have ended up lying on the deck in the open air and more deaths would have certain. With just 65 crew in total everyone from Lord to the cooks would of have to help and Californian would have limited first aid and supplies to share around the survivors.

Weight: Good question. That could have been a major problem.

New York: Given the storm and rain Carpathia faced, Californian would certainly had more deaths from the cold.

Would Californian been of all that much help ?

Apart from arriving before Carpathia a few minutes before hand. What would have happened is this:

Californian arrives and the boats begin to leech the ship from all sides and the crew of 65 struggles to bring everyone aboard really slowly. wounded and exhausted passengers would end up lying all over the deck and in small gaps in the crowded hold below, Lord would be totally overwhelmed with a lack of first aid and relief he can give to the survivors not to mention those in shock, ill or currently gone crazy. Carpathia would have arrived and after some discussions would have no choice but to ferry all the survivors to the better equipment and stocked Carpathia much to the survivors displeasure.
 

Julian Atkins

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I have read this whole thread today, and I must thank Jim and Sam for their courteous debates from opposite points of view.

I have long been interested in the Titanic -v- Californian debate and how Captain Lord was dealt with.

I had a relatively brief but high profile career in the legal profession as a solicitor before taking early retirement. I dealt with litigation and the witness account problems and how the courts and juries dealt with same, in criminal and to a greater extent complex civil litigation was a daily encounter.

I then had a career on the railways where I was involved in the RMT Union and was involved in one accident as a potential participant, and was the fellow colleague of others involved in accidents.

The thing that struck me about the accident I was involved in was I was handed a pre-written statement to copy out prepared by a manager. I refused due to my legal background and wrote out my own statement.

In a later accident involving others, I know that what was presented in disciplinary proceedings bore no relation to the truth of what actually happened.

And what is presented to a Court is a sort of edited and selective staged and scripted edition of what might have happened as the lawyers on either side will be well aware of.

Apply all this to the Titanic and the Californian.

Witness accounts are often conflicting.

Any investigation into a major disaster shows this to be the case.

But, at the end of the day, in any court proceedings the demeanor of the witnesses and their reliability is assessed.

One can also assess pre proceeding statements or statements made without notice of proceedings.

I think with due respect to Jim he has failed to deal with the way Captain Lord gave his evidence at the USA and British inquiries. His officers Grove and Stone also gave evidence.

I find Stone's evidence not at all accurate and unconvincing. In my opinion, as a former lawyer, he showed all the hallmarks of a witness who realised afterwards he had seen distress signals which came from the sinking Titanic, but altered his evidence.

I would go further and suggest that his testimony at the inquiries showed classic examples of altered memory, or to put it bluntly falsehood in giving evidence. Any lawyer would recognise these traits, as did Mersey and the other lawyers. It is what you are trained to do as a lawyer.

I find Gibson and Groves to be far better witnesses.

Captain Lord did not do himself any favours in his own evidence to both Inquiries. He did not come across well. There is ample evidence for this.

The very simple fact remains that Stone and Gibson saw distress rockets. They were already in a dangerous situation and their ship was halted on the edge of an ice pack. Their wireless operator had reported the danger to the Titanic earlier.

Stone either made a fundamental mistake in assessing the distress signals (I doubt this due to his conversation with Gibson at the time, and the teething out of his evidence at the UK inquiry that is typical of a witness who is obviously hidding the truth) or he knew exactly what was going on and either fully informed Captain Lord (not his evidence) or told Lord fully, but in his evidence changed his story to get his Master off the hook..

My experience of such matters is that Lord probably was told of the full facts and this was subsequently agreed between the two to be altered. This is quite within my experience of a number of railway accidents 100 years on and what people said happened and to the contrary what was wrote down in statements and given in evidence.

Mersey and Smith realised this, and why they gave Lord et al such a hard time and justifiable so.

Gill's evidence - what do we make of this? It cant be dismissed out of hand. He was either lying or he was libeling the Master and Officers of his ship. Did he face libel charges? He wasnt anymore a straw man to sue. He was worth suing.

There is a lot that Gibson and Stone testified to that supports Gill's evidence.There are other bits of Gill's evidence that is not supported as has been recited here.

Stone and Lord were not the only people to give dodgy evidence to the Inquiries. Lightholler and Ismay stand out as well. This is nothing unusual in disaster inquiries.

Think of Tony Blair's evidence to the Iraq Chilcot Inquiry still debated today, and more to the point what he told the House of Commons at the time!

I think Sam is a bit more 'savy' to all this than Jim. I find this surprising in view of Jim's background as a maritime investigator.

Obviously the above is only my own personal view.

I am surprised that the 1992 MAIB report has only been fleetingly referred to. It was a non partisan re-appraisal of all the evidence with the benefit of the passage of time and new evidence. It did not exhonorate Captain Lord.

Cheers,
Julian
 
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And my point was that while Californian might have arrived first and maybe raised the sprits amongst those of Titanic, it might have just created even more problems for them in the end results.

One more question.
How would things might have been if everyone (2200 or so persons) could have been saved ? Would Carpathia alone have been able to take care of the situation ?
 
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>>The only way that the arrival of the Calfornian could have saved more would have been IF Californian had arrived soon, Titanic's lifeboats were loaded to capacity and safely transferred to Californian.<<

That's about it, and even that's dubious. The Titanic was running out of trained seamen to run the boats they DID have before they ran out of boats. They were putting together scratch crews of any other crew and even some of the passengers.

The understanding in that day was that lifeboats would ferry people from a distressed ship to any rescue vessels but in order to do this, Titanic would have needed 12 or more hours to get the job done. Time was their enemy: They needed it and they didn't have it.
 

Harland Duzen

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First off, Welcome to ET Julian Atkins, and it's great to have a solicitor on the team as it adds another angle to view events by.

I find Stone's evidence not at all accurate and unconvincing. In my opinion, as a former lawyer, he showed all the hallmarks of a witness who realised afterwards he had seen distress signals which came from the sinking Titanic, but altered his evidence.
I would agree as reading his testimony unlike the others, he barely gives the timing of when things happened, compared to the others like Gibson and Lord which gives a clearer timeline.

I did find this statement by Stone which might prove he literally had no idea what he was seeing (unless he was lying):

8374. Do you know whether you carry rockets on your ship?
- Yes.

8375. What rockets do you carry?
- Distress rockets.

8376. What are they?
- Well, I have never seen one fired, so I could not say definitely.

8377. You have never seen one fired?
- No.

8378. Is there any inscription on them?
- I have not seen a rocket itself, either.

Did Stone not even know what he was seeing?

Also when asked by Groves on waking up to the news of Titanic Sinkingbetween 06:40-06:50 Californian Time, Stone says some cryptic things (words in bold are quotes taken from BOT inquiry)...

Screen Shot 2017-09-24 at 09.03.18.png


As for Lord, his lying like you said doesn't help either when compared to Gibson account...

(Time is Californian's Time)
Screen Shot 2017-09-24 at 09.07.27.png
 
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>>Did Stone not even know what he was seeing?<<

I don't buy that at all. He knows on the one hand that the ship carries rockets to use as distress signals but has no idea what they are or what they look like?

Oh yeah...suuuuuuurrrrrrreeeee.....right.

The impression I had of Stone and Gibson both was of two guys who were playing CYA at the skipper's expense.

Any of you remember what I said about Tracy Smith and myself calling these guys The Two Stooges when we were researching our Californian article? Missives like this and their willingness to throw Captain Lord under the bus are the reason why!
 

Jim Currie

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I reiterate my earlier suggestion that at last, we are having a deep, meaningful, discussion about this matter. I am particularly interested in the approach taken by Julian.

First, Julian, Although a Wreck Commissioner's Inquiry in the UK has the powers of a Criminal Court, it is not per se a Criminal Court.
I'm sure that you know, as do all Ship Masters, that a Wreck Commissioner's Court it is convened to inquire into the events leading up to a Marine Casualty and thereafter, make a formal report of its findings to (the then ) Board of Trade who commission it in the first place.
The result of findings together with any recommendations made are meant to prevent or help to reduce the likelihood of any such accident happening again.
The Report normally consists of a preamble followed by answers to specific questions posed by the Board of Trade relative to the accident. Here is an abridged version of these:

1. Total number of persons employed in any capacity on board her, and what were their respective ratings?
2. Did the "Titanic" comply with the requirements of the Merchant Shipping Acts, 1894-1906, and the Rules and Regulations made thereunder with regard to the safety and otherwise of passenger steamers and emigrant ships.
3. What special provisions were made for the safety of the vessel and the lives of those on board in the event of collisions and other casualties?
4. Was the "Titanic" sufficiently and efficiently Officered and manned? Were the watches of the Officers usual and proper? Was the Titanic supplied with proper charts?
5. What was the number of boats of any kind on board the "Titanic" etc.?
6. What installations for receiving and transmitting messages by wireless telegraphy were on board the "Titanic"? How many operators were employed on working such installations...etc?
7. What, if any, instructions as to navigation were given to the Master or known by him to apply to her voyage?
8. What was in fact the track taken by the "Titanic" in crossing the Atlantic>
9. Did information reach the "Titanic" by wireless messages or otherwise by signals, of the existence of ice in certain latitudes?
10. At what time might she have reasonably expected to encounter it [ice]? Was a good and proper look-out for ice kept on board etc....?
11. Were binoculars provided for and used by the look-out men, etc.....?
12. What other precautions were taken by the "Titanic" in anticipation of meeting ice?
13. Was ice seen and reported by anybody on board the "Titanic" before the casualty occurred?
14. What was the speed of the "Titanic" shortly before and at the moment of the casualty?
15. What was the nature of the casualty which happened to the "Titanic" at or about 11.45 p.m. on the 14th April last? In what latitude and longitude did the casualty occur?
16. What was the nature of the casualty which happened to the "Titanic" at or about 11.45 p.m. on the 14th April last? In what latitude and longitude did the casualty occur?
17. Was proper discipline maintained on board after the casualty occurred?
18. What messages for assistance were sent by the "Titanic" after the casualty and at what times respectively? What messages were received by her in response and at what times respectively? By what vessels were the messages that were sent by the "Titanic" received, and from what vessels did she receive answers, etc...?
19. Was the apparatus for lowering the boats on the "Titanic" at the time of the casualty in good working order, etc...?
20. Was the apparatus for lowering the boats on the "Titanic" at the time of the casualty in good working order, etc...?
21.How many persons on board the "Titanic" at the time of the casualty were ultimately rescued, and by what means? How many lost their lives, etc...?
22. What happened to the vessel from the happening of the casualty until she foundered?
23. Where and at what time did the "Titanic" founder?
24. What was the cause of the loss of the "Titanic," and of the loss of life which thereby ensued or occurred?
25. When the "Titanic" left Queenstown on or about 11th April last was she properly constructed and adequately equipped as a passenger steamer and emigrant ship for the Atlantic service?

The name of the SS Californian or any member of her crew is conspicuous by its absence at that stage. However. during the summing-up, the following exchange took place:
The Commissioner: You formulated a question for me to answer?
The Attorney-General: Yes, purposely.
The Commissioner: And I must answer it somehow; at least, I think I must.
The Attorney-General: It is the question in Question 24: How it was that assistance did not reach the "Titanic" before the "Carpathia" arrived? The "Californian" is the vessel."


Where did that come from? Question 18 dealt with the answers to the calls for distress and make no mention whatsoever of the SS Californian.

If, in the course of the inquiries, an act is discovered by any party, directly or indirectly, involved which seems in any way criminal and which has a direct bearing on the accident, then The Commissioner is at liberty to investigate further. The Attorney General was very much aware of this, but I put it to you that it had been decided in Chambers that a scalp was necessary. The following public utterance by him makes this very clear.

"I am very anxious that in any event nothing should be said as a conclusion by your Lordship which would suggest that he [Captain Lord] had committed a misdemeanor. Of course, as your Lordship says, no such question is put to you and no such question is made by me. But still we must get to some conclusion upon this state of the evidence.

Now consider the Commissioner's report concerning the SS Californian.

"These circumstances convince me that the ship seen by the "Californian" was the "Titanic," and if so, according to Captain Lord, the two vessels were about five miles apart at the time of the disaster. The evidence from the "Titanic" corroborates this estimate, but I am advised that the distance was probably greater, though not more than eight to ten miles. The ice by which the "Californian" was surrounded was loose ice extending for a distance of not more than two or three miles in the direction of the "Titanic." The night was clear and the sea was smooth. When she first saw the rockets the "Californian" could have pushed through the ice to the open water without any serious risk and so have come to the assistance of the "Titanic." Had she done so she might have saved many if not all of the lives that were lost."

Given that in reaching his decision, Lord Mersey had the assistance of experts in the fields of navigation, and given that with the exception of the true location of Titanic, all the evidence we have today was available to these 'Experts': it is blatantly obvious that the powers that be decided they needed a sacrificial lamb and they named it Stanley Lord.

You mention the MAIB investigation. It was another bit of slip-shod, inaccurate work. The first effort was a disgrace. The second, only marginally better. At least Coverley of the MAIB conceded that there was more than one vessel in the vicinity of the sinking Titanic.
In fact, if the MCA had done a proper job, they would have discovered clear evidence of at least 5 vessels which were less than 25 miles from the sinking ship. In fact, when she did sink, there is clear unequivocal evidence of at least 7 vessels within 40 miles of her position.
Carpathia would be about 28 miles away, Mount Temple was about 40 miles away, Californian was about 22.5 miles away, the vessel 5 miles to the SE of the Californian was 17.5 miles away, the vessel seen by Groves was 17 miles away and the vessel seen by Captain Rostron at 3-10 am that morning would - if an 11 knot ship - have been an estimated 19 miles away. Then last but not least, we have the vessel which stopped and turned away when about 6 miles west of the sinking Titanic.
 
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I will quote from a letter from Walter Lord to Capt. Barnett of the MAIB on Oct 8, 1990:

"Actually, it does not really matter whether the Titanic and the Californian were 8, 10, 14 or even 20 miles apart. Whatever the distance, its significance fades before the one, single overwhelming reality of the night: the rockets seen from the Californian’s bridge."

Some people here argued that even if Californian had acted immediately when the 1st rocket was seen, it wouldn't have made much of a difference in the overall outcome. That is not the point, nor should it be an excuse for inaction. The point is that Californian never made a serious attempt to find out what was going on until Capt. Lord instructed C/O Steward to wake up Evans to find out any information about a vessel throwing rockets during the middle watch. That was after 5 o'clock in the morning, about 4 hours after Capt. Lord was first informed about vessel throwing rockets or a rocket. As Lord himself later wrote in a letter to the BOT,

"It is a matter of great regret to me that I did not go on deck myself at this time [1:15am], but I didn’t think it possible for any seaman to mistake a Company’s signal for a distress signal, so I relied on the officer on watch."
 
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Harland Duzen

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Can anyone actually give a reason then why Stone (and perhaps Gibson) didn't wake up Lord OR recognise the Rockets as Distress signals.

And can we just all agree that HAD Lord known a ship in distress, He would have done his best to help? I am confident just from the Inquiry records we have more than enough evidence to show he would of help HAD he known about it.

The Captain is Innocent because he was accidentally given misleading and confusing messages by Stone and Gibson. He only acted on what he knew at the time and the info given to him told him (in my current opinion) that:
  • The ship in the distance had stopped for the night (like themselves).
  • The ship then fired rockets in conversation with a unseen ship further to the South.
  • The ship after a time fired rockets in response.
  • The ship later drifted / steamed away after finding a new route though the ice.
 
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