Statement by Capt Smith

  • Thread starter Joseph R. Jasso
  • Start date
J

Joseph R. Jasso

Guest
I read somewhere that Captain Smith had made a statement with regard to the Olympic that went something like this: "These ships could strike a submerged object, like an iceberg, and they could sink with a great loss of life due to not having enough lifeboats," I had to paraphrase here. This, I know, sounds like the opposite of what we normally hear about him saying. Does anybody know about this statement and where in the literature I could find it?
 
Aug 15, 2005
908
1
86
33
Darwen, United Kingdom
I can't say I've heard of anything like that, Joseph.
The only Smith quotation I can think of at the minute is the old I cannot forsee... I'm sure you know the rest, and that statement is one that preaches the opposite.
 

Dave Gittins

Member
Apr 11, 2001
4,970
212
193
I have a feeling I've seen something about Smith saying that fogs and storms are no longer feared, but submerged objects remain dangerous.

Anybody recall the remarks?
 

Dieter Klimow

Member
Sep 24, 2006
68
1
76
I remember reading about a discussion between Captain Smith and Glen Marston, where Smith said there should be enough lifeboats to carry all crew and passengers, but I can not find the source.

There is also this:
"...the big icebergs that drift into warmer water melt much more rapidly under water than on the surface, and sometimes a sharp, low reef extending two or three hundred feet beneath the sea is formed....If a vessel should run on one of these reefs half her bottom might be torn away....Some of us would go to the bottom with the ship."
Captain E.J. Smith, as quoted in The New York Times, April 18, 1912
 

Dieter Klimow

Member
Sep 24, 2006
68
1
76
I found the NYT article:
The quote is from 1912-04-19 'SMITH SPOKE OF ICE PERIL/Captain Also Realized the Inadequacy of the Lifeboats', it is not from 1912-04-18.
 
J

Joseph R. Jasso

Guest
It seems, by the postings above, that there is something to the question I posed about Captain Smith making a wise & cautionary statement before the Titanic wreck. Maybe he made a number of such public statements that his employers should have listened to... but didn't. If true, this would put Smith into an entirely different light. That is, what if Captain Smith was really a very competent seaman? But didn't get his way? A victim of corporate politics??? (The whole J. Bruce Ismay thing, et cetera). Anyway this question of Smith actually knowing the odds so flys-in-the-face of conventional wisdom that it is worth trying to get an answer to.
 

Dave Gittins

Member
Apr 11, 2001
4,970
212
193
The full TNYT quotation is----

"A friend of Smith's, Dr. Williams, related a conversation with Captain Smith when he commanded the Adriatic. The Captain had said "We do not care anything for the heaviest storms in these big ships. It is fog that we fear. The big icebergs that drift into warmer water melt much more rapidly under water than on the surface, and sometimes a sharp, low reef extending two or three hundred feet beneath the sea is formed. If a vessel should run on one of these reefs half her bottom might be torn away."

According to Williams, he pointed out the inadequacy of the Adriatic's lifeboats and asked Captain Smith what would happen if the Adriatic struck a concealed reef of ice and was badly damaged. "Some of us would go to the bottom with the ship." was the captain's whimsical reply."

Love the "whimsical"!

Various other extravagant comments were attributed to Smith. He is supposed to have said that Titanic could break in two and still float. Another version is that she would still float if her boilers fell through her bottom.

Now, where's my salt shaker?
 
Dec 2, 2000
58,590
380
283
Easley South Carolina
>>The big icebergs that drift into warmer water melt much more rapidly under water than on the surface, and sometimes a sharp, low reef extending two or three hundred feet beneath the sea is formed. If a vessel should run on one of these reefs half her bottom might be torn away." <<

So much for any notion that the hazards of underwater extensions and rams of icebergs were not understood in 1912. Captain Smith's comments are pretty clear evidence that it was.
 
A

Anna Mcpherson

Guest
Joseph: Smith once stated that at a dinner party (Olympic was already in service,Titanic was not yet)quote:" Even if the boilers fell out of the Olympic,she would still stay afloat,and that would be the same situation when the Titanic comes into service" Also Smith mentions about the lack of life boats on one ship,Smith never mention that the Titanic would ever founder,he was thinking the other way about the Titanic.
 

Mark Baber

Moderator
Member
Dec 29, 2000
6,110
177
223
Anna---

Please note that you're responding to a message that's almost three years old, the author of which has not visited this board in more than two years. It's therefore not likely that he'll see your message or answer it.
 
A

Anna Mcpherson

Guest
Is it against forum rules too answer older un-active threads? Would you like me to stick too the active threads?
 

James Smith

Member
Dec 5, 2001
490
1
146
It is considered poor form. But it does not appear to be a violation of the actual text of the rules (as opposed to, say, posting under a false name--which is specifically prohibited).

--Jim
 
Dec 2, 2000
58,590
380
283
Easley South Carolina
>>Is it against forum rules too answer older un-active threads?<<

No, but if the specific member who's attention you're trying to get is no longer with us, you may be wasting your time trying to get a response from him.
 
A

Anna Mcpherson

Guest
James: What do you mean by "Poor Forum"?

Ok,I see what you and mark are saying now,but on the other hand, if I wanted to post something related about an older un-active thread topic,do I have to start a new thread up in this case?
 
Anna - James said "poor form"...not "forum".

Everyone is saying that if you're going to address Joseph, as in a conversation, he's not going to answer you because he no longer posts to this board.

In other words, you're having a conversation with yourself.
 

Mark Baber

Moderator
Member
Dec 29, 2000
6,110
177
223
Is it against forum rules too answer older un-active threads?

No, and I didn't suggest that it was. As a courtesy, the moderators regularly post messages like the one I posted here so that, as Mike said, folks don't waste their time or hold their breaths waiting for a response.

You're still misspelling "to" as "too," by the way.

James: What do you mean by "Poor Forum"?

He didn't say it was "poor form," not "poor forum." You're still misquoting people, too.

do I have to start a new thread up in this case?

Not a chance.
 

Mark Baber

Moderator
Member
Dec 29, 2000
6,110
177
223
Sorry, Jeremy. I didn't see your message until after I posted mine. Didn't mean to give you short shrift there.

;-)