The Californian Incident A Reality Check

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An Unequivocal Lordite

Member
P.S. Three corrections to my above posting;The Californian Second Officer was Herbert Stone not Groves.Californian started moving again at 5:00am April 15th not 6:00am.Captain Lord was slanderously described by one press outlet as "the thousand-fold murderer" not "thousand-time".Other than that, I stand by every word and encourage any dissenting opinions to the contrary, the facts of the incident are on Captain Lord's side... then and now.
 
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An Unequivocal Lordite

Member
P.P.S. Correction to my above correction; the Californian did indeed start moving again at 6:00am as I originally wrote.Whilst I'm here, there are two additional critical facts of the matter not mentioned that need doing so;Californian's bridge crew (Stone and Gibson) that night saw but did not actually HEAR the Titanic's rockets, this is highly significant because such rockets exploding at altitude could be heard for a maximum distance of ten miles in all directions, the fact the Californian heard nothing proves beyond any reasonable doubt that ship was not within range (visual or audible) of the sinking White Star liner.Lastly, the rescue ship Carpathia did not see the Californian until around or just after 8:00am that morning, had the latter ship been as close to Titanic as claimed by some, she would have been visible to Carpathia in the morning light almost immmediately.Apologies on the number and length of these posts overall, but this a serious matter concerning the good name and character of a distinguished sea merchant unjustly and unfairly accused of being negligent in his duties at the cost of 1, 500 lives, and my somewhat extensive posts will hopefully convince any readers that Captain Stanley Lord was indeed an innocent man scapegoated by both an enquiry board looking to divert blame away from their own insufficient safety policies at the time, and also by a sensationalist media. The man may be long dead but his infamy remains and this is indeed a travesty of justice that badly needs redressing, and I sincerely hope that I have contributed in some small part to that redress with my post here.
 
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gsb

Member
Even if we assume he knew that those were distress rockets from a sinking ship, he would have risked the safety of his own ship had he moved."Lord's own words describe a dangerous situation in which his ship has been stopped by loose ice."He could not have moved no matter what happened. That is why "Lord did not even choose to get out of bed to make even the most minor personal inquiry"I hope I did not step on your toes; I am open to accepting other theories.
 
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pbr90

Member
More likely, th California was sent out as witness to Titanic sinking, not an accidental non-rescuer.Experience of te times, the captains, etc. favors a lack of help theory, not mismanagement, because of the nature of industry at the tine, and the need for increased safety and awareness.Sometimes, the obvious questions are those that need mod to be answered;
 
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Pat (2353)

Member
The Rockets where WHITE which are not for distress but rather to illuminate if there is a person overboard for example. Orange rockets are distress rockets, but the ones seen that night where white, and maybe that's why the captain did nothing?
 
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An Unequivocal Lordite

Member
I don't think the exact colour of the rockets seen by the bridge crew of the Californian that fateful night had any bearing one way or the other; yes they were white but no exact procedure was in place then for identifying the intent of a distant vessel by the colour of their rockets. Following the sinking, the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea was ratified and which specified red rocket flares specifically for distress.Captain Lord of the Californian did nothing because he wasn't given any information to do anything with; all he knew was there was an unidentified ship about 4-5 miles away from his own vessel (which he correctly ascertained as not being Titanic), this other vessel didn't respond to morse lamp, fired some rockets in an irregular manner, then sailed away into the distance during the night.Lord had no way of knowing the full gravity of the situation unfolding nearly twenty miles away (his vessel was out of visual and audible range), no reason to wake up Californian's wireless operator in the wee hours to learn of the unfolding tragedy (no vessel was in distress as he saw it), and no justifiable excuse to risk his vessel by traversing a dangerous ice field in pitch dark (for what end if no vessel was in distress?)... those three factors combined are why Californian remained stationary until 6:00am that morning.Californian didn't stand by with malice or indifference whilst another vessel plunged to the icy depths of the Atlantic Ocean because she didn't know what was happening, much less in anywhere near a position to render help or assistance...
 
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Neil (2468)

Member
The colour the rockets is immaterial.Here are the standards regarding distress signals in 1912:(3.) Rockets or shells, throwing stars of any color or description, fired one at a time at short intervals. (4.) A continuous sounding with any fog-signal apparatus.The Titanic fired rockets one at a time at short intervals - complying with the distress signals.At the very least Lord's could have taken more steps to investigate - if only waking the wireless operator to check the signals.Whether the vessel was or was not the Titanic is less relevant than whether the vessel was in distress.
 
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An Unequivocal Lordite

Member
Titanic fired rockets at regular intervals, but the Californian was nearly twenty miles away, they were completely out of audible range of the exploding rockets - which in itself proves they were not between 5 to 12 miles away as stated by some - and very nearly out of visual range as well, this is borne out by the testimony of Californian's Second Officer Herbert Stone who testified he thought he saw a number of rockets, how many he couldn't say, but they were very distant and almost momentary, and were not being fired at regular intervals as he saw them. Stone said he spoke to Captain Lord on the whistle tube about the rockets, but there is a discrepancy between what Stone said and what Lord heard; Stone said he told Lord of multiple rockets being fired, whilst Lord remembers Stone telling him of a single rocket. Lord instructed Stone to use the morse lamp to contact the ship firing rockets and then heard nothing for the rest of the night. Stone said he sent Apprentice Gibson to tell Lord at around 2:00am that the ship firing rockets had sailed off, but Lord only remembered Gibson entering the chart room (where Lord was sleeping) and leaving again without saying anything. That was the full extent of pertinent information Lord was given that fateful night.With all that in mind, what else could Lord have done given the very limited information handed to him? There was no ship in distress becuse the ship in question seen by the Californian (which was not the Titanic) didn't answer the morse lamp and sailed off into the distance, there was no reason to wake Cyril Evans, the Californian wireless operator, because the unidentified ship in question didn't answer the lamp and did not appear in distress (how could it be if it eventually sailed away into the distance?), and there was no reason for Lord to risk the safety of his own ship by attempting to traverse an ice field in pitch dark if no ship was in distress as he saw the situation at that time... you see a pattern emerging here?It's easy with the benefit of 103 years' hindsight to say Lord should have acted differently, but he acted correctly given the information - or lack thereof - given to him. If there's a fault in the whole tragic story, it's that of Titanic wireless operator Jack Phillips who failed to deliver to the bridge the crucial wireless message from the Mesaba at around 9:30pm warning of icebergs in Titanic's path as he should have done, and which would have undoubtedly led Second Officer Lightoller, the officer on watch at the time, making a small course correction to avoid the icebergs as he himself stated in his later autobiography he would have done had the Mesaba message been handed to the bridge.Whether the ship seen by the Californian that night was or was not Titanic is very relevant indeed, it was for Lord who's name and reputation was blackened and who's abilities and competency as Captain was called into question. Even if Lord had for some reason decided to wake Evans the wireless operator to ascertain who the so-called mystery ship was, the Californian still would not have arrived in time prior to Titanic foundering... and THAT is the most relevant and ultimately tragic fact of all regarding the Californian incident.
 
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smartwidowlady

Member
But the captain DID do something. He protected the lives of HIS seamen. That was his first responsibility. If anyone can be blamed for the deaths of all the people on the Titanic, look to the captain of the Titanic, Edward J. Smith and stop using Captain Lord as a scapegoat for Smith's errors.
 
Christophe Puttemans

Christophe Puttemans

Member
So there was an alternative scenario that could have spared Lord from all the blame. If he had known that the ship firing rockets was the sinking Titanic, he would have concluded going to help was too risky, and Evans would have sent a message: "Are in ice field. Can't do nothing. Will take a look at dawn. - Lord" Lord would have written this into the log and be cleared of all charges.
 
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Lindemnn

Member
"Plus the 5 needed to man the boat (that is far to few for a rescue effort) in each boat that is 30 men"... Where does number "5" come from? I'm trying to find a regulation document stating the number of crewmen required/allowed on each lifeboat in case of a wreck. Can't find anything in Mersey's report nor in the Merchant Shipment act of 1894. Does anyone have the answer? Thanks a lot!
 
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karen buckley

Member
Cpt. Smith obviously was at fault. The fact that Cpt. Lord and the officers that spotted the rockets did nothing was also their fault. The Carpathia ran the same risk but tried a rescue anyway.
 
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Oonai

Member
To those defending Lord by saying he was thinking of the safety of his own crew. Sure, that's why he couldn't even be bothered to contact the "mystery" ship and ask what was wrong...
 
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Jpchu288

Member
WRITTEN BY LORDITES. Isn't it funny...Captain Rostron hauled ass through the dangerous ice field to make a rescue. Lordites try to get away from those white rockets, but they can't, so they create this BUNK. Just like JFK assassination NUTS think Oswald was the wrong man. LORDITES GO HOME. Find another conspiracy theory to push your BUNK.
 
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Vanessa Lubinski

Member
Could the crew from both ships have worked together on that ill fated night ? For instance , having a plan in place over wireless before getting to the titanic . Such as row all the boats with survivors at a safe distance away from the titanic. And the SSC pick up survivors from this location and launch lifeboats of the ship Simultaneously. And both crews row back in the life boats for more passengers. How many crew members were on the Titanic?
 
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