Titanic's Rockets - Senan Molony


Jul 9, 2000
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Mo, the training a crew receives depends a lot on what their jobs are. I can't speak to whats expected in the merchent marine...Erik is way more qualified at that then I am. I would hope firefighting training and some fundementals of damage control would be required. They certainly are in the military.

Inger Sheil has a site which details training requirements for officers and , if memory serves, seamen and firemen circe 1912. If I can get the link, I'll post it for you if she doesn't beat me to it.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
Sep 12, 2000
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Thanks a bunch Michael!
happy.gif


Many jobs require CPR training and stuff, do crews now require that sort of training as well, or is just the fact that there is a doctor aboard make a difference? Or is it like you said, just depends upon the job?
Maureen.
 
Sep 20, 2000
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"What were the chances that anyone aboard any ship at that time would have recognized those rockets?"

Hi, Mo:

I missed this on my first reading. I can't attest to any general knowledge here (not being a seaman), but I do know that in the case of Californian, the testimony pretty much speaks for itself. In the British Inquiry, Stone is pressed on this point fairly relentessly:
8022. Did you obtain a certificate from the Board of Trade as a mate? - As a first mate in steamships, yes.
8023. Was that certificate given to you after examination? - Yes.
8024. When did you obtain that certificate? - Last December twelvemonth.
8025. Is not part of the subjects of examination the signals of distress and the signals to be made by ships wanting pilot? - Yes, the articles.
8026. That is one of the subjects in which you are supposed by the Board of Trade to be qualified before you get the certificate? - Yes.
8027. I suppose before you sat for that examination, you read something about signals? - I learned them.
8028. Do you mean to tell his Lordship that you did not know that the throwing up of "rockets or shells, throwing stars of any colour or description, fired one at a time at short intervals," is the proper method for signaling distress at night? - Yes, that is the way it is always done as far as I know.
8029. And you knew that perfectly well on the night of the 14th of April? - Yes.
The Commissioner: And is not that exactly what was happening? -
8030. (Mr. Scanlan.) You have heard my Lord put that question. That was what was happening? - Yes.
8031. (The Commissioner.) The very thing was happening that you knew indicated distress? - If that steamer had stayed on the same bearing after showing these rockets -
8032. No, do not give a long answer of that kind. Is it not the fact that the very thing was happening which you had been taught indicated distress? - Yes.
8033. (Mr. Scanlan.) You knew it meant distress? - I knew that rockets shown at short intervals, one at a time, meant distress signals, yes.​
Pretty obvious that officer's training was quite adequate on this point, eh?

Cheers!
John Feeney
 
Sep 12, 2000
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John. Wow. A fine meaty answer.

What do you think was going to be stated if allowed to finish his answer under 8031? The crew member states what the rules were and that he knew that. So what was he about to clarify? Was there a reason or some valid justification for a break in following those rules for distress rockets and was the crew member about to state this? Or is there no such escapr cause aka loop hole?
Maureen.
 
Sep 20, 2000
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Mo:

Nah. Stone was just being REALLY evasive. You've got to read his whole testimony to get the feel of that, though. (It's available at Titanic Inquiry Project -- see British Inquiry, Day 7.) Both Stone and Lord seemed to "hedge" so incessantly that Lord Mersey (and others) got quite annoyed at them in several instances. They simply gave way too much of an impression of not wanting to be pinned down by the facts, despite the absurdity of their situation.

You really must read it. It's courtroom melodrama incarnate!
(T.I.P.'s link is: http://www.titanicinquiry.org/)

Cheers!
John Feeney
 
Sep 12, 2000
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John,
Thanks. Some of the hearings for the Titanic were actually filmed but the inquiry I do not believe that it was, but I do not know that for absolute certain. It just would be nice to have seen the testimony beijng given.

I really didnlt pay that much attention to the hearings here for our beloved President, but saw the video of his video taped testimony and I was..well really disappointed I guess are the words that I am struggling for here.

Written words at times to do express what an individual is really saying and you are right at times one must take the whole matter into account when listening.
Thanks.
Maureen.
 
Sep 12, 2000
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Well, John, I checked out the titanicinquiry and stone's testimony. Then I checked Gibson's and I think you are right about Stone's being evasive.

Maureen.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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Hi Mo. I can only speak to military vessels of course, but CPR training is required to earn the more advanced qualifications. Stretcher bearers get some basic first aid training which is better then what most of the crew gets. The doctor is backed up by a staff of hospital corpsmen who are trained specialists in this sort of thing.

By the way, not all ships...even warships...have physicians aboard. Large commands like aircraft carriers and amphibious warfare vessels do, but smaaler ships like frigates have to get by with a specially trained independant duty corpsman.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
Sep 12, 2000
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Michael Standart.
Hello. Thanks for the information. I had not idea that you guys had to go out to sea with no doctor aboard those ships. Man. But thanks for the training infomration. It seems from much of what I am reading here and in books that there was sometraining requirement for the crew, well at least the officers of the crew.
I have a raft of questions going on inside me right now but will wait.
Maureen.
 
Nov 5, 2000
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Dear Mr Molony,


I was very pleased and excited when i found your article about the rockets. I am working about the time difference between Titanic and Californian, and so the rockets are a matter of high interest for me. Before i read your article i thought that Boxhall had fired two rockets and Rowe finished the remaining six. What you found seems very convincible to me.

I have some remarks about timings and intervals.
1. I think the rockets were fired in intervals of 7 to 8 minutes
2. I dont think it is necessary for Rowe to set his watch back 20 minutes to make the times meet.

... and one remark about the Californian:
The observations on the Californian are more accurate as you believe. Boxhall an Rowe fired their rockets really at one time. These rockets explode and throw stars. On the long distance Stone and Gibson could not distinguish whether the stars came from one single rocket or from 2 rockets fired simultaneously. The Titanic fired 14 rockets, and the Californian saw two small and six big ones, and she did not miss a number.


Before i continue with the details i should explain the ships time of Californian and Titanic.
The ships time of the Californian is 1 hour 50 minutes ahead of New York time. This is very clearly stated by Cpt Lord and Evans, the wireless man of the Californian, in the US enquiry. In discussions about Californian and Titanic i found in several books, e.g. Eaton&Haas, that Titanics clock was 12 minutes ahead of the Califonian, because at noon she (Titanic) was 3 degrees east of the Californian. This sounds quite reasonable. But there is a serious problem:
The last CQD was caught by the Virginian at 00.27 New York Time. Now when we add 2 hours 2 minutes to get ships time, we will find that this CQD was sent at 2.29 Titanic ships time. But she went down 9 minutes before!! So there must be a mistake.
There is just one small hint to get Titanics ships time. Rostron sent a telegramm to Cpt Haddock of the Olympic to report the rescue operation. There he said: Titanic foundered at 2.20, 5.47 GMT. 5.47 GMT is 0.47 New York time. The remaining time difference is 1 hour 33 minutes. This time is used in the epilogue of the US senate enquiry. Obviously this knowledge got lost after let's say 20 books about Titanic were written, and the remaining 280 books which were written since tell us that Titanic-time is 1 hour 50 minutes ahead of New York Time. Nearby the Californian suddenly we are informed that the Titanics clock is going ahead another twelve minutes ...

So fare the ships time. To get all times in one view i say:
11.00 New York time = 00.33 Titanic-time = 00.50 Californian-time.
There we are. The Californian-time is 17 minutes ahead of the Titanic-time in stead of 12 minutes behind. This makes a difference of nearly half an hour!

Now lets go back to the rockets. 2nd officer Stone saw six rockets from 00.45 to 1.15 Californian-time. After that he saw three more. The time in his affidavit is not quite clear. He saw the rockets, and that the other ship was turning, and at 1.50 the Californian was heading WSW. Before we make a final decision about the time we look after the intervals. Five rockets in 30 Minutes include four intervals, and 30 divided by four is 7.5 minutes. Gill, the donkey man went on deck short after half past one. After 10 minutes he saw one flash, and after 7 or 8 minutes another one. Rowe fired 6 Rockets from 0.45 to 1.25. These are 6 rockets, but 5 intervals in 40 minutes. So we have 8-minute intervals.
Supposed Rowes last three rockets were the last three seen on the Californian, Stone and Gibson were to see these at 1.23, 1.31 and 1.39 Californian time.

Now we change back from Californian time to Titanic time. We must take away 17 minutes. Eight rockets were seen from the Californian from 00.28 to 1.22 Titanic-time. Rowes were sent from 0.45 to 1.25. The time for the last meets very well the Californian observation time. To find the time for the first two rockets sent by Boxhall we have to count two times 8 minutes back from the point were Rowe started. So these two rockets were sent probably at 0.37 and 0.29 Titanic-time. This time again meets beautiful the time were the Californian saw the first rocket.

I dont see any reason for Rowe having set back his watch for 20 minutes, but i see a lot of reasons for some hundred Titanic-books to be rewritten which teach us that the first rocket was sent at 0.45 Titanic-Time. The clearing off the boats started short after twelwe, the first CQD was sent at 11.58 ( take 1 hour 33 minutes, not 1 hour 50 minutes). Boxhall said, the light was seen before he took the position 41.46 N 50.14 W to the Marconi room. This new position was sent since 10.35 New York time, which is 00.08 Titanic-Time. Why should he wait more than 30 minutes to send the rockets ? So it makes much sence that these eight rocketsignals (2 single and 6 double flashes) were sent between 00.28 and 1.25 Titanic Time, and they were seen between 0.45 and 1.42 Californian time.


best regards

Markus Philipp
 
Sep 12, 2000
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Thanks Markus, that was very clearly explained. The time "zones" were explained well also. So that I could easily understand where you were coming from. Thanks for taking the time to post that here.
Maureen.
 
Nov 5, 2000
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Hi Maureen,


Thank You very much for the comment You put under my explanations about the rockets,

and sorry that i did not response to this earlier than now.

Yesterday evening i found the discussions in "A few What IF's". That was so exciting
that i continued reading that until 4 a.m. Thanks God i had not to go to business today.
Your comments about the coal counting were heart freshening (i don't know whether this
expression is used in english, i just created it) reasonable, and i really enjoyed them.
I have seen with pleasure that you like precise arithmetics as much as i do.

I have joined the discussion about the coal mining with similar calculations, and will
post that to the "coal mining" - no, the "a few What If's"-area.

I am happy looking forward to further discussions and comments.


bye

Markus (Coal miner)
 
Sep 12, 2000
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Dear Markus,

You are wonderful and your posting was "heart freshening" to me as well. Maybe because I am a female in a predominently male work world that I think the way that I do. At times it is hard to understand how someone came to their conclusions and when I ask, they defend rather then help be to see their proofs or mathematical justifications for their numbers and I end up just looking so mean. But I really try not to be. But my comments often hurt many people.

You are a joy here and I do hope to see more of your postings!
Maureen.
 
Oct 23, 2000
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Just read Mr. M.'s rockets article.
My views in brief:
Even if the Titanic did fire more than eight rockets, you can't simply let the Californian off the hook because of that one measly fact. Because there are MORE pieces of damming evidence that indicate the Californian saw the Titanic than just the rockets.
One of which is, ironically enough, rocket-related:
Apprentice Gibson saw the detonating flash and streak of one of the rockets from the ship to the south of the C. via his binoculars.

Richard K.
 
Oct 23, 2000
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Another piece of damming evidence that derails a "more rockets than eight, thus there must have been a third ship in between" theory is the fact that the Californian was CLEARLY seen six miles or so to the north of the Carpathia the morning after the disaster by one Titanic survivor, the captain of the Mount Temple, and an officer and a steward on the Carpathia.

Richard K.
 

Mila

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Sep 28, 2016
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Is it known how many fairing positions there were on the Titanic and on what decks these were?
Thanks.
 

Mila

Member
Sep 28, 2016
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>>fairing positions<<

Do you mean firing positions? The tube was at the solid bulkhead close to the emergency boat on the boat deck.
Yes, I misspelled. I meant "firing".
Could somebody please explain to me what could have been a reason the rockets did no very high "about half the height of the steamer’s masthead light" as testified Californian’s Second Officer Herbert Stone? I mean it is not just the rockets appeared simply low. They appeared low comparing to the Titanic's masthead.
Thank you.
 
A

Aaron_2016

Guest
Yes, I misspelled. I meant "firing".
Could somebody please explain to me what could have been a reason the rockets did no very high "about half the height of the steamer’s masthead light" as testified Californian’s Second Officer Herbert Stone? I mean it is not just the rockets appeared simply low. They appeared low comparing to the Titanic's masthead.
Thank you.

Super refraction. Other ships recorded strong refraction (distortions in the atmosphere that magnify and elevate objects on the water).

Edited photo to get a rough idea. I see this effect quite regularly on the Irish sea.

On the Californian a crew member called Gibson testified that the lights of the ship he was looking at appeared to rise into the air (A sure sign of refraction). He was asked:

Q - When you looked at this ship's red light and thought that it seemed queer, did you also look at her lights in the afterpart of her?
A - Yes.
Q - How did they stand in relation to the red light?
A - They did not seem to be the same as they were before.

- "It seemed to be higher out of the water than what it was before."
- "They were in the same position, but they seemed to look different."
- "She looks rather to have a big side out of the water."

Q - You have told us about this red light, that you thought it was higher out of the water?
A - Yes.
Q - Did you look to see whether these after-lights seemed higher up out of the water, or lower in the water?
A - I noticed them all at the same time.
Q - What, the red light and the others too?
A - Yes.
Q - And do you mean that the white light seemed higher out of the water as well as the red light?
A - Yes.

I believe the refraction is the only plausible reason why the Titanic appeared to be much closer, why the rockets did not burst high above her mast, why no sounds at all could be heard, and why her morse lamp signals were unreadable.

A video about refraction from the Titanic documentary - Titanic: Case Closed.

 

Mila

Member
Sep 28, 2016
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On the Californian a crew member called Gibson testified that the lights of the ship he was looking at appeared to rise into the air (A sure sign of refraction).
I believe the ship could have appeared to rise into the air because she was listing and sinking. Do you know on what time the witness observer her rising into the air?

BTW I cannot see your pictures for some reason, and I really would like to see them.

Thank you.
 

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