What time was it in New York City when the Titanic sent out its distress call?

Dave Gittins

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The first CQD was sent at 10-25pm, New York time. This is recorded in ships' radio logs, notably on Mount Temple and in a letter from the Marconi company to the Board of Trade.

I believe the David Sarnoff story is 90% PR. He apparently listened to some later traffic, but he didn't get the first CQD. I'll bet there's more on this site.
 

Jim Currie

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First, consider the evidence given in the US by Philip A. S. Franklin. Vice President in the United States of the International Mercantile Marine Co, managers of the Titanic.

"At about 2 minutes of 2 on Monday morning I was aroused by the telephone bell ringing. I went to the telephone, and a reporter - I could not tell from what paper - said that they had just heard that the Titanic was sinking, and that she had sent out a call for assistance. I asked them how they had gotten this message, and they told me that they had received it through the steamship Virginian and from Montreal. I immediately called up our dock and asked them if they had heard anything at all. They told me that several reporters had called them up.
When we got to the office the first thing that I found there was this memorandum. (Reading from memorandum:)

Titanic
. Received from Associated Press from Cape Race 3.05 A.M. Monday, April 15. 10.25 P.M. E. S. T., Titanic called C. Q. D.; reported having struck iceberg and required immediate assistance. Half an hour afterwards, reported that they were sinking by the head. Women were being put off in boats and weather calm and clear. Gave position as 41.46 north, 50.14 west. Stop this station."

Now the evidence from the Process Verbal (Wireless Log)of the SS Mount Temple and from her Captain, Henry Moore:

"
At 12:30 a.m. on the 15th I was awakened by the steward from my sleep with a message from the Marconi operator, sir. I immediately switched on the light and took a message that the operator sent up to me which said that the Titanic was sending out the C. Q. D. message, and in the message it said "iceberg."...It was a general message, sir. (A general message may or may not have been recorded since it had no destination address)

Titanic sends C. Q. D. Requires assistance. Position 41° 44' north, longitude 50° 24' west Come at once. Iceberg. "Can't hear me."
("Exhibit Moore, No. 1.")
Before we had laid the course off I received another position, which read 41º 46' north, 50º 14' west; so that was 10 miles farther to the eastward, and it was that position that I laid my course for. "

Now from the Wireless Log of Mount Temple:

" 10-25 pm -Titanic sending C.Q.D. Answer him, but he replies: "Can not read you, old man, but here my position, 41.46 N., 50.14 W. Come at once. Have struck berg." Informed captain."


The 10-25 EST of Mr Franlin's message was a copy direct from Cape Race via AP and it agrees with EST of the second message received on Mount Temple. Therefore 10-25 am EST was not the EST of the first distress call but the EST of the amended one. The time of the first one was not recorded.

Further evidence of two messages is as follows:
In the first message sent up to Captain Moore, his W/O added the advice "Can't HERE you". In the second message, the body of it contains the advice from Titanic...Can not READ you"
T



 
Mar 22, 2003
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From Cape Race:
44712


The first CQD message received at Cape Race was logged at 10:25pm NY time with position 41° 44'N, 50° 24'W.
Ten minutes later, at 10:35pm NY time, they recorded receiving a "corrected" position 41° 46N, 50° 14'W.
Steamship Ypiranga's PV recorded that it received CQD from Titanic at 10:28pm NY time with position 41° 44'N, 50° 24'W same as in Cape Race's PV for 10:25pm..
Ypiranga recorded receiving a corrected position from Titanic at 10:36pm with "corrected position" 41° 46N, 50° 14'W, same as recorded in Cape Race'sPV for 10:35pm.
 

Jim Currie

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From Cape Race:
View attachment 44712

The first CQD message received at Cape Race was logged at 10:25pm NY time with position 41° 44'N, 50° 24'W.
Ten minutes later, at 10:35pm NY time, they recorded receiving a "corrected" position 41° 46N, 50° 14'W.
Steamship Ypiranga's PV recorded that it received CQD from Titanic at 10:28pm NY time with position 41° 44'N, 50° 24'W same as in Cape Race's PV for 10:25pm..
Ypiranga recorded receiving a corrected position from Titanic at 10:36pm with "corrected position" 41° 46N, 50° 14'W, same as recorded in Cape Race'sPV for 10:35pm.
That is not the original Wireless Log from Cape Cape Race. The original was allegedly lost during a fire at the wireless station. and is missing from the Marconi Archives. It is a transcript entitled "The Titanic Disaster as Viewed from Cape Race"
The timings for entries for 10-55 pm, 11-36pm and 11-55 pm are incorrect.
If Cape Race knew that the first message with the corrected CQD was received at 10-35 pm, why would they inform the Press and New York that the corrected message was received 6 minutes earlier than that?

Incidentally: why would the wireless operator who allegedly noted the time and content of the first signal feel the need to write down a bearing and distance for the casualty?
Here's another for you. Both Olympic and Mount temple Wireless Logs use the phrase "putting the passengers off in small boats." at 11-40 pm. Yet strangely enough, your example and the Log of the Marconi Inspector Balfour on the Baltic both use exactly the same term "women off in small boats." at the time of 11-35/36 am.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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You ignore:
Steamship Ypiranga's PV recorded that it received CQD from Titanic at 10:28pm NY time with position 41° 44'N, 50° 24'W. That's only 3 minutes after 10:25.
Ypiranga recorded receiving a corrected position from Titanic at 10:36pm NY time with "corrected position" 41° 46N, 50° 14'W. That's only 1 minute after 10:35pm.
 

Jim Currie

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No, I don't. Unless the German vessel had Marconi equipment and had exchanged trs with Titanic, we have no idea whether their clocks were synchronised or not. After all, the wireless room clock on Olympic harmonised with the one on Mount Temple. How do you explain that?
 

Jim Currie

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Only the clocks keeping NY time were in harmony, and that is the only clock that mattered when it comes to wireless messages. Ypiranga was recording messages in NY time.
The times and wording of messages are all over the place. For example, according to you, the Ypiranga had two versions of the time for the embarkation of the lifeboats and two descriptions of what was going, the second one 5 minutes after everyone else.
How do you explain the following:
"'All Saved From Titanic' From the Associated Press: "CAPE RACE, Newfoundland, Sunday Night, April 14 — At 10:25 o'clock tonight the White Star Line steamship Titanic called 'CQD' to the Marconi station here, and reported having struck an iceberg. The steamer said that immediate assistance was required."
Above is a copy of the original AP report. In his evidence, Franklin also quoted the coordinates he was given by the press who in turn were given them by Cape Race. These were the amended ones... no mention whatsoever of the originals. In fact, only Mount Temple's captain recorded hearing of them. Now, why do you think he recorded receiving them before 10-25 pm EST?
 
Mar 22, 2003
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In fact, only Mount Temple's captain recorded hearing of them. Now, why do you think he recorded receiving them before 10-25 pm EST?
Moore never said he received a message before 10:25pm EST. Durrant said the first CQD message from Titanic came at 12:11am ship's time (10:25am NY) he gave the message to the night steward who then took it Moore. Moore said that he was awakened by the steward with a message from the wireless operator that read: "Titanic sends C. Q. D. Requires assistance. Position 41° 44' north, longitude 50° 24' west, come at once. Iceberg." Moore also had in his notes that the time he was woken up was 12:30am but that could not be right since Durrant had in his PV that his ship turned around at 12:26, five minutes after picking up Carpathia's contact with Titanic. Moore had 12:30am associated with the start of his rescue run, 41º 25' north and 51º 14' west. When Durrant wrote up his PV he obviously heard a corrected position given out to Carpathia and others and never bothered to write down the original uncorrected coordinates in his PV.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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Four stations picked up Titanic calling at 10:25pm NY. La Provence (MLP), Mount Temple (MLQ), and the land station at Cape Race (MCE) heard the CQD. Frankfurt (DFT) also picked up a call at 10:25 but thought it was a routine exchange of TRs through the atmospherics. There is not one written account that has Titanic transmitting anything five minutes earlier. None.
 

Jim Currie

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Oh yes, and there is!

"Mr. MOORE: It was a general message, sir.
Titanic sends C. Q. D. Requires assistance. Position 41° 44' north, longitude 50° 24' west Come at once. Iceberg.
Senator SMITH: Who signed that, if anybody?
Mr. MOORE: This is just a message he picked up, sir. He happened to hear it. He was sending this up at once to me."

Ad
ditionally, there will be a copy of that somewhere in Washington since "(The message referred to was thereupon filed with the committee and marked "Exhibit Moore, No. 1.")

Concerning the timing of these messages:

We know the first signal was sent before Boxhall returned from his second inspection. We also know that he called the rest of the officers about 20 minutes after impact then made his way back to the bridge, helping to unlace covers on his way. Thereafter, he consulted with Smith who told him that a CQD had already been sent. That being the case, then the revised distress coordinates were transmitted as the boats were being prepared and the first CQD sent about 10 minutes before that.
Now, something is way off base here. Because If the original CQD position was sent at 10-25 pm EST as you claim, and there had not been a clock alteration, then it was sent at 12-27 am Titanic time and the revised one 10 minutes after that, at 12 37 am Titanic time. This suggests that Boxhall Called the Officers at or near to Midnight then strolled around the deck for at least half an hour before going to have a word with Smith- who, incidentally knew his ship was doomed less than 15 minutes after she hit the iceberg.
 

Jim Currie

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Moore never said he received a message before 10:25pm EST. Durrant said the first CQD message from Titanic came at 12:11am ship's time (10:25am NY) he gave the message to the night steward who then took it Moore. Moore said that he was awakened by the steward with a message from the wireless operator that read: "Titanic sends C. Q. D. Requires assistance. Position 41° 44' north, longitude 50° 24' west, come at once. Iceberg." Moore also had in his notes that the time he was woken up was 12:30am but that could not be right since Durrant had in his PV that his ship turned around at 12:26, five minutes after picking up Carpathia's contact with Titanic. Moore had 12:30am associated with the start of his rescue run, 41º 25' north and 51º 14' west. When Durrant wrote up his PV he obviously heard a corrected position given out to Carpathia and others and never bothered to write down the original uncorrected coordinates in his PV.
You have obviously never seen a wireless man at work. Any one of them I have ever seen... and I've seen a few...write down what he hears as he hears it.

The position given by Moore for 12-30 pm is a fake or his time of 12-30 pm is a fake. Here's why:

Moore said he was at 41-25'N, 51-14'W at just after 12-30 am that morning. The position checks OK with his bearing and distance from Titanic's CQD positions. However, he also said that he went down to 41-15'N. 50-15'W. from Noon. The distance between these two positions is 55 miles.
If Mount Temple was 1 hour 46 minutes FAST of EST at Noon on April 14, then she was at 48-30 W at that time, and by calculation, she was 75 miles from where Moore said she turned at the 50th meridian.
If all the foregoing is correct, then between Noon April 14 and where Moore said his ship was when he received the first CQD is a total distance of 75 + 55 = 130 nautical miles. If Mount Temple averaged 12 knots, over that distance then she had been steaming for a total of 10 hours 50 minutes and the time she arrived at 41-25'N, 51-14'W was 10-50 pm, not 12-30 pm.
However, if she steamed at full speed until 3-25 am. then she would have covered an additional 54 miles and at 3-25 am would have been at 41-48'N.50-12'W... north and east of the CQD position. If she had altered her clocks before then, then the EST was about 02-04am and the time on the Californian would be getting on for 4 am. At 12-30 am