That's a good question Julian.If Captain Smith knew his ship was going to sink within a relatively short time, and ordered Phillips to send his own CQD, why on earth did Smith not also order distress rockets to be fired sooner? I have never got my head round the logic of Smith apparently delaying ordering the firing of distress rockets till the lights of another vessel were seen by Boxhall? And why did not Smith say to Boxhall he wanted more rockets fired at more frequent intervals ie the short intervals required by the regulations? Especially as the Morse lamp was clearly not having any success.
Hasn't there been a suggestion made in the past that perhaps Smith might have been worried about causing a panic by firing off a rocket say every sixty seconds ?
I don't know the answer anyway, just putting that out there. Maybe Jim or Sam might like to offer a comment ?
Incidentally the box of what are probably rockets that was found on the seabed a few years ago would be an amazing artefact to recover but that's just my daft opinion.