When and where did Smith know the ship was doomed?

AlexP

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Not only the Lookouts but other than the four witnesses we know of not one of the standby members of the 8 to Midnight and Midnight to 4 am Watches were questioned.
In fact, a nonsense of the entire Californian affair is that more weight was, and still is, placed on the evidence of crew members who were in bed while Titanic was firing her signals and the reports in newspapers, than those who actually saw saw them.
But if the Captain Lord believed that the Lookouts’ testimonies will be helpful why din’t he request that they were called? Why didn’t he asked them to submit affidavits? It is also interesting why Walter Lord had never interviewed them, and why Lesley Harrison didn’t include their accounts in his book. Do we even know their names? Is it possible that they were sleeping? After all the Californian was stopped.
 

Jim Currie

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Sam and I suggested a simple and reasonable course of action for Lord. When the explanation for why that course of action is unreasonable is as convoluted as you describe then I will leave it to others decide which is more reasonable.
A course of action by an individual is based on, or should be based on, a careful consideration by that individual of all relevant information in his possesion. If he thinks that the information is incomplete, then he is wise to take no action until it is. That is exactly what Captain Lord did or any experienced shipmaster would have done. What I described to you was a course of action based on existing information and additional information received. If you or others found my explanation convoluted then I suggest you consult www.umassd.edu/fycm/decision-making/process/
 

Jim Currie

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But if the Captain Lord believed that the Lookouts’ testimonies will be helpful why din’t he request that they were called? Why didn’t he asked them to submit affidavits? It is also interesting why Walter Lord had never interviewed them, and why Lesley Harrison didn’t include their accounts in his book. Do we even know their names? Is it possible that they were sleeping? After all the Californian was stopped.
Captain Lord requested a formal, public trial to clear his name. That request was denied by his accusers. Now ask the question ...why?
 
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Surprise, but I'm on Sam's side when it comes to firing a barrage of rockets. No ship carries an infinite supply of pyrotechnics. Radio calls and Morse lamps, on the other hand, can be used as much as needed as long as there is electric power. As we know, the supply of electricity was not one of Titanic's problems until quite near the end. So, the supply of dots and dashes from Phillips' key was nearly unending. On the other hand, the number of pyro devices available for use as distress signals decreased as they were used. So, the idea of a continuous cascade of pyrotechnics could have deprived the ship of signals which might have been desperately needed later that night.

-- David G. Brown


















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George Jacub

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To return to the topic...
By the time Captain Smith ordered the firing of rockets, he knew the Titanic was not sinking as quickly as initially feared. Although ship's designer Andrews had told him barely ten minutes after the Titanic hit the iceberg that the ship would sink in a hour to an hour-and-a-half, Captain Smith had subsequently been informed by the Chief Engineer that the pumps would keep her afloat for much longer, possibly long enough for rescue ships to arrive. (Bruce Ismay met the Chief Engineer who told him the same thing, likely only moments after speaking with the Captain.)
I believe the evidence shows that Captain Smith decided shortly before 1:20 a.m. Monday morning that the Titanic was doomed. That was the time the order was given to evacuate the boiler rooms. It was right after that, that Smith began going around the ship releasing the crew to save themselves.
For example, Lillian Bentham, 17, who left the ship in Lifeboat No. 12, said:
"Just as our boat was being launched, the Captain called,"Now, every man for himself. She's going down." (Rochester Union and Advertiser, April 19, 1912, P.1)

For more details read:
 
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Jim Currie

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Was Lord requesting a civil trial or a criminal one?
As far as I can gather he petitioned the Board of Trade who would have referred the matter to the Admiralty Court if they thought it necessary. If that had been done, then Lord would have been tried by his Peers and the technical evidence would have peen properly and thoroughly laid out and analises. For reason known only to themselves, but I suspect, political ones, his petition was rejected.
The nearest to Lord's wishes came in 1992 when the then, Minister of Transport of the UK Government, ordered the then infant Marine Accident Investigation Branch of the Coast Guard to produce a report. This was initially bothched up by them because they farmed out the job to a retired MM who previously had worked as a BoT Surveyor. All he did was copy the findings of the Original Inquiry by Lord Mersey. The botch was obviously discoverd and the report was redone, producing, what today, is known as the MAIB Report. Even it was done with political tongue in cheek. However, it did find two important things..One: That there was probably at least one other vessel in the vicinity and Two: that it was unlikely thatTitanic turned to the North before she finally stopped and sank.
 

Bob_Read

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I believe this was the most important finding of the MAIB: “I do not think any reasonably probable action by Captain Lord could have led to a different outcome of the tragedy. This of course does not alter the fact that the attempt should have been made.”
 
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Jim Currie

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I believe this was the most important finding of the MAIB: “I do not think any reasonably probable action by Captain Lord could have led to a different outcome of the tragedy. This of course does not alter the fact that the attempt should have been made.”
I believe we are considering two things here, Bob.
1...Any action by Captain Lord.
2...Precursory evidence prior to the possibility of any action.

First of all, you and others may or may not know that British Shipmaster can, in certain circumstances, act with others as a Judge in a Maritime Court. Consequently in the case of a man like Lord, he had the right as a "judge" to be judged by equals. This was denied him.

If Captain Lord had been allowed to appear in front of his peers and had, in his defence for the action he took, offered the evidence of being initially advised of a single positive rocket sighting in the direction of, but not from, a vessel which was 4 miles away... a vessel which had been stopped in plain sight for over an hour before the sighting of said rocket... that defence in itself would have been sufficient to exonerate him from any blame.
In addition, if Lord had then said that after the nearby vessel has steamed away, he had been informed of the sighting of 6 more such rockets, the Court would have asked why the case was brought in the first instance.
Note, that I have left the emotional part concenring los of life out of the argument.
 

Jim Currie

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Are you saying that the members of the MAIB were unqualified?
No, I said no such thing. However, they failed to correctly assess all the evidence available to them. The first man was a joke... a token gesture if you like. The man who wrote the second report knew that for sure but was politically diplomatis about the man.
In case you didn't know, Bob, I was the head honcho in charge of the UK and Middle East Operations of a US Marine Survey & Marine Accident Investion Company for 25 years. If any of my guys had produced such reports, I would have suggested they follow a new carreer. If I has sent my boss, Joe Tynan such a report, I would have been sent back to sea in a New York minute.
 

Bob_Read

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“No, I said no such thing.” Then you proceed to make that very case. I figured you would say that any body which would find Lord culpable should be considered illegitimate.
 

Jim Currie

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“No, I said no such thing.” Then you proceed to make that very case. I figured you would say that any body which would find Lord culpable should be considered illegitimate.
Then you make the case against the evidence instead of vague remarks which have little or no substbace.
 

Bob_Read

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The case has been made a million times. The verdict is always the same: Lord was culpable because of his inaction. If he was ill-served by his crew then as captain he bears ultimate responsibility for creating the culture where he shouldn't be bothered.
 
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Although ship's designer Andrews had told him barely ten minutes after the Titanic hit the iceberg that the ship would sink in a hour to an hour-and-a-half, Captain Smith had subsequently been informed by the Chief Engineer that the pumps would keep her afloat for much longer, possibly long enough for rescue ships to arrive.
It would have been quite impossible for Andrews to come up with any estimate of the time the ship could stay afloat only ten minutes after the ship struck ice. The fact that Bell though that the pumps could possibly keep her afloat says that Bell thought that the flooding in BR 6 could be controlled by the pumps. If that were the case, the ship would stay afloat indefinitely even with all four forward compartments flooded, and it would have been safer to keep everyone on board rather than put people into boats and send them away. Bell would not have realized that he was wrong until sometime well after the lights came back on in the stokeholds, and Andrews could then be updated as to the severity of the flooding rate in BR 6 despite the pumps working full time. When Andrews told Smith of his estimate of how long the ship had left, it was also the time that Smith was informed that his vessel was doomed. From that point on, the only thing that mattered was getting as many into the boats as possible and lowering them away.
 
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Mar 22, 2003
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You must consider the problem from the point of view of the witnesses.
Your suggestion would only be valid if Captain Sam expected his OWW to see another rocket.
This is getting quite ridiculous. I was asked to answer a specific question, which I did, and then I'm told my answer is invalid because it had a false expectation. Really? My (and Bob's) answer was: "Notify me immediately if you see any more rockets.” There is no expectation of anything in that response. If I were to say "Notify me immediately when you see more rockets,” then that would have an expectation of seeing more rockets. But what we said was: "Notify me immediately IF you see any more rockets.” No expectations at all.
The problem here Jim, is that you just don't like our response to your question. It's not hard to imagine why.
 
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