When and where did Smith know the ship was doomed?

Seumas

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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:
Why would an experienced professional master mariner like Edward Smith randomly announce to everyone at roughly 01:30 when Lifeboat 12 was being lowered - "Now, every man for himself. She's going down." ? There were still another five boats left on the port side to attend to.

(source for boat lowering times: https://web.archive.org/Titanic/revised.html - authored by: Bill Wormstedt, Tad Fitch & George Behe)

How do we know that these people (except AB Hopkins) genuinely knew who Smith was April 14/15 ?

Dorking may have had a rough idea of where the the engine room was from feeling the vibration of the engines during the voyage or seeing the engineers entering and leaving it for their own quarters and mess facilities. But you said "So when Dorking saw Capt. Smith in the engine room" - "in the engine room". Inside the engine room ? Why would a passenger follow Smith in there, indeed why on earth would a passenger be allowed in there ? Not buying it.

"Its not hard to imagine the conversation that had taken place between the captain and the engineers. The ship will sink in a very short time. How many men are necessary to keep the bare minimum power flowing?"

The captain had to decide which engine crew would be given a chance to live and which would be sacrificed, kept at their posts to the last minute. Only he could make this life-and-death order. And he did it in this never-before-known personal trip to the boiler rooms.
"

For someone who claims to be a historian that is a massive, irresponsible assumption you are stating as fact there. How on earth do you know if (i) Smith actually made this trip ? (ii) what on earth could possibly have been said by him and others in engine room (iii) are you aware that the bridge and the engine room were actually linked by telephone ? There was no need to go down to convey a message. Again I'm not buying it.

(If a man in his sixties, with white hair and whiskers and wearing an officers uniform truly was seen going to the engine room at some point after the initial inspection, then it's possible it might have been Dr O'Loughlin going to attend to Jnr Asst 2nd Engineer Jonathan Shepherd who had broken his leg. However, I do not state that as fact and concede it is probably unlikely.)

Smith in steerage with a gun in his hand ? Nope, still not buying it. In fact you have him in all these places in a ten-fifteen minute time frame, saying and doing different things. He would have to have been a shape-shifter to have truly done so !

The problem throughout your blog is that you interpret every survivors testimony as totally truthful.

Many did tell the truth but got confused about times and places or were mistaken about personalities. A handful of survivors told unbelievably silly, wildly melodramatic stories (held onto an iceflow for several hours, gold & silver bullion loaded at Cobh and the crew marching on deck with rifles being my three personal favourites) but many were pounced upon by unscrupulous journalists in the USA and UK and had their stories twisted with many colourful "blood and thunder" additions made before going to print.

George, I'm sure your a really lovely bloke who really does means well but research into the Titanic disaster clearly is not for you. Why not just leave it to the professionals and simply just join the rest of us mere enthusiasts in talking about it ?
 
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Jim Currie

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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.
Sorry to say, Bob, but if you have spent 30 years studying this subject, then you have been wasting your time. Otherwise, you would not have posted that last comment. It illustrates your abysmal lack of knowledge concerning the chain of command on a British merchant ship and the expectations placed on each certificated officer by the British Board of Trade.
For instance: every ship had a Night Order Book which was usually kept open in the chartroom. This contained any updated orders by the Master. However, the very last line always bore the ledgend "If in any doubt, do not hesitate to call me."
It was, and as far as I know, still is, the duty of every OOW to read and sign this before going on duty. Captain Lord would have followed this practice. However, in addition, he verbally instructed all of his officers:

Groves: "- He told me to let him know if I saw any ship approaching us.
Stone: "- He told me the ship was stopped, surrounded by ice, and he pointed out another steamer.- He asked me to tell him if the bearing of the steamer altered or if she got any closer to us."
Lord did not leave it at that......
Stone again: " At 12:35 you whistled up the speaking tube and asked if the other steamer had moved. I replied ‘No’ and that she was on the same bearing and also reported I had called him up and the result.

Hardly the actions of a careless man creating " the culture where he shouldn't be bothered.
 

Jim Currie

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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.
That is nonsense, Sam Why would any Master tell an experienced officer to let him know if he..the officer.. saw any more rockets on the direction of, not from, but beyond the nearby ship if he did not expect to see them or if there was not a reasonable chance of seeing them?
A normal response was the one Lord had in response to what he was told. Thinks: The signal seen did not come from the nearby ship - a single rocket is usually an attention seeker.. The nearby ship has been there for over an hour.....call the nearby ship on the morse lamp and find out if he knows anything". That was exactly what was done. The reason you cannot see that is because you do not want to see it. It is too simple for you. In fact, it really is very hard for you and Bob to imagine why because you do not wish to pursue the matter having had your mind made up for you a very long time ago.
What Lord would most certainly not view with kindness, nor would any Master, would be an officer awakening him and tell him about rockets from a ship which had subsequently steamed away. I suspect that Lord thought Stone was a twit for doing so at 2-45 am that morning. The orders given Stone were to watch the nearby ship and report any chnages in her bearing..
 
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In fact, it really is very hard for you and Bob to imagine why because you do not wish to pursue the matter having had your mind made up for you a very long time ago.
That sounds just like you, Jim, not Bob or I. You asked a reasonably simple question of me and Bob, and we gave you an honest answer that you simply didn't like.
Do your care to know why my answer was what it was? Well let me explain it to you.

According to the scenario you presented, the OOW on a steamer calls down to Capt. Sam (your words) and reports:
OOW: "Sorry to disturb you sir, but you did say to call you if anything happened".
Capt. Sam: "Yes?"
OOW: "Well...I've just seen what looks like a rocket in the direction of that other vessel."
Capt. Sam: "What colour was it? Do you think it is a Company signal?"
OOW: "White, Sir."
Capt. Sam: "Anything else? Has she changed her bearing? Is she moving?"
OOW: "Not at all, sir."

So what does Capt. Sam say next you asked?
My and Bob's answer was,
Capt. Sam: "Notify me immediately if you see any more rockets.”
Why would he say that you ask?
Simply because it was reported to him that a white rocket was seen in the direction of this stopped steamer, and being a responsible and competent captain, he would be somewhat concerned that there may be some vessel that got herself into trouble in the direction of this steamer and began to send up signals of distress. But only one rocket was reported to him so far, and he knows that rockets sent up one at a time at short intervals are used as signals of distress at night. So he orders his OOW to notify him immediately if any more of them are seen. What Capt. Sam would not do, in my opinion, is tell his OOW to keep calling up this vessel by Morse lamp and report back to him when she responds since that vessel has been unresponsive to all previous attempts at Morse signalling for over an hour before.
 
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While I mostly agree with Sam in his post immediately above, he has overlooked one key factor -- human nature. Given time to themselves crews (even officers) tend to do a bit of lollygagging. All captains are aware of this tendency which is particularly a problem when observing something that does not seem to be changing. One way to avoid the consequences of inattention caused by boredom is to give the officers and or ratings involved something to do like trying to Morse a distant ship by lamp. The captain may not expect any result whatsoever from the signalling, but he will have focused his crew's attention on what the master is really concerned about -- any changes in the visual aspect of the other ship. Yeah, its unfair, but trust me it works.

-- David G. Brown
 

George Jacub

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"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."

I hate to play semantics, but this is a case where it helps to clarify a situation.

Captain Smith knew almost from the start that the Titanic was "doomed." Ten minutes after the collision with the iceberg he knew that the ship was mortally wounded and would sink where she stopped. Initially Andrews estimated that the Titanic had an hour or hour and a half to stay afloat. That point is not debatable. The evidence of Hemming, Boxhall, Thayer Jr., and even Prentice seals the issue.

The Chief Engineer changed the equation by saying the pumps were being, or would be, effective in slowing the flooding of the ship.

But it was only at 1:20 a.m. Monday morning (shortly before, actually) that Captain Smith determined that the ship was "doomed" as in 'the sinking was imminent'. The final red line had been crossed. It was after that time that the Captain started freeing the remaining crew from their duty, telling them they had done all they could to save the passengers, and giving them a chance to save their own lives.
 

Seumas

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Captain Smith knew almost from the start that the Titanic was "doomed." Ten minutes after the collision with the iceberg he knew that the ship was mortally wounded and would sink where she stopped.

But it was only at 1:20 a.m. Monday morning (shortly before, actually) that Captain Smith determined that the ship was "doomed" as in 'the sinking was imminent'.
Eh ?
But it was only at 1:20 a.m. Monday morning (shortly before, actually) that Captain Smith determined that the ship was "doomed" as in 'the sinking was imminent'. The final red line had been crossed. It was after that time that the Captain started freeing the remaining crew from their duty, telling them they had done all they could to save the passengers, and giving them a chance to save their own lives.
Captain Smith most definitely did not "release" his crew at 01:20.

There is some debatable evidence that Smith may have said a few final words to that effect to the crewmen (and a few male passengers) who were trying to free Collapsible A at about 02:10 - 02:15.

In "la-la land" if such an utterly ridiculous, grossly irresponsible order had been given by the captain at 01:20 when there were still work to be done on several boats remaining aboard, then discipline and respect for superior ranks would have went right out the window.

In actual fact at 01:20 and after, the crew were still obeying what their officers and others like Purser McElroy and Second Steward Dodd told them to do.

The crew were already being given a good "chance to save their own lives" on the starboard side where First Officer Murdoch and Sixth Officer Moody were letting firemen, trimmers, cooks and stewards into their boats when there were no more (willing) women about.

Again, yet more very poor research and bad conclusions.
 

George Jacub

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research into the Titanic disaster clearly is not for you. Why not just leave it to the professionals and simply just join the rest of us mere enthusiasts in talking about it ?
Amusing as always, Seumas
Correct me if I am wrong, but were any of the "professionals" that you revere on the Titanic the night it sank?
No? Then the eyewitnesses who survived the sinking knew more about what happened than anyone living a hundred years later.
Yes, I always approach every first-hand account as truthful. Then I see how it fits into the narrative and the timeline. Eyewitnesses told what they believed to be true. Their accounts can be confusing, confounding, and sometimes even contradictory to their own previous stories. Its up to the researcher to separate the wheat from the chaff.
I suggest you read The Two Tales of Mrs. Coutts Reveal A Heroic Act By Moody, Titanic's Junior Officer to see how its done.

As a child I used to love the game of connect-the-dots. You would be faced with a page filled with numbers. By drawing a line from 1 to 2, then from 2 to 3, and so on, you would reveal a giraffe or an elephant or a crocodile. Its the same with research. When you have a series of witnesses who say they saw the same person in different locations over time, its easy to reveal a journey, and knowing the context of the times of the sightings, to see a purpose for the journey.

A final bit of advice---beware of lifeboat lowering times authored by your experts. I can dismantle them as easily as I dismantled the opus Time and Again (see previous link). But this is not the time or place.
 

Seumas

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Amusing as always, Seumas
Correct me if I am wrong, but were any of the "professionals" that you revere on the Titanic the night it sank?
No? Then the eyewitnesses who survived the sinking knew more about what happened than anyone living a hundred years later.
Yes, I always approach every first-hand account as truthful. Then I see how it fits into the narrative and the timeline. Eyewitnesses told what they believed to be true. Their accounts can be confusing, confounding, and sometimes even contradictory to their own previous stories. Its up to the researcher to separate the wheat from the chaff.
I suggest you read The Two Tales of Mrs. Coutts Reveal A Heroic Act By Moody, Titanic's Junior Officer to see how its done.

As a child I used to love the game of connect-the-dots. You would be faced with a page filled with numbers. By drawing a line from 1 to 2, then from 2 to 3, and so on, you would reveal a giraffe or an elephant or a crocodile. Its the same with research. When you have a series of witnesses who say they saw the same person in different locations over time, its easy to reveal a journey, and knowing the context of the times of the sightings, to see a purpose for the journey.

A final bit of advice---beware of lifeboat lowering times authored by your experts. I can dismantle them as easily as I dismantled the opus Time and Again (see previous link). But this is not the time or place.
Sorry mate but I cannot treat your "research" seriously at all. It's bogus, fairy tale stuff.

And I think I speak for a few on here when I say that pushing your blog on every other post is getting rather tiresome.

I think I shall take the risk and stick with my "heroes" as you previously called them.
 

Jim Currie

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That sounds just like you, Jim, not Bob or I. You asked a reasonably simple question of me and Bob, and we gave you an honest answer that you simply didn't like.
Do your care to know why my answer was what it was? Well let me explain it to you.

According to the scenario you presented, the OOW on a steamer calls down to Capt. Sam (your words) and reports:
OOW: "Sorry to disturb you sir, but you did say to call you if anything happened".
Capt. Sam: "Yes?"
OOW: "Well...I've just seen what looks like a rocket in the direction of that other vessel."
Capt. Sam: "What colour was it? Do you think it is a Company signal?"
OOW: "White, Sir."
Capt. Sam: "Anything else? Has she changed her bearing? Is she moving?"
OOW: "Not at all, sir."

So what does Capt. Sam say next you asked?
My and Bob's answer was,
Capt. Sam: "Notify me immediately if you see any more rockets.”
Why would he say that you ask?
Simply because it was reported to him that a white rocket was seen in the direction of this stopped steamer, and being a responsible and competent captain, he would be somewhat concerned that there may be some vessel that got herself into trouble in the direction of this steamer and began to send up signals of distress. But only one rocket was reported to him so far, and he knows that rockets sent up one at a time at short intervals are used as signals of distress at night. So he orders his OOW to notify him immediately if any more of them are seen. What Capt. Sam would not do, in my opinion, is tell his OOW to keep calling up this vessel by Morse lamp and report back to him when she responds since that vessel has been unresponsive to all previous attempts at Morse signalling for over an hour before.
Please explain the qualifications which equip you or Bob to determine or otherwise the competency of an Extra Master Mariner (FG).
I must tell you, your answer exhibts the atitude of the worst kind of shipmaster, by which I mean, one who has no confidence in the officer he has left in charge of his ship. Such a Master would never sleep and become a danger to his ship and lose the respect of all who sail in her

Lord or any other shipmaster, then and to day, would rightly expect an Officer who had been found by the Ruling Authority to be competent to the level of 1st Mate (FG) to - as Lord Mersey said - "think for himself." There is an idiom I am sure that you, Bob and David have often heard..."It goes without saying".
Stone was ordered to keep a constant watch on the nearby vessel and report any change in her circumstances. Stone did exactly that.
Every ship's officer has it dinned into him that he must call the "old man" if in any doubt whatsoever. Stone did exactly that.
Stone was qualified to a rank higher than the one he then held. It would be rediculous for any Captain to doubt that such a man would not know the meaning of rockets being sent up at short intervals and therefore neglect to report them. Stone did not report them for the reason he gave to Lord Mersey... a moving ship is not in distress.
 

AlexP

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. a moving ship is not in distress.
I agree that it was the main reason Mr. Stone ignored the rockets. He cannot be blamed for not knowing that currents in this area could be so deceiving. After all even in 1992 reappraisal the investigators still believed that the Titanic and the Californian were drifting in the same set of the currents. However, Mr. Stone clearly saw rockets and I believe he should have done much more than he did to understand what was goin on. I doubt that the Californian would have been able to help, but they should have tried.
 

Bob_Read

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Well Jim we finally get to the heart of this discussion. As you rightly say, I have no qualifications to determine the competency of an Extra Master Mariner. The case of Captain Lord has always had overlapping jurisdictions. Those are the courts who could determine his technical competency and the court of morality which judges the moral rightness of his actions. As human image bearers of God we are given a conscience with which we are able to judge the morality of our own actions and that of others. By the standards of morality, Lord was obligated to take some action to at least try to proceed toward whoever was sending up distress signals to determine the nature of their distress. He did not. He may not have broken the technical law according to you but he broke the moral law according to anyone who possesses a conscience. In conflating the technical with the moral we are talking past each other. So for me I see the dichotomy and don't really have anything more to make the moral case against Lord.
 
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B-rad

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It is a bit of conundrum. As established we know that by 11:50ish the carpenter/joiner/Boatswain were waking the crew, with the boatswain giving the prognosis that Andrews said the ship only had a half and hour, an hour shy of what Boxhall would be told by the Captain at 12:00am – supposedly. Thayer would state getting a prognosis 25 minutes after Andrews went below shortly after midnight. His, oddly enough, was that the ship had an hour to live. A prognosis a half hour short of Boxhall’s, given around a half hour later… Mind you Thayer’s accounts change quite a bit through history.

So, what did Capt. Smith know within the first 10 mins?
  1. Chief Officer Wilde told him of flooding in the forepeak tank.
  2. The ships had a list to starboard.
  3. Maybe he also knew what the Boatswain said, that the ship had X amount of time to live via Andrews.
(Shortly after he would hear from the carpenter and mail clerk)

Something would prompt Smith to muster the crew and ‘prepare the boats’. This preparation tells us really nothing of the intent. Was he prepping the boats incase the ship would sink? Was it in case the passengers would have to be transferred cause the ship would be inoperable? Or was it precautionary to any circumstance?

Captain Smith would be seen going below several times before the order for the lifeboats to be filled, and before the first CQD message. If Smith had known the ship was positivity sinking before these events then one would assume either one of those orders would already have been done.

Capt. Smith would go to the mail room. I do not believe this was to check on the flooding of the ship but by obligation of Capt. Smith’s duties. The ‘International Mercantile Marine Company: Ship’s Rules and Uniform Regulations’ stated:

In case of accident to the ship, the commander must regard it as secondary importance to the lives of the passengers and crew.

Then Later:

…The utmost haste must always be used in landing the mail bags, and in case of an accident to the ship, the commander must regard them as next in importance to the lives of the passengers and crew.

Therefore, it seems that Captain Smith did not head to the mail room, at least originally, to see for himself the level of flooding, but to ascertain what if anything could be done with the mail.

12:25ish seems to be the magic bullet.
  • This is around the time that Jack Thayer would hear his prognosis from Andrews.
  • Smith would be seen going back on deck from below. (Mackay, Dicks, Weikman & I believe another that I can’t think of right now)
  • Shortly after this the CQD message is believed to have gone out.
  • Lightoller would receive the OK to start filling boats.
  • A Mr. Perry would be seen running up the stairs. (Warren, Gibson, Sloper)

This Mr. Perry is only named by Warren and is nothing close to Andrews. A William Parr was aboard as part of the guarantee group and was traveling first class. It is undoubtable that he was familiar to some of the first class people. Gibson and Slopers accounts closely match that of Warren’s therefore I believe these are the same instances.

I’d love to write more but have to play ‘guy with the pickup’ -aka help move. So my question is, is what happened around 12:25 that set of the proverbial ‘ALARM’, or was it nothing? Thoughts?
 

Jim Currie

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Well Jim we finally get to the heart of this discussion. As you rightly say, I have no qualifications to determine the competency of an Extra Master Mariner. The case of Captain Lord has always had overlapping jurisdictions. Those are the courts who could determine his technical competency and the court of morality which judges the moral rightness of his actions. As human image bearers of God we are given a conscience with which we are able to judge the morality of our own actions and that of others. By the standards of morality, Lord was obligated to take some action to at least try to proceed toward whoever was sending up distress signals to determine the nature of their distress. He did not. He may not have broken the technical law according to you but he broke the moral law according to anyone who possesses a conscience. In conflating the technical with the moral we are talking past each other. So for me I see the dichotomy and don't really have anything more to make the moral case against Lord.
You believe what you wish, Bob and I admire you for your beliefs. To continue on your train of throught:

If as you insinuate, Lord was such a heartless individual without an iota of human kindness in his being, why should such a man bother to ask if there were any ships around after he found ice danger? Why warn another ship about the ice danger? Why risk his skin and perhaps his job by diverting from his intended voyage to go and look for the Titanic, which, at the time he found out about her, was either sinking or had already sunk? Why, after he found out that Carpathia had got the glory and there did not seem to be any survivors to waste time over, did he spend any valuable time searching the area for survivors? after all, he was the only one who did so, amd that included the Carpathia.
You completely miss the point, Bob which is this: if a man such as I describe in the last paragraph acted in the way he did, why would he, if knew or suspected that there was a vessel in distress, not immediately have set off to the rescue? After all, his ship was more or less ready to move at a moment's notice.
 

Jim Currie

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I agree that it was the main reason Mr. Stone ignored the rockets. He cannot be blamed for not knowing that currents in this area could be so deceiving. After all even in 1992 reappraisal the investigators still believed that the Titanic and the Californian were drifting in the same set of the currents. However, Mr. Stone clearly saw rockets and I believe he should have done much more than he did to understand what was goin on. I doubt that the Californian would have been able to help, but they should have tried.
If here had been currents in the area other than the Gulf Stream, we would have had evidence of them. Thw MAIB report ran with the Labradot Current nonsensse. What they and probably you don;t know is that there is a very narrow current running eastward at the tail of the Grand Bank separatinf the labrador Curent from the warm waters of the northern margin of the Gulf steam called The Slope jet. It is a mixture of both major.flows.
Sure, the Labrador Current brings the big bergs down and alonh the edge of the Grand bank, and some of the pack ice, too. but most of the latter is an annual event and is influenced, as are the bergs, by the local prevailing winds and surface, wind generated currents.
 
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Stone did not report them for the reason he gave to Lord Mersey... a moving ship is not in distress.
Isn't it time you got some consistency in your replies Jim? Are you saying now that Stone reported to Lord, when he called down the speaking tube, that the vessel was changing her bearings when he called to report seeing a rocket in the direction of the steamer?
He cannot be blamed for not knowing that currents in this area could be so deceiving.
A current in the area, eddy current or otherwise, cannot explain the change in bearings from SSE to SWxW over the time period reported. I'll be happy to prove that to you once again. But these Californian related topics should be taken off this thread and put on the Lord guilty as charged thread or the Interrogation of Stone thread.
 

Bob_Read

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You believe what you wish, Bob and I admire you for your beliefs. To continue on your train of throught:

If as you insinuate, Lord was such a heartless individual without an iota of human kindness in his being, why should such a man bother to ask if there were any ships around after he found ice danger? Why warn another ship about the ice danger? Why risk his skin and perhaps his job by diverting from his intended voyage to go and look for the Titanic, which, at the time he found out about her, was either sinking or had already sunk? Why, after he found out that Carpathia had got the glory and there did not seem to be any survivors to waste time over, did he spend any valuable time searching the area for survivors? after all, he was the only one who did so, amd that included the Carpathia.
You completely miss the point, Bob which is this: if a man such as I describe in the last paragraph acted in the way he did, why would he, if knew or suspected that there was a vessel in distress, not immediately have set off to the rescue? After all, his ship was more or less ready to move at a moment's notice.
Jim: You set up a straw man argument then (surprise!) you manage to refute it. I know morally right from morally wrong actions. I am not given the ability to read men’s hearts as to their motivations.
 

Thomas C.

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The problem with this subject is that there was no exact moment in which the captain would know that the ship is doomed. More likely, it was the moment when Smith accepted that his ship would sink and could not be saved. Even if the captain knew at 11 50 that 5 compartments were damaged, I do not think he would accept the fact that it was the end. From the moment the carpenter gave his report, the captain did his best to save the situation. At about 12 25, when he knew that he could do nothing but evacuate the ship, he decided to send the distress signal, his last resort.
 
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Jim Currie

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Jim: You set up a straw man argument then (surprise!) you manage to refute it. I know morally right from morally wrong actions. I am not given the ability to read men’s hearts as to their motivations.
No I did nothing of the kind. I demonstrated to you the reactions of any normal ship master to the intelligence received by Captain Lord. For you or others to dispute his actions, you and they must demonstrated that he knew for sure that the lives of others were at risk yet did nothing about it.
The Rule was and is, that a Ship's Master must answer a call of distress to the best of his/or her ability.. not at any cost. However, the first concern is for the safety of his or her own ship and those who sail in it. Now apply that to the case we are discussing. Even if Lord knew about the Titanic or any other ship in distess from the very first rocket (which it absolute nonsense) he would have acted with extreme caution.
While a noble sailor full of Christian high values for the sanctity of human life might wish to charge off in total darkness through pack ice in the direction of ship which was sinking because it had hit an iceberg, the same (sensible) noble sailor's first concern would be for those under his command...those who depended on him looking out for them.
Captain Rostron's ship was not surrounded by ice. He did as you suggest Lord should have done, and did so with a passing thought for those souls aboard his ship for whom he was responsible. Had it not been that last moment action by Boxhall of chucking the box of flares into boat 2, it is quite likely that Carpathia would have either hit the same berg as did Titanic, mowed down some of the people-filled lifeboats or ran into the estern edge of the pack ice. Can you imagine what the press or all the noble, self-rightious souls in the world would have made of that outcome?
 

Jim Currie

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Apr 16, 2008
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Funchal. Madeira
Isn't it time you got some consistency in your replies Jim? Are you saying now that Stone reported to Lord, when he called down the speaking tube, that the vessel was changing her bearings when he called to report seeing a rocket in the direction of the steamer?

A current in the area, eddy current or otherwise, cannot explain the change in bearings from SSE to SWxW over the time period reported. I'll be happy to prove that to you once again. But these Californian related topics should be taken off this thread and put on the Lord guilty as charged thread or the Interrogation of Stone thread.
No I am not. I am pointing out to you why Stone did not call his boss right away as soon as he saw the subsequent rockets. He tells you and everyone else, but you just can't imagine what he is telling you therefore in your book, he was either lying or mistaken. Here, in a nut shell, is why he did not call his boss:
" I kept the ship under close observation, and I did not see any reason to suppose they were sent as distress signals from this ship....I was watching the steamer by the compass with my binoculars.
8031. (The Commissioner.) The very thing was happening that you knew indicated distress? A: - If that steamer had stayed on the same bearing after showing these rockets
8037. Then you had seen them from this steamer? A: - A steamer that is in distress does not steam away from you, my Lord.
8038. You saw these before this steamer steamed away from you? A: - I saw them at the same time the ship started to alter her bearings....

8037. Then you had seen them from this steamer?
- A steamer that is in distress does not steam away from you, my Lord.

I said that the ship was altering her bearing from the time she showed her first rocket; she commenced altering her bearing by the compass.

I am surprised that Lord did not have Stone's guts for garters for wakening him to tell him about an event which had passed. That very action tells me that Stone would not have dared to try and hide anything from Lord and that he was covering his own backside by doing so.