Who do you think was to blame

J Burdette

J Burdette

Member
if anyone, i'd say ismay because for a ship with that many passengers it should have had more lifeboats, it only had the minimum of 16.
Actually Titanic, carried a little more boats than was required by the BOT.
 
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Bags

Member
Actually Titanic, carried a little more boats than was required by the BOT.

By 10% (based on tonnage) as I recall reading somewhere.

As Capt. Wood mentioned earlier in this thread, more boats would not likely have helped a lot. They barely managed to safely launch the 16+4 they had. (assuming by launch you include "floated off the roof of the officers quarters, as I believe one of the collapsibles did).

In the end, I must agree with M. Wood. In the sense of "Rules and Regs", Capt. Smith was responsible. Though I believe that this incident, is a classic case of the tombstone mentality that seems to govern legislative bodies, and it is far to easy to look back in afterthought and find ways to place blame, (the twin towers being one of the more recent examples).

Given the knowledge and experience that the crew had to draw from at the time, I believe they made the best decisions they could have, and managed the ensuing crisis admirably, (no nautical pun intended, ;) ).

I realize that it's difficult to understand, but blame, at least in this case, cannot be attributed to any one action or inaction, but the entire sequence of events must be considered as accountable, IMO. Mostly due to the fact that if you want to pursue this event back far enough you could as easily blame the British legislative bodies reviewing the 1894 lifeboat requirements for taking too long in coming to a decision and updating the regulations.

Humbly (most times anyway)

Derek G.
 
J Burdette

J Burdette

Member
I realize that it's difficult to understand, but blame, at least in this case, cannot be attributed to any one action or inaction, but the entire sequence of events must be considered as accountable

@ Bags:
I still haven't decided on who the 'culprit' was. I don't know that I ever will. Seems to be such a complex subject and so many conflicting views. I guess that's why Titanic appeals to so many. There's a little something for everybody!
 
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Jake Peterson

Member
As Walter Lord said about the boats: "It was thought that if the Titanic and Olympic were loaded up with more boats, it would get the passengers panicked about the amount of boats on other ships of theirs and other lines, since all lines of the day were regulated by the rules of the Board of Trade, in which Titanic fell under the rule of "10,000 tons and upward, an 1894 rule.

for instance, Titanic was certified to carry 1,134 steerage. This worked out to 11,340 cubit feet for each person, since each person only took up 10 cubit feet of space, which would have required 19 boats for Titanic (and presumably Olympic's) steerage alone, or 60 boats over all for everyone on board.

Of course it was also thought by many, like Harold Sanderson, White Star's general manager, that the stormy, unpredictable North Atlantic was no place to float 50-60 boats full of passengers.

All this can be found in "The Night Live On" Chapter 8, pgs 72-80.
 
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Bags

Member
@ J. Burdette; Indeed, the mysteries of the Titanic, (that I am fairly certain many hoped would be resolved by the discovery of the wreck in '85), continue to be baffle both the dedicated professional and amateur alike. Boards such as this one have, and continue to provided a wonderful format for discussion and meeting of minds.

@ Jake Peterson; can you really blame them? Having bounced around on the atlantic coast of Canada, (within sight of shore) and seen footage of mid atlantic "light little blow's" from some of our Navy boys, I readily understand their reluctance. It would not be my first choice for amusement either. Having said that, given the option of that or drowning.....;)
 
J Burdette

J Burdette

Member
@ angeline2011:

As an example if you will recall the Lusitania disaster, while the ship had an adequate complement of lifeboats many of them could not be launched in time. The Lusy had sunk quickly and had taken on a list, that made it almost impossible to get most of the boats away. Also there is the story of the Empress of Ireland. After colliding with a Norwegian collier she sunk in 14 minutes. Not nearly enough time to get the people aboard her away. Like Bags said, and as I recall reading in a book, even if Titanic had enough boats, they wouldn't have been able to get them away in time.
 
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sally1976

Member
who was to blame ??

Hiya guys I am sorry if this is a re-post or I have put this in wrong place,the titanic fascinates me and all the info i have read and watched I can never seem to find enough.One question intrigues me and it was who do you think was at blame ?? I find that this disaster could well of been prevented but you read so many conflicting accounts,I dont understand why a seaman of Captain Smiths years of experience would of ordered the titanic to travel at the speed it did.After reading parts of the titanic inquiry it seems no one was held accountable for this disaster I would be very interested on hearing your accounts on what decisions you have come to.Many thanks xx
 
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Ioannis Georgiou

Member
Captain Smith. Course and speed was his responsibility. He did what others did too full speed until spotting a danger. This time he had no luck.
 
TimTurner

TimTurner

Member
You'll get a different answer depending on who you ask. Everybody has their favorite villain. Personally, I chalk it up to a bad chain of coincidences and primitive standards. Officially, I suppose, Captain Smith is to blame. Technically the captain of a ship is always to blame, so it's easy to put the blame on him. He also died in the sinking, so conveniently he got an appropriate punishment without having to punish anyone else or conduct further investigation.

A list of common villains:
1. Captain Smith, Titanic's captain
2. Bruce Ismay, Captain Smith's boss who scandalously survived when many of his passengers didn't. Apparently he urged Captain Smith to go faster.
3. Officer Murdoch, who was in charge when the Titanic struck the iceberg and also died.
4. Officer Lightoller, the senior surviving officer, whose testimony at the hearing may have a hole or two in it.
5. Captain Lord, who saw (or might have seen) the Titanic sinking, but did nothing to help.
6. The British Board of Trade (BOT) who approved the Titanic for sailing.
7. The White Star Line company.
8. The steamship industry in general.
 
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sally1976

Member
hello Ioannis thanks for replying.I would quite agree I just cant get my head round a man of his statue would of been persuaded by bruce ismay to achieve such speeds putting that many people at risk ?? I'm beginning to wonder wether the era was a factor? I know this day of age everything revolves around health and safety and everyone especially ships would have to take extreme precautions to make sure everyone was safe.The risks always seem to outway the dangers these days,maybe it wasnt like that back then? I know she was known as the unsinkable ship but there must of been some concerns ??? xx
 
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sally1976

Member
Hello tim,yes I think you have a very valuable point theres seems to be a lot of accenuiating circumstances regarding the certain decisions each person made on the night resulting in the sinking.x
 
TimTurner

TimTurner

Member
Well Ismay was Smith's boss. While Smith was responsible for his ship, he still had to answer to Ismay. Throw on the fact that Smith was probably about to retire, so he was probably tending to phone it in on his last voyage. After an entire lifetime of service, what are the odds of something happening on his last cruise? Also, while we know today that the Titanic certainly hit an iceberg, in April of 1912 the chances of ice coming that far south and not being seen in time to avoid it or slow down were pretty slim. The odds were in Smith's favor, that was how things were usually done at the time, so there was no particularly good reason not to tempt fate. In hindsight, all those ice reports and things seem to make a pretty clear case, but as in most accidents, all of those indicators seem pretty insignificant until the accident happens.
 
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sally1976

Member
The circumstances to the whole event are eerie ... I have also heard that was not the normal course for the icebergs to travel that far out into titanics path.. the iceberg warnings that didnt reach the bridge.. the fact that it was Captain Smiths last voyage before retiring its all happenings that did contribute to its fate,was like it was meant and nothing was going to get in the way,the facts are astounding.Although I do feel if smith had been a bit more dominant in his decisions with ismay and been more vigilant the iceberg could of been avoided.. another thing that intrigues me is why did fleet not have any binoculars?? As shown in the film titanic one of the crewmen (sorry cannot identify ) looked through binoculars after murdoch ordered hard a starboard.It seems there was floors everywhere xx
 
TimTurner

TimTurner

Member
There were a lot of little things. Although, I doubt the binoculars were a serious contributing factor. Binoculars are great for seeing something once you've found it, but probably not very effective for spotting a pinprick in the ocean. Once you've seen something, you can really zoom in and identify it, but you can only see one tiny patch of the ocean at a time. It's also possible that the iceberg was effectively invisible until it was only a mile or so in front of the ship, due to lighting and other factors.

I think that's one of the things about the Titanic which is so inviting to the imagination: there are so many little things which could have been different and saved the whole ship.
 
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sally1976

Member
yes I fully agree tim thats what intrigues me so much as well as many others I think thanks for your input xx
 
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