WSL Olympic instead of Cunard's Carpathia


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Brigitta Lienhard

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What would have been the passengers reaction if the ship that had come to their salvation was not the Carpathia - but the Titanic’s sister, Olympic?

I know it runs counter-factual, though the idea has long intrigued me. What (I wonder) would have been Ismay’s position at this point. Being another White Star Line vessel, would he have been more active or visible?

Would he have felt obliged to take charge?

Brigitta
 
Jul 9, 2000
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Whatever you can say about Ismay, I don't think he was in any condition to take charge of anything. As irrationally as he was observed...or believed...to be acting, I'm sure the captain would have found a perfect excuse to have him sedated for "his own protection" if he got underfoot.

If memory serves, (And it might not.)the idea of a rondezvous with the Olympic was discussed, but dismissed. Not surprising to see why. The Carpathia may have been a bit crowded, but it's not hard to understand why passengers and crew would be reluctant to transfer to a ship that looked like one that sank from beneath their feet.
 
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Brigitta Lienhard

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He was shrewd enough to hang around one of the last lifeboats. While others had been migrating further astern, his reasons for staying close to one of the very last avenues of salvation had to have been that of a calculated mind.

Ismay was no fool. I would image the gravity of the situation only hit home after the ship had foundered.

There is little doubt that he had been made aware of the likely location and approx. arrival time at the scene for Carpathia.

It is interesting to established a what time the ship would have been classified as a wreck and therefore ownership would have been abandoned.

What I was speculating on was if Olympic had arrived at the Titanic’s location while she was still afloat. Who under this situation would have been / or taken charge?
 
Jul 9, 2000
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No, Ismay was not a fool, but his behaviour that night can hardly be described as entirely rational. Staying near the lifeboats may have been a calculated move, or jumping into one may have been a desperate act. Considering that Ismay had no training as a sailor and zero experience in dealing with life threatening emergencies at sea, I'd put the smart money on the latter.

Of course, I could be wrong. Since Ismay is rather inconveniently dead, he's no longer available to answer questions.

Had the Olympic arrived on scene befor the Titanic foundered, command of the transfer operation would have fallen on the captains.
 
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