Encyclopedia Titanica

Californian

The SS Californian and her Captain Stanley Lord became notorious for their failure to respond to distress signals sent up by Titanic. It was alleged that officers on the nearby vessel observed the signals but ignored them.

The Californian had left Liverpool carrying a mixed cargo but no passengers on 5 April 1912, bound for Boston. She received several ice warnings and at 6.30 p.m. Lord himself ordered an ice warning sent to the Antillian, this was overheard by the Titanic. Lord did every thing a good Captain should do. He doubled the look out and slowed down. At 10.21 he decided to go no further and ordered the engines stopped. About an hour later Lord saw what he thought was a steamer passing to the south., Third Officer Groves was instructed to raise the ship by lamp but without success. The wireless officer was by now off-duty and therefore did not hear Titanic's distress signals. However it would appear that the rockets sent up by Titanic were observed from the deck of the Californian, however, they were not interpreted as distress rockets and in retrospect, the actions taken in response to them were woefully inadequate.

Captain Lord lost his command shortly after his role in the Titanic incident became known however the Californian resumed her normal service.

Summary of the Californian’s Career 1902 -1915

Compiled by Harland Duzen

The SS Californian and Dundee: Scotland’s Forgotten Leviathan
The Titanic and the Indifferent Stranger
Ice:  Clear and Absent Danger
Birma's wireless bears witness!
RUSSIANS TO THE RESCUE - THE ICEFIELD DESCRIBED

Related Biographies

Titanic Crew whose current ship was the Californian: 54
Crew whose previous ship was the Californian: 24

Most recent articles etc.

World’s Largest Vessel Founders on Her Maiden Voyage
The SS Californian and Dundee: Scotland’s Forgotten Leviathan
Titanic and Californian
Capt. Lord Explains
BURY FOUR OF THE DEAD AT SEA
Captain Lord 1961 Interviews Transcript
Stanley Lord in Conversation with Leslie Harrison
Titanic Struck on Clear Night
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The Titanic and the Indifferent Stranger
The informative 'Morning News'
Steward's Statement
TRAGEDY AT SEA - FILM RECORD OF THE TITANIC
Ice: Clear and Absent Danger
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Birma's wireless bears witness!
RUSSIANS TO THE RESCUE - THE ICEFIELD DESCRIBED
SUBMARINES SINK FOUR MORE SHIPS
The Nightmare of April 14, 1912
Mystery Ship Made Simple
Hard a-starboard
The Californian Incident, A Reality Check