Were there any survivors of the Titanic who never got into one of the Titanic's lifeboats?

Fiver

Ad Honorem
Jul 2012
3,759
Well they saw the Titanics rockets. No one's questioning that. Was it coming from the ship they saw or was it coming from further away. You see the rockets regardless cause they go into the sky, they did not "see a ship firing rockets" they saw a ship and they rockets. Ship in between doesn't contradict either thing you've said.

Well there was incompetence no question there but I don't see the evidence the Californian could have saved everyone in time.
Second Officer Herbert Stone of the Californian testified that "I saw one white flash in the sky, immediately above this other steamer." Stone's further testimony makes it clear that rockets were being fired from the ship that he saw. James Gibson of the Californian, testified "I had just got the glasses on to her when I saw her fire the rocket". Captain Stanley Lord testified that he was told the rockets were being fired by the ship that they could see.

I agree that the Caiifornian could not have saved everyone, but she could have saved a few. The problem is that she did not try. Stanley Lord and Herbert Stone are hardly the only people who failed at this duty. Most of the Titanic's lifeboats had room for more, yet only one went back to help people struggling in the water.
 

Fiver

Ad Honorem
Jul 2012
3,759
Not necessarily. Ships often fired rockets for the amusement of the passengers, and there was no requirement to keep a constant radio watch ( most ships, if they had a radio, only had one operator anyway). It was a calm, clear night and the watchkeepers on board Californian had no reason to suspect that the ship seen in the distance was in trouble.
Feel free to give any examples of period ships firing rockets "for the amusement of the passengers". Second Officer Herbert Stone of the Californian testified that he agreed the rockets "were not being sent up for fun". There was no requirement to keep a constant radio watch, no blame falls to the radio operator of the the Californian. The blame lies with Second Officer Stone and Captain Lord, who did not wake the radio operator and have him attempt contact.

As to not suspecting the ship seen nearby was in trouble, that would require both stupidity and lack of imagination on the part of the crew of the Californian.
 
Jun 2017
2,958
Connecticut
Second Officer Herbert Stone of the Californian testified that "I saw one white flash in the sky, immediately above this other steamer." Stone's further testimony makes it clear that rockets were being fired from the ship that he saw. James Gibson of the Californian, testified "I had just got the glasses on to her when I saw her fire the rocket". Captain Stanley Lord testified that he was told the rockets were being fired by the ship that they could see.

I agree that the Caiifornian could not have saved everyone, but she could have saved a few. The problem is that she did not try. Stanley Lord and Herbert Stone are hardly the only people who failed at this duty. Most of the Titanic's lifeboats had room for more, yet only one went back to help people struggling in the water.
And they also thought Titanic, the largest ship on earth was very small. If they were as close as alleged that mistake would not have occurred especially on such a clear night. The Californians crew thought a lot of things. To put in context how close the Californian allegedly was, Captain Smith(or perhaps Murdoch or Lightoller did this given the situation with him) actually ordered the first life boats to row to the ship and come back. The biggest hole in the theory though is Californian and Titanic both saw the described ship leave(and considerably earlier than the sinking). Now neither ship was moving, Californian was stuck in ice which is proven by earlier wireless messages in addition to testimony and Titanic was sinking dead in the water. So both ships were spotting movement that wasn't taking place on Californian or Titanic. In a crowded shipping lane.

Well the issue with me is I don't think she could have got there in time. The Californians size would have been a logistical issue regardless but if she had half an hour upon arriving I imagine almost everyone would have been saved(Carpathia was an hour away and Mount Temple would have been the rescue ship if Carpathia's wireless operater hadn't received the CQD before falling asleep). But the issue is distance. Here's all the issues with blaming Californian besides my belief it was a third ship. And of course I agree Californian was iresponsible not waking up the wireless operator, disagree whether that negligence made a difference.

But here's the reasons I doubt Californian could make it if she was any further away than the most extreme close estimates.
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a-The Californian scapegoat theory being accurate relies on Californian being super close(something which was not neccessary to see the rockets) within about 10 miles. Californian was more realistically 20-30 miles out.

b-Californian's speed was about 12 knots and she was stopped because she was in an ice field. Carpathia was going at 17-18 knots. Now if Carpathia is at least twice as far you can say Californian will still get there first and you are probably right but Carpathia got there about an hour and a half too late so Californian would have to get there 2 hours earlier just to get to Titanic at the very end(when rescue operations would have been very harazrdous).

c-To demonstrate how important those 5-6 knots are, let me bring up the Mount Temple. The Mount Temple was the closest ship to the distress call(that received it, the whole issue with the third ships is wireless wasn't universal and no wireless doesn't mean no ships) less than 50 miles away however had about the same speed as Californian. As a result Carpathia got there first despite starting further away(about 10 miles further).

d-This is also assuming Californian left right away and again she was stuck in ice would have taken time to get the ship moving. Californian DID head to the spot once day broke and the wireless operator woke up but the ship only got there as Carpathia was about to leave at 8.30. Carpathia turned within minutes of the initial distress call(which was about 2 hours before ship sank).

e-The time the exact ship left it's position would be really revealing about how far Californian was cause we know when the ship got to Titanic's position(about 8.30). This would indicate the ship took about 2 hours to get there(pretty slow if as close as the mystery ship). We don't know and it wasn't in the crews interest to be truthful if you are correct and they were right there. But even if we knew and the ship was further away one can just say it doesn't mean anything cause of the ice field.

Now I don't think it's impossible Californian could have gotten there by the time the ship sank. But it's very close to being such it would be a real stretch even if everything had went perfect.
 

Belgarion

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,731
Australia
Well they saw the Titanics rockets. No one's questioning that. Was it coming from the ship they saw or was it coming from further away. You see the rockets regardless cause they go into the sky, they did not "see a ship firing rockets" they saw a ship and they rockets. Ship in between doesn't contradict either thing you've said.

Well there was incompetence no question there but I don't see the evidence the Californian could have saved everyone in time.
What form did this incompetence take?
 

Belgarion

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,731
Australia
Feel free to give any examples of period ships firing rockets "for the amusement of the passengers". Second Officer Herbert Stone of the Californian testified that he agreed the rockets "were not being sent up for fun". There was no requirement to keep a constant radio watch, no blame falls to the radio operator of the the Californian. The blame lies with Second Officer Stone and Captain Lord, who did not wake the radio operator and have him attempt contact.

As to not suspecting the ship seen nearby was in trouble, that would require both stupidity and lack of imagination on the part of the crew of the Californian.
Carpathias Second Officer, James Bisset mentions the firing of rockets to amuse the passengers in the second volume of his autobiography "Tramps and Ladies". Also, the regulations of the time required distress rockets to be fired at one minute intervals. Titanics were fired in a very haphazard manner, further reinforcing Californians belief that they were being fired for amusement or as company signals. Californians wireless operator had earlier been in contact with Titanic, informing of ice ahead, and told to shut up because Titanics operator was busy sending passengers telegrams. Californias wireless was shut down in accordance with established procedure shortly after. Attempts to contact the rocket firing vessel by signal light were unsuccessful.

Californians captain, with his ship surrounded by ice, decided there was no reason to suspect an emergency and his ship remained stationary rather than risk moving through the ice in the dark . This was well in accordance with prudent navigation. While it is easy with hindsight to say that Californian should have acted differently the Captain acted properly based on the information he had avilable at the time.
 
Jun 2017
2,958
Connecticut
What form did this incompetence take?
Ignoring the rockets and deciding to go back to sleep(or even just having someone else briefly woke up to check) . That's incompetence. But people are incompetent every day without their being consequences for their actions(as in the actions hurting people) that doesn't change if Lord acted properly there was just little that could have been done.

And per the precedent for rockets being used in party's, consider the context. Californian is stuck in an ice field in a clearly hazardous environment and just a few hours earlier had been sending frantic messages warning other ships. There was also the temperature.

Also there's the failed morse reading, not really knowledgable on Morse code and it's working but I know Titanic tried to flag the Californian or the third vessel and was unsuccessful though an officer at one point thought they had one? Anyone have more details on that?
 
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Belgarion

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,731
Australia
Ignoring the rockets and deciding to go back to sleep(or even just having someone else briefly woke up to check) . That's incompetence. But people are incompetent every day without their being consequences for their actions(as in the actions hurting people) that doesn't change if Lord acted properly there was just little that could have been done.

And per the precedent for rockets being used in party's, consider the context. Californian is stuck in an ice field in a clearly hazardous environment and just a few hours earlier had been sending frantic messages warning other ships. There was also the temperature.

Also there's the failed morse reading, not really knowledgable on Morse code and it's working but I know Titanic tried to flag the Californian or the third vessel and was unsuccessful though an officer at one point thought they had one? Anyone have more details on that?
You are still looking a this with the benefit of hindsight. There were no 'frantic messages', simply a routine report of conditions as was often exchanged between ships. From Californians perspective there was no reason to suspect anything was wrong.
 
Jun 2017
2,958
Connecticut
You are still looking a this with the benefit of hindsight. There were no 'frantic messages', simply a routine report of conditions as was often exchanged between ships. From Californians perspective there was no reason to suspect anything was wrong.
Californian was stopped in an ice field, that isn't routine. They see rockets some distance away. Is it really reasonable to think people are just throwing a wild party near an ice field at 1 am 500 miles off Newfoundland in freezing temperatures? The sealers would have reason to believe it was law enforcement or something(if they were the mystery ship this is probably the reason they scrammed as the ship vanished after the rockets started going up) but other than that don't see other good alternative explanations except the ship going to help a third injured ship(as Carpathia ended up firing a few rockets later on after 3am so the Titanics passengers could see them).

And the spring the Titanic sank was anything but normal in regards to conditions as ice was far more south than it typically was that early in climate change. So no these messages and these conditions while not unprecedented(ships had sank from iceberg collisions before) were certainly not normal.
 
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Belgarion

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,731
Australia
Californian was stopped in an ice field, that isn't routine. They see rockets some distance away. Is it really reasonable to think people are just throwing a wild party near an ice field at 1 am 500 miles off Newfoundland in freezing temperatures? The sealers would have reason to believe it was law enforcement or something(if they were the mystery ship this is probably the reason they scrammed as the ship vanished after the rockets started going up) but other than that don't see other good alternative explanations except the ship going to help a third injured ship(as Carpathia ended up firing a few rockets later on after 3am so the Titanics passengers could see them).

And the spring the Titanic sank was anything but normal in regards to conditions as ice was far more south than it typically was that early in climate change. So no these messages and these conditions while not unprecedented(ships had sank from iceberg collisions before) were certainly not normal.
Ice is a routine hazard in the Atlantic, and ships masters were well aware of it and what steps should be taken to mitigate the risk, hence Californian stopping for the night. The captain had no reason to suspect that the master of the ship he saw was any less cautious and was still belting along at over 20 knots. A passenger ships entertainments would not be stopped because of a routine hazard like ice, so the captain's belief that they were not signalling an emergency was quite reasonable, especially as the pattern was wrong.
 

Triceratops

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
3,003
Late Cretaceous
According to this, Titanic should have fired rockets at 1 minute intervals to signal distress She didn't.

When Is A Rocket Called A Distress Signal Or Just A Flash In The Sky? - Titanic Historical Society

According to information entered into the record at the British Enquiry, the Titanic carried thirty-six socket signals. The White Star Line provided these thirty-six signals to be used in case of emergency, and they were the latest pyrotechnics for maritime use. What made them different from previous illuminations was they carried an explosive device or report [a loud sound in addition to illumination] in the nose of the rocket and also sent a shower of white stars cascading down as the “socket signal” exploded several hundred feet above the ship firing them.
The 1912 International Rules of the Road governing Signals of Distress are quite clear: Article 31: Class 1, called for – a cannon or explosive device [with report] fired at one minute intervals. The device’s report was the sound of distress.
Article 31: Class 3, covered the sight of distress which is a rocket of any color fired one at a time at short intervals.
For the Titanic to fire distress signals using the rockets supplied her, the crew should have fired its socket signals at one minute intervals. It was that simple. By doing so, the rockets would be international “signals of distress.” An explosion or report at one minute intervals satisfies the sound signal requirement and the white shower of stars at one minute intervals satisfies the sight requirement. If this procedure had been followed, no one could ever question the meaning of the Titanic’s rockets