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

Jun 2017
2,967
Connecticut
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
That might be true and all but the proper procedure isn't neccessarily standard practice. There's lots of black letter regs that aren't standard practice because they don't need to be and this is one of them. It's like yelling fire, people aren't going to ignore you cause you don't follow a rule that requires you to do it in certain intervals if it's serious. The crew messed up in a lot of ways that night but not doing everything they could to contact assistance isn't one of them. They used morse(and the supposed initial conversation that ended is a fascinating topic), they used rockets, they used wireless. They even used both the old(CQD) and new code(SOS) just in case people weren't using the new one yet(probably the most competent thing the Captain did after the sinking was directing the wireless operators to do that). If the rockets indeed scared away a third ship which I think is what likely happened, it's not like the absence of rockets would have meant they'd have neccessarily came to help.
 

Fiver

Ad Honorem
Jul 2012
3,764
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
The link incorrectly cites the International Rules of the Road. There was no requirement for both a sound signal and a sight signal. There was no requirement that rockets be fired at one minute intervals.

Here is the appropriate section:

Distress Signals
Art. 31 When a vessel is in distress and requires help from other vessels or from the shore, the following shall be the signals to be used or displayed by her, either together or separately, viz:-

In the daytime-
1. A gun or other explosive signal fired at intervals of about a minute;
2. The International Code signal of distress indicated by NC;
3. The distant signal, consisting of a square flag, having either above or below it a ball or anything resembling a ball.
4. A continuous sounding with and fog-signal apparatus.

At night-
1. A gun or other explosive signal fired at intervals of about a minute;
2. Flames on the vessel (as from a burning tar-barrel, oil-barrel, &c,);
3. Rockets or shells, throwing stars of any colour or description, fired one at a time, at short intervals;
4. A continuous sounding with and fog-signal apparatus.

As the phrase "either together or separately" clearly indicates, any ship using one or more of those signals was clearly signaling distress. The key part was actually quoted into the record in the British Inquiry - That is Article 31, dealing with distress signals: "When a vessel is in distress and requires assistance from other vessels or from the shore, the following shall be the signals to be used or displayed by her, either together or separately"; and then, as your Lordship pointed out, "At night" No. 3 is "Rockets or shells, throwing stars of any colour or description, fired one at a time, at short intervals."

The British Wreck Commissioner's Inquiry examined this

Testimony of Titanic Fourth Officer Joseph G. Boxhall
15395. How many rockets did you send up about?
- I could not say, between half a dozen and a dozen, I should say, as near as I could tell.

15396. What sort of rockets were they?
- The socket distress signal.

15397. Can you describe what the effect of those rockets is in the sky; what do they do?
- You see a luminous tail behind them and then they explode in the air and burst into stars.

15398. Did you send them up at intervals one at a time?
- One at a time, yes.

15399. At about what kind of intervals?
- Well, probably five minutes; I did not take any times.

Testimony of Californian Second Officer Herbert Stone

7832. Now, will you tell me what you had seen?
- First of all, I was walking up and down the bridge and I saw one white flash in the sky, immediately above this other steamer. I did not know what it was; I thought it might be a shooting star.

7833. What was the nature of the flash?
- A white flash.

7834. You did not know what it was?
- No.

7835. How long have you been at sea?
- Eight years.

7836. You know distress signals?
- I know what they are, yes.

7837. Was it like a distress signal?
- It was just a white flash in the sky; it might have been anything.

7838. I know, but what did it suggest to your mind? What did you say to yourself? What did you think it was?
- I thought nothing until I brought the ship under observation with the binoculars and saw the others.

7839. Then you took up your glasses, apparently, and looked?
- Yes.

7840. And how many more did you see?
- I saw four more then.

7841. What were they, rockets?
- They had the appearance of white rockets bursting in the sky.

7842. Did they come in quick succession?
- At intervals of about three or four minutes.

The Titanic fired a series of rockets "one at a time, at short intervals", which should have been a clear signal of distress to any competent sailor. Second Officer Stone of the Californian saw rockets fired "one at a time, at short intervals". Stone tried to dance around the subject, but the Inquiry Comissioner got Stone to acknowledge that the rockets were not the normal "way in which steamers communicate with each other " and that the rockets were "not being sent up for fun ", though Stone persisted in claiming he had no idea what a series a series of rockets "one at a time, at short intervals" meant. That leaves two options - Stone was lying or Stone was incompetent when he said he did not consider the possibility that the rockets might be signals of distress.