Friday, April 1, 2011

SS Californian: Could They Have Saved Titanic Lives?

zdjęcie przedstawia statek SS Californian.Image via Wikipedia

Debate surrounding the location of SS Californian on the night of April 14, 1912 is still prevalent. Did Californian’s crew see Titanic and ignore signals for help, or was the ship too far away?

Californian was a cargo vessel that departed from London on April 5 and was en route to Boston, Massachusetts. On April 14, 1912 Captain Stanley Lord ordered that the engines be stopped as the ship encountered an icy field. Californian stopped for the night at 10:21 P.M. and would resume voyage in the morning. Around 11:00 P.M. Captain Lord saw another vessel in the distance but was confident the Ship was too small to be Titanic.

Around 12:45 A.M. on April 15 Californian’s second officer saw a “flash of light,” soon to be followed by another. The “flashes of light” turned out to be the white rockets shot off by Titanic. Californian’s second officer notified the Captain that he saw 8 white rockets, but he took no action. Various crewmen on Californian gazed at the horizon until they could no longer see the Ship’s lights, unaware that Titanic had just sunk.

The debate about Californian’s exact location on that night continues. Captain Lord claimed his ship was 19 ½ miles away from the location Titanic reported in their distress signals. Experts speculate that if this were true, crew on Californian would not have been able to see the white rockets.

thanks to the Titanic Store online

Kathy Dowsett
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