United States Senate Inquiry

Day 8

Testimony of Stanley Lord

(The witness was sworn by the chairman.)

Senator SMITH.
What is your full name and where do you reside?

Mr. LORD.
Stanley Lord, Liverpool, England.

Senator SMITH.
What age are you, Captain?

Mr. LORD.
Thirty-five, sir.

Senator SMITH.
What is your business?

Mr. LORD.
Master Mariner.

Senator SMITH.
How long have you been a mariner?

Mr. LORD.
Twenty years.

Senator SMITH.
In what ships have you sailed?

Mr. LORD.
As master?

Senator SMITH.
As master.

Mr. LORD.
The Antillian, the Louisianian, the William Cliff, and the Californian.

Senator SMITH.
Where were you in your ship on the 14th day of April last?

Mr. LORD.
At what time?

Senator SMITH.
At 6 o'clock in the morning of that day?

Mr. LORD.
On the 14th of April at 6 o'clock we have not got it down here, sir. (witness looking at a book, afterwards identified as the log of the Californian.) I can give it to you at 9.40 o'clock and at noon.

Senator SMITH.
Give it to me at 9.40.

Mr. LORD.
42, 47.

Senator SMITH.
A little more specifically, please.

Mr. LORD.
42 north and 47 west.

Senator SMITH.
Are you reading from the log of the Californian?

Mr. LORD.
The Californian; the ship's log, yes.

Senator SMITH.
Where were you when you made the next entry in the log?

Mr. LORD.
As to position?

Senator SMITH.
Yes, sir.

Mr. LORD.
42, 5, and 57.

Senator SMITH.
At what time?

Mr. LORD.
10.21 o'clock.

Senator SMITH.
The same date?

Mr. LORD.
The same date, the 14th of April.

Senator SMITH.
What other entries have you in the log, of your position on that date?

Mr. LORD.
At 6.30.

Senator SMITH.
6.30 p. m.?

Mr. LORD.
Yes; we had, 42º 5' and 49º 10', as having passed two large icebergs.

Senator SMITH.
What is the next entry?

Mr. LORD.
There is no position given there. The next entry was 7.15 o'clock. "Passed one large iceberg, and two more in sight to the southward."

Senator SMITH.
Where were you at that time?

Mr. LORD.
No position entered here, sir.

Senator SMITH.
Did you attempt to communicate with the vessel Titanic on Sunday?

Mr. LORD.
Yes, sir.

Senator SMITH.
At what time of the day?

Mr. LORD.
Ten minutes to 11.

Senator SMITH.
A. m.?

Mr. LORD.
P. m.

Senator SMITH.
That is ship's time?

Mr. LORD.
At the ship's time for 47º 25' longitude.

Senator BURTON.
That was of longitude 47º 25' west?

Mr. LORD.
Yes, sir.

Senator SMITH.
What was that communication?

Mr. LORD.
We told them we were stopped and surrounded by ice.

Senator SMITH.
Did the Titanic acknowledge that message?

Mr. LORD.
Yes, sir; I believe he told the operator he had read it, and told him to shut up, or stand by, or something; that he was busy.

Senator BOURNE.
That was the Titanic's reply?

Mr. LORD.
Yes, sir.

Senator SMITH.
Did you have further communication with the Titanic?

Mr. LORD.
Not at all, sir.

Senator SMITH.
Did the Titanic have further communication with you?

Mr. LORD.
No, sir.

Senator SMITH.
Do you know the Titanic's position on the sea when she sank?

Mr. LORD.
I know the position given to me by the Virginian as the position where she struck an iceberg, 41º 56' and 50º 14'.

Senator SMITH.
Figuring from the Titanic's position at the time she went down and your position at the time you sent this warning to the Titanic, how far were these vessels from one another?

Mr. LORD.
From the position we stopped in to the position at which the Titanic is supposed to have hit the iceberg, 19 1/2 to 19 3/4 miles; south 16 west, sir, was the course.

Senator SMITH.
Did the Titanic operator answer at once the message sent by you?

Mr. LORD.
I believe he did.

Senator SMITH.
This was at 11 o'clock and how many minutes?

Senator BURTON.
10.50, he said.

Mr. LORD.
About 11, approximately.

Senator SMITH.
About 11?

Mr. LORD.
Yes; approximately.

Senator SMITH.
Do you know what time the Titanic sent out this C.Q.D. call?

Mr. LORD.
No, sir; I do not.

Senator SMITH.
Did the Californian receive that call?

Mr. LORD.
No, sir.

Senator SMITH.
Either from the Titanic or any other ship?

Mr. LORD.
We got it from the Virginian.

Senator SMITH.
What time did you receive it?

Mr. LORD.
Six o'clock, sir.

Senator SMITH.
A. m.?

Mr. LORD.
A. m. on the 15th.

Senator SMITH.
What is the average speed of the steamship Californian under fair conditions?

Mr. LORD.
It would depend upon the consumption of coal.

Senator SMITH.
What speed do you attempt to make?

Mr. LORD.
On our present consumption we average 11 in fine weather.

Senator SMITH.
Eleven in fine weather?

Mr. LORD.
On our consumption at present.

Senator SMITH.
In case of distress, I suppose it would be possible for you to exceed that considerably.

Mr. LORD.
Oh, we made 13 and 13 1/2 the day we were going down to the Titanic.

Senator SMITH.
Were you under full speed then?

Mr. LORD.
We were driving all we could.

Senator SMITH.
When you notified the Titanic that you were in the ice, how much ice were you in?

Mr. LORD.
Well, we were surrounded by a lot of loose ice, and we were about a quarter of a mile off the edge of the field.

Senator SMITH.
Were there any icebergs in view?

Mr. LORD.
No; I could not see that; not then.

Senator SMITH.
This ice that you were in was field ice?

Mr. LORD.
Field ice.

Senator SMITH.
And how large an area, in your judgment, would it cover?

Mr. LORD.
Well, my judgment was from what I saw the next day, not what I saw that night.

Senator SMITH.
Exactly; but how large an area would it cover the next morning?

Mr. LORD.
I suppose about 26 miles long and from 1 to 2 miles wide.

Senator SMITH.
How badly were you interfered with by the ice on Sunday evening?

Mr. LORD.
How were we interfered with?

Senator SMITH.
Yes.

Mr. LORD.
We stopped altogether.

Senator SMITH.
What did you stop for?

Mr. LORD.
So we would not run over the top of it.

Senator SMITH.
You stopped your ship so that you might avoid the ice?

Mr. LORD.
To avoid the ice.

Senator SMITH.
And did you avoid it?

Mr. LORD.
I did.

Senator SMITH.
When did you notify the Titanic of your condition? What was your purpose?

Mr. LORD.
It was just a matter of courtesy. I thought he would be a long way from where we were. I did not think he was anywhere near the ice. By rights, he ought to have been 18 or 19 miles to the southward of where I was. I never thought the ice was stretching that far down.

Senator SMITH.
You gave him this information?

Mr. LORD.
Just as a matter of courtesy. We always pass the news around when we get hold of anything like that.

Senator SMITH.
You knew it would not do any harm and might do them some good?

Mr. LORD.
Yes. I did not know where he was; I had no idea where he was - I mean the distance he was away from me.

Senator SMITH.
Capt. Lord, for the purpose of making it a little clearer, what did you say your position was at 10.50 p. m. Sunday, April 14?

Mr. LORD.
I did not say at all.

Senator SMITH.
Will you state?

Mr. LORD.
It was the same position I was in when I stopped at 10.21, and that I gave you before as 42º 5' and 50º 7'.

Senator SMITH.
You had stopped, and your position did not change?

Mr. LORD.
No.

Senator SMITH.
Substantially, for how long a time?

Mr. LORD.
We moved the engines first at 5.15 on the 15th of April, full ahead.

Senator SMITH.
Do you know anything regarding the Titanic disaster, of your own knowledge? Did you see the ship on Sunday?

Mr. LORD.
No, sir.

Senator SMITH.
Or from her?

Mr. LORD.
Not from the Titanic.

Senator SMITH.
Was the Titanic beyond your range of vision?

Mr. LORD.
I should think so. 19 1/2 or 20 miles away.

Senator SMITH.
How long did it take you to reach the scene of the accident, from the time you steamed up and got under way Monday morning?

Mr. LORD.
From the time we received the message of the Titanic's position?

Senator SMITH.
Yes.

Mr. LORD. (reading)

Six o'clock, proceeded slow, pushing through the thick ice.

I will read this from the log book.

Six o'clock, proceeded slow, pushing through the thick ice.
6.30, clear of thickest of ice; proceeded full speed, pushing the ice.
8.30, stopped close to steamship Carpathia.

Senator SMITH.
Was the Carpathia at that time at the scene of the wreck?

Mr. LORD.
Yea, sir; she was taking the last of the people out of the boats.

Senator SMITH.
Then from 6 o'clock in the morning you were under steam in the direction of the Titanic for two and one-half hours?

Mr. LORD.
Yes, sir.

Senator SMITH.
When you pulled alongside the Carpathia?

Mr. LORD.
Yes, sir.

Senator SMITH.
At the scene of the wreck?

Mr. LORD.
Yes, sir.

Senator SMITH.
Do you know the Carpathia's position when she received the distress call from the Titanic?

Mr. LORD.
No, sir.

Senator SMITH.
In speed, how does the Californian compare with the Carpathia?

Mr. LORD.
I do not know anything about the Carpathia.

Senator SMITH.
I would like to ask you, Capt. Lord, to tell the committee what kind of watch you kept on Sunday night after the engines stopped. Did you keep an unusual lookout on duty?

Mr. LORD.
No; not after we stopped the engines.

Senator SMITH.
Did you, up to the time you stopped?

Mr. LORD.
Yes.

Senator SMITH.
Tell the committee of what that consisted.

Mr. LORD.
We doubled the lookout from the crew, put a man on the forecastle head - that is, right at the bow of the ship - and I was on the bridge myself with an officer, which I would not have been, under ordinary conditions.

Senator SMITH.
What time did you increase the watch?

Mr. LORD.
When it got dark that night.

Senator SMITH.
As soon as it got dark?

Mr. LORD.
About 8 o'clock. I went on the bridge at 8'o'clock.

Senator SMITH.
And you remained on the bridge how long?

Mr. LORD.
Until half-past 10.

Senator SMITH.
And this increased watch was maintained during all that time?

Mr. LORD.
Until half-past 10.

Senator SMITH.
You thought that was necessary in your situation at that time?

Mr. LORD.
Well we had had a report of this ice three or four days before, so we were just taking the extra precautions.

Senator SMITH.
You had had reports of this ice?

Mr. LORD.
Yes, sir.

Senator SMITH.
Two or three days before?

Mr. LORD.
Yes.

Senator SMITH.
From whom had you received those reports?

Mr. LORD.
From Capt. Barr, of the Coronian [Caronia], on the 13th of April. That was the day before.

Senator SMITH.
From whom?

Mr. LORD.
From Capt. Barr.

Senator SMITH.
What further advice?

Mr. LORD.
Wou1d you like to see the log?

Senator SMITH.
No; I want you to read that into the record, if you please.

Mr. LORD.
From Coronian to captain Californian:

Westbound steamers report bergs, growlers, and field ice 42º north from 40º 51', April 12.

BARR.

Senator SMITH.
Can you file those copies?

Mr. LORD.
This is the only one I have.

Senator SMITH.
That gives the date?

Mr. LORD.
The 13th of April, 4.35 p. m., New York time.

Senator SMITH.
What was the next warning?

Mr. LORD.
The next warning was when I saw it myself at half-past 6, I think. I do not remember any others. There may have been something. No, sir; I mistake. We had the Parisian; we were talking with the Parisian, who was some distance ahead of us, and I was asking if he had seen any ice, and to let me know, as he was so far ahead, before dark came on; and he gave me reports.

On the 14th of April - shall I read?

Senator SMITH.
Yes.

Mr. LORD.
"14th April," no time given; "41º 55' 49º 14', passed three large icebergs." Not signed; no name to it.

Senator SMITH.
You know from whom it came?

Mr. LORD.
It was from the Parisian. Here is another one we had some time before, on the 9th of April from the New Amsterdam.

To "CALIFORNIAN":
Ice field reported April 4th in 43º 20' North, 49º longitude, extending as far to north-northeast as horizon is visible.

M.H.R.

Those are the letters of the ship.

Senator BURTON.
What is the date when you received that?

Mr. LORD.
The 9th of April.

This is from one operator to another operator, what was known as a service message. It was not addressed to me.

Senator SMITH.
Where did you sail from on that voyage?

Mr. LORD.
London.

Senator SMITH.
Bound for Boston?

Mr. LORD.
Boston; yes, sir.

Senator SMITH.
Will you please give the Greenwich time of your wireless message as to ice, sent to the Titanic?

Mr. LORD.
Not the Greenwich time; I can give you the New York time. The New York time is what the wireless messages are all dated. Will that do?

Senator SMITH.
Yes.

Mr. LORD.
Do you mean the last message?

Senator SMITH.
No; the message you sent to the Titanic.

Mr. LORD.
I only sent one straight to the Titanic.

Senator SMITH.
I understand; the message you sent to the Titanic at 11 o'clock on Sunday night.

Mr. LORD.
That would be 9.05 or 9.10. There is an hour and fifty minutes time between New York and my noon position on the 14th.

Senator SMITH.
Captain, does your log show the condition of the weather on Sunday?

Mr. LORD.
Yes.

Senator SMITH.
Will you please give us the condition of the weather at the earliest time you have it recorded and the latest time you have it recorded on Sunday?

Mr. LORD. (reading from book)
Four a. m., fresh wind, rough and westerly; sky overcast and heavy shore showers.

Senator SMITH.
The next?

Mr. LORD.
Eight a. m., moderate wind, and sea overcast; clear weather. Noon, fresh wind; moderate sea; clear weather. Four p. m., moderate wind; smooth sea. Eight p. m., light wind; small swell; clear weather. Midnight, calm, and smooth sea; clear weather; ship surrounded by ice.

Senator SMITH.
Does the log indicate the direction of the wind?

Mr. LORD.
The hour 11 to 12, was calm; no wind at all. Previous to that, in the early morning it was west-northwest and north-northwest; and after noon, until 10 o'clock, it was north.

Senator SMITH.
Can you give us the temperature of the water and the air on Sunday between those hours you have just mentioned?

Mr. LORD.
I can give it to you from memory; there is no mention of it here.

Senator SMITH.
No mention of it in the log?

Mr. LORD.
No.

Senator SMITH.
Is it customary to record the temperature of the air and water in the log?

Mr. LORD.
Not in our log book.

Senator SMITH.
Can you give it to me from memory?

Mr. LORD.
Yes.

Senator SMITH.
Please do so.

Mr. LORD.
At half past 10 it was 27 - the water at night; the air was 30.

Senator SMITH.
Did that indicate, in your mind, anything in particular? I mean by that, did it indicate in itself the presence of ice?

Mr. LORD.
I was surrounded by ice.

Senator SMITH.
Or proximity to ice? I understand; but I want to know whether the temperature of the water and air indicates proximity to ice at this time of the year in the North Atlantic Ocean?

Mr. LORD.
I suppose it would, if you were close enough. But in the Arctic current you always get cold water, even if there is not any ice. I always take the temperature of the water in fog about every 5 or 10 minutes, if we are anywhere near the ice track. But still if we got the Arctic current we would have very cold water, but if we got within half a mile of an iceberg, I suppose it would not drop more than another degree or two degrees.

Senator SMITH.
Will you tell the committee how you determine for yourself proximity to ice; or icebergs?

Mr. LORD.
In clear weather, sir?

Senator SMITH.
Yes; that is, you mean day?

Mr. LORD.
Day or night.

Continued >