United States Senate Inquiry

Day 18

Testimony of Herbert J. Haddock and E. J. Moore


Capt. HERBERT JAMES HADDOCK, being duly sworn, deposed and said:

Q. Will you please give your full name and place of residence? - A. Herbert James Haddock, Southampton, England.

Q. And your business? - A. Master mariner.

Q. You are captain of the steamship Olympic, of the White Star Line? - A. Yes, sir.

Q. And were filling this same position on Sunday, the 14th of April last? - A. Yes, sir.

Q. Can you tell me, Captain, where you were when you heard of the accident to the Titanic? - A. Roughly, we were west by south 500 miles of the Titanic.

Q. And from whom did you get your first information? - A. From Mr. Moore, the wireless operator.

Q. What time of the day or night did you get this information? - A. New York time, 10.50 p. m., Sunday (quoting from the report of wireless operator):

Hear Titanic signaling to some ship about striking an iceberg. Am not sure if it is the Titanic who has struck an iceberg. Am interfered by atmospherics and many stations working.

This was 10.50 p. m., New York time.

Q. At that time you were about 500 miles away? - A. About 500 miles.

Q. From whom was this information received? - A. At 11 o'clock (quoting from report):

Hear Titanic sending out signals of distress, and I answered his calls immediately.

It was direct from the Titanic.

Q. That was a C. Q. D. call? - A. Yes.

Q. What did you do when you received that call? - A. It was 10 minutes later after I got the first call from her, and then worked out the course and distance to where she was, altered course toward her, and at the same time sent for chief engineer to get up full power.

Q. Did you hear anything further, from the Titanic while you were going to her assistance? - A. (quoting from report):

11.10 Titanic replies and gives me his position. 41.46 N. 50.14 W., and says: "we have struck an iceberg." Reported this information to bridge immediately. Our distance from the Titanic, 505 miles. 11.20 p. m. signals with the Titanic. He says: "Tell captain get your boats ready and what is your position?" 11.35 p. m. sent message to Titanic: "Commander Titanic, 4.24 a. m. GMT, 40.52 N. 61.18 W. Are you steering southly to meet us?
- Haddock."

11.40 p. m., Titanic says, "Tell captain we are putting the passengers off in small boats."

11.45 p. m., Asked Titanic what weather he had had. He says, "Clear and calm." 11.50 p. m., Message to Titanic: "Commander Titanic, am lighting up all possible boilers as fast as can. - Haddock."

This is the last one to Titanic.

Q. Did you have any communication with the Titanic prior to the accident on Sunday? - A. Not that I am aware of, sir.

Q. Did you have any information from any other vessel regarding ice on Sunday? - A. On Sunday, after we were informed that this had happened.

Q. With what vessel? - A. 8.30 a. m., New York time, sir. This is the first message we got re ice Sunday. The message is dated the 13th April: Iceberg reported in latitude 41.50, longitude 50.20. Signed Wood. He is the captain of the Asian.

Q. That was on Saturday the 13th? - A. It is just dated April 13. He has evidently got the report from somewhere else.

Q. Is that the only ice warning you got that day? You got this report on the 13th, on Monday morning, the day after the accident? - A. Yes. At least, I understood the accident was somewhere about midnight of the 14th or 15th.

Q. It was about 11.45, ship's time? - A. Yes.

Q. That is, Monday morning the 15th? - A. At 10.12 a. m. we got into communication with steamship Mesaba.

Can give no information of Titanic. Sends following service message:

"Captain Olympic, in latitude 42 to latitude 41.25 north, longitude 49 west to longitude 50.35 west. Saw heavy pack ice and a large number of icebergs, also some field ice: weather has been very fine and clear."


Q. That was addressed to you? - A. Yes, sir (quoting from report):

At 10.35 a. m. received following service message from the Parisian:

Captain Olympic:
Field ice extends to latitude 41.22, heavy to the northwest of that, and bergs very numerous of all sizes; had fine, clear weather.


Q. That is the only report of ice? - A. I sent a message to the Parisian, but it is merely to advise about that ice he saw. It is not direct report of ice.

Q. When was that, Captain? - A. It was 12.25 p. m. Monday, but the next real report of ice I got from the Carpathia. It was 4 p. m., Monday (quoting from report):

Following received from Carpathia:

Following received from Carpathia:


"Capt. HADDOCK, Olympic:
"South point pack ice 41.46 north. Don't attempt to go north until 49.30 west. Many bergs, large and small, amongst pack; also for many miles to eastward.


Continuing from report:

Fear absolutely no hope searching Titanic's position. Left Leyland S. S. Californian searching around. All boats accounted for. About 675 souls saved, crew and passengers, latter nearly all women and children. Titanic foundered about 2.20 a. m., 5.47. GMT in 41.46 north. 50.14 west; not certain of having got through. Please forward to White Star - also to Cunard. Liverpool and New York - that I am returning to New York. Consider this most advisable for many considerations.


In the original transcript Captain Haddock's testimony above gave Titanic's foundering location as 41.16 north, 50.14 west. This has been changed to reflect 41.46 north, 50.14 west, the location Titanic transmitted.

Q. Have you anything further there from Capt. Rostron? - A. There are several messages from him, but, this is the first one Sunday or Monday morning.

Q. It was not an official message? - A. This is what Mr. Moore received:

New York time, 2 p. m., was in communication with steamship Carpathia. Asked for news of the Titanic. He says: "I can not do everything at once. Patience, please."

Then continues -

I received distress signals from the Titanic at 11.20 and we proceeded right to the spot mentioned. On arrival at daybreak we saw field ice 25 miles apparently solid, and a quantity of wreckage, and a number of boats full of people. We raised about 670 souls. The Titanic has sunk. She went down in about two hours. Captain and all engineers lost. Our captain sent order that there was no need for Baltic to come any further, so with that she is turned on her course to Liverpool. Are you going to resume your course on that information? We have two or three officers aboard and the second Marconi operator who had been creeping his way through water 30 degrees some time. Mr. Ismay aboard. This information was reported to the commander immediately. I Informed the Carpathia that if he had any important traffic to get through I would take it for him as I was then in communication with Cape Race. Told Carpathia stand by for service message. He informs me that he had had nothing to eat since 5.30 p. m. yesterday. 2.35 p. m., following to Carpathia:

"Captain Carpathia, 7.12 p. m. G. M. T.
"Our position 41.17 north 53.53 west steering east true; shall I meet you and where?


2.40p. m., communication with the S. S. Virginian (Allen). He says: "Please tell Carpathia we have been standing by for him since he asked us to resume our course at 9 a. m., when we were within 25 miles of him. Have message for him." I told the Virginian to give the Carpathia a chance as he was so busy. 3.15 p. m., received the following from the Carpathia:


"Captain Olympic - 7.30 G. M. T. 41.15 north longitude 51.45 west. Am steering south 87 west true, returning to New York with Titanic passengers.


"CAPTAIN Olympic:
"Bruce Ismay is under opiate."


"CAPTAIN Olympic:
Do you think it advisable Titanic's passengers see Olympic? Personally I say not.


"CAPTAIN Olympic:
"Mr. Ismay's orders Olympic not to be seen by Carpathia. No transfer to take place."


3.35 p. m., following message sent:

"CAPTAIN Carpathia:"

"Kindly inform me if there is the slightest hope of searching Titanic position at daybreak. Agree with you on not meeting; will stand on present course until you have passed and will then haul more to southward. Does the parallel of 41.17 north lead clear of the ice? Have you communicated the disaster to our people at New York or Liverpool? Or shall I do so and what particulars can you give me to send sincere thanks for what you have done?


Q. Have you anything further from the captain of the Carpathia? - A. (Quoting from report:)

4.15 p. m., Told Carpathia that we would report the information to White Star immediately. 4.35 p. m., following service messages sent to Cape Race:


ISMAY, New York and Liverpool:
Carpathia reached Titanic position at daybreak; found boats and wreckage only. Titanic had foundered about 2.20 a. m. in 41.46 north 50.14 west; all her boats accounted for; about 675 souls saved, crew and passengers; latter nearly all women and children: Leyland Line S. S. Californian remaining and searching position of disaster; Carpathia returning to New York with survivors. Please inform Cunard.


Q. Now, as I recollect, that was sent at 4.35 p. m.? - A. Yes; New York mean time.

Q. And no trouble getting coast station? - A. That you will have to ask Mr. Moore, the wireless operator.

Mr. Moore (wireless operator). No, sir; none whatever.

Q. So that that was received instantly at the coast station? - A. Yes, sir.

Q. At Cape Race? - A. Yes.

Q. And these same messages you have just read, Captain? - A. These did, sir.

Q. Have you anything further from the Carpathia? - A. Yes, sir; 4.50 p. m., following service message sent to Carpathia:

CAPTAIN Carpathia:
Can you give me names survivors; forward?


4.52 p. m. Signals with Californian, who says:

We were the second boat on the scene of disaster. All we could see there were some boxes and coats and a few empty boats and what looked like oil on the water. When we were near the Carpathia he would not answer me, though I kept calling on him, as I wanted the position. He kept talking to the Baltic. The latter says he is going to report me for jamming. We were the nearer boat to the Carpathia. A boat called the Birma was still looking.

Informed the Californian that would take note of fact that in cases of distress nearer ships should have precedence.

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