Sinking of the Titanic and Great Sea Disasters

Author: Logan Marshall

General Conclusions

No particular person is named as being responsible, though attention is called to the fact that on the day of the disaster three distinct warnings of ice were sent to Captain Smith. J. Bruce Ismay, managing director of the White Star Line, is not held responsible for the ship’s high speed. In fact, he is barely mentioned in the report.

Ice positions, so definitely reported to the Titanic just preceding the accident, located ice on both sides of the lane in which she was traveling. No discussion took place among the officers, no conference was called to consider these warnings, no heed was given to them. The speed was not relaxed, the lookout was not increased.

The supposedly water-tight compartments of the Titanic were not watertight, because of the non-water-tight condition of the decks where the transverse bulkheads ended.

The steamship Californian, controlled by the same concern as the Titanic, was nearer the sinking steamship than the nineteen miles reported by her captain, and her officers and crew saw the distress signals of the Titanic and failed to respond to them in accordance with the dictates of humanity, international usage and the requirements of law. Had assistance been promptly proffered the Californian might have had the proud distinction of rescuing the lives of the passengers and crew of the Titanic.

The mysterious lights on an unknown ship, seen by the passengers on the Titanic, undoubtedly were on the Californian, less than nineteen miles away.

Eight ships, all equipped with wireless, were in the vicinity of the Titanic, the Olympic farthest away—512 miles.

The full capacity of the Titanic’s life-boats was not utilized, because, while only 705 persons were saved, the ship’s boats could have carried 1176.

No general alarm was sounded, no whistle blown and no systematic warning was given to the endangered passengers, and it was fifteen or twenty minutes after the collision before Captain Smith ordered the Titanic’s wireless operator to send out a distress message.

The Titanic’s crew were only meagerly acquainted with their positions and duties in an accident and only one drill was held before the maiden trip. Many of the crew joined the ship only a few hours before she sailed and were in ignorance of their positions until the following Friday.

Many more lives could have been saved had the survivors been concentrated in a few life-boats, and had the boats thus released returned to the wreck for others.

The first official information of the disaster was the message from Captain Haddock, of the Olympic, received by the White Star Line at 6.16 P. M., Monday, April 15. In the face of this information a message reporting the Titanic being towed to Halifax was sent to Representative J. A. Hughes, at Huntington, W. Va., at 7.51 P. M. that day. The message was delivered to the Western Union office in the same building as the White Star Line offices.

"Whoever sent this message," says the report, "under the circumstances, is guilty of the most reprehensible conduct."

The wireless operator on the Carpathia was not duly vigilant in handling his messages after the accident.

The practice of allowing wireless operators to sell their stories should be stopped.


Related Resources


Download Options

Title: Sinking of the Titanic and Great Sea Disasters

Select an option:

*Note: A download may not start for up to 60 seconds.

Email Options

Title: Sinking of the Titanic and Great Sea Disasters

Select an option:

Email addres:

*Note: It may take up to 60 seconds for for the email to be generated.

Chicago: Logan Marshall, "General Conclusions," Sinking of the Titanic and Great Sea Disasters, trans. Macaulay, Thomas Babington Macaulay, Baron, 1800-1859 in Sinking of the Titanic and Great Sea Disasters Original Sources, accessed October 4, 2022,

MLA: Marshall, Logan. "General Conclusions." Sinking of the Titanic and Great Sea Disasters, translted by Macaulay, Thomas Babington Macaulay, Baron, 1800-1859, in Sinking of the Titanic and Great Sea Disasters, Original Sources. 4 Oct. 2022.

Harvard: Marshall, L, 'General Conclusions' in Sinking of the Titanic and Great Sea Disasters, trans. . cited in 1909, Sinking of the Titanic and Great Sea Disasters. Original Sources, retrieved 4 October 2022, from