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The Ships of the North Atlantic

With thanks to Eric Sauder, George Behe, Ted Finch and the Mariners Mailing List, Martin Salmon of the Caird Library at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Rolf-Werner Baak, the Wilmington Public Library, the UK Met Office, the Boston Public Library, Larry Story and the Virginia Beach Library, Gregg Grunow and the Newport News Public Library System, the Jacksonville Public Library, and the Saint John Free Public Library.

(Ship funnels and flags can be found on this invaluable website.)

The North Atlantic shipping routes in 1912 were busier than they were today; before air travel, ships were the only method of traversing water based routes, and the newspapers of the day were replete with a plethora of ships names, cargo, dates and the like. Some of the ships' routes passed over or near the RMS Titanic's resting place. Is it possible that some other vessels saw the leviathan's death throes? There are mentions of ships with black and white funnels, yellow funnels, and pink funnels. These claims are debated even now, nearly a century on. We shall examine some of the claims and evidence here. As new data emerges, sections will be highlighted in yellow.

The New York Herald

A regular weekly feature of The New York Herald newspaper were charts displaying inbound and outbound ships from New York. The one for April 14th is shown below, illustrating the location of ships on noon of that day.

The chart, admittedly hard to decipher in places, features many vessels familiar in Titanic-lore:

Map ColumnNumberShip Name
E16Niagara
E19Olympic
F12Cincinnati
F17Hudson (French)
G18Bretagne
G49United States
G50Hellig Olav
G53Laura (Austro-Americana)
G62Macedonia
G63Birma
H21Baltic
H33Prinz Friedrich Wilhelm
J2Steiermark
J3Amerika
J10Prinz Adalbert
J24Titanic
K13Provence
K27Caronia
K39Noordam

An enlarged version of the area in the vicinity of the Titanic wrecksite (denoted by the red cross) is below, with this author's annotations:

And it is through this enlargement that we must admit caution in the use of this seemingly definitive chart. It has omitted the Carpathia, and the Athenai (sometimes spelt Athinai): their estimated locations on noon on April 14th is indicated. The position of the Steiermark is wrong; it is too far west as she had left Hamburg on April 10th, encountered the ice field 11 days later, and docked in New York a few days after that. Still, a few new names are suggested by the chart: the Hudson and the Laura. But, based on their courses and destinations, it is obvious that they would be distant from the Titanic at midnight on April 15th, 1912. Lloyd's confirms that the Hudson left New York on April 11th, and, at 12 knots, it would take 3 1/2 days to wreck the Titanic's site. The Hudson was run by Compagnie Generale Transatlantique (French Line), and as such, she had a red funnel with a black top. She had two masts. The "Laura" seems to be the Unione vessel, which is analysed later. Incidentally, the New York Times provides the following description: "To the southeast of [The Titanic] and also bound westward at noon on Sunday was the Prinz Adalbert of the Hamburg-American Line, bound from Hamburg for Philadelphia. A little west of the Prinz Adalbert and to the southward was the Steiermark of the same line, bound here. Almost directly south of the latter was the Amerika. To the direct west of the Amerika was the Prinz Friedrich Wilhelm, the north German Lloyd liner bound from this port to Plymouth. In her vicinity and directly south was the White Star Line steamship Baltic." This favours No.33 in column "H" as being the Prinz Friedrich Wilhelm. But by midnight she would be closer to 45 west - but she was actually about 52 W. At her top speed, the Wilhelm should have been well to the south-east of the Titanic's position at about midnight. Maybe she slowed on account of ice? Unfortunately, without the logs of these ships, it is impossible to know for sure.

There are other maps, such as this one from The London "Daily Chronicle" of April 17th, but it is very dubious (click on the image for a larger version).

The Ascania of the Cunard Line is a novel inclusion. She was a two funnelled, two masted ship capable of 13 knots and she left Southampton on March 28th, 1912, arriving in Portland, Me. on April 7th, a transit time of 10 days. She left Portland on 13th April and arrived in London on April 25th. She would be to the north west of the Titanic wrecksite, possibly about level with the eastern edge of Nova Scotia; the "Daily Chronicle" map is roughly correct, for a position earlier on April 14th. By April 17th, she had evidently reached the waypoint at "The Corner" as she was now to the north and east of the wrecksite. The White Star Line ship Celtic is reported to have arrived in New York on April 20th, having been 798 miles away from the Titanic when her CQD was picked up. However, the map has one significant problem; it shows the "Mauritania" [sic] but she left Liverpool on April 13th. She is too far south and way too far west on the chart.


Gleanings from US Ports

In response to the sighting of a black and white funnelled steamer near the wrecksite, that was seen by Captain Moore of the Mount Temple and a black funnelled steamer by 3rd Officer Groves of the Californian, a request was made by the British Embassy to the US Department of Commerce and Labor (the Bureau of Navigation) for any details of a ship entering or leaving US ports that had "one black funnel with a white band and some device which was undecipherable [which] might have been showing two mast-lights in the vicinity [of the Titanic] on or about 1.30 AM & 4.30 AM on April 15th last." This letter was circulated to US ports on May 21st, 1912. The dates below are given in European day/month/year format.

The replies from the various ports, with this author's notes in red boxes, are compiled below.

The Port of Port Arthur, Texas:

The British Steamer "Balakani" (oil tank) of London, F.A.White Master was in the vicinity or position of the Steamship Titanic on 15/4/12 and saw a number of vessels but only spoke the German S.S. "Ypiranga" on Monday from which he obtained information of the wreck.
The Balakani, of the Lane shipping lane, was a 2345 ton vessel. Her funnel was white with a black top.
Paula, (oil tank) passed through ice field on Sunday a few hours before Titanic and headed south for 20 or more miles because of ice.
The Paula, of the D.A.P.G. line, was a German ship of 1715 tons. She was westbound from Danzig and encountered the ice on April 14th, at a position to the north and east of the Titanic. Her single funel was aft, and she had two masts. The colour of her funnel was black with two thin white bands. Between these bands was a depiction of the house flag (red letter R on vertical black, yellow, red stripes). Issue 65 of Voyage, the Titanic International magazine, puts the noon April 14th position of the Paula at 41 58 N, 49 36 W; 16 miles east of the Titanic, which she could have covered in a few hours. By noon on the 15th, the Paula was well to the west of the wreck at 41 15 N, 54 39 W.

The Port of Norfolk:

British S.S. "Anselma de Lavrinago" [sic- Anselma de Larrinaga] of Liverpool from Norfolk, Va. to Manchester, England, April 8th 1 black funnel, 2 red stripes on yellow background representing Spanish Flag.
Her top speed was 11 knots the distance to the wrecksite is some 1250 miles. She would take 4 3/4 days to cover this distance and would therefore be well to the east of the Titanic at the time of the collision.
Austrian S.S. "Emilia", Norfolk to Trieste, April 8, 1 funnel, black, red and white and red bottom
At her top speed of 10 knots, she would take nearly 5 1/4 days to reach the Titanic. She was therefore probably not near the wrecksite.
Norwegian S.S. "Alf" Norfolk to London April 8, 1 plain black funnel.
See below for a discussion of the "Alf".

Gloucester, Mass. said:

British S.S. "Nunima" of West Hartlepool on April 9 1912. She has a black funnel with some white on it. [A footnote indicated that it was doubtful that she was in the area of the Titanic as she was cleared for passage to Norfolk, Virginia.]
The Nunima was a vessel of 1881 tons. She was of the Trenchman line and had a black funnel with a white square upon it, upon which black diagonals were partially removed, forming a St Florian cross.

Portland, Maine replied:

Zeeland of the Red Star Line stack black with a white band near the top, cleared on 11/4.
My ice reports page notes that on April 14th, the S.S. Zeeland was well to the north and east of the Titanic's collision point, her master obviously having decided to traverse a route on the Grand Banks rather than via an eastward course south of the Titanic. Very curious! A 15 knot ship like the Zeeland could have made it to the area of her ice warnings in plenty of time.
"Cymric" of the White Star Line arrived 19/4/12.
My ice reports page notes that on April 16th, the S.S. Cymric was well to the north and east of the Titanic's collision point.

Port of Newport News, Va. stated:

Vessels of the "Roper Line" have a white band on a black funnel and a device in the form of a shield. This office cannot name any particular vessel or vessels which might have been in the vicinity [of the Titanic]

Port of Baltimore, Md.

British SS "Volnay" sailed from Grangemouth 7/4 and is supposed to have arrived off Louisburg, C.B. [Cape Breton, Canada] about 20/4 and then to have arrived here at Baltimore on April 25th. Unable to get a description of the funnel. [The Captain of the Volnay, J.McMorran provided an affidavit stating that he received an order from the pilot to proceed to Baltimore and that his ship never entered Louisburg.]
At a speed of 10 knots she would take 5 days to reach the Titanic from Baltimore. From Louisburg to the wrecksite would take just over 2 days on a direct course. She would therefore be nowhere near the Titanic. The Volnay's funnel is reported as being red with a black top; she is reported to be a vessel of 2928 tons belonging to the Gow line.

From Boston, Mass., came:

The funnel resembled one described on the Hansa Line "Trautenfels."
The Trautenfels had already encountered the ice field that lay ahead of the Titanic early on April 14th; by the time of the disaster, she would already have been well to the west.
S.S. "Inverclyde" - American and Oriental Line arrived 22/4. Unable to obtain a description of funnel.
Her top speed was 11 knots and would take just over 3 1/2 days to cover the distance to the Titanic; she would probably not have been in the area of the wreck. Incidentally, her funnel is described as being red with narrow black band and black top. My ice reports page indicates that the Inverclyde saw an iceberg well to the east of the Titanic's wrecksite on April 17th.
No vessel having a funnel cleared [this] port within a period of two weeks prior to April 15th.

The Port of Savannah, Ga. informed the US Government thus:

Dutch S.S. Callisto, having a black funnel with a white band and a blue star in the band. Departed Rotterdam bound for Savannah 5/4/12 and arrived at the Savannah River 23/4/12
The ship's tonnage is reported to be 2284 tons.

From Tampa, Fla.

British s/s Indiana arrived 1/5 from Norfolk
The most direct route from Tampa to the wrecksite is some 2000 miles. A 10 knot ship, like the Indiana, would take 8 1/3 days to traverse this distance. Therefore she is not a candidate for one of the ships that may have witnessed the Titanic's demise. The Indiana was a Furness vessel of 2508 tons; he funnel was black. The only mention of an "Indiana" in Lloyd's index is one that sailed from Bahia Blanca on March 10th and arrived to Rotterdam, passing Beacy Head on April 18th. She could not have been the vessel that sailed into Tampa.
British s/s Lord Erne arrived 10/5 from Newcastle
The Lord Erne was a 8.5 knot vessel, and would take nearly 10 days to get to the wrecksite. She had also left the Tyne on April 17th!
British s/s Inkula arrived 16/5 from Liverpool
The Inkula was a 12 knot vessel; she would have passed near the wrecksite well after the Titanic had gone to the bottom.
British s/s Crown of Galacia arrived 16/5 from Glasgow
The Crown of Galacia was a 10.5 knot vessel; she would have passed near the wrecksite well after the Titanic had gone to the bottom. She was also in Liverpool on April 14th!
Spanish [?] s/s Mar Baltico, departed 4/4 to Norfolk
[Spanish ?] x/x Sydland, departed 6/4 to Newport News
[A note underneath indicated that the Mar Baltico was a low power vessel and would probably take the route for low power vessels across fhe Atlantic.]
Since neither of these ships were mentioned by Newport or Norfolk ports, they are either not candidates or were still in port when the Titanic went to the bottom. The Mar Baltico was a 1782 ton Spanish vessel of the Nervion line; her funnel was black with a white anchor; her destination is described by Lloyd's as being Cette (now Sete). The Sydland is 1844 ton Swedish vessel; Lloyd's describe her as leaving Tampa on April 7th. The Virginian Pilot reported on April 11th that the Mar Baltico had arrivee on the previous day for recoaling.

The Port of New York reported:

NationalityNameClear forSailed from NYArrived destination
Brit/ItalCavourManchester6/419/4
The Cavour is listed in Lloyd's Weekly Shipping Index as a British vessel; she was a 3151 ton vessel of the Lamport line and her funnel had black, white and blue horizontal stripes.
ItalCireneMarseilles9/430/4
The Cirene had a speed of 12 knots; the time to the wrecksite would be nearly 3 1/2 days. She would probably have long passed the wrecksite. She was a 2407 ton Italian vessel.
NorwTaborDunkirk11/427/4
The Tabor had a black funnel with two blue bands. Her top speed was 10 knots indicating a travel time of just over 4 days to the Titanic, which would already be on the bottom of the ocean.
BritFlorenceLisbon11/427/4
The Florence was a Furness ship of 1609 tons.
BritMountfieldsMarseilles11/42/5
Her top speed was 8 knots and would take over 5 days to reach the wrecksite; therefore she must be considered highly doubtful. She was a British ship of 1947 tons, of the Daughty Line.
BritPaul PaixCalais12/423/4
Her top speed was 12 knots and would take 3 1/2 days to reach the wrecksite; therefore she must be considered highly doubtful. She was a 2481 ton British steamer, and belonged to the Lennard Line. Her funnel was black with 2 white bands containing a red diamond.


NationalityNameEntered fromSailed AbroadArrived at NY
BritRegentHuelva29/317/4
The Regent, of the Westoll Line, was 2055 tons. Her funnel was white with a black top.
DutchLa FlandreAntwerp28/318/4
La Flandre was a dutch ship of 1278 tons.
BritStrathroyPlymouth4/418/4
The Strathroy was a 2807 Burrell (British) ship. Her funnel was either black, or black with a red depiction of the company motif.
GrkAthinaiPalermo3/418/4
On the morning of April 14th, the Athinai/Athenai passed field ice and bergs just a few miles from where the Ttanic would be wrecked. She was a greek vessel of 4405 tons.
BritHorsleyCalais31/320/4
The Horsley was a British vessel of 2410 tons, belonging to the Horsley Line. Her funnel was black with a red "S".
BritGwladysLisbon6/423/4
On April 16th, the Gwladys passed field ice and bergs in the area where the Ttanic was wrecked. She was a 2530 ton British vessel.
ItalElioLisbon6/423/4
Her top speed was 8 knots and would take over 5 days to reach the wrecksite; she must be considered a poor candidate for being close to the Titanic. The Elio was a 2225 ton Italian vessel.
BritBaron ArdrossanCardiff (Barry)7/424/4
On April 16th, the Baron Ardrossan passed field ice and bergs to the east of where the Ttanic was wrecked. The next day, the Baron was forced to stop due to ice just a few miles from the wreck site. She was a 2775 ton vessel belonging to the Hogarth line. Her funnel was yellow with a black top.
GermMoltfeiela [sic ?- Moltkefels?]Antwerp10/424/4
This was a 1327 German vessel. Her funnel was black, with a red and white band containing a red maltese cross.
NorwHermDundee6/424/4
A 1080 (?) ton Norway vessel. See below.

From Fernandino, Fla:

Norwegian steamer Borgestad, having a black stack with white band, cleared for Rotterdam, Holland 16/3/12 via Savannah, Ga.
To cover the 1700 miles would take nearly 6.5 days for an 11 knot vessel; however, the port of Savannah did not list her as a candidate, therefore she must not be deemed suitable. Lloyd's describe her as having sailed from Bremerhaven on April 17th; presumably after having completed the journey from Florida?
British steamers Polamhall, Tom [Tarn?] Stack, black top with C on stack.
Quantock, black stack with salmon coloured band with white T.
The Polamhall left Bremerhaven on April 2nd and passed St.Michael's on April 10th. The Quantock sailed from Bremen on April 7th for Tybee Roads, passing Lizard Point on April 10th.
Steamers arrived in port on 29/4 and masters said they had taken a course a few degrees south of the course of the Titanic.

Jacksonville, Fla.:

SS Ragnarock, from Montreal Canada to Cardenas, Cuba in the first half of April; yellow funnel with a black band around the top, inside of the band there is a red circle within a white space and a blue figure with 4 points.
The Ragnarok was a 685 ton Norwegian vessel. She left New York on March 23rd. She was apparently sailing for Havana, arriving on April 29th. Presumably Jacksonville was a waypoint.
Unable to advise on marks on the funnel of SS Thistleban.
Presumably this gratuitous mention of the Thistleban was due to specific inquiry about this vessel? She was a British vessel, of 2559 tons and belonged to the Albyn Line. Her funnel was white, with a black top; the white section containing a black thistle. She left Bremen on April 3rd for Jacksonville.

Negative replies came from Perth Amboy, NJ; New London, Conn.; Wilmington, Del.; Providence, R.I.; Bangor, Maine; Wisconset [?], Maine; New Bedford, Mass; Philadelphia, Pa.; Waldoboro, Me.; Belfast, Me.; Salem, Mass.; Machias, Me.; Ellsworth, Me.; Bath, Me.; Mobile, Ala.; Key West, Fla.; New Orleans, La.; Castino, Me.


Trautenfels/Lindenfels

These vessels are referred to in a previous essay. Since then, I have found that the Lindenfels left Calcutta on March 9th; Lloyd's lists her as arriving in Boston on April 19th, and being in New York 6 days later. Her track may have taken her close to the Titanic. At a speed of 11 knots, she would have taken about 3 1/2 days to traverse the distance from the Titanic to Boston. Even if she docked at the earliest possible opportunity (April 19th), it would have been late on April 15th when she passed the location of the sinking. Another piece of evidence is that none of the ships travelling the Gibraltar to New York and Boston route reported passing ice, particularly none that was clustered around the wrecksite. This implies that they were well to the south; why not the Lindenfels too?

An analysis of the ice reports delivered by vessels, either via wireless or once the ship reached land, showed that the majority of vessels that encountered ice were travelling from north, or from the same lattitude as Le Havre to the eastern coast of America; the only exceptions are; the S.S. Athinai which left Piraeus on Mar 30th and arrived in New York on Apr 18, encountering ice on April 14th. Why this should be is unknown. The other ship is the S.S. Gwaldys, on the Portimao to New York (via Lisbon) route. Her ice is reported to have been seen well to the east of the Titanic wrecksite, and why she was off-course is a mystery. It seems reasonable to assume that, because of the paucity of encounters, many ships were south of the area where ice was being reported- and just a very few miles from where the Titanic met her doom. Certainly, the Boston port authorities mention the "Trautenfels" but not the "Lindenfels," a strange omission if she was suspected to have been anywhere near the scene of the disaster. A ship they did mention, the Inverclyde, had travelled from Yokohama to Boston, via Gibraltar (this latter leg being the same hypothesised route as the Lindenfels), so why the Hansa Line ship was ignored is a true mystery.

The route of the Lindenfels, recorded in Lloyd's journals, show that she sailed from Colombo on March 15th, passed Perim island 8 days later, sailed from Port Said on March 29th, and was then at Sao Miguel (St Michael's) in the Azores on April 10th. The distance from here to the wreck is some 1130 miles, or 4 1/4 days. A direct route to Boston would take her slightly to the north of the wreck co-ordinates.

The Boston Globe for April 20th reports that the Lindenfels was on the southern route and that her log showed that she encountered fog three days previously. It is indeed odd that there was no mention of ice that would have littered her route! (It should also be mentioned that the Boston Evening Transcript of April 19th, 1912 reports that "practically" the whole of the Californian's journey to Boston was through fog).

One document that might answer the question of her navigational details is her weather log. Like the Brandeburg and other ships, she was recording data for the German weather bureau as she traversed the Atlantic. According to the Titanic International Society magazine "Voyage" (issue 65, Autumn 2008), the log was missing from the archives but the December 2011 issue of "Titanic Post" (issue 78), the magazine of the Swiss Titanic Society, reports that it had been found. At noon on April 13th, she was at 38 25 N, 40 11 W; the next day she was at 38 44 N, 45 07 W; and on the 15th, she was at 39 29 N, 50 34 W. It is clear from these numbers that the Lindenfels was well below 40 degrees north at the time of the disaster and hence nowhere near the Titanic.


Almerian

Dave Gittins' excellent discussion on the Almerian can be found here. It is worth noting that the Almerian was not equipped with wireless, and hence would have been unaware of the ice field slowly intruding into shipping lanes well to her north, unless she was warned by morse lamp or semaphore by passing vessels. We have no way of knowing. Thus, when she left port on April 3rd or 4th, her crew would only have known of ice near Newfoundland, well away from her speculated course. The shortest course for such a vessel would be a Great Circle, which would put her well to the west of the Titanic. She would have no reason to take any course. No reason that we know of that is.

We know that the Almerian passed the South Stack lightouse on April 24th. The shortest distance to the wrecksite from this location is some 1980 miles. Even traversing the westbound "corner" at 42 N 47 W would have have added less than 20 miles to the journey. At 12 knots, the maximum speed of the Almerian, it would take slightly less than 7 days to get to the wreck. This would make the intercept with the wrecksite as being about April 17th. If we assume that the Almerian was indeed within miles of the Titanic wreck at day break on the 15th, the Almerian would have had to average under 10 knots. Even if we allow a whole day's latency (with the Almerian stopped dead in the water) on account of the ice, we get an average speed of 11 knots. But we know from the Almerian's report, reproduced on Dave Gittin's website, that the Almerian's course was only interrupted by 7 1/2 hours, during which only a small fraction of time was the ship ever stopped. So, we have a ship that was either (a) at the wreck days after it happened or (b) was at the wreck, but sailing at a stupidly slow speed. Or (c) that she off-course.

Gittins says that, although the Almerian was rated at less than 12 knots, her depature and arrival times are consistent with a speed of less than 10 knots. This is confirmed by her next voyage: she left Liverpool on May 9th and arrived at Barbados on May 25th, an average speed of less than 10 knots. From the wreck site of the Titanic to the South Stack Lighthouse in 9 days would require an average speed of just over 9 knots. It is possible for this journey to be done based on these figures.

There is a postscript: a 1980 letter addressed to Captain Lord's main advocate, Mr. Leslie Harrison, came from a Mr. Havard, whose father, Essex Havard, was the 2nd Officer on board the Almerian, and had sailed with Captain Lord on Leyland's S.S. William Cliff on its 15th August and 31st October, 1910 voyages. Essex told his son that "many years ago, he believed it was possible that the Almerion [sic] was the mystery ship at the time of the Titanic's sinking. He said that on that night they were in an ice field and thought they could see a ship in the far distance. They fired some rockets thinking that if the ship was in trouble they would answer with a distress flare. There was no reply."

Another piece of evidence is one speculated upon by Gittins, that the Almerian may not have taken a direct route from the southern tip of Florida, but may have traversed along the east coast of the USA. There is some evidence to support this possibility: from Lloyd's data, many ships that originated in the Gulf of Mexico bound for Europe (at least) partially journeyed up the eastern edge of the USA. The Indian, a 5991 ton Leyland vessel was one of these. She left New Orleans on March 31st, bound for Bremen. Her next entry in Lloyd's is that she sailed from Newport News on April 10th. A further indication of the possible course of the Almerian lies in evidence submitted by Captain Knapp to the US Inquiry in 1912. He provides information on the movements of another ship, the SS Frankfurt. In comparing this ship with the Almerian, there are distinct possibilities; both originated at US ports in the Gulf of Mexico, and both were bound for Europe. The divergence in courses (Liverpool, as compared to Bremerhaven) would only be apparent further east as one ship headed for Fastnet, the other for the Lizard. On the night of the disaster, the Frankfurt was well to the south (perhaps about 120 miles) and to the east of the wrecksite; if Lloyds records are any indication, she did not make any stops at any American ports after leaving Galveston. This raises the possibility that, if on a similar course, the Almerian would be nowhere the Titanic; why be wasteful of fuel on extravagant detours?

Postscript: after being suspended from the Leyland Line, Captain Lord wrote up a report on his version of events on April 15th. He describes the ship he had seen as resembling the Atlantian, another Leyland ship. This resembles the Almerian in terms of funnel number and colouring, but the ships are of differing sizes: the Atlantian was 4 masted ship of 9355 gross tons, and the Almerian was 2984 gross tons, or about 1/3 the size and with only two masts. Would Lord have mistaken one ship for the other?

The Almerian could have wound up so far north of her anticipated track if she was heading for a port to re-coal before the long arduous journey across to England. My research on this is incomplete, but the Almerian did not stop at the ports of Philadelphia, Newport News, Norfolk (Va), Jacksonville, Wilmington (Delaware) or Charleston, South Carolina). There would therefore be no reason to hug the eastern US coastline, and indeed, I suspect that she would have sailed the same route as the Frankfurt; without stopping to refuel, she found herself heading for 41 N, 47 W, and was over 100 miles south of the Titanic when the distress calls went out.

Further Postscript: Sam Halpern has performed an analysis of the movements of the Almerian. Most notably, he obtained from researcher Tim Maltin a copy of the "Greenwich Mean Noon Observation" form that was filled out during the Almerian's movements from April 4th 1912. At noon (local time 8.23am) on April 14th, she was at 40 44 N, 54 09 W; 24 hours (8.38am) later she was at 41 48 N, 50 24 W. Note that the report submitted by Captain Lord put the Almerian at 41 51 N, 50 W at noon (presumably local time) and at 41 20 N, 50 24 W at 3.05am; consistent with the layout of the ice field. Interestingly, Gittins hypothesis above is partially supported; after rounding the southern tip of Florida, the Almerian remained quite close (less than 50 miles) from the shore until sometime after April 7th, when she was about level with Port St. Lucie, and then proceeded on a Great Circle course across the Atlantic - and to the area where the Titanic would meet her fate a week later.

The "Greenwich Mean Noon Observation" details allow us to plot the Almerian's course precisely and, as Sam Halpern points out, there is a discontinuity in the course between noon on April 14th and noon on April 15th; on this latter date, the Almerian is about 50 miles to the north of the track that would be expected for eastbound travel. A note in the observations report says that the ship was "among pack ice." The deduced speed seems to fit the Almerian's known capabilities, and the position does seem to relate nicely to Lord's report. But why find herself, at 3.05am, 20 miles north of the eastbound "corner" at 41 N 47 W? Halpern suggests that Captain Thomas may have tried to "cut the corner" to save a little time; and this is consistent with some of the navigational data presented on this website, where ships are sometimes to be found a way off their anticipated course. However, the possible inclusion of the Almerian confuses the issue; how do we reconcile this with Moore's black and white funnel ship or Groves black funnels ship (perhaps the same as Moore's?). It does, however, tie in nicely with Captain Lord's ship that he mentioned a month after the disaster.


Antillian

As Dave Gittins notes in the afore mentioned article, the Leyland Line only admitted that the Californian and the Antillian were in the vicinity of the Titanic. We know that the Antillian, a frequent visitor to ports in the Gulf of Mexico, would have followed roughly the same course as the Almerian. She left New Orleans, bound for Liverpool on April 4th. We also know that, thanks to Lloyd's Weekly Shipping Index, she was reported to be 70 miles west of Brow Head at 3.42pm on 21/4/12. Unlike the Almerian, the Antillian was equipped with radio, with a radius of 250 miles.
Can we infer the Antillian's course from her Proces Verbal (PV), which fortunately, has survived? Sadly not; none of the entries mention her position. We can plot the estimated locations of some of the vessels mentioned in the PV on a chart, as follows:

The map includes the Great Circle route from the Florida peninsular to the position off Brow Head, and the eastbound corner, where vessels customarily changed course towards Europe. Neglecting transmissions received after sunset (since the absence of sun affects the atmosphere and increases the effective range of the Marconi apparatus), and only concentrating on ships whose positions can be reasonably estimated, the chart demonstrates that those ships in contact with the Antillian were well outside of the Great Circle + 250 mile "range" course. One could infer that en entry made by the Antillian's operator at 7.45am ("jamming is very bad round here at present cannot work") indicates proximity to the Titanic wrecksite, since jamming (or "jambing") was noticed by others, in particular the Baltic. But at 6.10am New York Time, the Baltic was in touch with the Californian, and by this time this latter vessel was extremely close to the floating flotsam and jetsam from the Titanic. A course using a slight diversion on the "eastbound corner" would enable a ship to contact all these other vessels as they would be within range of her radio; the difference in distance between the eastbound corner and the Great Circle would be less than 100 miles, or an insignificant amount compared to the total distance and time travelled.
If she had steamed at her maximum speed of 12 knots for 6 1/2 days (from the location off Brow Head to midnight on April 14th/15th, she would have covered nearly 1900 miles, a couple of hundred miles to the south and west of the Titanic's collision point. So, where was the Antillian?

Could possible ice messages have prompted a more southerly course rather than a westerly one? We know that the Antillian was in touch with, or overhead transmissions with La Bretagne, the Californian, the Mesaba and the Parisian. These four stations would relay news of ice in the vicinity of 42 N, 50 W, precisely where the Titanic was wrecked. Did the Antillian hear these and other warnings, and decide to err "on the side of caution" and assume that ice lay between Newfoundland and these coordinates? Likely, we shall never know.

Update: According to the acknowledgement of the Californian's ice warning on April 14th, the Antillian was at 40.56N, 50.22W 7pm ATS (Apparent Ships Time) on 14th April. Her speed was 12 knots, and at midnight, she would have been at roughly 40.57N, 49.33W. Evidently at midnight, she was too far away, and to the South, to have been the Titanic's mystery ship.


Baron Ardrossan

From my book, I have written that Leslie Harrison, the spearhead of the campaign to prove Captain Lord's innocence, "received a letter from the widow of James Urquhart, who had died four years previously. In 1912, he was an Apprentice on the SS Baron Ardrossan, which left Barry Dock for New York on April 5th. From conversations she had had with her husband, she remembered being told that the log book revealed that the Baron was in the area of the casualty: "they were just disappearing over the horizon when the tragedy was happening, and they did not see the distress signals. The ship had no wireless, and was delayed by pack ice and a malfunction of some of the Baron's machinery. Reverend Millar Ogilvie, who knew James Urquhart, provided some more details; it was ascertained that, during the afternoon of that day, Urquhart of the Baron had seen two or three 'gleaming specks' on the horizon and was told that they were icebergs. The weather was very clear, and that evening, the ship ran into fog. The speed of the ship was reduced and the fog horn was sounded. While on the 8-12 watch, Captain Reid instructed the watch to keep a look out on the portside at intervals. Urquhart was sent down to the engine room to ascertain the ambient temperature, which was dropping, and it eventually reached freezing point. Shortly afterwards, the lookout on the f'ocsle reported that the ship was entering ice. After a minute or two, the engines were stopped temporarily. During that night, and the next day, the Baron kept encountering ice but eventually left the floes behind, battling through heavy gales, which resulted in the ship being blown off course to the South-West and resulting in an overdue arrival at New York. Reverend Ogilvie had no recollection of any ship having been seen. Finally, the widow of the Baron's 3rd Officer reported that she had been told that the Baron had passed through the area the day after the Titanic's sinking. From the meteorological date (wind and fog references), Harrison determined that the Baron was, indeed, not in the area during the disaster. Sadly, Urquhart's widow was not as convinced, and remained convinced that the Baron was involved. The correspondence between her and Harrison continued for quite a while, with neither side capitulating to the other."

Lloyd's publications show that the Baron did not pass near the Titanic's location until April 17 when, at position 41.56 N 50.04 W, she was forced to stop due to heavy field ice.


Madawaska

Again, from my book; "A copy of The Western Daily Press from March 1946 yielded another vessel's name: the Madawaska, owned by Hogans of Liverpool and under the command of Captain Carey. The Madawaska had a yellow funnel with a black top, but she was not a four masted ship. Despite Harrison determining that the ship was to the south of the Titanic, her tale was fascinating, according to Carey in the paper: "We were on the way from Boston to Ceylon with a load of rice when my lookouts saw what he thought was a display of shooting stars in the distance. The next day I was met by an American patrol boat and informed that the Titanic had foundered on a 'berg. We could only have been ten miles south of her at the time, and if we had had wireless to inform us of the tragedy we could doubtless have rescued many of the passengers. The 'shooting stars' were evidently distress signals sent up by the distressed vessel." Carey's widow informed Harrison that "if he had been on the bridge at the time he would have realised what the 'shooting stars' were and taken appropriate action. I am unable to believe those on duty would have mistaken normal distress signals for shooting stars."

The SS Minnewaska had left port at 10.00am on April 14th; her PV gives no mention as to which port, but by 12.00pm the next day, she was 215 miles south east of Cade Cod. "Lloyd's Weekly Shipping Index" reveals that she had travelled to New York and then to Boston, where she set sail again, away from American ports.


Lena

Shortly after the disaster, the New York Times speculated on the mystery lights seen off the Titanic's bow: "--Freighter Only 30 Miles Off." The next day, a denial was issued. The Lena, from Fowey, England, was indeed 34 miles to the north-east according to Chief Officer Evans Elias. "That one of three other steamers which appeared on the horizon of the Titanic is a reasonable deduction. All three of these vessels were bound west, and all three were going so much faster than the Lena that it is figured they would have been nearer the scene of the disaster at the time it occurred. At noon on Sunday, according to Elias, the Lena was about 120 miles from the place where the Titanic went down, but the Lena was heavily loaded and not speedy. The tramp steamer Kelvindale, which passed the Lena at 4 o'clock Sunday afternoon, was moving about three knots faster and was several miles south. In ten hours to the time the Titanic sank the Kelvindale would have gained just about thirty miles on the Lena. At 8 o'clock Sunday night a four masted passenger ship bound west, passed the Lena three miles south. She could have made the distance from that point to the Titanic as could a freighter which passed later in the evening."


Kura

From my book; "The Daily Sketch on Friday 3rd May 1912, ... screamed "The Mystery Ship. Reported Statement by British Captain. ' Heard Passengers Voices' " PARIS, Thursday" It read, "A telegram from Algiers to Le Journal suggests that the mysterious ship seen from the Titanic might have been the British steamer Kura which arrived yesterday at Algiers from New York. The Captain of the Kura remembers having had a glimpse of a large liner through the fog and having heard the voices of passengers; but the dense mist prevented him from discovering anything abnormal concerning the liner. He concentrated his attention upon avoiding the icebergs. He did not hear of the catastrophe until he arrived at Algiers. The Kura left in the evening for Genoa". But a simple check on newspapers of the era quashes this story. The Kura was tied up in New York on April 14th and was reported to be quite likely to be laid up for a while as she was damaged by ice during her voyage. The fog conditions were also not encountered by the Titanic at the time of the accident. A shadow of doubt hangs over this, as Lloyd's Weekly Shipping Index notes that she left New York for Genoa on April 13th, and passed Gibraltar on the 29th of that month. Whatever, she could not have reached the disaster area in time."


Port Pirie

"Another possible candidate for "the mystery ship" [mentioned to Leslie Harrison c.1965] was the SS Port Pirie, later renamed the Kelvinbrae. She had left Middlesbrough on April 3rd, but a quick check showed that she was still near the UK coast on 18th-20th April. She could not have made it to the Titanic wreck and back"


President Lincoln

"[Another] ship alleged to have been in the area include the President Lincoln; Mrs.Chester H. Cox wrote to the Titanic Historical Society of 3rd May 1977 that her parents and herself were returning [to the U.S.] from Germany and Captain Magin told the passengers they could not go to help as they were surrounded by icebergs. ... Lloyd's publications reveal that the President Lincoln left Hamburg on April 3rd and arrived in New York about April 15th, according to the New York Times on April 17th 1912. She had passed through ice on the 13th between 41 52 N, 50 40 W, and 41 50 N, 50 20 W. Thus she cannot have been in the vicinity of the Titanic's location at the time of the foundering." Further data can be gleaned from her weather log; at noon on April 13th, she was at 41 05 N, 59 24 W; the next day, at 40 41 N, 67 06 W, and the next, at "Ambrose" (that is, the lighthouse near the entrance to New York). This confirms she was well to the east of the wrecksite.

The President Lincoln is in The New York Herald's chart, where she can be found numbered 4 in the jumbled mess of column D, not far from New York.


Premier

"[Another vessel purported to be in the area was the] Premier, a Gloucester Vessel under the command of Billy Morrison (in The Patriot Ledger, on 15th April 1966, it was noted that "it was not until 2 or 3 days later that they had been sailing in the vicinity ... they had seen debris in the water but had paid no attention to it")". ...this author was unable to find out anything about the Premier."


Victorian

The Victorian was a single funnelled, double masted steamer of the Allan Line. The April 1986 edition of the "National Geographic" magazine had the following letter from Geraldine Hamilton of Calgary, Alberta: 'My father, now almost 89 years of age, left England in early 1912 to come to Canada aboard the liner Victorian. He claims, and has claimed for years, to have witnessed the flares from Titanic. This ship may well have been the mystery ship and closest witness to this tragedy.'

Unfortunately, the Victorian had left Liverpool on April 12th. She was therefore lagging well behind the Titanic, which had departed from the southern tip of Ireland the day before, and couldn't make the distance up in the remaining 2 or 3 days. The "other" Victorian, of the Lelyland Line, had docked in New York on April 13th.


Thistledhu

Don Lynch once recounted how he received correspondence from an old crewman on the Thistledhu. He found the 1953 movie version of the Titanic disaster to be upsetting as he had seen the flares from the stricken liner but his ship had done nothing. Unfortunately, a study of the arrival and departure times, in tandem with a knowledge of the ship's speed, destroys this claim.


Lake Michigan

Following Lord Mersey's judgement on the Titanic disaster, one candidate for the ship seen by the Titanic was the Lake Michigan, owned by the Canadian Pacific Line, supposedly in the vicinity. A quick check proved otherwise. "The vessel," an internal memo at the Board of Trade stated, "was well over 200 miles to the E [sic] and N" away from the Titanic at the time of the casualty ( Actually her positions, as determined from her log by the Board are given as follows: Noon 14/4/12 43 21 N 62 36 W Noon 15/4/12 44 17 N 56 28 W placing her well to the west of the Titanic ). The report concludes that the ship had a yellow funnel with a black top, black hull with the exception on the midships bridge plating which was painted buff; hence she did not match the black and white funnel ship.


The Kelvindale, Dorothy Baird, St.Pierre, Eugene Pergeline

The Kelvindale has previously been mentioned. Researcher George Behe wrote in the Titanic Historical Society Commutator volume 14 no.3 (Autumn 1990): "A 1981 Commutator Supplement contained my own list of vessels: Dorothy Baird, Kelvindale, St.Pierre, Eugene Pergeline and several unnamed vessels." This author analysed these ships: "Lloyd's List for April 15th 1912, reports the following information from the SS Carmania: "At least one full rigged ship and one fishing smack are imprisoned in the floes". One of these might be the three-masted barque Eugene Pergeline, which was reported on April 10th by the German tanker Excelsior to be stuck in the ice 1000 miles east of Sandy Hook. Lloyd's Weekly Shipping Index has the following data on the ships:
The Dorothy Baird, a 199 ton British schooner, under the command of Captain Keeping, left St.John in New Brunswick on April 2nd and docked at Pernambuco on May 11th. Her direct route would take to well to the west of the Titanic.
According to the New York Times on April 17th, the Etonian saw the Dorothy Baird five nights earlier in the vicinity of 42 N 50 W, drifting in pack ice with sails lowered, apparently waiting for the morning before proceeding.
The 2014 ton Kelvindale, of the Black Line (a.k.a. The Glasgow Steam Shipping Co.), left Liverpool on April 4th and arrived at Louisburg on April 18. Given that her maximum speed was 12 knots, she may have been somewhere in the vicinity of the Titanic when she sank, although possibly somewhere to the north.
The Eugene Pergeline, a 1953 ton French Barque under the command of Captain Gorgues, departed Dunkirk on April 3rd, passed Ventnor a day later and arrived in New York on May 12th: her possible speed was thus about 6 knots. If this speed was maintained, she could have traversed the distance to witness the death of the Titanic: her arrival time in New York indicates a slower speed, which could mean unfavourable wind conditions, or that she was delayed by ice.
There are a few vessels named St. Pierre; one, of the Nouvelle Societe Navole de l'Ouest fleet was nowhere near the Titanic wrecksite; she was in port, in Marseilles, on April 16th. Another one, a schooner, was seen by the steamer Atlantian, who reported after her arrival in Liverpool, that she had seen the St.Pierre on March 31st at 48N, 29 W, steering west, or nearly 1000 miles away from the Titanic. There is no other surviving documentation on these ship's navigation."


The Mount Temple

Although the notion that the Canadian Pacific vessel, Mount Temple, was the ship seen from the doomed Titanic, enough doubt exists, thanks to eyewitness reports by Quitzrau/Quitzman/Quitalan/whatever-his-name-is, Kennervost etc., to perpetuate the fable.
The Mount Temple's story is this; shortly after midnight, the Titanic's frantic distress calls were received and the course was changed to intercept her crippled hulk. Just after 3.00am, a green light, identified by Captain Moore as that of a schooner, were seen ahead, and evasive measures were taken. At 3.25, the Mount Temple was stopped due to heavy ice; shortly thereafter, the ship proceeded slowly and was at the Titanic's (wrong) distress position at 4.25am.
The sighting of the green lamp on the schooner is a mystery. No other navigation lights were seen, and when day broke, and a breeze broke permitting movement of this "schooner" to finally move, there is no mention of a sailing vessel by any ship in the vicinity. The lack of any "steaming lights" may have made Moore think he was looking at a sailing vessel, hence the mention of a "schooner." It is worth remembering that at, exactly this time, Titanic's 4th Officer Boxhall was igniting green flares, which attracted the attention of the rescue vessel Carpathia, approaching on the other side of the ice field to the Mount Temple. Captain Moore thought the "green light" was only a mile or so ahead of him, but he did admit that he cannot judge distances from a light at sea; it being dark, and without any other points of reference, such as other lights on the "schooner", it would be hard to estimate a distance. Why did Moore not see the other green flares fired by Boxhall? A feeble excuse may be that he was distracted by having to take evasive measures to avoid this "schooner" or that he was perturbed by the increasing amount of ice surrounding his ship.
Did Captain Moore see a green flare and mistake it for a vessel's starboard lamp? If this is the case, he must have been closer to the Titanic than he knew. Then there is the mention of encountering heavy ice while still 14 miles to the south west of the distress location at 3.25am; no other vessel reported such conditions in this location; indeed field (and heavy) ice was confined to a narrow strip well to the east of the distress location, and running roughly NNE-SSW; the Titanic hadn't even encountered this ice during her short career. Was Moore's description of ice at 3.25am referring to this field ice? If so, what did he do for the next hour, until he got to the Titanic's radioed location?
Problems exist with this scenario though. To see Boxhall's flares, the Mount Temple would have to be within an approximately 10 mile radius of him. From this, we can estimate the Mount Temple's course. She would have been well within the range necessary to see both the Titanic's distress rockets and the Carpathia's reassuring pyrotechnics. Why did she not see them? The Titanic's rockets started to be fired at 12.45am; the Mount Temple would be about 30 miles away. The last rocket would be sent aloft about an hour later. At that distance, the rockets would be seen to go no higher than about half a degree above the horizon, or about the half the width of a full moon. As the Mount Temple approached, the rockets would be seen to be getting higher and brighter. The Carpathia's rockets would be seen from a distance of about 15 miles away. Even if the Mount Temple was on a course direct to the radioed location and not the actual sinking location, she would still be in a position to see the Carpathia's rockets. And yet Captain Moore claimed not to have seen any rockets that night.
Remember that the limiting factor of the visible range of rockets is not necessarily determined by the height they attain, but how bright their detonation is. One is reminded of the situation on the Californian, who saw the Carpathia's rockets after 3am. Regardless of whether one believes that the Californian was only 10, or as much as 21 miles from the Titanic, the Carpathia was about 10 miles even further away, and yet this is what Apprentice Gibson of the Californian says of these rockets: "It was right on the horizon"; and this is what 2nd Officer Stone remarked of them: "[they were seen at] such a distance that if it had been much further I should have seen no light at all, merely a faint flash." And this was at a distance of between 20 and 31 miles.
The following sketch illustrates these scenarios:

The pink line indicates the claimed course of the Mount Temple. The "tail" to the south-west is based on data from the ss Birma's circumnavigational of the ice field, and its configuration has been shown for about 3.00am in the morning. This ties in very well with the Mount Temple's evidence, which says that she travelled to the south-east but was forced to turn around when the ice became too thick.

This author regards the Mount Temple as an open question. She could not have been in the vicinity of the Titanic during the sinking unless her navigation was hopelessly impaired, but she may have been close enough to see some of the rockets. It is admittedly difficult to envisage how the Mount Temple could have been so far off course to be on a direct course to the wrecksite rather than the CQD location; she would have to be well to the east and south, but a confluence between the southerly flowing Labrador current and the much faster easterly flowing Gulf Stream in the area may have affected the Mount Temple's navigation; this later current seemed to have affected the Carpathia's position.

This author finds the claims that the Mount Temple was ship seen by the officers, crew and passengers of the stricken liner to be less credible. One author states that "[the] Titanic evidence is that the red light of their stranger was there from the first until the sinking and even thereafter, and there is no credible evidence of a green light ever being seen, except when she initially steamed close shortly after 12.30 a.m., presenting both side lights in her head-on approach."

In this scenario, the Mount Temple is far off her intended route to Canada (see below). The south-western "tail" is shown as it would be at approximately 7.30pm, when the Mount Temple changed course. By 12.pm, when the ship is alledged to have been within visual range of the Tianic, the ice field would be some 5 miles more to the south.

The Mount Temple's schedule was already in chaos, having had to take an extremely lengthy detour to the south and west to avoid the ice fields and bergs that littered her direct path. None of the watch-keepers or officers noticed that, in order to get to the Titanic's position, she would have had to steer to the north-east rather than to the north-west. So, with hundreds of passengers on board and a demanding schedule to maintain, what does Captain Moore of the Mount Temple do when he finds he is so far off course? To those who believe in her proximity to the Titanic, she does nothing. Note that, at this time, no rockets had been fired and no cause for alarm would have been raised on board Moore' ship, which, if the evidence of his navigation lights is to be believed, was heading straight for the Titanic and well away from her intended course. Rather than turn his ship round to the direct heading, to Canada, by turning his helm anti-clockwise, Moore lets his ship turn slowly clockwise ("...and to hell with the shipping deadlines," one mutters) until only his stern light is facing the Titanic. And this turn would take well over an hour. Was everyone on the Mount Temple so myopic that they not only missed her carefree course, but also to allow her to dawdle on the fringes of the icepack?

For this reason, this author considers the Mount Temple to be a poor choice for the mystery vessel, but this has not stopped others from writing garbage about it.


Iroquois and Marengo

These two vessels were mentioned as being nearby by the captain of the "Asian," which had stopped to tow the disabled tanker "Deutschland" to port, having rendezvoused at 40 42 N, 55 11 W. The Iroquois was a vessel of The Standard Oil Company (Anglo-American Line) and left New York on April 8th, bound for London. As per her custom, she was towing the 450 foot long, 6 masted brage Navahoe. Her next reported location was 82 miles SE of the Lizard on April 25th. Thanks to this page, we know her top speed is 11-12 knots. As of December 1912, her funnel is listed in Lloyd's as red with a black top. She would have passed the wrecksite within 4 days. However, her transit time from April 8th to the 25th is quite slow. Perhaps suspiciously so? one website puts her average speed at just under 9 knots, which is more palatable to our analysis. This would yield an arrival date at the wreck of about April 13th, too soon to see the end of the Titanic.
The Marengo was a ship of the Wilson Line. She left New York for Hull on April 11th and was reported to be off Spurn, close to her destination, on April 25th. Her funnel was red and black. Her top speed was 13 knots, meaning she would be in the vicinty of the wrecksite on April 14th.

However, since these two ships were eastbound, they would be well to the south of the Titanic's track; perhaps 60 miles or so south if they were to follow a reversed Titanic's route, heading towards England. See Campanello (below) for more details on this.

Postscript: following the Tim Maltin/super-refraction documentary, I contacted the UK Meteorological Office who possessed the weather log for the Marengo. At noon on April 14th, she was at 40 57 N, 56 3 W; 24 hours later, she was at 40 57 N, 50 29 W. This shows that, unless she took a massive and unexplained detour, she was never south of 40 57 N, or 47 miles south of the wrecksite, and well outside of visible range. Her log does not mention encountered any ice, which is consistent with the lay of the ice field that night.


Dora, Bruce, Pisa

John P. Eaton's and Charles A. Haas's book, "Titanic - Triumph and Tragedy" lists the Dora as having been in the vicnity. There are two vessels by that name listed by Lloyd's; the first is a 926 Swedish vessel, the other is a 1678 ton German ship run by Schuldt's. The first of these was in port on the River Tees (UK) on April 16th, the other left Hamburg on March 16th bound for Rio de Janeiro. She passed Fernando Noronha on April 12th, her journey not yet completed, and reached Aracaju on April 28th, eventually arriving at Rio on May 6th. Obviously neither ship were anywhere near the Titanic. Perhaps Eaton and Haas meant the sailing ship Dora, of which there were two? The first was 765 ton Italian barque whose master was (Captain?) Ventura. She is reported to have been wrecked at "Gigho Point" (Gigo Point, at Papua New Guinea) on April 10th. The other Dora was a Russian barque, bigger than her Italian namesake at 1328 tons. Her master is reported to have been Kurango. This Dora was in Rio de Janeiro on April 26th. Obviously, she could not have been anywhere near the wrecksite.

In addition to this ship, the book also mentions a ship called the "Bruce" but this is another vessel I have been unable to ascertain any information about. If she was anywhere near the sinking, she, like the Premier, is too small to be listed in Lloyd's journals of steamers and sailing vessels.

Thanks to George Behe, who had provided some details on the Bruce: She was owned by Reid Newfoundland Company and arrived in St. John's, Newfoundland at noon on April 15th. Her wireless operator first heard about the Titanic at 8 a.m. on the 15th, when he received a message about it from Cape Race.

Another ship referred to was the Hamburg-American Line vessel, the S.S. Pisa, but this presents problems. She left Hamburg on April 1st and was spotted by another, unnamed vessel on the 7th at 49 N, 14 W. She docked at St Johns in New Foundland on April 17th. Perhaps the source for this confusion was a wireless message sent by her on 14th April, reporting icebergs and field ice just a few miles from where the Titanic met her doom. This message must be a mistake; perhaps the Pisa relayed the message from another ship and the wireless operator forgot to mention the originating station. The only other option is that the captain of the Pisa had some form of mental malady which made him miss his port of call by several hundred miles, wasting valuable fuel.

Another possible alternative is that "St John's (NF)" is a mistake for "St John (NB)" in LLoyd's. The transit time from 49 N, 14 W to St John's indicates a crusing speed of only some 6 knots, about half of her top speed. However, for a trip to St John (NB), the speed goes up to nearly 9 knots. Transit through an ice field, necessitating detours, may have slowed her down somewhat and reduced her overall average speed. Indeed, many ships were reported to be arriving a day or so late because of the ice. The next entry in Lloyd's details the Pisa leaving St John (NB) on April 23rd. Sadly, the date of her arrival in Hamburg is not recorded, but we do know she left on her next voyage on May 12th. She must therefore have completed the return journey in under 19 days. By the time she encountered the area of the ice, the field ice at 50 degrees W had already dispersed as demonstrated by the reports on my ice warnings page (the last such data was from 22nd April), so the Pisa would have been unencumbered by such conditions. The journey from St John to St John's, and from St John to the Titanic are very similar and would take 3 days for a 12 knot vessel. The Pisa may have been near the wrecksite on April 14th and made it to St John (NB) for the 17th April, or she could have made it to St John from St John's in time for her departure on the 23rd. Given the imprecision of the co-ordinates on the 7th, the exact times of arrival and departure, and the possibility that a more southern route may have been taken for the homeward leg of the journey, it would be foolish to make a definite judgment.

This author favours this second possibility (a transcription error in Lloyd's).
The Daily Telegraph newspaper of Saint John lists the Pisa as being in port on April 17th therefore dispelling this story as due to a mistake in Lloyd's. The New York Times of April 17th tells us that the Pisa had encountered fog and was anchored 20 miles down the bay from St John, in the bay of Fundy. The Chicago Examiner on April 15th stated that, "A heavy fog rests over New York tonight, and the weather bureau reports that the pall probably extends several hundred miles to sea."


Saturnia

I have discussed the Saturnia in a previous essay; thanks to the New York Times of April 17th, we know that the Saturnia had been anchored several miles west of Cape Sable "all day" (on April 16th) due to heavy fog. This would explain her slow speed before reaching port.


Samson

From my book:

On April 16th 1962, a television programme entitled "The Sinking of the Titanic" was shown by the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation. In this show, it was alleged that a Norway sealer, the Samson, had been in the vicinity of the Titanic and had seen her rockets, but because she was involved in illegal sealing operations, she had sailed away thinking that the pyrotechnics were an indication to stop and be searched. It wasn't until the Samson arrived at an Icelandic port that the consul told the crew of the tragedy, and then the connection was made. The source of this report was the Chief Officer of the Samson, Mr. Henrik Naess. The story had been known about since 1912, and had been referred to in print once before, in the Trondhjem Arbeideravisa on June 9th, 1928.

The broadcast came to the immediate attention of Leslie Harrison. In an address to the A.G.M. of the Mercantile Marine Service Assocation (MMSA; a shipping union for which Harrison was the secretary) on 4th May, he remarked that he had received confirmation of the report but had not yet been able to check it in every detail. "But," he says, "to me it seems to be absolutely authentic." Harrison had at last found his deus ex machina to solve the Titanic mystery. Kjell Arnljot Wig, the producer in charge of the Samson segment recounted "after the broadcast ... he had given his oath not to reveal more than he had already done in his TV programme. All available facts, including what Henrik Naess said just before dying, Mr. Wig had turned over to the M.M.S.A ... there are no members of the Samson crew still alive, as far as I have found out." Both men who allegedly saw the rockets were now dead. "The confidential report filed with the Norwegian consul in Reykjavik is at present in the possession of a Norwegian scientist who received a copy from the Captain of the Samson, but this scientist, the name of whom Kjell A. Wig has given his oath not to reveal, has promised not to publish the report until the near relatives of Henrik Naess and other members of the Samson crew are dead." Mr. Wig would later say that there were "somewhat delicate circumstances" which prevented him from borrowing the report for a second time in order to help the M.M.S.A clear Captain Lord's name.

A London newspaper reporter informed Leslie Harrison and the M.M.S.A. in 1963 that Naess's will contained a provision that references to the Samson and Titanic were not to be made until after the death of his near relatives (although Naess's son was reportedly still alive in 1976!). But Harrison was diligently following other leads and thought that the Seal Fishery Act, 1875 supported the Samson's story. He believed that it had international application, and it called for "close time" in seal taking for areas between 67 and 75 North, 5 and 17 West. Unfortunately, all "communal papers" and documents from which verification of the Samson's call to Icelandic ports were destroyed by fire in 1924, he discovered.

In May 1965, the aforementioned Mr. Wig finally released a copy of an extract of Henrik Naess's report on the 14th-15 th April 1912. The letter noted that the "present copy is taken from a manuscript confided to the Arctic Explorer [Professor] Adolf Hoel, who has authorised its identity with his signature." The report is undated.
So, why was the document released now? Perhaps significantly, Hoel had died the previous year.
Naess writes that he had given up the "Munroe" and worked as a bosun on a coastal vessel for a short while. He suffered from an ear ailment which forced him to stay ashore without work sometime during the winter; indeed, at one time, he was "quite deaf." After Christmas 1912, he received two good offers of work. One was as a skipper of a small boat from Kristiansund plying the herring trade. The other was a job as a mate on a large sealing vessel belong to the Trondheim group. Naess chose the latter; that vessel, the Samson, was a large bark rigged ship with a powerful engine and six, or maybe eight boats (account differ). She was bound for Newfoundland on a sealing expedition, and started her journey from Tonsberg. From Tonsberg, the Samson proceeded to Oslo where she docked and was painted under the waterline. She then returned to Tonsberg, where she was coaled, and departed again on 8th February, passing Tonsberg Tonne and proceeded south along the shore. At Lindesnes, a course was set to the north of the Orkneys. The wind was northwesterly, and the engine was used. Naess writes that there were 45 men on board, and the Master, Captain Ring, "was every inch a seaman. He was also an Arctic expert." After the Orkneys had been passed, the course was altered to the west, and they approached Newfoundland. The sea water temperature was taken every hour, and when it had dropped to 0oC, it was taken every half hour. This was done because the fog was so dense that they were unable to see anything. Then they entered so-called fishball ice; ice which the sea has broken to bits against the floes; half an hour later, the actual icefloe was reached, which was quite compact and impossible to penetrate; however, this was not Ring's intention as no seals were expected to be found there. They turned towards the southwest and proceeded on that course until the next day. Naess writes, "By then, our dead reckoning and noon observations showed our position to be on a level with Cape Hatteras and indeed we saw the cape too. [emphasis in original]. The whole afternoon we continued southwest until dusk. Then we entered the ice and stopped for the night. The weather was now quite clear and calm, the stars were shining, and there was a slight swell." There were 6 hour watches on board the Samson, with four seal gunners on each watch. Two of them were on watch on the bridge, one on either side. Naess was on duty that evening, but was sitting with Captain Ring in his cabin, "having a rum toddy and an evening pipe." A little before midnight, Naess went up on deck waiting to be relieved, and whilst walking on deck, he noticed "two big stars" hanging in the sky to the south. The lights seemed low, he said to the watchman on the bridge, and ordered him to climb to the crow's nest to see what the "stars" might be. Naess thought it might be American sealers lying at the edge of the ice. The watchman turned his telescope towards the stars. "They are not stars," he called out, "They are lights. And I see lots of lights." "A moment passed, then suddenly some rockets shot up. Then just as suddenly, all the lights went out and it was dark. We could no longer see anything." "Now our position was such that we were scared that we might be caught violating the territorial limit. The lights out there meant that the Americans were close, and when the lights were put out we immediately thought that they had perhaps observed us and would try to catch us. The rockets were probably signals to other vessels further away. We therefore turned about and started to manoeuvre northwards in order to get out of sight. When dawn came we were quite a distance away and could not see any ships nor any sign that there had been any ships nearby. We passed a lot of big icebergs, some of them enormous, up to 200 feet high. They passed us like great floating islands." The matter was soon forgotten, and the Samson proceeded North; their catch was poor and the crew were feeling downhearted because the lack of seals would affect each man's profit. The Samson spent eight days in that location, and then proceeded up the Denmark Strait to try and snare some crested seals. They turned east, got a good wind and after four days of sailing, ice was encountered inside the Davis Strait. But the Samson crew had little luck here too. "Finally the ice began to settle round us. We discussed whether we should go out or remain fast in the ice – we decided on the latter course. We stayed there for a while, but as the ice refused to break up again we had to butt our way out. We had the wind and sea straight against the edge of the ice, and the ship received many heavy blows. But that did not matter because Samson was one of the strongest and largest of Norway's Arctic vessels." The ice was moving violently in the sea, and the Samson broke out, but collided with an icefloe which was thrust at the ship by the swell. The Samson sustained damage, and the crew decided that the prudent course of action was to put into port in Iceland for refuge and repairs. Captain Ring contacted the Samson's owners and they were ordered to return home and call at Kristiansund for further orders. While waiting for high tide to refloat the ship, Ring and Naess were invited for supper at the home of the local consul. "Have you heard the last bad news?" asked the consul. No, Naess and Ring said. The consul informed them of the tragedy of the Titanic. Naess asked when this was; "something was beginning to dawn on me," he wrote. The consul told them the date and found a newspaper with the details of the disaster. Naess took the paper and compared its details with the Samson's log. "The date, hour and position corresponded exactly with our own entries." "Now, " wrote Naess, "we understood why we had seen the lights and the rockets. We had been 10 nautical miles away from the 'Titanic' when she went down. There we had been lying with our big ship and eight fine sealing boats – in fair, calm weather. Imagine what we could have done to save lives – if only we had had the slightest idea of what was happening just in front of us. Had we only had a radio, for instance ......."

The document is fascinating for all the wrong reasons. Firstly, it mentions seeing the Titanic in the vicinity of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina whereas she sank closer to Cape Race, Newfoundland several hundred miles away, and that shortly afterwards, they proceeded south west; in other words, heading even further away from the Titanic's location. Secondly, no country had dominion over the seas in the area of the Titanic; certainly no ship had need to worry about "illegal" seal hunting hundreds of miles from the nearest shore, and territorial waters only extended a few miles from a country's shoreline. Thirdly, if the Samson had sailed north away from the ailing Titanic, why didn't she see the Californian, or vice versa? Fourthly, the ship allegedly seen by the Samson fired rockets and then turned its lights out, making Naess wary about nearby Americans. Why should a ship warn every vessel in the vicinity of its proximity with rockets, and then turn out its lights? Next, the navigational details, which initially sound credible, start to veer into fantasy. After the 'encounter' with the Titanic, the Samson heads north to the Denmark Strait, which is the channel of water between Iceland and Greenland. That is, to the east of Greenland. The Samson then turns east, and then encounters the ice within the Davis Strait. This is located to the west of Greenland. Furthermore, given the distance between the two Straits, it is highly unlikely, if not impossible for the Samson to cover this distance in just four days. Then, the manuscript asserts that Naess is offered the post on the Samson after Christmas 1912. The Titanic sank in April of that year. Finally, Norwegian mariners would have been familiar with the use of rockets at sea. They had subscribed to an international convention on rockets many years earlier and would not have assumed that they were signals to "heave to and be searched," or communications with vessels further away. One interesting point not made in the manuscript is that Captain Naess wrote to Professor Hoel on 18/11/39 about the Samson. Naess remarks that his ship was lying in slack ice with shielded lights at the time. With shielded lights, nothing of her would be seen. 4th Officer Boxhall on the Titanic testified that he had seen the "beautiful lights" of the unknown stranger, an obvious and striking contradiction with Naess's assertions, riddled as they are with holes. A final fact remains about the Samson and her supposed "beautiful lights". Lloyd's Register issues for 1912 to 1920 reveals that she did not have electric lights. She was fitted with oil burning lamps. In fairness, it should be pointed out that some of the Californian witnesses thought that the ship they were watching had oil lamps.

Confirmation of the Samson's presence near the Titanic would be a major boost for the petition to clear Lord's name, which was then in preparation. Harrison sought expert opinion on the Samson, and wrote to Captain F.W. Berchem, the Marine Superintendant of Messrs. H.Hogarth and Sons Ltd., a man with more knowledge about handling ships near ice, and the legality of operating sealing vessels. Berchem was less than impressed by the Samson story, and remarked that "no vessels [were ever] operated by the Newfoundland Government to prevent the illegal taking of skins." He admitted to being perplexed by the location of the Titanic, and was puzzled by the Samson "returning home – but from where? If she had been sealing amongst the ice fields of Newfoundland what was she doing in this position? I can form no other conclusion than it is safe to say [that the story is] unreliable." So, here was one expert who did deride the whole story. But Harrison was not yet finished. In July that year, he wrote to Berchem again with a copy of Naess' report. Again, Berchem was not impressed: "From the outset those responsible on board [the Samson] would appear to have very little idea of their whereabouts on the ocean or for that matter any great knowledge of seal hunting. Naess speaks of approaching Newfoundland, then encountering the ice-fields and turning away south west because 'we could not expect to find any seals there'. This actually would have been the very area in which to commence operations and to haul away south-west would take the ships away from the sealing grounds. Having done so the vessel within 24 hours is in a position off Cape Hatteras and thereafter goes on to say that the vessel continued south-west and entered the ice and stopped. This latter is too absurd for comment, firstly there is no ice or sealing grounds off Cape Hatteras, secondly the Titanic was nowhere near any such position when she struck the iceberg so how could Mr. Naess or any other member have seen anything whatsoever of the incident. The remainder of his story is equally fantastic, one minute the vessel is bound for the Denmark Straits and the next she is in the middle of Davis Straits, the latter a sheer impossibility at that season of the year in a vessel such as the 'Samson'. I am more than ever convinced that the 'Samson' was never in any way connected with the 'Titanic' and that the whole story is a good 'dog watch yarn' with not a shred of truth to be found in it and as such I would disregard it completely."

Harrison replied, "I entirely accept your contentions that taken literally the statement is nonsensical. However, the fact remains that there are points of detail in [Naess's] statement which are corroborated by the entirely independent information I have received from the Chairman of the Icelandic Shipmasters' Association and bearing in mind that Mr. Naess was probably quite elderly when this manuscript was drafted, our legal advisors in London and Oslo do not consider that we would be justified in dismissing it out of hand as you suggest." Harrison also knew about the problem with Cape Hatteras and the issue of "territorial waters"; he had informed Leslie Reade in 1964 that this was due to a mistranslation. Reade was no fool; he had seen exactly the same source material as Harrison and knew that these troublesome words were in the original, untranslated document. However, the only information that came from the Icelandic Shipmasters Association refers to the big riot in Isafjord during the Samson's stay there in May 1912. There is no reference to the Samson's involvement in the Titanic at all. A year later, Harrison would write to a solicitor that "I must confess I have never regarded the 'Samson' report as being of such significance and importance that it was essential to have evidence from her."

Harrison's opinion on the Samson would waver considerably for the next three decades.

...

As a postscript, Leslie Reade managed to obtain authenticated copies of a Supplementary Revenue Book of Isafjodhur for 1912. These show that the Samson was in port, having seemingly just arrived, on April 6th and 20th, and again on May 9th, as Captain Ring paid his port taxes on these dates. The Samson, a 6 knot ship, could not have made it to the Titanic's location and back - some 3000 miles - during these dates. My own research shows that Lloyd's Weekly Shipping Index records that the Samson left Tonsberg, Norway on February 2nd for the Arctic, and not the North Atlantic as Naess would have us believe. If the Samson was heading for the Arctic, what on earth was she doing near the Grand Banks of Newfoundland two months later? The Samson is next listed as arriving in Isafjodhur on April 6th. This is the exact day Captain Ring paid his port taxes. The next entry is on May 14th where the entry says "In Port- laid up for repairs – ready in a few days." The Samson finally left Isafjodhur on May 31st, arriving in Bergen, Norway on June 6th. The sailing time is consistent with a ship whose engine could produce a 6-knot speed, perhaps supplemented by its sails. The inference of the Lloyd's entries are not clear but they may mean that the Samson was damaged, perhaps during its Arctic trip, and was laid up in port for the next 55 days for repairs. The taxes that Captain Ring paid on April 20th could easily be explained as being due to an extended stay in port during the repairs. Without port documents it is impossible to say definitely.


Campanello

The Campanello was a vessel run by the Uranium Line (black funnel), and had left New York on April 12th. When launched, she had is reported to have four masts and one funnel. Before the Titanic, she went through a succession of name changes; launched as British Empire, then changed to Campania and then, in 1910, to Campanello and then to Flavia in 1916. one source, however says that her mast count as the British Empire was but two; nonetheless, a picture does exist of the Campanello (and Flavia) with four masts. An article from "The South Shields Gazette" from 31/8/1901 detailing the launch of the British Empire describes how she would have four masts. Balancing all this information, it would seem that, whatever the number of masts she was initially fitted with (probably four), at the time of the Titanic disaster she would have four.

At 9.10pm on April 23rd, she was 140 miles west of Bolt Head and docked in Rotterdam on April 25th. She reported, in Dutch newspapers, that when a day away from the Titanic, she heard of the disaster. She reportedly ran into "heavy pack ice, large bergs and field ice" on April 14th and 15th. The co-ordinates of this ice (between 42 N 50 16 W, and 41 10 N 49 W) is only a few miles from where the Titanic went down. Since she was steaming eastward, she was many miles north of the route commonly quoted by researchers, whereby eastward heading ships passed south of westward heading vessels. Was she deliberately off-course, trying to make for a faster passage on a more northerly track? And did she encounter the Titanic? Another factor to consider is that her speed was only 13 knots. To get to the Titanic would take 3 1/2 days of solid steaming at full speed, putting her arrival as being sometime between noon on April 15th and 16th (depending on when she left New York). Did the Campanello make a mistake in the date of her encounter with the ice?

These data can be reproduced thus:


The red area represents the area in which the ice is contained. The yellow line denotes the approximate route that eastbound steamers from New York to Europe would customarily follow. The green cross represents the wreck site, and the purple cross indicates the location of the SOS position. If the Campanello skirted round the area, the closest she would get to the Titanic would be 14 miles, and the Titanic would be faintly visible on the horizon. We do not know if the Campanello skirted the area, or steamed through it. The ice report is sufficiently vague to be unable to make any determination (other ships sometimes noted if they travelled round the perimeter or passed through the ice field).


Lloyd's Weekly Shipping Index


A page from Lloyd's Weekly Shipping Index, April 18th 1912


Lloyd's produced two journals of interest to maritime scholars: Lloyd's List (incorporating the Shipping Gazette) and Lloyd's Weekly Shipping Index. The former of these, published daily except Sunday includes the ubiquitous adverts for ship suppliers and information on shipping topics (the coal strike, ship builders etc.), news, and a detailed listing of what ship was in which port, plus navigation/weather and debris data, in addition to information on certain ships; that is, whether they had run aground or whatever. Lloyd's Weekly Shipping Index repeats these last few items from the List, as well as detailed shipping movements, but sorted via ship rather than by port, making it easier to read.

This author has sifted through the copious data contained in the Weekly Index; a gargantuan task involving some 9000+ ships. This huge list was initially reduced to approximately 2800 or so, based on a knowledge of shipping news (the UK coal strike had crippled the movement of vessels from British ports) and ships movements from overseas ports (for instance, vessels on the other side of the world on April 14th/15th 1912 were quickly eliminated). Ships that were in port unreachable on April 15th were also eliminated (for instance, a vessel that was in Rio de Janeiro on April 10th was not considered, because, as Walter Lord once wrote, "not even the Mauretania's mighty turbines could have propelled her to the icy waters off Newfoundland in time for the big show."

Some of the smaller ships, of less than 1000 tons, seem to have been localised to ports in their "home" areas, such as Northern Europe or the Meditteranean, and many ships on the Eastern and Sothern coasts of the USA embarked solely on back-and-forth missions to Carribean ports. Thelist does not include ships that are tied to specific regions, such as the tugs that assisted the Titanic out of her quay in Southampton are not listed; such vessels are mentioned during their journey to their new "home," but once there, they disappear from the listing. However, Lloyd's listings were maddeningly incomplete as, at the end of one week, a ship would be recorded as being in one destination, but would usually be listed as coming from a completely different port at the start of the next week's list! Evidently, in the meantime, many ports had been visited and this "round robin" relay had not been recorded (probably to save space). However, with a knowledge of the vessel's speed, sometimes calculated from the time it took to traverse the distance from one port to another, the majority of such ships could be eliminated from further analysis. This elimination was not arbitrary based on ship's size. A number of tiny whaling vessels, some measuring no more than a few tons in size, made the two month journey from Norway to South Georgia. An honourable mention must go to the tiny Japanese vessel Shinkei Maru (of 49 tons); this plucky little vessel travelled from Grimsby to Nagasaki!

A number of other vessels that would not normally be considered were also included in the analysis. Ships from Mexican and Carribean ports whose tracks would have missed the Titanic's wrecksite had to be included. One of these was the HAL vessel, Ypriranga. She picked up the Titanic's CQD call but this is no guarantee of proximity; during the evening, a ship's radio range would be expected to increase (the Megantic had just left Portland, and, 14 hours later, heard garbled messages from the Titanic from many hundreds of miles away). The Birma, close to the wrecksite, was in contact with "M.G.T" at 3.20am local time - this is the "British Sun" which had called into Thameshaven on April 10th and was now docked safely in Antwerp!

However, the Ypiranga was close enough on the morning of April 15th to inform the Balakani, who was in the area of the wreck, of the disaster. Incidentally, the Ypiranga left Vera Cruz on Apr 5 and docked in Hamburg on April 27th. According to the New York Times on April 25th, the Ypiranga had diverted from her course to assist a ship called the Augsburg after receiving a message from Cape Race on April 13th; had she not diverted from her rescue mission, she would apparently have been only an hour or two away from the Titanic. The mission to the Augsburg seems to have been a red-herring, as she was overdue on March 22nd and was probably on the sea floor by then. Incidentally, during the calamity (at 12.49am), the Frankfurt received the Ypiranga's position - 38 12 N, 49 37 (or 57) W.
Likewise, a few ships that were reported as missing were also considered; but, these, like the 2173 ton British ship Erna (Clyde Feb 28 to St John's New Foundland, and reported lost on May 8th), disappeared well before the calamity that befell the Titanic.

Using a knowledge of ship's speeds and ports, it can be determined, very approximately, if a ship was near the Titanic or not. This does not take into account effects such as currents, deviations caused by weather etc. It also doesn't tell us that a ship was near the Titanic, just that it might have been. The approach I have taken can give us a crude estimate of proximity; for instance, the Carpathia left New York at noon on April 11th. At 14 knots, she would have travelled 1176 miles by midnight on the 14th/15th. We know that the Carpathia was on a track slightly to the south of the Titanic, and by midnight, was indeed a couple of dozen miles east of the Titanic, (I have rounded the distance from the Titanic to New York to be about 1100 miles). So, this example shows that we can say whether a vessel was possibly in the area or not.

A note to readers: there are discrepancies between the amount of time that a journey took, and the calculated time based on the ship's speed. This means that the ship either stopped at an unknown location for unloading/reloading or refeulling, took a different route from the one I used, was helped or hindered by currents, was hampered by ice or bad weather or failed to travel at her top speed.

Also note:I have omitted ships whose ice warning place them too far from the scene of the collision to be viable possibilties for the "mystery ships" alledged to have been seen that night. For instance, the Prinz Adalbert, from where the famous, and possibly apocryphal "iceberg with the streak of red paint at the base" picture originated did not encounter the ice field near to the Titanic's wreck until 8am on April 16th, when the ship was heading west. Thus, when the disaster occurred, the Prinz Adalbert was already well to the east of the tragedy. In some cases, I have relaxed this, notably when a ship reports ice but did not have wireless installed, leading to a possible confusion in the dates (eg was the ice report dated when the ice was seen or when it was reported, while in port?). This has led to some confusion! Also omitted are those names familiar in Titanic lore; the Mesaba, the Virginian, the Carpathia etc. We know more or less where those ships were. I have also not listed those vessels encountered by the Titanic en route as it is unlikely that they could have intercepted her again after the Titanic stopped for good. One of those ships was the ss Portland, an 8.5 knot vessel, which left Mobile on March 31st and which claimed to have encountered the Titanic six hours before the disaster and had seen a low lying black iceberg. The Portland is next reported to have arrived at the UK port of Portland (!) on April 24th, and then in Hull on April 30th or May 1st (with a cargo of timber from Pensacola). Considering that the distance from the corner, which is the rough location where the Portland and the Titanic would have met, to Portland UK is nearly 2000 miles, this distance could have been traversed in 10 days for a ship whose speed was between 7 and 8 knots, making the rendezvous plausible. Strangely, Lloyd's do not report this ship docking in Portland, only that she passed Dungeness on April 25th. Update: The Sunderland Daily Echo of April 30th, 1912 gives more clues on this vessel: she was a Sunderland vessel from Mobile to Grimsby loaded with timber, and was apparently "the last ship to see the Titanic before the disaster." According to her officers, they spoke the Titanic about 4 o'clock on Sunday afternoon. They had attempted to take the northern route across the Atlantic, but found so much ice that, owing to dangerous navigation, they had to take the southerly route. The passed the Titanic near enough to recognise her but not having a wireless on board they were unable to send or receive any message. The Titanic's course at that time would take her into the dangerous ice zone, but the change in temperature was so noticeable and the icebergs so extensive that the Portland's officers never anticipated a disaster...owing to encountering ice and changing her course the Portland occupied twenty eight days on her voyage to Grimsby.

In those cases where ship's details are lacking, I have resorted to those given in Lloyd's Register; this, though was frought with problems. Ships speeds were not given, and neither are the number of funnels (though this only seemed to be a problem for the smaller vessels that were sealing; it seems a safe assumption to state that they only had one funnel). But, the number of masts were given if this number differed from the "default" of only two. I have been cautious and placed a question mark next to these values but I see no reason why they are not correct.

Key to abbreviations: Ar - Arrived; Pd - passed; Sd - sailed (from); Sp - spotted (at a location)

Name of shipOwnerCountry and Net tonnageFunnelsMastsTop speedRouteFunnel colour
AdventureA.Harvey & Co, St Johns NFBr 8261211 knotsOn seal fishery about Mar 19
St John's (NF) Apr 16 to Sydney (CB), return journey Apr 21
black
This small cargo vessel, left St John's (New Foundland) on April 16th. The distance to the wreck is nearly 370 miles, or nearly a day and a half's steaming. Depending on when she arrived at St Johns, she may have been at the Titanic, but it seems unlikely.
AlexandraTaylor & S.Br 2484129 knotsLeft Narvik Apr 2
Arrived Philadelphia Apr 27
Black with a horizontal band of vertical alternating white and dark blue lines
At 9 knots, and depending on when the Alexandra left Narvik, she could have traversed between 2590 and 2800 miles if she maintained her top speed. The shortest distance to the wrecksite is 2600 miles. She could therefore have been at the wrecksite. The distance from Narvik to Philadelphia is some 3800 miles via the quickest route, a travel time of just over 17 1/2 days.
AlexandrianLeylandBr 28991212 knotsLeft Liverpool Mar 30
Arrived Newport News Apr 18
Salmon pink, black top
A 12 knot speed for 15-16 days indicates a distance travelled of some 4320-4600 miles; the distance to the wreck site from Liverpool is about 2500 miles. From the wreck to Newport News is about 1250 miles, or a travel time of nearly 4 1/2 days. Liverpool to Norfolk News is about 3300 miles. The Alexandrian may have been under instructions, like her fellow Leyland liner ship, the Californian, to reduce speed to keep her coal consumption down, England being held steadfast in the grip of a national coal strike when she left Liverpool.
AlfJacob R Olsen, BergenNo 197012??? Sd Norfolk (Va) Apr 9 (or 8) to London Arrive April 26 Black with a white circle
Annoyingly, this ship's speed is not given. We can infer that she might have been in the area, using a simple comparison of ratios; to get from Norfolk (Va) to the wreck, compared to the amount of time for the whole journey is 0.37. Comparing the distances, we get 0.35. These are extremely close implying that the Alf could have been in the area; a discrepancy of 0.02 could be about 70 miles. The lack of speed, and the imprecise date of her departure from Norfolk currently makes it impossible to say otherwise. The only problem is that, if the ship left on April 8th, and taking 7 whole days to get to the wreck, she would have to average 7.4 knots; and if she left on April 9th, she would have to average 8.7 knots. These are very slow speeds even for a ship built in 1898!
AlgerineBowringBr 2391 ?2 ?Not knownSt John's (NF) Nar 12 to Pools Island; on Newfoundland Seal Fishery April 19th; St John's Ar 12/5Black with broad white band and red St. Andrew's cross
This ship, which later assisted in the recovery of victims of the disaster and retrieved the body of James McGrady, could have been in the area of the wreck on April 14th/15th.
AlsterSyndikats RhederelGe 23061210.5Left Port Arthur (Texas) on Mar 29;
Sailed from Newport News on Apr 7
Arrived at Bremerhaven Apr 24
black with a red band containing a white diamond containing a black open circle
From the time she left Newport News to the time the Titanic disaster occurred, the Alster would have traversed 1760-2016 miles. From the wrecksite, the distance is 1250 miles. The total distance from Newport News to Bremerhaven is about 3700 miles, at an average speed of 9.1 knots, compatible with her stated speed. Given this average speed it is likely that she was well east of the wreck on the night of April 14th/15th. Her weather log shows that at noon on the 13th April, she was at 41 30 N, 46 W; a day later she was at 43 24 N, 41 18 W. She was already to the north and east of the wrecksite at the time of the disaster.
AnapaFurnessBr 22951210 knotsLondon Apr 7 to St John (NB). Ar Halifax April 24th. St Johns (NB) Ar Apr 28Black
With some 620 miles to go from the wreck to Halifax, it would have taken just over 2.5 days travel to achieve this distance. It is likely that this ship was still to the east of the wreck on April 14th/15th.
AnnettaDonald SS Co, LondonBr 7401212.5 knotsPorto Plata to New York Ar Apr 4 ..to New York Ar 18yellow funnel, black top, with an angled depcition of house flag on yellow (white flag, blue bordered with red Celtic Cross on the white)
Details on this ship's movements between April 4th and April 18th are not known, but it possible that she was engaged in round-robin trips to "Porto" [Puerto] Plata; her next trip was to Baracoa (Cuba). From the wreck site to New York would need 3 2/3 days at full speed, or April 14th/15th. While it is possible that she may have been in the wreck, we must ask- why was she there? Where was she going and why?
AnnieWest Hartlepool SN CoBr 2445129 knots Left Narvik Mar 26, Arrived at Halifax on Apr 17 for coaling; Arrived Philadelphia Apr 23 black top, yellow body with a black "G"
At 9 knots, it would take Annie nearly 3 days to reach the wrecksite, which would put an arrival at the disaster location sometime late on April 14th or 15th, depending on when she arrived at Halifax. This also depends on her traveling at her top speed, on a direct course from the Titanic without stopping. As previously stated, the shortest distance to the wreck is about 2600 miles. This could be achieved in 12 days, or April 7th-8th. Incidentally, the average speed for the Narvik to Halifax portion of the journey is only 6.5 knots.
AntaeusReesBr 19431210.5 knotsLeft Alexandretta Mar 25; Arrive Delaware Breakwater Apr 24; Arrive Camden Apr 25red with a black top
In the 20-21 days it would take to get to the wreck site, the Antaeus could have covered some 5000-5300 miles; from the wrecksite to Alexandretta is about 4200 miles. Evidently, given the discrepancy, it is safe to assume that the Antaeus stopped en route, possibly in the Mediterranean, or was slowed for some other reason. From the Delaware Breakwater to the Titanic would about 1250 miles, which the Antaeus could have covered in nearly 5 days, or April 19th. It seems likely that she was to the east at the time of the disaster.
Antonio LopezCia TransatlanticaSp 39911214 knots Left New York Apr 9 to Cadiz, arrived Apr 22; Genoa arrival Apr 29black
In the 5 or 6 days to the wreck site, the Antonio Lopez could have travelled 1700-2000 miles. The distance to the wreck is some 1100 miles from New York. It is unlikely that her journey was hindered sufficiently to put her "on the scene" on April 14th/15th.
ArasStephens, Sutton & CoBr 20711 (aft)2Not knownNewport Apr 9 & Cardiff to Sabine City Pd Lundy Is Apr 11; Pd Sand Key Apr 30; Ar Sabine City May 6EITHER black with yellow band and red letter R on yellow OR black with yellow band, red 5 pointed start above a red crescent
On April 11th, this ship had passed Lundy Island; sometime that day, and a few hundred miles to the west, the Titanic had already set off westward from the southern tip of Ireland. Unless the Aras had engines that overshadowed the Titanic (not a likely possibility given the Aras's construction date of 1893) there is no conceivable way she could have caught up with the White Star Line giant.
ArvorE Marcesche, LorientFr 56412 ?10 knotsLisbon to Bordeaux Ar Mar 27; Lorient to Newport News Ar Apr 30Black with a white diamond containing a depiction of the house flag (red, white and blue with a red Star of David)
Newport News to the Titanic is about 1250 miles, or nearly 5 1/4 days putting an arrival date of about April 25th. It is likely that the Arvor still to the east.
AspromonteW.F.BeckerIt 28311210 knotsLeft Galveston Mar 22 and called at New Orleanns Mar 28;
Sailed from Norfolk (Va) Apr 5 and arrived at Genoa Apr 22
black with a red shield and a yellow cross on it
The total distance from Norfolk to Genoa is some 4200 miles, a total time of 17.5 days at 10 knots without stopping or taking detours. From Norfolk (Va) to the Titanic is 1250 miles, or 5 days of steaming. She is therefore likely to have been east of the wreck when the disaster ensued.
AugusteUnione Austriaca di NavA-H 1716128.5 knotsLeft Trieste Mar 19; left Marseilles Mar 29 to New York; Arrived in New Orleans Apr 23black top, red body with a horizontal white band halfway up.
The date of the Auguste's arrival in New York is not given. But given that the distance from Marseille to New York is about 3900 miles, a speed of 8.5 knots yields a transit time of a little over 19 days, or an arrival on 17th or 18th April. From New York, the trip to the wreck could be achieved in nearly 5 1/2 days. It seems unlikely therefore, that she was in the vicinity; she was probably still to the east. A doubt hangs over this; the route to New Orleans (either hugging the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico, or the direct route) from New York would take 8 days at 8.5 knots. If this is so, the Auguste may have arrived in New York as early as April 15th. She may have been assisted by favourable currents during her crossing. Whatever, it seems highly doubtful that she was anywhere near the Titanic.
AugustineBoothBr 21841214 knotsSailed Para Apr 7; Liverpool
Arrival Apr 24
Black
The Augustine's route would normally take her well to the east of the wreck. The total distance would be some 4000 miles; if one were to artifically add a dogleg to the route to ensure that the wrecksite was passed, an extra 200 miles would be added. From Para to the wreck is some 2600 miles, or nearly 8 days. While it is possible that she was could have been near the Titanic, the only way for this to happen is via odd seamanship and awkward routes.
AvalaFurnessBr 23831210 knotsFowey Apr 3 to Philadelphia Arrived Apr 19Either a completely black funnel or a black funnel with a white square, with a red outline and a blue anchor
From Fowey to Philadelphia is approximately 3200 miles or 13 days at 10 knots. That the Avala arrived shortly after this may be attributable to the ice in her path. Once the ice was cleared there was nothing to prevent the Avala from proceeding at a higher speed, it being 1200 miles from the Titanic to Philadelphia via the direct route. This would have taken 5 days, giving a date of April 14th-15th. Therefore, it is possible that the Avala may have been in the area. However, this is contradicted by an ice report from her, where she encountered ice very close to the wreck on April 12th.
BalakaniLane & MacAndrewBr 23451210 knotsPhiladelphia Apr 10 to London, Pd Lizard Apr 24, left London on April 27thwhite black top with two thin black bands
This ship was reported to be near the Titanic's wreck on April 15th, when she spoke to the Ypiranga. The time from Philadelphia to the Lizard would be a little over 13 days indicating a minimal stopping time or delay en route.
BalticoGerolimich & Co, LussinpiccoloA-H 23221210 knotsTrieste Feb 28 & Palermo Mar 16 & New York; (18/4/12?) Arrived in Philadelphia April 14th and left Apr 17 for TampaBlack
Docking in Philadelphia on April 14th would leave less than 24 hours to reach the wreck, an impossible task.
BasutaMaclay & MacIntyreBr 18391210 knotsClyde Apr 1 to Sydney (Cape Breton) arrived Apr 17yellow with a black top
To the wrecksite is about 530 miles, or nearly 2 1/4 days. It is not possible for the Basuta to be at the wreck.
BatoumJ.L.Jacobs, SwanseaBr 26211210 knotsLeft Port Arthur (Texas) Mar 23;
Sailed from Newport News Apr 5
Arrived London Apr 24
yellow with a black top
This vessel, a tanker, would take nearly 5 1/4 days to get to the Titanic, implying an arrival date of April 10th-11th. The direct route, taking into account the Titanic's site, would take nearly 14.5 days of steaming, but the actual time implies a speed of 7.6 knots. It is possible that the Batoum stopped off at a waypoint enroute or was delayed by weather.
BellaventureA.Harvey & Co, St Johns NFBr 4671213 knots"Seal fishery Mar 18"Black
Nothing else is known about this cargo ship.
BeothicJob Bros & Co, St Johns NFBr 4711213 knotsSt Johns NF arrival Apr 8, left to "seal fishery" then to Sydney CB arrival Apr 22yellow with a small blue rectangle enclosing a smaller white rectangle; below this, a red single pointed pennant
This small passenger/cargo ship may have been near the Titanic, but the lack of knowledge as to when she left St John's New Foundland hinders any assessment.
BloemfonteinBucknallBr 29581210 knotsLeft New York Apr 9 to Yokohama;
Passed Gibraltar Apr 21;
Sailed Suez Apr 30;
Arrived Aden May 5;
Black with circlet of six white diamonds (three visible from any viewing angle)
The Bloemfontain could have made it to the Titanic in a little over 4.5 days, or April 13th-14th. Certainly, her transit time to Gibraltar (12 days) concurs with her travelling without interruption. It is likely that she was still slightly to the west of the wrecksite at midnight on April 14/15th.
BloodhoundMurray and Crawford, GlasgowBr 4141 ?3??Seal fishery to Harbour Grace Ar Apr 11, 1911Not known
I have erred on the side of caution in including this wooden vessel, described as an "auxiliary str" in Lloyds; the records seem to indicate that she was till on dock when the Titanic went down, but further research is needed to confirmthis.
BloomfieldHuntingBr 28691 (aft)310 knots?Pd Lizard Apr 2; Ar Norfolk Apr 18black with band containing alternating red and white stripes and a 7 pointed star superimposed over the top
Taking over 5 days to get to the wreck, this steamer could not have made it from the wreck in time.
BohemianLeylandBr 55411413 knotsLiverpool Apr 7;
165 miles W of Browhead on Apr 8
New York arrival Apr 20
Salmon pink with a black top
Ice report sent by the Bohemian on April 16th puts her 30 miles to the south and slightly to the east of the Titanic.
BonaventureA. Harvey & Co., St Johns, NFBr 4611213 knotsSt John's NF?Black
On April 1st, this vessel. a passenger/cargo ship, returned to St John's, having given up sealing on account of broken propellor blades. The ship brought home the crew of the schooner Corona which had been abandoned in the ice. It is not known how long the Bonaventure remained at St. John's; the next mention of her os her leaving Louisburg on May 6th.
BordererJ Little and Co GlasgowBr 28351210 knotsLondon Mar 31 & Calais Apr 4; Pd Lizard Apr 5; Ar Norfolk (Va) Apr 20yellow
On April 13th, the Borderer encountered ice nearly at the spot where the Titanic went down.
BorneoSocieta Anonima Ungherese di Armamento Marittimi OrienteA-H 2337127 knotsFiume Mar 19 to Philadelphia; Sd Oran Apr 2
Ar NY Apr 21
black with wide red band
At 7 knots it would take 6 days to reach the wreck from New York, giving a date of April 15th. She may have been in the vicinity.
BosbonJ.LaurantzenNo 15811210 knotsNordenham Mar 16; Savannah arrival Apr 16 or 17black funnel; within a broad band is a red square, with a white J and a white L above one another separated by a white line
Lloyds is unclear when the Bosbon docked in Savannah (Ga), but regardless of whether it was the 16th or 17th of April, she could not have traversed the nearly 1600 miles in such a short time.
BostonFred OlsenNo 7381210 knotsLeft Halifax March 25 to Jamaica; arrived back in Halifax April 19thblack funnel, red band with a white depiction of the house flag (swallow tailed flag with a blue circle and diagonal stripe)
This ship would take 2.5 days to get to the wreck - but why? She was on a route from Halifax to Jamaica, and presumably back again. Why take such a strange detour? And if so, where was she going?
BrandGunnar Knudsen, PorsgrunnNo 1519128 knotsMadeira Apr 11 to St. Ann's;
Ar English Town Apr 24 (Cape Breton)
black with a broad white band
This ship would still be a massive way from the Titanic on April 15th.
BrandenburgNorddeutscher LloydGe 48071213 knotsLeft Baltimore Apr 11; 60 mls SE from Caister Arms Apr 23; Ar Bremerhaven Apr 24yellow (buff)
Depending on exactly when she left Baltimore, the Brandenburg would have been travelling for 3 or 4 days, or 940-1250 miles. The distance to the Titanic would be some 1380 miles. It is not likely that she witnessed the White Star liner's death in the North Atlantic. If she did, her average speed to the wreck would be about 16 knots. Incidentally, her average speed from Baltimore to Bremerhaven is 13 knots exactly the same speed as her top rated speed, indicating that she did not slow down or stop at any way points.

The Brandenburg was one of those ships that was mandated to monitor the weather during its crossing, which would also provide a log of its movements, but this is currently missing. However, it is known that she was half a day behind the Frankfurt whose movements are known, and this puts her further away from the wrecksite.

Bray HeadHeynBr 19541210 knotsLeft St John NB Apr 6 to Dublin; Ar Apr 22black with a white shield containing a red hand, palm outwards
In the 9 or so days since she set sail, the Bray Head would have travelled 2160 miles, nearly three times the distance between the wreck and St John (New Brunswick). Her average speed is just over 7 knots, perhaps indicating that she was slowed by the weather conditions.
BostonianWilson & Furness LineBr 30301412 knotsLeft Boston Apr 13;
Pd Old Head Kinsale Apr 25;
Arr Manchester Apr 26
red body, black top
3 1/4 days would be needed to get to the wrecksite from Boston. Since she left sometime on April 13th, the Titanic was probably already on the bottom of the ocean when the Bostonian passed the site.
BuckminsterR. Livingstone & Co, LondonBr 12971210 knotsColon Sailed Mar 31 to Cartagena then to NY Ar Apr 26Black funnel, white band with blue letter "L"
This ship was obviously sailing south of Florida, before travelling to Cartagena (in Colombia presumably) and then heading north to New York. There is no reason why she should head out towards Newfoundland.
CaledoniaDampskibsselskabet. Hafnia A/SDa 1141129 knotsAr Aracuja Apr 2; left Tampa Apr 25black, red band with a white castle and three wavy lines underneath
It is some 2100 miles to the Titanic from Tampa, a journey time of nearly 10 days. While it is possible that she may have been in the vicinity of the Titanic given the dearth of data, it seems likely that she was confined to sailing in the Tampa-Aracuja region, having just sailed from Hamburg previously, a journey time of 42 days.
CallistoHudig & Veder, RotterdamDu 22841210 knotsLeft Rotterdam April 5th, passed Prawle April 7th, arrived Savannah April 24thblack funnel with a white band and a blue star in the band
It would take 6.75 days to travel from Savannah to the wreck, or April 16th. It is unlikely that she was in the vicinity.
Canada CapeElder Dempster & CoBr 27951210 knotsHull Mar 31 & Niuewe Waterweg Apr 2 Off the Wight Apr 3 to St John NB, Ar Apr 17yellow
St John (NB) to the Titanic is some 3.5 days of steaming; the Canada Cape was likely still to the east of the wreck. At 9 knots, the journey from Isle of Wight to St John would take 12 days. Compared to the actual time of 14 days, some sort of hinderance occurred.
"The Daily Telegraph" of St.John lists this ship as being in port on April 17th. The same newspaper reports that the Canda Cape encountered ice on Friday April 12th at 45 N, 47 40 W; the next day, at 4.30am, more ice was sighted at 44 15 N, 47 50 W, and then later at 7am. From the ice at 4.30am to the wrecksite is some 177 nautical miles, or 3/4s of a day steaming, putting the date of arrival sometime on the evening of April 13th. It would also entail a significant course deviation. It is likely that this ship was to the west of the Titanic when the disaster unfolded.
CanadianLeylandBr 59671413 knotsNY Apr 4 to Boston, left Apr 13 to Liverpool Ar Apr 24salmon pink black top
Taking three days to get to the wreck, this Leyland Line vessel cannot be considered a possibility.
CapreraNavigazione Generale ItalianaIt 32121210 knotsNewport News; left Apr 6 for Dakar/San Remo Sd Savona Apr 26black with a broad white band
5 and a quarter days would be needed to traverse the distance from Newport News to the Titanic, giving an arrival date of approximately April 11th. The Caprera would be the east at the time of the calamity.
CarisbrookMiller & Richards, GlasgowBr 14591210 knotsNorfolk (VA) Apr 4 to St Vincent (CV) Ar Apr 21black white band with red "M R" in band
5 and a quarter days would be needed to get to the Titanic from Norfolk, Virginia. Obviously the Carisbrook would have already passed by by April 14th/15th. The total direct distance from Norfolk to St Vincent is some 2900 miles, or 12 days. There is obviously some discrepancy; perhaps a more circuitous route was taken?
CarthaginianAllanBr 28561312 knotsLeft Liverpool Apr 7 to Philadelphia;
35 mls SE of Cape Race 16/4 at noon
Ar St Johns NF Apr 17
Red with narrow white band below black top
This ship had evidently been on the westbound route and had turned at 42 N, 47 W ("The Corner") before heading to one of her waypoints, St Johns in Newfoundland. At noon on April 16th, she was 300 miles north of the Titanic, and could have travelled the distance in 25 hours (an unwise move through the ice infested waters!); but this would entail carrying on her course to the east coast of America and then heading north, a bizarre nonsensical manoeuvre! There is an ice report from the Carthaginian on April 15th, showing that she was indeed well to the north and east of the wreck site.
The "Poverty Bay Herald" of April 19th, 1912 reports that the Carthaginian arrived at St John's on April 18th (or was this when the news was reported?). She apparently lay for two days in a thick fog off Cape Race.
CavourLamport & Holt, LiverpoolBr 31311212 knotsLeft New York April 6th; arrived in Manchester April 19thblack top, white band in the middle, dark blue base
Taking a little under 4 days to get to the Titanic (or April 10th approximately), this vessel must have been nowhere near the tragedy unles the Captain decided to linger for unknown reasons.
Cayo DomingoCuban SS Co, LondonBr 17121210.5 knotsSd Norfolk (Va) Apr 13 to Hamburg, Ar Apr 30red with a black top
Taking 5 days to get to the vicinity of the wreck at full speed, this ship is an impossible contender for a "mystery ship."
CenturionT & J. Harrison, LiverpoolBr 38541213 knotsNew Orleans Apr 7 to Liverpool Ar Apr 24black, white band, red horizontal line in white band
On April 16th, the Centurion reported ice a few miles south of the wrecksite. This may have hindered her as she could have completed the remainder of her journey in about 6.5 days, rather than the 8 days from ice report to arrival in Liverpool.
CharlestonFurnessBr 16631210 knotsHalifax Apr 13 to Mersey; Ar Manchester Apr 27Black
Just over 2 1/2 days would be needed from Halifax to the wreck. It is likely that this ship had just passed over the Titanic's resting place and was now to the east.
CharloisAmerican Petroleum CompanyDu 19191 (aft)39.5 knotsAr Phil. Apr 8, left Apr 11 for Antwerp Pd Delaware Breakwater Apr 11; Ar Antwerp Apr 29Black with a white band and a horizontal blue stripe in the white band
5.5 days would be needed to get to the wreck; this ship, a tanker, had but three or four.
ChelfordF.Yeoman, West HartlepoolBr 19071211 knotsMobile Apr 10 to Liverpool Ar May 5Black
The shortest distance from Mobile to the wreck is about 2400 miles, or 9 days giving an arrival date of about April 19th.
ChirripoElders & FyffesBr 25851212 knotsLimon Apr 9 to Avonmouth Ar Apr 24yellow with black top
From Limon (in the Honduras) to the wreck (not counting navigating around all the islands off the south and south east of Florida!) is 2400 miles, or nearly 8.5 days. SHe would therefore have arrived long after the calamity that sank the Titanic.
CireneD & E Fratelli Bozzo, GenoaIt 20471212 knotsNY Apr 9 to Marseilles Ar Apr 30black
It would take the Cirene just under 4 days to reach the wreck; it is therefore likely that she was already well to the east.
ClearfieldHuntingBr 26561211.5 knotsFrom Catania; Pd Tarifa Apr 8 ar Norfolk Va Apr 24black with band containing alternating red and white stripes and a 7 pointed star superimposed over the top
4.5 days would be needed to travel from Tarifa to the wreck, or about April 12-13th. The direct route would take 12 days, so there is a possibility of some form of delay in transit.
ClivegroveSidney Furneaux and CompanyBr 2265129 knotsHuelva Apr 3 (to Carteret, New Jersey); NY Ar Apr 22White with a black top.
The route of this ship makes it highly unlikely that it would stray into the North Atlantic off the Grand Banks.
ColumbiaAnchorBr 43173216 knotsLeft New York Apr 13
Arrived Clyde Apr 22
Black
Leaving New York on April 13th, and travelling at 16 knots, she would not reach the area of the wreck until late on April 15th, or the 16th. An ice report from the Columbia indicates that, on April 17th, she was already well to the north and east of the Titanic, and had evidently missed the more commonly taken track over, or slightly to the south of the Titanic. From the ice report to the Titanic was about 300 miles, achievable in nearly 19 hours. If the Columbia did encounter the ice near the Titanic why did she not report it? A logical explantion is that, heading east, she was on a track well to the south of the Titanic' westbound route.
Conrad MohrA/S C. Michelsen, BergenNo 20551 (aft)210 knotsChristiana Apr 3 to Philadelphia Ar Apr 22yellow with a band of black stars
This ship would take 5 and a quarter days from Philadelphia to the Titanic wreck (or April 17th). It is not likely that she was in the area.
Consul OlssonRederi A/B HelsingborgSw 16171210 knots?Gulfport Apr 1 to Genoa Arrive May 3rdblack with white letter H
The speed of this ship is not accurately known, but given that her triple expansion engine was constructed in 1899, it is likely that her speed was about 10 knots. From Genoa, it would take nearly 12.5 days to get from the wreck, indicating that she was almost certainly not in the viciity of the wreck.
CorinthianAllanBr 40461213 knotsSt John NB Apr 10 to Havre Apr 23Black top, white band, red body
Travelling at 13 knots, the Titanic wrecksite could be achieved in a little over 2 1/2 days. Since the Corinthian left port 4 or 5 days before the disaster, she was probably already to the east.
CranleyHarris & Dixon Ltd, LondonBr 29031213 knotsleft New York Apr 13 to Tripoliyellow with two red bands
Since it would take 3.5 days to get to the wreck, this ship could not have been in the area.
Crown of GranadaPrentice, Service & Henderson, GlasgowBr 17611211 knotsWest Indies Apr 4 to Clyde Ar Apr 20 (or 26)red with black top
Lloyds is unclear when this ship arrived at the Clyde. Regardless, the shortest distance would take 8 days from the wreck to the Clyde; thus it is not likely that she was at the Titanic on April 14th/15th. Her direct route would take her well to the south of the disaster anyway.
CymricWhite StarBr 85082315 knotsLeft Liverpool Apr 10 to Portland (Me);
60 miles W of Malin Head Apr 11 noon;
Arrived Portland April 19th
buff with black top.
It is not known from Lloyd's when the Cymric arrived in Boston, her first port of call in the US. However, she did transmit an ice warning on April 16th, when she was still well to the north and east of the Titanic's location.
DegamaElder Dempster and Co.Br 2245129 knotsSierra Leone Mar 3 to NY Ar Mar 25 left NY Apr 6 to WC Africa Ar Madeira Apr 21 Sd Las Palmas 2 Apr 24yellow
At 9 knots, it would require just over 5 days to reach the wreck (April 11th). Madeira to the Titanic is some 1660 miles, or just over 7 2/3 days travelling (April 13 or 14th). It would seem unlikely that this ship, based on the distance from New York to the wreck, would have been in the area at the time.
DeltaHansen & Closter, GermanyGe 1741129 knotsSavannah & Norfolk (Va) Mar 30 to Aalborg Ar Apr 22 Ar Hamburg May 4th??
I have been unable to determine the funnel colour for the Delta. However, given that she left Norfolk 16 days before the sinking, she could have travelled nearly 3500 miles away. This is well over double the distance from Norfolk to the wreck (1250 miles). The Delta was almost certainly nowhere near the Titanic.
DenisBoothBr 28071212 knotsLiverpool Feb 25 & Penarth Mar 2 to Manaos: Ar Para 28/3; then Manaos to NY Sd Para Apr 23 Black
The Denis was almost certainly cruising around in the area of Manaos and Para at the time of the Titanic tragedy.
DetmoldHolzapfel, NewcastleBr 21871210 knotsNarvik Mar 28 to Philadelphia Ar Apr 18Black
Given the speed of this ship, it would require 5 days to reach Philadelphia from the wreck. However, the Titanic foundered only 3 or so days previously.
DianaAvalon SS Co, St John'sBr 27512 ?Not knownSeal Fishery (Ar May 3rd, 1911) St John NF Ar Apr 29Not known
This ship was a wooden hulled barque, and may have been in the area when the Titanic went down.
DominionBowringBr 25811414 knotsHampton Roads Apr 9 to Madeira Ar Apr 24 Black with broad white band and red St. Andrew's cross
Although the Dominion was normally on the Liverpool to Philadelphia route, she did perform "intervening sailings" according to theshipslist.com website. The direct route from Hampton Roads to Madeira is 2900 miles, slightly to the south of the wrecksite; however, such a route gives an average speed of only 8 knots. At 14 knots, it would take 3 3/4 days to get to the Titanic but the possibility remains that she stopped off en-route somewhere. Perhaps a much more reasonable approach is to consider the Titanic-to-Madeira route, for she would not have stopped anywhere on that course (except the Azores?). That distance is 1650 miles, a journey possible in 5 days, which would take an interception date with the wreck location as being 18th-19th April. However, a speed of only 8 knots gives a date of arrival at the wreck at after noon on April 15th/16th. It is not likely she was near the wreck.
Dromonbyopner & Co, West HartlepoolBr 23531210 knotsLeft Newport News Apr 8 for Port Said; Pd Cape Henry Apr 8; Sd Gibraltar Apr 26black with red and white 2x2 chequerboard pattern
It would take the Dromonby a little over 5 days to get to the wreck site. Depending on her exact speed, route and the time she sailed, she may have been in the area of the wreck but it seems unlikely.
DulwichWatts, Watts, London,Br 2115129 knotsNarvik Mar 29 to Philadelphia Ar Apr 23black
Taking 5 1/2 days to reach the wreck and working backwards, we find that this ship may have been at the site of the disaster on April 18th. It is therefore not likely that she was in the area.
DurhamThompson SS Co, SunderlandBr 16861210 knotsHuelva Apr 1 to New Orleans, Ar Apr 24 or 25yellow, thin black top, yellow body has a white T in a red diamond
It is unclear of this ship's route, or even exactly when she arrived at New Orleans. However, we can extrapolate using the data from the Elise Marie, to be discussed soon. This was also a 10 knot ship and started from Baton Rouge, further upstream than New Orleans. It took her something under 8 days to get to Norfolk Virginia, and then there would be a journey of at least 5 days to the wreck. Even if the Durham missed the ports on the eastern coast of America, there would be insufficient time to get from the Titanic.
EagleBowring Bros, St John's NFBr 4581210 knotsSt Johns NF Mar 12 to Pools Island; On Newfoundland seal fishery Apr 19black, wide white band with a red diagnoal-diagonal cross in the band
Nothing more is known about this wooden hulled sealing ship.
Earl of CarrickMarshall & Dobbie, GlasgowBr 25601210 knotsNorfolk (Va) Apr 10 departed to Buenos Ayres Ar approx, May 12black top, red body, with a wide band containing a horizontal black stripe
This ship cannot be considered as she was heading in the wrong direction!
Earl of ForfarMarshall & Dobbie, GlasgowBr 25111210 knotsAr Philadelphia Apr 5; left NY Apr 23 for Montevideoblack top, red body, with a wide band containing a horizontal black stripe
Unfortunately, the navigation data for this ship is incomplete. We can surmise that this ship was travelling from port to port along the eastern coast of the US before heading south to Montevideo.
East PointFurness, WithyBr 33061210 knotsLondon Apr 1 to Philadelphia Ar Apr 17black
This ship is unlikely to have seen the death of the Titanic; it would have taken 5 days for the journey at full speed.
ElioD & E. Bozzo, GenoaIt 2135128 knotsMarseilles Mar 29 to New York; Sd Lisbon Apr 6 New York Ar Apr 23black
At 9 knots, the Elio would take just under 6 days to get to the wreck. It is possible that she was in the area if one considers the ice that she would have encountered.
Elise MarieDeutsch-Amerik Petroleum GesGe 20411210 knotsBaton Rouge Mar 29 & Norfolk (Va) Apr 6; Hamburg Ar Apr 24black; with two thin white bands;between these bands, a depiction of the house flag (red letter R on vertical black, yellow, red stripes)
Leaving Norfolk on April 6th, and travelling direct to the Titanic would take just over 5 days; it it therefore likely that she was past the wreck area and well on her way to Hamburg.
Ella SayerFisher Renwick & Co, NewcastleBr 16131211 knotsSwansea Apr 5 to Parrsboro Ar Apr 25black body with three thin white stripes
At full speed, it would take 3.5 days to get to the wreck, putting an arrival date of approx. April 21st. Therefore, the Ella Sayer was almost certainly still to the east.
Emanuele AccameS & E. Accame, GenoaIt 21751210 knotsLeft Tampa Mar 20; Sd Port Eads Mar 31; sd Norfolk (Va) Apr 8; Pd Sagres Apr 22; Ar Genoa Apr 27yellow body, black top with a black letter "A" in the yellow area
With a 5 day journey, this ship would have arrived at the wreck on April 13th, or perhaps 14th. It is possible that she was in the area, but not likely.
EmiliaUnione Austriaca, TriesteA-H 23211210 knotsNorfolk (Va) Apr 11 to Trieste Pd Gibraltar Apr 27Red funnel with black top, broad white band on the red
At full speed, the Emilia would have arrived at the Titanic on April 16th, or later depending on when she sailed. She was therefore not in the area.
Enrichettadall'Orso & Co, La SpeziaIt 23391210 knotsNiuewe Waterweg Mar 17 to Genoa; Pd Lizard March 24; Norfolk (Va) Apr 28 to Buenos AyresBlack funnel with a green band; white letter "D" in the band.
This is a real puzzle: after passing the Lizard on March 24th, the Enrichette is reported as leaving Norfolk 35 days later. What happened in between? We do not know. The Lizard to Genoa is some 1960 miles, or just over 8 days steaming, taking us to April 1st. Presumably the Enrichetta was prepared for next voyage. How long would this take? 2 days? 3 days? A week? The voyage from Genoa to the wreck site (which would take her away from her course to Norfolk) is about 2970 miles (just over 12 1/3 days): This leaves a gap of about 1 2/3 days in which the Enrichette would have to be turned around for her next voyage. This seems unlikely.
EO SaltmarshPensacola Trading Company (Watts)Br 25191210 knotsLiverpool Mar 31 to Havana Pd South Stack Mar 31; Ar Havana Apr 20Black
Navigating around the islands off the Florida peninsular increases the most direct route to some 2000 nautical miles, or a journey time of 8 1/3 days. A direct route to Havana would take this ship nowhere near the Titanic anyway, so we must conclude that the E.O. Saltmarsh was not near the wrecksite.
ErikErik SS Co Ltd (Job Bros)Br 4611 ?4 ???Hudson Bay to St John's NF Ar Oct 1911; seal fishery to St John's NF Ar May 2ndyellow with small depiction of house flag: blue rectangle with a white rectange and below, a red triangular pennant
This wooden ship could have been in the area at the time.
EriphiaDampfschiffs-Rhederei "Horn" Akt.Ge 1289129 knotsleft Caibarien Mar 30; Nrfolk (Va) Apr 4 to Havre Ar Apr 22black body, with a depiction of the company flag (white letter "H" on horizontal stripes of red and dark blue)
It would take this ship a shade under 6 days to reach the Titanic. She is not likely to have lingered in the area of the wreck and is thus not a strong contendor.
EspagneCGTFr 56492218 knotsSt Nazaire Apr 5 to Vera Cruz Ar Apr 29 Pd St Michael's April 9red funnel with a black top
The distance from St Michael's to the wreck is 1100 miles, or just over 2.5 days. Even if this ship was heading for the Titanic, she would have been there about April 11th, or 12th and there is no reason for this ship, a passenger liner, to linger with schedules to keep. Negating this is the described ports of call; they are south of the Titanic and thus no detour would be permissable.
Esperanza de LarrinagaLarrinaga SS CoBr 32261210.5 knotsGalveston Mar 28; sd Newport News Apr 8; Manchester Ar Apr 21black body with a wide band containing alternating stripes of yellow-red-yellow-red-yellow
With a transit time of 5 days, the Esperanza de Larrinaga would arrive at the wreck on April 13th. She was probably to the east when the calamity occurred.
EstoniaRussian AmericanRu 27011413 knotsLeft NY Apr 11
Sailed from Rotterdam Apr 29
Buff
This ship plied the Libau-Copenhagen-Rotterdam-New York route. We do not know when she arrived in Rotterdam, which gives April 29th as the outside date, indicating a transit time from New York of 18 days at the most. Given her speed of 13 knots, this would give 3 1/2 days to get to the area of the altercation, meaning a date of April 14th-15th. However, as is common with nearly all the vessels travelling eastward, she was probably on the southern route to Europe, or to the south of the Titanic's route. The total distance would be some 3400 miles, yielding an average speed of nearly 8 knots, a ridiculously low speed. At 13 knots, the distance could be traversed in 11 days, or an arrival in Rotterdam about April 22nd. This is a matter open for further research.
EtonianWilson and Furness-LeylandBr 41351412 knotsAntwerp Apr 3 to NY Ar Apr 16red with black top
The Etonian could not have traversed the approximately 1000 miles in such a short space of time.
EttrickdaleR. Mackill & Co, GlasgowBr 24681210 knotsNewport News Apr 3 to Dakar Ar Apr 22red with a black top
From the time she left Newport News, the Titanic disaster would occur in 11-12 days. The time to the wreck is only a little over 5 days indicating that this ship was almost certainly to the east.
EuropaLa VeloceIt 45472216 knotsLeft Naples Mar 30; Sidi Said to Naples arrived Apr 22Buff with a red star
This ship is listed as being on the Genoa-to-New York route on theshipslist.com, but if so, the data in Lloyd's is incomplete. We can try to determine her route and location based on what would have been the tail end of the journey. "Sidi Said" probably refers to the port in Tunisia. If so, this would be a strange diversion and indicative of routes that other La Veloce ships took in the Mediterranean (perhaps the Europa had been temporarily diverted to another route?). The 2900 mile journey to the wreck could have been achieved in a little under 8 days at top speed. While this is possible, the detour to Sidi Said compresses the possible journey time making a journey from the wreck to Genoa via Sidi Said unlikely.Taking Sidi Said out of the route, we have a hypothesised return journey from Genoa to New York being performed in 23 days. This return route alone would take a shade under 21 days. But once a ship reaches port, it has the task of unloading passengers and their possessions, replenishing stocks of food, embarking new passengers, unloading and loading cargo, and refuelling, not to mention the cleaning that a vessel in port undertakes due to coal dust coating everything. It seems highly unlikely that this could be achieved in the two days difference it would take between the total journey time and the time "door-to-door" from/to Genoa.
Falls of NithWright, Graham & Co, GlasgowBr 30211210 knotsSavannah Apr 4 to Hamburg, Ar Apr 23yellow with a black top
The time to get to the wreck from Savannah would be just over 6 1/2 days. Unless there was some hidden latency, it is likely that this ship was far to the east of the Titanic. The total distance from Savannah to Hamburg via the wreck site is about 17 days, compared to the approx. 19 days she actually took.
FedericaUnione Austriaca, TriesteA-H 22611210 knotsGalveston Apr 11 to Pensacola, then to Barcelona; Pd Gibr May 1; Ar Barcelona May 5black top, red body with a horizontal white band halfway up
It is obvious that this ship would still be in the Gulf of Mexico on April 14th/15th.
FedoraMartinolich, LissinpiccoloA-H 22721211.5 knotsNewport News April 11 to Genoa and Trieste; Sd Norfolk (Va) and Pd Cape Henry April 18th; Pd Gibraltar May 4Black with a broad white band
This ships represents an enigma. She leaves Newport News on April 11th, but doesn't pass Cape Henry, just a few miles away, for another week! Norfolk (Va) is some 4.5 days away from the wreck; this is plausible. However, from Gibraltar would take about 7.5 days, putting the day of arrival at the wreck at April 27th. Working back from here, we get a departure date of April 22nd. Port records may provide more clues on this ship.
The "Daily Press" and other newspapers of Newport News lists the Fedora as sailing on April 18th for Genoa. She could not have got from the Titanic in time to be ready for departure on the 18th.
FinnJacob Christensen, BergenNo 24731210 knotsLeft Philadelphia about Apr 2 to Genoa Ar Apr 22yellow with a black top
The shortest direct route from Genoa to the wreck would take nearly 12.5 days of steaming. The Finn was therefore nowhere near the wrecksite.
FlorenceFurness Withy & CoBr 16091210 knotsLeft NY Apr 11; Ar Lisbon Apr 27black funnel
Taking over 4 1/2 days to get to the wreck, this ship would not be able to reach the Titanic in time.
FlorizelC. T. Bowring, LiverpoolBr 19801213 knotsAr St Johns NF Apr 3, Ar Halifax Apr 15; St Johns NF left Apr 26, for New York(?)Black with broad white band and red St. Andrew's cross
Taking nearly two full days to travel from the wreck to Halifax, it is clear this ship was nowhere near the Titanic.
FrankbyMacvicar, Marshall, LiverpoolBr 2618129 knotsNY Apr 11 to Sydney; Spotted at 38 N 7 W by Brandenburg which ar Bremerhaven Apr 27red with a black top
Taking just over 5 days to get to the wreck, this ship would not be able to reach the vicinity of the sinking in time to see the Titanic founder.
FridlandBrostrom, GoteborgSw 27371212.5 knotsSavanah Apr 3 to Bremerhaven Ar Apr 20 Hamburg Ar Apr 26yellow with a small depiciton of house folag (blue circle with three gold crowns) and surounded by blue letters A S O K
Taking just over 5 1/4 days to travel the distance from Savannah to the Titanic, the Fridland would have long since passed the area.
GammaB.J. Van Hengel, AmsterdamDu 13361210 knotsAmsterdam Mar 28 Pd Dover Mar 29 to Gulfport Ar Apr 20 (Pd Sand Key April 19)yellow funnel with a black top; in a band is a depiction of the house flag; a yellow star on horizontal red white and blue bands
It is some 2100 miles from Sand Key to the wreck; an impossible journey in 4 days at 10 knots.
GammaHansen and Closter, ApenradeGe 1433128 knotsAr Norfolk (Va) Apr 6; left Apr 10 to Rotterdam Ar Apr 29??
Norfolk to the wreck is some 1250 miles. Travelling at 8 knots, it would require 6.5 days, or April 16th. This ship would have arrived on the scene a day or more after the Titanic had gone to the bottom.
General GordonMaclay & McIntyre, GlasgowBr 1945129 knotsClyde Apr 9 to Louisburg Ar Apr 21 Pd Kildonan Apr 9yellow with a black top
Louisburg is 504 nautical miles from the wrecksite, a journey achievable in 2 1/3 days, or April 18th/19th. It is likely that this ship was still to the east of the wrecksite at the time of the collision.
George HarperOtto Zelck, RostockGe 990128.5 knotsCardiff Apr 5 to Halifax Ar Apr 22black with two white bands
Juding by her top speed, the George Harper would be at the area of the sinking on or about April 19th.
George WashingtonNorddeutscher-LloydGe 53792418.5 knotsBremerhaven Apr 6 to Ar NY Apr 16/4yellow
At 18.5 knots, the approximately 1100 miles could be covered in 2.5 days. Therefore this ship must be discounted from our analysis.
GeorgiaUnione Austriaca, TriesteA-H 35381210.5 knotsTrieste Mar 28 and Palermo Apr 6 to Galveston Pd Gibraltar Apr 11 Sd New York Apr 30Red funnel with black top, broad white band on the red
From Gibraltar to the wreck is some 2080 miles, or 8 1/4 days (April 19th). This ship would be nowhere near the wrecksite.
GeorgiaHamburg America LineGe 20221211 knotsHamburg Mar 29 & Antwerp Apr 2 & Malaga W Indies and Havana Sd Cadiz Apr 14 Havana Ar May 1 (25/4/12)Buff
Sailing from Cadiz on April 14th, this ship was far distant from the wreck.
GertyUnione AustriacaA-H 27151212 knotsNew Orleans Apr 4 to Barcelona;
Ar Norfolk (Va) Apr 11;
Ar Barcelona May 6
Red funnel with black top, broad white band on the red
The date of departure from Norfolk is not recorded, but the journey to the wreck would be less than 4 1/2 days, a possibility. However, this assumes that the Gerty left Norfolk immediately upon arriving, without the need to deposit or replenish supplies for its forthcoming ocean voyage, or load/unload cargo. This does not seem likely. If we work backwards from Barcelona, the direct journey is nearly 3900 miles, almost directly over the wreck. But this journey would only take 13.5 days, implying a depature date from Norfolk of April 23rd. It is probable that, unless the Gerty's crew decided to steam aimlessly in the North Atlantic for days, and not worrying about deadlines, this vessel was still in port in America.
"The Virginian Pilot" for April 19th reported that the Gerty had left Norfolk the previous day.
Glenarm HeadG, Heyn, BelfastBr 25271210 knotsLeft New Orleans Apr 4; Sd Port Eads Apr 4; Pd Sand Key Apr 7; Ar Belfast Apr 26black with a white shield containing a red hand, palm outwards
The absolute minimum distance that this ship would have to travel is about 2100 miles, or nearly 9 days steaming, which would take the date of arrival at the wreck at about 16th April.
GlendeneMilburn LundBr 2428128.5 knotsHuelva April 10 to Baltimore Ar Apr 28yellow with a black top
At top speed, it would take 10 days to get to the Titanic from Huelva, or April 20th.
GleneskMilburn Lund & CoBr 20931210 knotsLeft Cadiz Apr 12; Ar St John (NF) Apr 26Yellow with black top
Even a cursory examination of the departure date from Cadiz and the distance involved shows that this ship was nowhere near the Titanic.
GorredijkHolland America LineDu 33131211 knotsBaltimore Apr 10 to Rotterdam; Pd Dover Apr 24 Ar Rotterdam Apr 24yellow with alternating horizontal bands of green-white-green
From Baltimore, the journey time would be nearly 5 1/4 days, meaning that she would just have missed the sinking if she followed that route.
GrampianAllanBr 64391215 knotsleft St John NB Apr 14 to Liverpool arrive on Apr 23Black top, white band, red body
It would take over two days to reach the Titanic from St John. She was almost certainly not in the area of the shipwreck.
GraysonC. L. Dimon, Wilmington, DelAm 19931211 knotsArecibo Mar 19 to NO Ar Sabine Apr 1; Ar Baltimore Apr 9; left NY Apr 21 to San Juan??
Baltimore is about 1380 miles from the Titanic, or nearly 5 1/4 days. While it may have been possible for this ship to be near the Titanic, it seems likely that this ship was skirting the eastern seaboard of the US before reaching New York and then heading south again.
"The Virginian Pilot" reported that this ship left Baltimore on April 18th. Therefore she could not have been at the Titanic.
GwladysSymonds, Samuel & Co, CardiffBr 2530129 knotsPortimao to NY Sd Lisbon Apr 7; Ar NY Apr 23black top, red body and white band with blue letter S in band
The Gwaldys would be at the wreck on c. April 18th; she reported ice to the south and well to the east of the Titanic on April 16th.
HaardtBolten & Miller, HamburgGe 1858129 knotsNrflk (Va) Apr 1 for Danzig Pd Prawle Apr 17 Ar Cuxhaven Apr 23black
Since Prawle is on the southern coast of England, to the east of the Lizard, it would be impossible for this ship to have travelled from the wreck. The Titanic, travelling over twice as fast took 4 days to get from the south-western coast of England to the wreck!
HannoverNorddeutscher LloydGe 46351213 knotsBremerhaven Apr 4 to Philadelphia arrive Apr 17yellow
From Philadelphia to the wreck is some 1240 miles, a journey which could be completed in nearly 4 days, or April 12th-13th. The Hannover could not have been near the Titanic and made it to Philadelphia in time. Her weather logs showed that at noon on 13th April she was at 43 15 N, 51 41 W; the next day she was at 42 51 N, 58 39 W. Clearly she was too far west at the time of the collision.
The New York Times of April 18th confirms the arrival date and notes that, at 10pm on Sunday, the Hannover was at 43 6 N, 56 30W, or 325 miles away from the wreck. Although the wireless installation was reported to be faulty, the Hannover had received many ice warnings, hence the large detour from her intended route.
HanseatMowinckel & Son, BergenNo 22771210 knotsNewport News Apr 2 to Marseilles Ar Apr 23black, between two thin white bands, a depiction of house flag (letters 4 L and X)
Newport News to the wreck is about 5 days steaming, which takes the arrival date up to April 7th. The total journey, via the wrecksite would take 17 days, but the total journey is 21 days. Perhaps there was a delay or a longer route was taken?
HarcroftJ & C Harrison, LondonBr 25871210 knotsDunkirk Apr 9 to Sewall's Point Pd Beachy Head Apr 10 ; Sd Sewell's Point May 4black, white band; black letter H in band
Beacy Head to the wreck would take nearly 9 days, making it impossible for this ship to get to the Titanic. Incidentally, the speed indicates an extraordinarily slow one to Sewall's Point!
HarfleurJ & C Harrison, LondonBr 28471212 knotsHartlepool Mar 26 to Norfolk (Va) & Sydney (CB) Pd Dunnet Head Mar 28; Ar Newport News Apr 21; sd to Norfolk (Va) next dayblack funnel, white band with black letter "H" inside
4 1/3 days would be required to get from the wreck to Newport News, putting the time of rendezvous with the wreck at about April 17th. It is possible that this ship was still to the east.
HarmonicJ & C Harrison, LondonBr 18961211 knotsDunkirk Apr 7 to Pensacola Pd Dungeness Apr 7; Ar Pensacola Apr 30black, white band; black letter H in band
The fastest route to the wreck from Pensacola would take 9 days, giving a putative arrival date of April 21st. From Dungeness to the wreck is 8 days, or 15th April. On this basis, the Harmonic may have been in the area of the wreck. But there is such a wide disrepancy between the journey times (17 days compared to a real time of 23 days) that we must consider that the Harmonic took a longer route that missed the wrecksite, she may have been hindered in her crossing or that she did not travel at her top speed. At any rate, it seems unlikely that this ship would operate at full speed from Dungeness to the wreck, and then dawdle for the last leg of the journey.
Harry LuckenbachEdgar Luckenbach, NYAm 17991310 knotsManuabo to New York Ar April 20black
Given its route, this ship, a tanker, would probably still be tot he south, on its course from Puerto Rico.
HaulwenW & C. T. Jones, CardiffBr 26121211.5 knotsBrake Mar 25 to Baltimore - left April 16th to Liverpoolblack
5 days would be needed to get to the wrecksite. This ship is a poor contendor given that this ship left Baltimore the day after the Titanic sank!
Helene MenzellMenzell & Co, HamburgGe 31501210.5 knotsNO Apr 6 to Rotterdam Pd Peachy Head Apr 24black, dark blue band with a white triangle on which a red letter "M" is located
The most direct route to the wreck would take just under 10 days - or April 16th. Working the other way, the wreck to Beachy Head would require 8 days - April 16th again. This ship was more than likely still to the south west when the wreck occurred.
HelvetiaW. Lowden & Co, LiverpoolBr 27191210 knotsLouisburg Mar 29 to St Vincent (CV), left Apr 17; Ar Quebec May 7 Montreal May 8 776black funnel, red band, black diamond in band
From St Vincent to the wreck is some 2000 miles, or over 8 days steaming. This ship could not have been at the wreck.
HermWilh. Wilhelmsen, TonsbergNo 25161210 knotsDundee Apr 6 to NY; Pd Dunnet Head Apr 7 Ar New York Apr 24black with two (?) dark blue bands
Taking about 4 1/2 days from New York to the wreck would give a date of about April 19th; it is likely that the Herm was still to the east when the Titanic hit the iceberg.
HermannH. Schuldt, FlensburgGe 1290129 knotsPensacola Apr 5 to Naples Ar May 4black, dark blue band with white triangle and red letter S inside
Pensacola to the wreck would take nearly 11 days, and from there to Naples would take 14 days. On this basis, the Hermann would not be at the wrecksite. The direct route, from the tip of the Florida peninsular to Naples is well to the south of the wreck anyway!
HispaniaActies Hispania (Rolf Seeberg)No 6831 ?2 ????Clyde Mar 25 to Mobile Sd Nieuwe Waterweg Mar 31 Pd Sand Key Apr 18 Ar Mobile Apr 23white body with a red cross; black top ???
The speed of this ship is not known, but she could not have made it from Sand Key to the wreck in 3 days.
HornseeH.C. Horn, LubeckGe 1681129.5 knotsEmden April 3rd to St John's NF Pd Prawle April 5th; Ar St John (New Brunswick) April 24th.Black with blue and red band, on which is superimposed a white letter "H"
Prawle to the wreck would take us to some time on April 13th. Unless this ship was hindered, the Hornsee was probably not near the wreck, but remains a possibility.
HorsleyM. H. Horsley, West HartlepoolBr 24101210 knotsCalais Mar 31 Pd Scilly Apr 2 Ar NY Apr 20black with a red "S"
At 10 knots, the distance to New York could be covered in a little over 4.5 days, putting the arrival date at the Titanic at about April 14th. She may have been in the area.
HudsonCompagnie Generale TransatlantiqueFr 35191212 knotsNY Apr 11 to Bordeaux & Dunkirk Ar Bordeaux Apr 24red funnel with a black top
The Hudson has been discussed above. She may have been in the area of the wreck.
ImaniE. Bates & SonsBr 29791212 knotsNewport News Apr 5 to Port Said Pd Cape Henry Apr 5; Pd Sagres Apr 18; Port Said Apr 26Black
Sagres to the wreck is about 1900 miles, or over 6 1/2 days, putting any possible intercept with the Titanic at about April 12th. She cannot have been in the area.
IndianLeyland LineBr 59911412 knotsNO Mar 31 to Bremen Sd Newport News Apr 10 Pd Prawle Apr 23, Ar Bremerhaven Apr 26Pink with black top
Newport News to the Titanic is about 1250 miles, or 4 1/3 days; while it is possible that she may have been at the wreck, the Leyland Line dispatch to the Board of Trade neglects to mention this ship as being in the area.
IndianolaJ. H. Welsford & CoBr 28781210.5 knotsHavre Apr 5 to Hampton Roads Ar Norfolk (Va) Apr 25; Ar Galveston May 7Black
Le Havre to the wreck is, via the quickest route, some 2100 miles- or 8 1/3 days. To get to Norfolk (Va) would require nearly 5 days. It is possible that this ship took a detour to avoid the ice reports, hence the discrepancy in the transit times.
IndradeoRoydenBr 35071212 knotsSpotted Apr 10 39 N 16 W; Manila Feb 16 to NY Ar Boston Apr 23; arrive NY Apr 26red with a black top
Boston to the wreck is nearly 3.5 days; but, we have an ice report from this ship on April 17th, where she encountered ice slightly to the north and well to the east of the wreck. This would account for her slow journey time to Boston.
IndravelliRoydenBr 31211211 knotsNY Apr 10 to Far East Sd Gibraltar Apr 28red black top
New York to the wreck would require just over 4 days; she may have been in the area at the time of the sinking
Inishowen HeadHeynBr 19881210 knotsSt John (NB) Apr 13 to Belfast Ar Apr 26Black with white shield and a red hand palm outwards.
Nearly 3 1/2 days would be needed to get to the wreck (April 16th). It is likely that this ship was still to the west.
InverclydeRoydonBr 32141211 knotsYokohama Jan 27 to USA Ar Boston Apr 22 Ar NY Apr 26red with black top
Nearly 3 3/4 days would be required to get from the wreck to Boston, putting the date at April 19th. This ship was probably not near the Titanic.
IrthingtonMaclay and MacIntyreBr 18401210 knotsClyde March 22nd to Baltimore; sd Hampton Roads 16th April (left Baltimore April 2nd)Yellow with a black top.
Clyde to Baltimore is about 3500 miles, or 14.5 days (April 5th). How then does this ship manage to leave Baltimore, let alone arrive by the 2nd? Presumably this is a mistake. If we take the "16th April" date, this removes the Irhtington from the possibility that she was near the Titanic. Whatever, this ship seems an unlikely candidate if she did indeed arrive about April 5th.
JL LassenJ. Lost, FlensburgBr 13091210 knotsGalveston Mar 26 to Norresundby Sd Newport News Apr 5 Pd Hartlepool Apr 23 Aalborg Ar Apr 26??
Nearly 5 1/4 days would be needed to get to the Titanic from Newport News. This would put the date at April 10th. It is certain that this ship was to the east of the Titanic.
John PenderEastern Telegraph CoBr 11051214 knotsPraia (Cape Verde) Feb 9 to Ar Plymouth Mar 3 ... N Atlantic to Plymouth Ar Apr 24yellow
The route of this cable laying vessel is not known. Plymouth to the wreck is about 1950 miles, or nearly 6 days. Where was she before this?
KasengaEllerman and BucknallBr 29251210 knotsCalcutta Mar 1; Boston Ar April 19thBlack with 6 white diamond (showing only three from any one angle)
This ship could have been in the area of the wreck.

The Boston Daily Globe (April 20th, 1912) reported that this ship was on the northern route for steamers traversing the Atlantic, but that her progress was hampered by miles of field ice "off the [Grand] Banks." She is reported to have encountered fog three days before arriving in Boston, perhaps the same fog that thePisa, Saturnia et. al. met?>

KatherineJ. S. Allison & Co ?Br 18911210 knotsBrnswick (Ga) Apr 7 to Manchester; Ar Liverpool Apr 24; Ar Manchester Apr 25black ?
Although Lloyd's says that this ship was an Allinson vessel (of which I have been unable to find any funnel colourings), other sources suggest that she was a Furness, Withy and Co. Ltd ship. From Brunswick, Georgia, to the wreck is 1650 miles, or just under 7 days at top speed. If the Katherine was delayed, or failed to travel at top speed, she could have been in the area of the wreck on April 14th/15th. From the wreck to Liverpool would take another 8.5 days, giving a total time of nearly 15 1/2 days, under the 17 days this ship actually took according to the records.
KelvindaleJ. Black & CoBr 20141212 knotsleft Liverpool on April 4th and arrived at Louisburg on April 18yellow with a black top
It would take just under 2 days to get to Louisburg from the wreck. It is possible that she was hindered by ice that delayed her progress.
KelvinheadJ. Black & CoBr 19421210 knotsHuelva Apr 9 to Norfolk (Va) Pd Sagres Apr 10; Ar Norfolk Apr 28yellow with a black top
Sagres to the wreck is about 1900 miles (nearly 8 days); the Kelvinhead could not have made it in time.
KenilworthR. S. DalglieshBr 17691210 knotsLeft Pensacola Apr 4 to Antwerp Apr 30black top, blue body, red "D" in blue
Antwerp to the wreck is about 2300 nautical miles (just over 9 1/2 days). It is likely that this ship was to the east of the wreck at the time of the Titanic calamity.
King RobertJ. A. Walker & CoBr 2514128 knotsTyne Apr 7 to Norfolk (Va) Pd Lizard Apr 10; Norfolk Va Ar May 1red with a black top
Lizard to the wreck is about 1900 miles, or nearly 10 days. The King Robert would still be steaming westward and to the east of the Titanic at the time of the collision.
KingstonianLeylandBr 42071413 knotsNO Mar 26 to London Sd Newport News Apr 10; London Ar Apr 24Pink with black top
Taking 4 days to get to the Titanic, this ship may have been in the area, but its presence was discounted by a memorandum from the Leyland Line.
KintailJ.A. Gardiner & CoBr 22521210.5 knotsLeith Apr 2 to Philadelphia Pd Dunnet Head Apr 3; Ar Phil Apr 19Black
Philadelphia to the wreck is about 1200 miles, or just under 5 days. The Kintail may have been in the area.
KiteBowringBr 190?2 ???Black with broad white band and red St. Andrew's crossBlack with broad white band and red St. Andrew's cross
This wooden hulled ship could have been in the area of the Titanic
KonakryElder Dempster & CoBr 23311 (aft)310 knotsNrfolk (Va) Mar 30 to Sierra Leone Ar Apr 18Yellow
While it it not known which port in Sierra Leone this ship was headed towards, her arrival date and transit time (about 12 days) precludes this ship from being near the Titanic.
KorannaBucknallBr 22671210 knotsNY Apr 6 to Bombay and Calcutta Pd Sagres Apr 20 Sd Suez May 1Black with circlet of six white diamonds (three visible from any viewing angle)
Just over 4 1/2 days would be needed to get from New York to the wreck co-ordinates. This indicates April 10th, by which time the Titanic had just started on her maiden voyage.
KuraStephens & MawsonBr 15211210 knotsBremerhaven Mar 2 & St Johns (NF) New York Ar Apr 2 left NY Apr 13 to Genoa Pd Gibraltar April 29??
It would require 4 1/2 days to reach the Titanic at 10 knots; the Kura had but two!
LabradorJames Baird Co. LtdBr 2561 ?2???Seal Fishery to St John's NF Ar April 16, 1911: left St John's May 11 to the ClydeBlack funnel with a dark blue star
It is not known if this ship, a wooden barque, was still in St John's on 14th/15th April.
LackawannaAnglo America (oil)Br 24121 (aft)310 knotsManchester Mar 30 to Philadelphia Ar Apr 17Red with a black top
This ship, a tanker, could not have traversed the distance in just two days.
La FlandreH.F. Swan, NetherlandsDu 12781210 knotsAntwerp Mar 28 to Philadelphia Pd Lizard Mar 30 Ar New York Apr 18??
It would require 4 1/2 days to reach the Titanic at 10 knots; if La Flandre was near the Titanic on April 15th, she may have been able to reach New York. This ship must remain a possibility. Other information suggests that she was owned by the American Petroleum Company, had three masts, an aftward positioned funnel which was black with a band containing white and red horizontal stripes.

The "Spokane Daily Chronicle" of April 18th reports on the voyage of La Flandre. She encountered an ice field at 9pm on April 11th at 42 02 N, 50 07 W while steaming through fog. The ice field was so thick the ship could not penetrate it, and steamed for an extra 30 miles south to clear the ice.

LauraUnioneA-H 39141215 knotsleft New York Apr 10;
Passed Gibraltar on April 20th;
Arrived Trieste Apr 27
Red funnel with black top, broad white band on the red.
New York to the Titanic is nearly 1100 miles, or 3 days steaming. It is likely that the Laura was already well to the east. The journey from New York to Gibraltar could indeed have been made in 10 days indicating that her journey eastward was not hindered by ice or weather.
LingfieldWoods, Tylor, BrownBr 26141212 knotsSavannah Apr 4 to Liverpool; Ar Liverpool Apr 20Black
From Liverpool to the wreck would require 7 days at full speed. The Lingfield would be at the wreck well before April 14th/15th. The trip to Savannah would take less than 6 days.
LituaniaRussian AmericanRu 27561413 knotsLibau Apr 1 to NY arrival on Apr 16buff
This ship was on the Libau-Rotterdam-New York route but her date of arrival and departure from Rotterdam is not recorded. What we can say is that, even at 13 knots, it would be impossible for her to reach New York from the wrecksite
LlanberisRadcliffeBr 26251210 knotsBaltimore Mar 29 to Naples, Ar Naples Apr 23Black funnel; in a band, diagnoal red and white stripes or black funnel with two thin white stripes
Baltimore to the wreck is about 1400 miles; from the wreck to Naples is about 3100 via the shortest route. Using these distances, the times to traverse these two legs of the journey would be nearly 6 days, and nearly 13 days. While tht total time (25 days) do not match these computed "best possible" times, it is clear from the arrival in Naples that the Llanberis could not have been at the wreck in time. Perhaps the ship stopped en route, perhaps in the Mediterranean?
LloydsenC.Christensen, NorwayNo 24713??St Johns NF arrive Mar 8thBlack with a white square; within this, a red square showing a golden lion holding a staff
The Lloydsen is reported as being repaired after being in collision with the steamer "Alf"; her next mention is a journey from the Seal Fishery to St Johns NF arriving Mayr 2nd. Where she was in between these two events is unknown.
Lord DufferinIrish Shipowners Co Ltd, BelfastBr 30071213 knotsHamburg Mar 29 to Sand Key Pd Scilly Apr 6, Ar Tampa Apr 23Black
Scilly to the wreck is about 1900 miles, or 6 days, putting an arrival date of April 12th. It is likely she was west of the wrecksite three days later.
LouisburgDominion Coal LtdBr 11821 ?2 ??Halifax Mar 27 (cld) to Louisburg, to St Johns (NF) Ar Apr 13 ; Sydney (CB) Ar April 17th; Portland (Me) Cld May 13Black, red band, with a black diamond in the band.
Unless this ship's captain was in the habit of straying hundreds of miles out to sea as he travelled from New Foundland to Cape Breton, this ship is not a contendor. More than likely, she was hugging the eastern Canadian coast.
LouisianianLeyland LineBr 23861210 knotsClyde Apr 6 to Newport News and Tampico; Ar Newport News Apr 23Pink with black top
Newport News to the wreck would require over 5 days at full speed. It is possible that the Louisianian was to the east when the Titanic sank. On April 15th she transmitted an ice warning 20 miles to the south and less than 20 miles to the east of the wreck co-ordinates.
LuxLane & MacandrewBr 16341210 knotsAr NY Apr 8, in port Apr 13, left Apr 14 to Rouen Ar April 30white with a black top with two thin black bands
Leaving New York on April 14th, the Lux could not have made it in time.
LuzonArmamento Marittimi OrienteA-H 31811210 knotsSavannah Apr 2 to Genoa Cld Norfolk (Va) Apr 5 Ar Fiume May 11??
The Luzon could have covered the distance to the wreck in 5 1/4 days, or April 10th. She would therefore be to the east of the Titanic at the time of the collision.
MacedoniaEmbiricos Bros, AndrosGr 35402217 knotsPireus Apr 4 to NY Called St Michael's 12/4 Ar NY Apr 19Black with white band and on it, the letter "E"
Just over 2 2/3rds of a day would be needed to get to New York from the Titanic, indicating a date of about April 17th. It is about 2 3/4s of a day to get from St Michael's to the wreck (or about April 14th)... this ship may have been in the area at the time of the sinking, perhaps slowed by ice?
Manchester CorporationManchester Liners LtdBr 34661411 knotsManchester Apr 7 to Philadelphia Pd Fastnet Apr 10 Philadelphia Ar Apr 22ndRed with black band and black top
Although reaching Fastnet a day earlier than the Titanic, this ship was half its speed, and so could not have caught up with the Titanic in time.
Manchester MarinerManchester Liners LtdBr 26721210 knotsSt John NB Apr 5 to Manchester Ar Apr 19Red with black band and black top
The journey from St John to the Titanic would take only 3.5 days. The Manchester Mariner was almost certainly to the east of the wrecksite.
Manchester ShipperManchester LinersBr 25421212 knotsPhiladelphia Apr 10 to Manchester; Ar Liverpool Apr 24Red with black band and black top
From Philadelphia to the wreck is only 4 1/3 days, implying that she could have been in the vicinity if she steamed at top speed. However, her total journey time (14 days) is less than the time it would take via a direct route at top speed (11 days). If the Manchester Shipper was travelling at less than her normal speed, then her ability to get to the Titanic in time is severely impacted.
Manchester SpinnerManchester Liners LtdBr 27601210 knotsNew Orleans Mar 28 to Rotterdam; Arrive Rotterdam Apr 20Red with black band and black top
Rotterdam to the wreck is about 2300 miles (just over 9.5 days). It is not likely she was near the Titanic.
ManitouRed StarBr 43841414 knotsAntwerp Apr 4 Ar Boston Apr 16The funnel may have been black with white band but since the ship was charted from the Atlantic Transport Line, she may have retained their house colours of red with black top
From Boston to the wreck is some 940 miles, or 2 3/4 days. There is no possibility that this ship could have got Boston in time for its arrival on April 16th. A conflict does arise with the ice reports; on April 15th, the Manitou reported ice well to the north and east of the Titanic. A possible transcription error, or a report timestamped by another vessel relaying when it got the message?
The Boston Glove confirms that the Manitou arrived on April 16th.
ManisteeElders & FyffesBr 25001213 knotsLiverpool Apr 7 to Port Limon Pd Turk's Island Apr 21yellow with black top ?????
Liverpool to the wreck would take just over 6.5 days of steaming at full speed. From the wreck to Turk's Island is about 1640 miles (5 and a quarter days). Not only would this make an "rendezvous" with the wrecksite unlikely but this detour would take it many miles west off her optimal route.
MannheimDeutsch American Petroleum3,578g1210 knotsPhiladelphia Apr 4 to Copenhagen Ar Apr 22black; with two thin white bands;between these bands, a depiction of the house flag (red letter R on vertical black, yellow, red stripes)
This ship, a tanker, would take 5 days to get to the Titanic, and from there to Copenhagen, an addition 12 days. This makes it an impossibility that she was at the wrecksite. The weather logs show her to be at 45 41 N, 41 14 W at noon on April 13th. She was therefore to the north and east of the wrecksite two days beforehand and still heading east.
Mar-CentrabricoLa Compania Maritima del NervionSp 1861129 knotsSt Vincent Mar 13 to Ar Port Inglis Mar 29, left Apr 8 to Carthagena Sd Norfolk (Va) Apr 12 Ar Gibraltar Apr 30Black with a white anchor
5 3/4 days would be needed to get to the wreck, or April 17th. Its likely that the sinking of the Titanic had already occurred.
MarengoWilson Line, HullBr 31151212 knotsHull Mar 16 to NY In port Apr 3, left NY Apr 11 to Hull Off Spurn Apr 25, Ar Hull Apr 25red body, black top
Taking the distance to traverse from New York, and the maximum speed, we get a time of just under 4 days. The Marengo may have been in the area.
MarkenRuys & Zonen, RotterdamDu 16751210.5 knotsSanta Pola Mar 28 to Halifax Ar Apr 16; left Sydney (CB) May 4 to Campbelton Ar May 6Black
Halifax to the wreck is about 620 miles (2.5 days); it possible that she was in the area.
MatinR. Mudie, DundeeBr 24331210 knotsAntwerp Mar 29 to NY Ar Apr 16Black
MC HolmP. Brown, CopenhagenDa 15721210 knotsAr Boston Apr 6 Nrflk (Va) Apr 22 (cld) to Trinidad Black with either a red band and a white horizontal stripe OR black with a white band with a red horizontal stripe
Although this ship could have made it to the wreck and back, we must ask why it would perform such a journey? It is likely that she was transitting from port to port in America before heading to Trinidad.
McElwainR. H. Ballantine, GlasgowBr 3581 (aft)210 knotsPortsmouth (NH) Apr 3 to Liverpool (NS), left Apr 11 (cld) to Liverpool (NS) Ar April 18Black
It is clear that this ship was coasting around Nova Scotia.
MecklenburgH. Podeus, WismarGe 1686129 knotsNorfolk (Va) Mar 30 to Santander & Bordeaux Pd Cape Henry Mar 31, Ar Bordeaux Apr 21white funnel, in a band, red and white horizontal stripes with black letters "H P" superimposed
Bordeaux to the wreck is some 2150 miles, or 10 days. She is therefore not likely to have been at the wreck.
MemphianLeyland LineBr 40661212 knotsLiverpool Apr 7 to Boston Pd Tuskar Apr 7, Ar Boston Apr 20Pink with a black top
Taking just under 3.5 days at full speed, it is likely that this ship was still to the east of the wreck. However, an element of doubt exists on this: she transmitted an ice warning on April 15th to the north and east of the wreck.
MinnesotaJ. Bruvik, TrondheimNo 8131210 knotsNew York Apr 5 to St John's NF to New York Ar Apr 18Not known
I was unable to determine the funnel colour of Johan Bruvik vessels. But, if we compare the speed of this ship and the amount of time it would take to get to New York from the wreck (just over 4 1/2 days) and the time from the disaster to the Miineosota's arrival in New York (3 days), we find there is insufficient time for this ship to get from the wreck.
MinnesotaATLBr 20801212 knotsLondon Apr 2 to Philadelphia Pd Prawle Apr 3 Ar Philadelphia Apr 19red with black top
Just over 4 days would be needed to get from the Titanic; this ship may have been in the vicinity.
MonarchElder Dempster & CoBr 47761212 knotsNew Orleans Apr 1 to Liverpool Sd Port Eads Apr 1 Liverpool Apr 21Yellow
From Liverpool to the wreck would require just over a week, making this ship an unlikely contendor for the ship(s) in the area of the sinking.
MoncenisioNavigazione Alta ItaliaIt 29471210 knotsGenoa Mar 25 to NO Sd Palermo Mar 30 Ar NO Apr 24black top, blue body, depiction of house flag on blue body (gold and blue crest)
The absolute shortest distance from the wreck to New Orleans is some 2400 miles; this could be achieved in 10 days, giving a date of April 14th. While it is possible that this ship could have been in the area of the wreck, it seems unlikely as it would require a significant detour.
MongibelloPeirce & BeckerIt 25531210 knotsNO Apr 4 to Genoa & Naples Sd Port Eads Apr 4 Ar Genoa Apr 30black with red and yellow shield??
As for the Moncenisio; The absolute shortest distance from the wreck to New Orleans is some 2400 miles; this could be achieved in 10 days, giving a date of April 14th. While it is possible that this ship could have been in the area of the wreck, it seems unlikely as it would require a significant detour.
MontaukNorth Atlantic SS Co, BristolBr 22021210 knotsRotterdam Mar 5 to Norfolk (Va) & Galveston Ar Newport News Apr 4; left Galveston Apr 21 to Havreyellow with black top
It is clear that, following its departure from Newport News, the Montauk's intended destination was Galveston. There seems to be no reason for it to deviate and head back into the North Atlantic again.
MontcalmCanadian Pacific RailroadBr 35081412 knotsLeft St John (NB) Apr 11; Arrived in Liverpool on April 22buff/yellow with a small black topping
At her top speed of 12 knots, it would take this vessel just under 3 days to get to the Titanic; the time to the disaster was some 4 days; it is only plausible for this ship to have seen the Titanic sink if she loitered in the area.
MontrealCompagnie Generale TransatlantiqueFr 20831214 knotsHavre Mar 14 to West Indies Sd St Thomas Apr 4, left [West Indies?] Apr 19 to Havrered with a black top
This ship seems to have sailed to, if not around, the islands of the West Indies at the time of the disaster.
MontroseCanadian Pacific RailroadBr 54021412 knotsLiverpool Apr 4 to St John NB; 900 miles East of St John NB April 13; left St John to Liverpool 23/4buff/yellow with a small black topping
This ship was already west of the wrecksite on April 13th, and still proceeding westward. Therefore, when the Titanic sank, she was even further to the west (although Lloyds does not know the exact date of arrival at St John).
The "Daily Telegraph" of St John provides the date of arrival; April 17th. The "New York Times" on April 17th provides more information; apparently the Montrose was delayed by heavy fog, supposedly off Cape Sable.
MurciaC. T. Bowring, LondonBr 1694129 knotsHuelva Apr 4 to Philadelphia Ar Apr 25Black with broad white band and red St. Andrew's cross
Huelva to the wreck is some 2000 miles (about 9 1/4 days) and from there to Philadelphia requires an extra 5.5 days. The journey times don't match indicating some form of latency, but given her arrival date in Philadelphia (unless she stopped at an unknown port on the east coast of America), it is likely this ship was to the west of the Titanic.
NascopieJob Bros, St. Johns, NFBr 10041211 knotsSeal Fishery to St John's NF Ar Apr 5 to ? Pd Flat Point (CB) Apr 24yellow with small depiction of house flag: blue rectangle with a white rectange and below, a red triangular pennant
This vessel may have been in the area of the wreck. Assuming a route of quickest time, travelling from St John's to Flat Point would require a detour of several hundred miles.
NantwenW & C. T. Jones, CardiffBr 3000129 knotsAr Baltimore Apr 10, left Apr 13 to Liverpool Pd South Stack May 2 Ar Liverpool same dayBlack
Baltimore to the wreck is nearly 1400 miles, or nearly 6.5 days. It is an impossibility that she was near the Titanic during her death throes.
NascopieJob BrosBr 10041211 knotsSeal Fishery St John's NF Ar Apr 5 Pd Flat Point (CB) Apr 24Yellow with a small blue rectangle enclosing a smaller white rectangle; below this, a red single pointed pennant
We do not know when this ship left St John's; she could have been in the area of the wreck.
NeptuneAvalon S.S, Co. LtdBr 4651 ?2 ???Seal Fishery St John's NF Ar Apr 11, 1911; from Seal Fishery, left about May 8th to St John's NF??
We do not know when this ship, a wooden hulled steamer, left St John's for the Seal Fishery; she could have been in the area of the wreck.
NewfoundlandA. Harvey & Co. LtdBr 5681 ?2 ???Seal fishery St John's NF Ar Apr 11, 1911; On seal fishery Mar 30, then back to St Johns, arrive May 1stBlack
This ship, a wooden hulled brigantine, could have been in the area of the wreck.
NinianLeyland LineBr 33801212 knotsBrunswick (Ga) Apr 5 to Liverpool Sd Newport News Apr 11, Pd Old Head Kinsale Apr 24pink with black top
Newport News to the Titanic is about 1250 miles (just over 4 1/4 days), and from there to the Old Head is about 1800 miles (6.25 days). It is likely that the Ninian was to the east of the wreck.
NunimaTrechmann Bros, West HartlepoolBr 18811210 knotsGloucester (Mass) Apr 10 to Pensacola Arr April 24black funnel with a white square upon it, upon which black diagonals were partially removed. (St Florian cross)
This ship seems to have traversed the east coast of America and round the Florida peninsular. There is no reason that we know for it to traverse hundreds of miles out into the Atlantic!
OakfieldH.Doughty, West HartlepoolBr 2290129 knotsLeft Louisburg Apr 4, left Savannah Apr 19 to Bremenblack funnel with a white letter "D"
This ship seems to have traversed the eastern seaboard of the US. To travel from Savannah from the wrecksite would take nearly 7.5 days, or April 12th, and then she would have to travel there from Louisburg. Why would she embark on such a strange route?
OceanAmerican Petroleum Co, RotterdamDu 16941 (aft)210 knotsPhiladelphia Apr 7 to Antwerp Ar April 24Black with a band containing white and red horizontal stripes
Philadelphia to the wreck is 5 days steaming, putting the date at April 12th. It is likely that the Ocean was to the east on April 14th/15th. Other information suggests that she was owned by the American Petroleum Company, had three masts, an aftward positioned funnel which was black with a band containing white and red horizontal stripes
OceanoCoe & Clerici, GenoaIt 27381210 knotsNorfolk (Va) Mar 27 to Dakar, back in Norfolk (Va) May 12?? Not known
The funnel colours of this ship are not known. However, by logical inference, she could not have been near the Titanic. The round trip from Norfolk to Dakar and back is 46 days. If we allow two days to load/unload cargo and passengers etc., we are left with 44 days. Half of this would take the ship's arrival in Dakar to April 18th. She would be too far from the wreck at this point to make the journey in 3 days. At any rate, the direct route from Norfolk to Dakar takes the ship well south of the Titanic. There is no logical reason why she should transgress so far north.
OceaniaLa VeloceIt 50151214 knotsGenoa Mar 26 & NY & Philadelphia Ar Apr 10, left Apr 14 to Naples and GenoaBuff with a red star
Given the distances involved it is impossible for this ship to have been close to the Titanic.
Ordunte MendiSota y Aznar, MontevideoSp 24351210 knotsPhiladelphia Apr 8 to Naples Pd Sagres Apr 26 Ar Naples May 3yellow with merged letters "S Y A" in a logo
Given the distance from Philadelpha to the wreck, it is likely this ship was to the east at the time of the collision.
Otto TrechmannTrechmann BrosBr 23391212 knotsLas Palmas Apr 11 to NY, Ar Apr 25a black funnel with a white square upon it, upon which black diagonals were partially removed. (St Florian cross)
Las Palmas to the Titanic is about 1700 miles, or just under 6 days. We do not know when the ship left Las Palmas, but even so, it would be impossible for her to make the journey.
Paul PaixJ. M. Lennard & Sons, MiddlesbroughBr 24811211.5 knotsNew York Apr 12 to Calais, Sd Calais May 1 to Rouenblack with 2 white bands containing a red diamond
At 11.5 knots, the Paul Paix would take a little under 4 days to get to the wreck site, indicating that she would have missed the unfolding drama.
ParklandsR. Hardy & Co, West HartlepoolBr 18851211 knotsVera Cruz Apr 1 Sd Norfolk (Va) Apr 12 to Falmouth, Ar Bremerhaven May 1black funnel, white band, red letter "H" in band
Requiring nearly 4 3/4 days to reach the area of the wreck, the SS Parklands could not have got there in time.
PelhamV. T. Thompson & Co, SunderlandBr 22601210 knotsAr Jacksonville Mar 31; left Savannah Apr 11 to Bremen Sd Beachy Head May 1yellow/buff funnel with thi black top, white letter "T" in red diamond
Needing over 6 1/2 days to reach the wreck, this ship could not have got there in time.
PennsylvaniaHamburg-AmericanGe 85271414 knotsLeft NY Apr 13
85 miles from Caister Apr 24 (6.15pm);
Ar Hamburg Apr 26
buff
At 13 knots, it would have been impossible for her to get to the wrecksite in time.
PenvearnR. B. Chellew, FalmouthBr 31331211 knotsBaltimore Apr 6 to Alexandria Pd Gibraltar Apr 23white letter "C" on black funnel
Gibraltar to the wreck is some 2080 miles, or just under 8 days; and from Baltimore to the wreck is nearly 5 1/4. While the Baltimore-wreck leg of the jounrey indicates that the Penvearn was probably to the east, the next leg indicates a possibility that she may have been in the area of the Titanic.
PisaHamburg America LineGe 32451212.5 knotsHamburg Apr 1 to St John's NF Sp Apr 7 49 N 14 W; Ar St John Apr 17buff
The Pisa has been dealt with above.
PolamhallWest Hartlepool Steam Navigation Co, LtdBr 2581129 knotsBremerhaven Apr 2 to Newport News sd Bermuda Apr 21; passed St.Michael's on April 10thyellow funnel, black top with black "G" on yellow
This steamer seems to have indulged in a very odd route to get to Newport News from Bremerhaven! St. Michael's (Sao Miguel) is in the Azores, which she passed on April 10th, and then headed onto Bermuda, which she left 11 days later, and then headed north to Newport News. Regardless, this 9 knot ship could not have got from the Azores to the wrecksite and then to Bermuda in the intervening time.
PontiacCarmichael & Co, St Johns, NFBr 20721211.5 knotsSavannah Mar 29 to Lpool then Bremen (?) Liverpool Apr Apr 20black top, white body, red band at the top
It took the Titanic 4 days at 22 knots to travel from England to her resting place; it is impossible that the Pontiac, travelling at about half this speed could achieve the same distance in 5 days.
PortsmouthMcNeil, Hinde & CoBr 1377129 knotsGulfport Apr 10 to Cardiff Ar Apr 30Yellow
Gulfport is more than 2000 miles from the wrecksite, a journey over 9 days. This ship would be nowehere near the wreck.
PotomacAnglo-AmericanBr 24721 (aft)311 knotsNO Apr 4 (cld) to Garston Sd Port Eads Apr 4 Pd Fastnet Apr 25Red with a black top
Fastnet to the wreck is some 1740 miles, just over 6 1/2 days putting the arrival at the wrecksite at about April 19th. It is likely that this ship was still to the west of the wreck on April 14th/15th.
PowhattanFurness-WithyBr 27891211 knotsDundee Apr 9 to NY Pd Dunnet Head Apr 10, Ar NY Apr 28Black
Dunnet Head is on the northern coast of Scotland; given that she was travelling at half the speed of the Titanic and was at this point on the day of the maiden voyage, it is impossible for her to have "caught up."
PriestfieldBeckingham & Co, NewcastleBr 26121210 knotsNO Mar 27 to Antwerp Sd Port Eads Mar 27 Ar Antwerp Apr 21Black funnel with red band; in the band, a white diamond with the black letter "B"
Antwerp to the wreck is about 2300 nautical miles (just over 9 1/2 days). This puts the date at about April 12th; it is likely that this ship was to the east of the Titanic when she sank.
Prince ArthurCanadian PacificBr 7001216 knotsTrading Yarmouth (NS) and BostonYellow
It seems highly unlikely that this ship would venture hundreds of miles out to sea.
Prinz Friedrich WilhelmNorddeutscher LloydGe 98402217 knotsNY Apr 11 to Bremerhaven, arrive on Apr 20yellow
This ship was on the Bremen-Southampton-Cherbourg-New York route, but only the first and last of these waypoints are recorded. However, at 17 knots, it would take just over 2 and a half days to reach the area of the catastrophe, which would indicate a date of April 13th-14th. It seems unlikely that this ship would linger in the area, when she had passengers to ferry across the Atlantic.
ProcidaIsola di Procida for Soc. Meridionale di Trasporti Marittimi, PalermoIt 24361210 knotsAr Palermo Mar 16, left Apr 1 to Norfolk (Va) Apr 22black funnel, wide white band
Palermo to the wreck is about 3000 nautical miles, or 12.5 days steaming at full power. She was more than likely still to the east when the Titanic foundered, an inference bolstered by her arrival date at Norfolk.
Professor T & J. Harrison, LiverpoolBr 22881212 knotsSd Pensacola Apr 8 to Liverpool, Ar Apr 26black, white band, red horizontal line in white band
From Savannah, it would take a little over 5 1/2 days to reach the wreck, indicatingan arrival date of April 13th or 14th. She was more than likely to the east at the time of the wreck.
ProsperoBowring BrosBr 5991212 knotsCoasting NewfoundlandBlack with broad white band and red St. Andrew's cross
Lloyd's lists this ship as "Coasting Newfoundland." It seems unlikely, to this author anyway that she would stray so far off course into the Atlantic.
PurelightPure Oil Co, HamburgGe 27231211.5 knotsPhiladelphia Apr 4 (cld) to Hamburg Ar Apr 21red funnel, black top. Blue and white circular design on red background
Hamburg to the wreck is some 2600 miles, or about 9 1/3 days; it is likely that she was still to the west.
QuantockW. J. Tatem & Co, CardiffBr 2777128 knotsBremen Apr 7 to Tybee Roads Pd Lizard Apr 10 Savannah Ar May 2black, red band; white letter "T" in band
Lizard to the wreck is about 1900 miles (nearly 10 days) which means that the Quantock was more than likely still to the east at the time of the collision.
QueenswoodConstantine & PickeringBr 1694129 knotsSavannah Apr 7 to Liverpool Ar Apr 27red body, black top and a board black band on the red
Nearly 7 1/2 days would be needed to get to the wreck, indicating that this ship may have been in the area of the Titanic.
RangerBowring OR R.Alexander, St John's NFBr 3541 ?2 ????Ar St John's NF Apr 11Black with broad white band and red St. Andrew's cross
We do not know how long this ship, a wooden hulled sealer and whaler, remained at St John's.
RegentJames Westoll, SunderlandBr 20551210 knotsHuelva Mar 29 to NY Ar Apr 18white with a black top
The 1100 miles from the wreck to New York would take over 4 1/2 days, or about April 13th. The Regent was probably still to the east.
Rio GrandeHamburg South America LineGe 28801211 knotsPara Apr 5 to Hamburg, Pd Dover Apr 24, Ar Hamburg Apr 25black or yellow
Dover to the wreck is some 8 1/4 days of steaming, indicating a date of about April 16th. It may be that she was still some way off; the direct route from Para to Hamburg takes her nowhere near the Titanic, too.
RomsdalJ. Johanson & Co, ChristianiaNo 8721211 knotsBergen Mar 11 to Baracoa Ar Halifax Apr 6 left April 12 Ar NY Apr 18black with a white diamond containing the letters "JJ & Co"
It is likely that this ship was on transit between Halifax and New York.
The New York Times of April 16th 1912 reported that the Romsdal was 100 miles south east of Cape Scatari when she collided with an iceberg on March 27th. The New York Times on April 25th reports on a ship called the "Romsdell" which had docked the day before; she had left Norway on March 14th, and ran into a field of ice on March 28th while in fog. This was in latitude 30 longitude 57, or about 400 miles from the Titanic. An unknown vessel disappeared during the night, presumably sunk. After a course of seal culling, the crew spotted an open spot in the field ice on March 30th which the crew used to make good their escape from the ice field, but one of the propeller blades has been broken causing two more days of delays. The ship docked in Halifax for temporary repairs.
RosalindC.T BowringBr 16341211 knotsSd Halifax Mar 30 to St Johns NF to NY (cld) April 16 to Halifaxblack with a white band containing a cross in the form of red diagonals
Having called at New York on the day after the sinking it would be impossible for this ship to be in the vicintiy of the wreck.
RossanoFurness, Withy & Co, West Hartlepool (Dominion Coal Company)Br 23671210 knotsAr Louisburg Apr 2. left St Johns NB Apr 10 to Louisburg Ar Sydney (CB) Apr 12. Travelled to St John (NB). Pd Flat Point (CB) April 28black
It is likely that this ship was skirting the east coast of Canada.
The "Daily Telegraph" of St John confirms that this ship arrived on April 17th from Louisburg.
Royal EdwardCanadian Northern SteamshipsBr 56692219 knotsAr Halifax Apr 10 to Avonmouth Pd Lundy Is April 25yellow with a blue top
According to the outbound journey, the Royal Edward made the journey from Avonmouth to Halifax in 7 days. On those figures, the Royal Edward started her journey on, or about April 18th.
Royal SceptrePetersen and Co., LondonBr 2435128.5 knotsNO Mar 30 (cld) to Aarhus Sd Norfolk (Va) Apr 12 to Copenhagen Ar May 6yellow
Taking over 6 days to get to the wreck site, this ship would not have been in the area.
RyburnJ. E. Murrell & Son, West HartlepoolBr 1848
1211 knotsSavannah Apr 5 to St Petersburg, Ar Hartlepool Apr 26Black
Requring 6 days from Savannah to the Titanic, it is likely this ship was already to the east.
Sabine RickmersRickmers, BremerhavenBr 24351211 knotsPhiladelphia Apr 12 to Korea (Chinampo??) Pd Delaware Breakwater Apr 12 Sd Port Natal May 25black with white band containing depiction of the house flag (while letter "R" on green, red and white stripes)
4.5 days would be needed to get to the wreck, indicating a date of April 16th, too late to have seen the end of the Titanic.
SachemWarren Line, LiverpoolBr 33371413 knotsAr Boston 16/4 from Liverpool 4/4Black
This ship cannot be considered as a possibility for proximity to the wreck as it would take 3 days to reach Boston from the wreck (or about April 13)
Saint OswaldRankin, Gilmour & Co, LiverpoolBr 24111211 knotsNY Apr 10 to Philippines Pd Ascension about May 2Yellow
Depending on when this ship left New York and its speed, it may have been in the vicinity.
SalybiaScutton, Sons & Co, LondonBr 21311213 knotsBremen Apr 1 to ….? Off [Isle of ] Wight Apr 2 Ar Barbados Apr 18red with black top
Barbados to the wreck is nearly 1800 miles; an impossible journey for a 13 knot ship in 3 or 4 days.
SamaraMaclay & McIntyre, GlasgowBr 20301211 knotsCardiff to Delaware Breakwater Ar Apr 12, Norfolk (Va) Apr 20 to Rioyellow with a black top
The implication is that the Samara is docked in the US at the time of the disaster. Taking 4 3/4 days to get to the wreck from the Delaware Breakwater, she would have arrived too late to see the Titanic go down. Then the Samara has the added problem of getting to Norfolk in time (another 4 3/4 days) in order to leave in time for her departure to Rio de Janeiro.
San MateoLuckenbachAm 1926129 knotsleft New York Mar 30 to Norfolk (Va) ... left Norfolk (Va) Apr 27Black
Although this ship's navigation is not known, it is likely that she was traversing between New York and Norfolk at the time of the Titanic disaster.
SannioNavigazione Generale ItalianaIt 58011413 knotsLeft Naples Mar 26 to ...? left Naples Apr 27black with broad white band
Another mystery ship, and one that was on the Naples-Palermo-New York route according to theshipslist.com. The direct route to the wreck from Naples and Palermo is some 3150 miles, and at 13 knots, would take 10 days. From there to New York is another 3.5 days. The total travel time is therefore 27 days, well within the 32 days "Naples-to-Naples" dates given above. However, the comments given in our discussion on the SS "Europa" apply here. And, more importantly, the Sannio was not given as a candidate for the black-and-white funnel mystery ship by the New York port authorities indicating that she was not in New York. It is likely that the Sanno was seconded to other ports, possible near Italy, instead.
SantanderinoM. M. de Arrotegui. BilbaoSp 19941210 knotsGalveston Mar 31 to Sd Pensacola Apr 2 to Liverpool, Ar Liverpool Apr 22Black
The most direct route from Liverpool to the wreck is about 2040 miles (8.5 days steaming). She may have been in the area at the time.
SarniaHamburg America LineGe 21681210 knotsPd Left Hamburg April 5th, Ushant Apr 8 to W Indies, left Kingston (Ja) May 1 to HamburgBuff
Despite the fact that the direct route to the wreck is nowhere near the route from Ushant to the West Indies, the travelling time to the Titanic (8 days) indicates that she would only have arrived after the ship had sunk.
ScandinavianAllanBr 77301215 knotsLeft Boston Apr 13 to Clyde Ar Apr 22Black top, white band, red body
This ship, on the Glasgow-Canada route, would take just over 2 1/2 days to get to the Titanic. It is not likely to have been in the vicinity.
SealHalifax Sealing & Trading Co, Windsor, NSBr 27712 ???Trading between Halifax and Cape Breton from Seal fishery to St John's NF Ar Apr 8???
We do not know when this ship travelled back to sea.
ServianLane & Macandrew, LondonBr 31341210 knotsLondon Mar 31 to Philadelphia Pd Prawle Apr 2; left Philadelphia Apr 22white black top with two thin black bands
Another ship with infuriatingly incomplete data! By extrapolation, from Prawle to the wreck is about 8 1/4 days, or April 10th. It is possible that the Servian was to the west of the wreck, indeed, it is possible that she had nearly reached Philadelphia!
SifJacob R. Olsen, BergenNo 19591210 knotsIn Philadelphia Apr 6, left Apr 14 to Fort de France Ar Apr 23black with white circle
This ship could not have made it to the wreck in under a day.
Skipton CastleChambers & Co, LiverpoolBr 24241210 knotsGalveston 26/3; Pd Lizard 17/4, left Antwerp Apr 21red with black top
Passing the Lizard some time on April 17th, it would be impossible for the Skipton Castle to have traversed the distance in 2 days.
SopergaNavigazione Alta Italia, GenoaIt 25251210 knotsSd Lipari Apr 5 to New York Ar Apr 26black thick white band?
Lipari to the wreck is some 3100 miles (nearly 13 days), so it is clear this ship could not have been in position "in time".
Sophie HN.Haas, RotterdamDu 1864129.5 knotsAr NY April 5, let ..? Ar Louiburg (CB) April 20black with a green 6 pointed star on which is superimposed a white letter "H"
We do not know when this ship left New York. Louisburg to the wreck would take nearl 2 2/3rds of a day, or April 17th. It is possible, but not likely that this ship was loitering in the area of the Titanic, but why bother - and where was she going? It is plausible that she was instead traversing ports on the north-east coast of America.
Southern CrossMurray and Crawford Ltd.Br 3251 ?2 ???Seal Fishery to Harbor Grace Ar Apr 14, 1911; Seal Fishery to St John's Ar April 29??
This wooden hulled auxiliary steamer could have been in the area at the time.
SouthfieldE. Jones & Co, CardiffBr 22691211 knotsLouisburg Apr 12 to Savannah Ar Apr 20yellow funnel with red horizontal red stripes.
It seems that this ship was travelling along the eastern coast of the US; at any rate, she could not have reached Savannah in time.
StephanoBowringBr 21441213 knotsSeal fishery to St John's NF Ar Apr 3; New York (cld) May 1st to HalifaxBlack with broad white band and red St. Andrew's cross
We do not know when this ship put back to sea.
StrathclydeBurrell & Son, GlasgowBr 2842129 knotsIn port NY Mar 30, left Apr 10 to Yokohama Sp Apr 28 4 N 10 Wblack, or black with a red depiction of the company motif
Taking over 5 days to reach the wreck, it may be possible for this ship to get there "in time."
StrathlorneBurrell & Son, GlasgowBr 28031211 knotsAmsterdam Apr 4 to Newport News Pd Dover Apr 5, Ar Newport News Apr 23black, or black with a red depiction of the company motif
It is nearly 200 miles from Dover to the wrecksite, or 8 1/3 days, and a further 4 3/4 days from there to Newport News. Unless the ship was hampered in its journey, the arrival at Newport News indicates a possible arrival at the wreck of April 19th, well after the Titanic had foundered.
StrathroyBurrell & Son, GlasgowBr 28671211 knotsHamburg Mar 27 to Louisburg Pd Lizard Apr 4, Ar NY Apr 18black, or black with a red depiction of the company motif
Did this ship go to New York first, or Louisburg? The first option seems more likely. Given the arrival date in New York, and the 4 days it would take to get there from the wreck, it may be possible for this ship to have been in the area, although probably still to the east.
SusuHolmwood and HolmwoodBr 1321 ?2 ???Coasting Newfoundland??
Taking her course description literally, this ship was not out "at sea" and hence would be nowhere the Titanic.
TafnaBowringBr 2697129 knotsHuelva Apr 2 to Philadelphia Ar Apr 19Black with broad white band and red St. Andrew's cross
Taking about 5 1/2 days to get to Philadelphia from the wreck, it is possible that this ship was slightly to the east of the Titanic.
ThamesRoyal Mail Steam Packet Co.Br 30332315 knotsNY Mar 30 to Southampton; sailed Colon April 9; sailed Barbados April 17; Ar Soton April 29yellow
This ship was obviously undertaking a circuitous route of the countries south and east of Florida before heading to Southampton
ThemisWilhelmsenNo 41341210 knotsBaltimore April 13 to Felton; Baltimore April 25 to Wabanablack with dark blue horizontal bands
This ship was obviously travelling south to Cuba, away from the wreck site.
ThistlebanAlbynBr 2559129.5 knotsBremen April 3rd to Jacksonville Ar Apr 24white body, black top, with a black thistle on the body
7 and a half days would be needed to get from the wreck to Jacksonville, or April 17th; this ship was probably still to the east on April 14th/15th.
ThistledhuAlbynBr 2614129 knotsGulfport April 11 to Havre Sp Apr 28 46 N 29 W, Ar Havre May 3white body, black top, with a black thistle on the body
Given her speed and distance, this ship could not have made it to the wreck from Gulf Port in 4 days.
Thurland CastleJ.Chambers, LiverpoolBr 24841210 knotsPensacola Mar 26 to Galveston and Antwerp. Sd from Galveston April 3rd, passed Prawle April 24red with black top
If the Thurland Castle was to travel directly from Galveston to the tip of the Florida peninsular and then straight to the wrecksite at full speed, she could have made the journey in 11 days, so, on this basis it is a possibility. Prawle to the wreck would take about 8 1/3 days (April 16th), again meaning that this ship could have been in the area. However, like the Almerian, this would require a deviation from the most direct course from the US to Antwerp.
ToftwoodConstantineBr 19611210 knotsGalveston April 4th to Bremen Sd Norfolk (Va) Apr 13 Pd Dover Apr 30red body, black top with a broad red band on the red
Norfolk to the wreck would require nearly 5 1/4 days; the Toftwood had but two.
TrunkbyRopnerBr 1668129 knotsWilmington Apr 3 to Liverpool Ar Apr 20black funnel, 2x2 red and white chequerboard pattern
This ship would be too far from the Titanic at the time of the collision.
UjestSeetransport G.m.b.H, HamburgGe 2219148 knotsSeville Apr 6 to NY Pd Cape Spartel Apr 10, Ar NY Apr 29???
I was unable to determine the colour of the Ujest's funnel. However, leaving Cape Spatel on April 10th and travelling at 8 knots, she would have arrived at the wreck long after the Titanic had gone to the bottom.
United StatesScandinavian-American LineDa 60301215 knots Left New York Apr 11 to Copenhagen, Sailed from Christiansand on Apr 22, and arrived at Copenhagen on Apr 24Black with broad red band
Just over three days would be required to place the United States on the scene of the disaster, and depending on how late on April 11th she sailed, she may have barely made it in time.
VaderlandInternational Navigation Co. (Red Star)Be 82882415 knots Left New York Apr 13 to Antwerp, arrived on Apr 23Black with white band
This ship cannot be considered a contender for the ship close to the Titanic; it would take just over three days to get the wreck, by which time, the Titanic would have long since foundered.
Vancouver Gow, Harrison & Co, GlasgowBr 28001210 knotsAr Newport News Apr 6, left Apr 12 for Port Said, Pd Gibraltar 28; Ar Port Said May 6 Red with black top
Nearly 5 1/4 days would be required to get to the Titanic, not the three that she actually had.
Vauxhall BridgeW. Gray & Co, LondonBr 21781210 knotsWilmington April 2nd to Bremen passed Dungeness April 22Black with a white circle and red cross
If Wilmington refers to Wilmington, Delaware, the distance is some 1230 miles to the wreck, or just over 5 days, putting an arrival date of April 7th. Wilmington, North Carolina is nearly 1400 miles (just over 5 1/2 days). The straightest route to Dungeness from the wreck site is about 2150 miles, or nearly 9 days (April 13th). The discrepancy could be due to this ship stopping at ports on the eastern coast of the US.
VenusSoc. Commerciale Italiana di Nav, GenoaIt 24871210 knotsAr Newport News, left Apr 12 for Genoa Pd Sagres 30 Ar Genoa May 5Black with a white letter "R"
The Venus had three days to get to the wreck, but over 5 were needed.
VersailleCompagnie Generale TransatlantiqueFr 216522 or 312 knotsColon Apr 3 to St Nazaire Sd Pointe a Pitre Apr 11 Ar St Nazaire Apr 24Red with black top
Lloyd's Registry gives this ship 3 masts. For this ship to have sailed from Pointe a Pitre to St.Nazaire, the Versaille would have to have undertaken a massive dogleg and, thus, is not credible as a ship near the Titanic.
VikingBowringBr 2761 ?2 ???St John's (NF) Mar 7 to Channel (NF) On Newfoundland seal fishery April 19Black with broad white band and red St. Andrew's cross
This wooden hulled ship could have been in the area of the wreck.
VitaliaG. M. Bryde, ChristianiaNo 723129 knotsPort Spain to Ar NY Apr 6....then Ar New York Apr 26Black with a red band and white letter "B" OR yellow, with green-white-green bands, with a green Star of David with a white letter "G"
This ship's travel plans are incomplete but she would seem to be skirting the US seaboard.
VolnayGow Harrison & Co, LondonNo 7231211 knotsGrangemouth Apr 7 to Louisburg Pd Dunnet Head Apr 8, sd Louisburg Apr 20 to Baltimorered with black top
We do not know when the Volnay arrived in Louisburg, but it must have been on or before April 20th. Two and a quarter days would be needed; she may have been in the area of the Titanic.
WacoustaP. A. Gron, SandefjordNo 19981 (aft)212.5 knotsPortland (Me) Apr 3 (cld) to Louisburg, back to Portland (Me) Ar Apr 12; Louisburg to ? Ar Below Boston Apr 22, Ar Quebec May 2Black with a dark blue band and a white letter "S".
This ship seems to be skirting around ports on the eastern US coast; at any rate, Portland, Maine is some 900 miles from the wreck, and 3 days would be needed to get there. The Wacousta could perhaps have made it in time, but where was she going - and why?
WathfieldH. Doughty, West HartlepoolBr 1944129 knotsFrom Dakar Apr 4 to Mobile Ar Apr 25black with white "D"
The direct route from Dakar to Mobile, via the southern tip of Flordia would take this ship nowhere near the Titanic. However, the Wathfield could traverse the distance in a little under 11 days, indicating a faint possibility that she was near the wrecksite.
WearbridgeCrosby, Magee & Co, West HartlepoolBr 26021210 knotsBombay Mar 5 to Baltimore Ar Apr 18 or 17black funnel, white band with company logo in band (red C blue M intermingled)
Successive Lloyd's editions are unclear when this ship arrived in Baltimore. At 10 knots, it would have taken 5 3/4 days to get there from the wreck, indicating that this ship was not near the Titanic.
WestwoodFurnessBr 1070129 knotsPomaron Apr 8 to Savannah Ar Apr 28Black
From Savannah, this 9 knot ship would need need nearly 7 1/2 days from the Titanic, or about April 21st. Given the 6 day "gap" it is likely the Westwood was still to the east.
White SeaW. R. Medhurst, LondonBr 12231212 knotsMarseilles Mar 16 to Bathurst, Sd Mar 28 to Gibraltar Ar Apr 22???
Another ship whose funnel I was unable to determine. The direct route from Bathurst to the Titanic is some 740 miles, or just over 2 1/2 days steaming. The approximately 2000 miles from the wreck to Gibraltar could be achieved in 7 days, or April 15th. While this makes it possible for this ship to have been in the area, the large discrepancy between the calculated times (nearly 10 days) compared to the actual time (25 days) begs the obvious question: what was she doing?
WilhelminaStephens, TBr 16821 ?2 ???Savannah Mar 31 to London Cld Norfolk (Va) Apr 3, Pd Dover Apr 25 Ar London Apr 25Black, with a dark blue band with a white letter "S".
The speed of this ship is not recorded, but it seems, based on the distances travelled and the time involved, that she was nowhere the Titanic at the time of the sinking. If the figures are right, the Wilhelmina would have to have been half way between Norfolk and London at the time of the disaster, or well to the east of the wreck.
WillkommenDeutsch-Amerik. Petroleum Ges, HamburgGe 19991 (aft)29 knotsNew York Apr 6 to Copenhagen and Danzig Pd Dunnet Head Apr 21 Copenhagen Apr 27black; with two thin white bands;between these bands, a depiction of the house flag (red letter R on vertical black, yellow, red stripes)
This ship, a tanker, would need a little over 5 days to get to the wreck. This would put the date at April 11th. It is likely that this ship was to the east of the Titanic.
WoodfieldWoods, Tyler & Brown, LondonBr 23061212.5 knotsSavannah Apr 2 to Bremen Sd Newport News Apr 10 Pd Dover Apr 24Black
Just over 4 days would be needed to get to the Titanic, indicating that this ship is a possibility.
ZeelandRed StarBr 75112415 knotsPortland (Me) Apr 11 to Hamburg Ar Apr 21black with a white band near the top
From Portland, Maine to the wreck is about 900 nautical miles, or 2.5 days steaming. It is likely that this ship was to the east of the wrecksite; indeed, an ice report dispatched from her on April 14th puts her well to the north and east of the site of the disaster.
ZyldijkNeptune S.N. Co, SunderlandDu 25891213 knotsSavannah Mar 31 to Rotterdam and Hamburg Ar Hamburg Apr 21yellow with alternating horizontal bands of green-white-green
This ship, outfitted with clipper bows, would need 5 days to get to the Titanic. It is almost likely that she was nowhere near the White Star Liner when she hit the iceberg.

Details on the movements of the ships in the Newfoundland Sealing Fleet can be found here.


Some conclusions

The yellow funnel, 4 masted ship

Seen by the officers on the Californian, this ship has never been identified. Some suspect that she was the Mount Temple, a ship matching the description; others suspect that she was the Carpathia and the officers lied about the colour of her funnel to remove the Californian from the area of the sinking.

Initial descriptions of the yellow funnel ship are initially vague; Captain Lord placed her to the south-west, but later placed her slightly to the east of south, or on the same side of the ice field as the Californian. This was soon after 4am; she was still there after 6am, according to Lord in his 1914 interview with the Savannah "Morning News."

We know now that the only other ships on the North Atlantic that could have been this yellow funneled stranger are the Canadian Pacific Railroad's "Montcalm" and the East Asiatic Company ship "Estonia" (which had been seconded to the subsidary Russian American line).

With these two candidates, we have immediate problems; both ships were heading towards Europe and the customary route, as evidenced by the Frankfurt, the Birma et al is that the customary route for such ships was well to the south of the wreck site; even 100 miles or so south. Indeed, the Birma belonged to the same company as the Estonia and it is tempting to speculate that the two ships followed the same course.

Let us assume for the sake of conversation, that one of these two ships was the mystery vessel. At the time Stone and Gibson on the Californian saw the Carpathia's rockets, neither of them saw the lights of another ship. From their line of sight on the bridge, they could see approximately 7.5 miles to the horizon; any ship that was below the horizon would show its (darkened) funnel and masts, then superstructure and finally the hull as the vessel came into full view. But none of these were seen, and we know from Stewart that the yellow funnel ship had a lot of light amidships, indicating that she would be seen over the 7.5 mile limit.

We can deduce that the yellow funnel ship was somewhere to the south at the time of rockets being observed (about 3.20am). If the ship was the eastward bound Montcalm or Estonia, at some point she would have had to have crossed the ice field (and she was not observed doing this), and then wound up at the extreme limit of the horizon at 4am. It is safe to presume that the yellow funnel ship's hypothetical route crossed the ice somewhere to the south of the Californian, and then headed north. This ship is then reported to have been heading west after 4am, in the opposite direction to her initial course.

This can be described below (the name "Moncalm" has been removed for space reasons):

A few points should be clarified; the Montcalm undoubtedly adhered to the same principle that the Mount Temple used; namely, that field ice should never be crossed. And both this ship, and the Estonia were passenger vessels with schedules to keep. So, after crossing the ice field into clear water, what does the yellow funnel ship do? Rather than continue with her voyage, she turns around, heading west. And sits. And waits. For over two hours, when she could have resumed her voyage.

For this reason, the yellow-funnel ship is obviously a fiction.

The black and white funnel ship

Soon after turning round on her course to the Titanic, the Mount Temple saw the lights of another ship, which crossed her bows, from port to starboard, apparently heading east. He later on saw this ship to the south east of the Titanic's SOS location; the Mount Temple had followed the same course, and was prevented from crossing the ice field by the density of ice.

The black and white funnelled ship's description is vague; she had a "device" in the white band; she was about 4000-5000 tons in size (gross?), was not presumably English as she did nott display a red or blue Ensign. Captain Moore of the Mount Temple also refers to her as a "tramp" so she did not seemingly give the appearance of being a passenger liner. But we don't know how many masts she had, or where her funnel was located relative to the masts (many oil tankers had their funnels located towards the rear end of the ship). We also do not this ship's name, even though Moore kept her under observation until after 9am. By this time, the Mount Temple was to the north of the location where the ice had become too thick to proceed, and was somewhere at the latitude of the Titanic, or possibly to the north of it.

What can we ascertain from this jumble of information? Moore's estimate of the size of the ship should not be taken seriously, in this writer's opinion. But it can immediately eliminate some of the smaller vessels that were on the sea that night, and which were only a few hundred tons in size. Also, I feel that his use of the word "tramp" should not be used to eliminate passenger ships, unless one can provide a fool-proof method of being able to differentiate between these types of ships based on the size and shape of their superstructure etc.

What did Moore mean by "a device" in the white band? Did he mean an actual mechanical instrument, or did he mean a motif or design that could be mistaken for "a device" when viewed at a distance? I am presuming that he meant the latter possibility.

The Callisto is one possiblity for this mystery ship, but she is unlikely based on her arrival at Savannah on April 23rd/24th. Another possibility is La Flandre; she encountered ice not too far from the Titanic on the 11th April, but did not get into New York for 7 days. She does not seem to have gone to another port in the meantime, and there is no mention in the newspapers of the time (as far as I can ascertain) of any damage causing an impediment to her journey. She could have made the journey in about 4 days; why did it take her 7?

The most likely candidate is the Lindenfels, a ship that slipped through the net in May 1912 when the Board of Trade were trying to identify the black and white funnel ship. Her profile matches Moore's description. We know from Lloyd's Weekly Shipping Index that on April 14th/15th, she would be midway between the Azores and Boston; exactly where the Titanic went down. Newspaper reports of the era indicate that she encountered the fog that had hampered the Saturnia et al. - but no mention of meeting any ice.

There are two handicaps to this identification of the Lindenfels as the Mount Temple's mystery ship; the first is that her navigational data from her weather logs which puts her well below 40 degrees north at the time of the disaster. The second is that she was heading west, whereas the black and white funnel vessel was heading east. It seems possible that Moore was mistaken in his "black and white funnel ship with a device" declaration and somehow he mistook the Almerian, with her pink and black funnel for this unknown stranger.

The "3 or 4 masted" ship

The ship that Boxhall could seem from the Titanic had three or four masts. This is fortunate, as it enables us to narrow down the options considerably (most ships on the North Atlantic had two masts). We are told, by some, that the Titanic stopped heading roughly westward, so therefore the ship that was seen was also to the west.

Appealling to logic, we can deduce that the ship must have come from the west, otherwise the circuitous route in the following sketch would have to be used to be in the correct region at that time:

So, we are left with the following options: the Indian, Bloodhound, Erik, Lloydsen, Estonia and Montcalm. A possibility is the Campanello, as described above. We also have the Mount Temple too, but this seems dubious as she would have to be drastically off course as described above. Of these, the Bloodhound seems unlikely as she is described as unloading seals at St.Mary's on April 12th.

Where were these ships in the morning? The Mount Temple was on the western edge of the ice field some time after 3.00am, and she saw none of the lights reported from the Titanic. Boat 8 was diligently rowing towards the lights of the other ship that could be seen until well after 4am (which is when the occupants of boat 8 gave up, according to a steward named Crawford and turned around, heading for the Carpathia to the south-east), and the Mount Temple saw no other ship, just the tramp she had been following since just after 12.30am, and the green "schooner's" light after 3am.

Of course, if the Titanic was heading north, then this introduces another candidate...the Californian...

The ship seen near the Californian

Captain Rostron wrote to Captain Lord that, after daybreak, he could see two steamers to the north, and although he declared that neither was the Californian, Leslie Reade has provided some 3rd hand evidence that he was mistaken. Captain Lord's chief advocate, Leslie Harrison, suggests that these two ships were the Mount Temple and the Almerian. Let us look at what was written. Rostron wrote to Lord on September 5th, 1912: "I’m sorry I cannot give you any detailed description of the two steamers seen by me. All I know – one, a four- masted one funnel steamer dodging about, I suppose amongst the ice to the north; the other, two masts and one funnel coming from W to E straight on his course." On November 6th, Rostron again wrote, "Could you find out if he was dodging about somewhere about 5.30 or 6am – I certainly saw 'the' steamer turning and dodging about that time, and if a 2 masted one funnel steamer passed them about 6 to 6.30a.m coming from the westward."

It is astonishing that the two funnel ship has not been remarked about in more detail. Sadly, there are too many candidates to narrow the search down. Certainly, the course of this ship does not match the Almerian's (if she was there at all), and besides, why did the Californian's crew not mention this ship? The Mount Temple was to the south and east of the radioed distress location at this point, trying to establish whether she could gain passage to the east and therefore to the south of the Carpathia; this does not seem like the four masted ship mentioned by Rostron either.

The ship seen from the Californian

If one is hostile to the opinion that the Californian saw the Titanic, then one may attempt an identification based on logic mentioned on one Titanic notice board; that the "glare of lights" on the other ship's afterdeck may indicate a tanker, as the superstructure on such ships was sometimes located aft. The only posible candidate is La Flandre, and she passed through the ice on April 11th, but there are reasons, given above, why we must be careful of merely accepting this as fact.

The mystery lights seen from the Carpathia

A previous essay discusses the lights seen from the Carpathia after 3am, but there is little hope of an identification given the paucity of data. Certainly, the suggestion by Leslie Reade (that the lights were of the Californian) is implausible. The Californian-Titanic- Carpathia were roughly situated on a straight line, whereas the lights seen by Rostron were well "off to the side."

The Lena's story (provided above) seems interesting. If she was 34 miles exactly to the north-east of the wreck, she would be about 42 10 N 49 41 W at the time of collision. The Kelvindale was a few miles to the south, and a few knots faster than the Lena when they passed each other at about 4pm on April 14th. The relative velocity would be some 3 knots, giving a distance of 24 miles after 8 hours putting the Kelvindale somewhere in the area of 42 7 N 50 9 W. This obviously can't be right as the Californian's crew would have seen her...or would they? Perhaps the Kelvindale's course would be slightly to the north to take her to Louisburg, (the Lena was off to Portland, Maine)...perhaps the Kelvindale encountered ice and stopped, or slowed down. We may never know.


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