ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Californian, Titanic Villain

Updated on November 21, 2015
A photograph of the SS Californian.
A photograph of the SS Californian. | Source

Analysis: Risks and Perils

During its inquisition, the SS Californian and its crew were under fire for having its communications system turned off for the evening. As a result, it didn't hear the desperate pleas from the sinking Titanic.

But let's suppose for a moment that the Californian did in fact receive the messages. Here are the risks it would face traveling towards the Titanic's location:

  • Iceberg-laden waters: The ocean was overflowing with dangerous, ship-annihilating icebergs. And lots of them, at that!
  • A calm ocean: While it sounds good on the onset, consider for a fact that a calm ocean means no foam at the base of icebergs to help lookouts spot them sooner.
  • A moonless night: A dark sky means it's harder to see.

If the Californian had magically arrived at the Titanic's location without harm, there would be further possible impediments:

  • A rapidly sinking ship means a panicked crowd of passengers. It could easily lead to swamping even under the most organized leadership. Swamping could mean injury or death to passengers/crew members.
  • Several hundred passengers remained trapped below decks, either by choice or by the ship's very complicated maze-like structure. Likely, the Californian would only have time to address those passengers who had made it to the ship's boat deck.
  • If any Californian crew boarded the Titanic, they faced possible death from falling objects/freezing cold water.
  • There were only so many crew members. At least a few competent people must man each of the lifeboats, and people must be around to assist the survivors to board the ship.
  • Confusion among the ranks and "too many chiefs, not enough indians." Titanic crew and Californian crew would both be trying to corral passengers. Unless extremely organized, there would be widespread confusion. The passengers would likely trust the Titanic crew over an unknown Californian crew leadership.
  • Even under the best conditions, it would take hours to ensure everyone boarded. When the Carpathia arrived, it took several hours to load all 705+ Titanic survivors. Imagine how much longer it would take for even more survivors. Time is not on your side when it comes to exposure to freezing cold water and air.
  • Time, time, time. Not enough time to save everyone off the ship would mean people being plucked out of the water in massive quantities. Fatigue and possible injury would set in among the crew, which would lead to less efficiency in the rescue operation.

Sinking of the RMS Titanic.

Final Thoughts

In my opinion, many more survivors could have been saved. However, it would have been an extremely dangerous operation and it's likely that several crew members of the Californian could have been injured or killed.

What do you think? I'd love to hear your thoughts! You can vote in the poll below.

A photograph of the ill-fated RMS Titanic.
A photograph of the ill-fated RMS Titanic. | Source

Could most of the passengers and crew of the Titanic have been saved by the Californian?

See results


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)