Captain to blame

Rev Clive Tutty
Rev Clive Tutty
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THE captain of the Titanic was to blame for its sinking according to an Uddingston minister.

There were many other faults which contributed to the loss of around 1,500 lives on April 14, 1912, but the Rev Clive Tutty of the Church of the Nazerene put the blame squarely on the shoulders of Captain Edward John Smith.

Having researched the deep sea tragedy Mr Tutty presented his findings to the Monday Club Circle at Park United Free Church.

At the start of the 1900s an estimated two and a half million passengers were crossing the ocean and much larger ships were being built, but while the average tonnage was 14, the ‘unsinkable’ Titanic was a staggering 44,000-tons.

Mr Tutty produced slides which showed the sunken Titanic lying two and a half miles down on the sea bed, complete with some of her unused life boats.

He said: “During trial tests it took the ship 850 yards to halt after an emergency stop was ordered. It also took an estimated 30 seconds after the order to turn before its bow began to move.

“Captain Smith was sailing too fast for the conditions. Many other ships in the vicinity had stopped to
analysed the conditions. He did not.”

One of the Titanic’s sides was slit open for 300 yards by part of the submerged iceberg, slicing the steel metal above the equally submerged watertight double skin hull.

Rev Tutty continued: “Because the ship was thought by some passengers to be ‘unsinkable’ many of them refused to be lowered the 70ft from one of the decks to life boats.

“Some of the wealthy first class passengers took their dogs with them on the life boats and one large dog was paddling in the freezing water for five hours before it was hauled to safety onto a lifeboats.

“The ship boasted that it had watertight cabins, but they were not sealed at the top and minutes after it was holed water poured in on resident passengers.”

Captain Smith was the most popular and highly regarded captains of his time and many people would only sail with him.

Rev Tutty, who has theorised how he may have averted the disaster, said: “He was travelling too fast into an known ice field and if he had only slowed down by five or six knots and taken the precautions of every other ship in the area he would have missed the iceberg.

He added it was not the purpose of his lecture to rake over Captain Smith’s mistakes, but to examine what happened and learn from it.