Walter Lord, the author of "A Night to Remember," once said that if he could have been anywhere on the night of April 14-15, 1912, it would have been about 10 miles away from the sinking Titanic, on the bridge of the Californian, in an effort to "understand what those men were thinking" as they watched the liner vanish - and wondered exactly what it was that they were seeing.
A number of maritime regulations were changed after the disaster. One of the most significant was the requirement that the radios be manned 24 hours a day. Both operators, on Titanic and Californian, knew that they were in close proximity to each other. On the sinking White Star liner, operator Jack Phillips silently cursed the other ship for not responding to his increasingly desperate calls for help. Cyril Evans, his counterpart on the Californian, had retired for the night and turned his wireless off.
One of the many problems that Jack Phillips encountered during that momentous night was convincing ships that did hear the distress calls (CQD and, later, SOS) that the accident was serious. (Convincing Titanic's passengers was no less difficult.) This was, after all, the "unsinkable" Titanic.
Among the ships in the Atlantic that heard the calls was Titanic's almost identical sister ship, Olympic, about 500 miles to the southwest. Olympic's response was, "Are you steaming south to meet us?" A frustrated and furious Phillips shot back, "We are putting women and children off in the boats!"
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