The RMS Titanic
Started conversation Aug 21, 2009
The Californian was close at hand at the time of the sinking, so close that Fourth Officer Boxhall spotted its masthead lights, and Captain Smith ordered a boat to row the distance between them. The wireless operator had quit his post, and the captain and crew completely ignored the distress flares, and never even thought to rouse their radioman. Had the Californian responded to any of the distress calls or signals, Titanic's passengers and crew could have been evacuated before they froze to death in the nearly freezing water.
The British inquiry, following the discovery of the wreck of the Titanic, concluded that the rockets from the Titanic could have been seen by the Californian but not the ship itself.