Captain Edward J. Smith Quotes in A Night to Remember (1958)


Captain Edward J. Smith Quotes:

  • Captain Edward J. Smith: [addressing the ship's officers and Ismay on the bridge] Gentlemen, we are in a precarious position. We must be prepared to abandon ship.

    [Officers look at each other in sheer surprise]

    Captain Edward J. Smith: Mister Murdoch, you will muster the passengers. Mister Lightoller, you will have the boats uncovered and swung out. Mister Boxhall, call all hands and get them to boat stations. Mister Moody, you will help Mister Lightoller. Mister Wilde and Mister Pitman will remain on the bridge. Everything will be done quietly and calmly. There must be no alarm and no panic. I will give the word when the boats are to loaded with the women and children. Carry on, please.

    [the officers disperse to carry out their orders]

    Ismay: Captain! Aren't you exaggerating the danger?

    Captain Edward J. Smith: I'm afraid not.

    Ismay: But... Where's Andrews?

    Captain Edward J. Smith: I am acting on his advice. This ship is going to founder.

    Ismay: But, she can't! In any case, we can't get everyone in the boats.

    Captain Edward J. Smith: [grim tone] I know that, sir. Please God, it won't come to that!

  • Quartermaster George Thomas Rowe: [after firing off the last of the distress rockets in a desperate attempt to attract the attention of the "Californian"] That's the last one, sir.

    Captain Edward J. Smith: No reply to your signals?

    Quartermaster George Thomas Rowe: No sir. I think the bastards must be asleep.

    Captain Edward J. Smith: Report to Mister Murdoch. He's shorthanded.

    Quartermaster George Thomas Rowe: Aye aye, sir.

  • Captain Edward J. Smith: [enters the wireless cabin as the ship's end is nearing, to give Phillips and Bride a final order] It's time to go now, Phillips. You've done your duty. You can do no more. Abandon your cabin, it's everyone for himself. Look after yourselves now. I release you both. God bless you.

  • Captain Edward J. Smith: [through his megaphone to passengers and crew as the ship is beginning its final plunge] Abandon ship! Every man for himself!

  • Andrews: [Andrews is looking at the ship's blueprints as he describes the damage to the Captain] Here's the position: we have water in the forepeak; numbers 1 and 2 holds; the mailroom; and boiler rooms 6 and 5. That means a gash 300 feet long, from there to there...

    [indicates gash with a pencil on the blueprint]

    Andrews: Below the waterline. Do you agree?

    Captain Edward J. Smith: Yes. Well?

    Andrews: The pumps are keeping the water down in this boiler room, Number 5, but the first five compartments are flooding.

    Captain Edward J. Smith: Well, what's the answer?

    Andrews: She's going to sink, Captain.

    Captain Edward J. Smith: But... She can't sink. She's unsinkable.

    Andrews: She can't float. Look... she can float with any three of her first five compartments flooded. She could even float with four of them gone. But she can't float with ALL of the first five full up.

    Captain Edward J. Smith: Yes, but...

    Andrews: [cuts him off] These watertight bulkheads here only go as high as E Deck. The weight of the water in the bow is going to pull her down by the head. So, you're going to get the fifth compartment overflowing into the sixth... the sixth into the seventh... and so on, as she gets lower. It's a mathematical certainty. With that amount of underwater damage she can't stay afloat.

    Captain Edward J. Smith: How long will she last?

    Andrews: [starts doing figures on a scratch pad] Just trying to work that out, now. As far as I can see, she made 14 feet of water in the first ten minutes after the collision. That's not very fast. She should live... another... hour and a half. Yes. About that, I should think.

    Captain Edward J. Smith: There must be no panic.

    Andrews: No.

    Captain Edward J. Smith: You'll be careful of what you say to the passengers.

    Andrews: Of course... How many people are there on board?

    Captain Edward J. Smith: 2,200, or more. And room in the boats for...? How many?

    Andrews: 1,200.

    Captain Edward J. Smith: I don't think the Board of Trade regulations ever visualized this situation. Do you?

  • Captain Edward J. Smith: [hurrying to the bridge immediately after the collision] What is it?

    First Officer William Murdoch: Iceberg sir. I put her hard-a-starboard and reversed the engines, but she was too close.

  • Engineer: She's making water fast sir. The mail hold's practically full already.

    Captain Edward J. Smith: Aren't the pumps working?

    First Officer William Murdoch: Yes sir.

    Captain Edward J. Smith: [indicates engineer can return to his job] Thank you.

    Fourth Officer Joseph Boxhall: The engine room says they'll need more. They're rigging them now.

    Ismay: This is most unfortunate, Captain.

    Captain Edward J. Smith: Yes sir.

    Ismay: Do you think the ship is seriously damaged?

    Captain Edward J. Smith: I'm afraid she is.

    [sees Andrews arrive on the bridge]

    Captain Edward J. Smith: Excuse me.

    Ismay: [to Murdoch] How long is this likely to delay us?

    First Officer William Murdoch: Not long, I expect, sir.

    Captain Edward J. Smith: [to Andrews, quietly] We've struck a berg. I think she's badly damaged. I would like to know *how* badly.

    Andrews: Right. I'll go down and have a look.

  • Assistant Wireless Operator Harold Bride: Captain? I got some good news. We've contacted the Carpathia eastbound from New York. She's on her way to us.

    Captain Edward J. Smith: How far away is she?

    Assistant Wireless Operator Harold Bride: 58 miles. She's making all possible speed and should be with us in just under four hours.

    Captain Edward J. Smith: Four hours... Wait, you see a light out there. Isn't she replying?

    Assistant Wireless Operator Harold Bride: [sees the light from the Californian in the distance] No, sir. She'd blast our ears off if she did. Maybe she can't keep a 24 hour watch. Or maybe she hasn't got wireless at all, sir.

    Captain Edward J. Smith: Thank you, Bride.

  • Captain Edward J. Smith: Well, Phillips?

    Wireless Operator John 'Jack' Phillips: Another update from the Carpathia. She's increased speed and is now making 17 knots and she should rendezvous with us earlier than expected at around 3:30.

    Captain Edward J. Smith: [looks at his wristwatch] Still... that'll be too late! There must be somebody nearer. Keep trying.

    Wireless Operator John 'Jack' Phillips: Yes, sir.

    [Smith exists as Bride enters]

    Assistant Wireless Operator Harold Bride: I got you a lifejacket.

    Wireless Operator John 'Jack' Phillips: Thanks, put it over there.

    Assistant Wireless Operator Harold Bride: They're growing in short supply, so these may be the last few around.

  • 1st Officer Petersen: [First Officer Peterson addresses President Ismay and Captain Smith about the dangerous course the ship is on] There are warnings about drift ice, and even reports of icebergs.

    Captain Edward J. Smith: What measures have you taken?

    1st Officer Petersen: I've changed course and reduced our speed.

    Sir Bruce Ismay: Why? You'll certainly recognize an iceberg in plenty of time.

    1st Officer Petersen: Pardon me, but you're mistaken. Some icebergs are miles long, and 7/8 of them are underwater. There is the danger of colliding with the underwater mass.

    Sir Bruce Ismay: Danger? That's ridiculous. The 'Titanic' is unsinkable.

    1st Officer Petersen: Proof of that has not yet been provided.

    Sir Bruce Ismay: [Getting impatient, he turns to address Capt. Smith] I demand you maintain direct course and full speed, Captain.

    Captain Edward J. Smith: That is a great responsibility for me.

    1st Officer Petersen: If I may be permitted to comment... such a responsibility is intolerable for any seaman.

    Sir Bruce Ismay: [Annoyed] What is that supposed to mean?

    1st Officer Petersen: Staying the course at full speed would endanger over 2,000 lives. In the event of tragedy, there isn't nearly enough room in the lifeboats for even a small portion of the passengers.

    Sir Bruce Ismay: [Clearly getting impatient with the First Officer] Enough of your pessimism.

    1st Officer Petersen: It's not pessimism. It's our duty to consider every possibility.

    Sir Bruce Ismay: That's *intentional* pessimism!

    1st Officer Petersen: What do you mean by that?

    Captain Edward J. Smith: Please, Herr Peterson...

    Sir Bruce Ismay: What I mean is that, as the only German officer on board, you have no interest in the 'Titanic' winning the Blue Ribbon.

    1st Officer Petersen: You will account for that remark at the appropriate time.

    1st Officer Petersen: [Turning to Capt. Smith] Captain, we await your orders on the bridge.

    Sir Bruce Ismay: Captain, you know what the White Star Line expects of you.

    Captain Edward J. Smith: I know very well, Mr. President.

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