At approximately 12:15am on a cold April night in 1912, the first “CQD” distress call went out from Titanic. The call was immediately picked up by the ships “La Provence” and the “Mount Temple”, which asked Titanic to send her position. Titanic’s wireless operators, John Philips and Harold Bride sent out a new position and then returned to sending out the CQD distress call for the next 10 minutes.
At about 12:25am the Cunard Liner, “Carpathia” picked up one of the CQD calls. The station at Cape Race also picked up the distress call and replied to Titanic, but received no reply in return. By 12:30am the “Mount Temple” heard Titanic still calling CQD, and replied that they had “reversed ship”, a term which meant they were coming to help. At the time, the Mount Temple was about 90km (50 miles) away from Titanic.
At 12:32am, the Carpathia answered Titanic and advised that we are “heading for you.” At 12:45am Titanic’s sister ship, “Olympic” heard the “CQD, CQD, SOS” call from Titanic but didn’t answer or seem to understand it. The Olympic was about 800km (500 miles) away from Titanic at that time.
While Titanic slowly sank, Phillips continued to send CQD, and his position, explaining again that "Titanic" had stuck an iceberg and that they required immediate assistance.
At approximately 1:15am, the “Baltic” asks the “Caronia” to “Please tell Titanic we are making toward her.”
At 1:20am, the ship “Virginian” heard communications between Cape Race and Titanic and realized that the Titanic was in danger. Five minutes later, the “Olympic” asked Titanic, “Are you steering south to meet us”, to which Titanic replied, “We are putting the women off in lifeboats.”
At 1:35am the “Frankfurt” asked Titanic what weather she had, to which Titanic replied, “Clear and Calm.” The Frankfurt went on to ask whether any boats had reached the Titanic yet. Titanic didn’t reply.
At 1:40am Cape Race said to the “Virginian”, “Please tell your captain this: The Olympic is making all speed for Titanic, but his [Olympic] position is 40.32 N. 61.18 W. You are much nearer to Titanic. The Titanic is already putting women off in the boats and says the weather is calm and clear.”
At 1:45am the Carpathia heard one of the last messages sent out by Titanic. It said, “Come as quickly as possible old man: our engine-room is filling up to the boilers.”
Three minutes later the “Asian” heard Titanic calling SOS. She answered by received no reply. At about the same time the “Frankfurt” operator came back and asked the Titanic, “What is the matter with you?” In anger, Titanic replied the “Frankfurt” and said, “You are a fool. Keep out.” At this time the Frankfurt was about 277km (172 miles) away from Titanic.
At 2:00am, the “Virginian” still heard Titanic calling, but her transmitting power began to greatly reduce.
The last message sent from the Titanic was at about 2:15am. The “Virginian” heard it, but was unable to read it correctly. It was about this time that the Captain told Bride to leave their post and save themselves. Both men went out onto the boat deck where they tried to help free collapsible Lifeboat B. While neither of them made it onto the lifeboat, both were rescued from the sea. Brides feet were so severely frozen he could not walk. Phillips died of hypothermia on or near lifeboat B and his body was never recovered.
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