‘Secrets of the Dead’ Reveals the Ship that ‘Abandoned’ the Titanic

Titanic Secrets of the Dead

As terrified passengers and crew evacuated the sinking ocean liner Titanic on April 15, 1912, they saw a beacon of hope in the darkness: another ship’s lights nearby. But to their horror, that ship did not approach them, and at least 1,500 people perished in the icy Atlantic waters before rescue arrived hours later. 

This engrossing episode of Secrets of the Dead, “Abandoning the Titanic,” uses historical eyewitness accounts and records of vessel locations to try to identify the mystery craft and explain its actions. The 1912 inquiry, which accused Capt. Stanley Lord of failing to rescue the victims, was incorrect; his ship, the Californian, was nowhere near the site.

Says exec producer Stephanie Carter, “I want people to understand how a rush to judgment led to the wrong man being unfairly blamed. Imagine what that kind of burden would have been like.”


Secrets of the Dead, Wednesday, November 4, 10/9c, PBS (check local listings at pbs.org)