Mr Maltin said: ”They (the ship’s authorities) may have been considering the public relations aspect of it and was it going to sink or not because then they would have rather kept it quiet, there may have been a slight bit of delay.”
He said the order to go to the lifeboats was given at the same time as the distress signal.
The writer added: ”It may be that it took them that long to look at the damage but it seems likely to me that they were unwilling to send out a distress message.”
He said it was a moot point whether lives could have been saved but added the relatively nearby Californian vessel could have been at the scene earlier had the alert gone out before midnight when key crew were awake.
When it eventually received the alert it was after midnight and the Californian waited until 5.30am to respond.