Titanic forum and community
Results 1 to 15 of 15

Women and Crew First

This discussion on "Women and Crew First " is in the Lost and Saved section; i always thought it curious that so many of the crew was saved...please excuse my ...

      
   
  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Posts
    73
    i always thought it curious that so many of the crew was saved...please excuse my ignorance, but not knowing the protocals and procedures of passenger ship emergencies, is it not "passengers take first priority?" .. examples include, all lookouts were saved, and lifeboats 11 and 13 had several crew..is this a fair statement, or am i totally off base ? i would appreciate any response from the more knowledgeable on this board. Again, apologies if this issue has already been addressed, i'm new to this site. thanks

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    676
    Hello Richard,

    I believe that we would have to take into account that some crew was needed in the lifeboats to help steer and row them, and also to hopefully keep the passengers as calm as possible. I think that if I were in a lifeboat with no one from the crew, I would be a wee bit nervous as to how we would propel the thing.

    This would be my guess as to an answer to your question. I am sure that some of the other distingusihed members from our board would maybe be able to shed some new light on this subject.

    Beverly

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Posts
    58,184
    Hi Richard, What Beverly said here pretty much echos my own understanding. Passengers seldom ever know how to operate small craft, and each boat needed somebody to steer the thing as well as some people to man the oars. As it happened, some of the passengers ended up doing both almost by virtual default.

    Cordially,
    Michael H. Standart

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Posts
    73
    Beverly & Michael..thank you for responding. I realize you need some crew to operate the boat, but i was merely pointing out that some lifeboats had an unusually large number of crew, which i thought odd...and as i have read on some of the ET bibliography passages, there were several accounts where passengers were "quite annoyed by the crew", stating that many of them didn't even know how to operate an oar! Is it well known that crew sometimes used their credentials merely to "save themselves", as one passenger claimed ?

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Posts
    604
    Richard,
    I offer up this except from Senan the Wise's "The Irish Aboard Titanic."

    "Equally, it was unquestioningly assumed that the lifeboats were for passengers, and that the crew had no entitlement to them other than to serve as as basic lifeboat crews. Indeed, crew in some lifeboats were resented, particularly by first-class ladies who had left husbands behind. Somehow the crew were not playing the game by swimming to lifeboats or shinning down ropes - and this distaste manifested itself in criticism or crew members for smoking, for alleged but unlikely drunkenness, and for coarse talk and incompetence.

    "If some members of the crew in a few instances looked after themselves and their own, few today would blame them. They did it when they could and when officer backs were turned. One account mentions the strange expression on steward's faces as passengers were helped into boats, an intimation of sicklied envy, knowing what was in store for themselves, but still following orders." (Page 13)

    Molony, Senan. "The Irish Aboard Titanic." Dublin: Wolfhound Press, 2000.

    Can you really blame them? They were only human.

    Josh.

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Posts
    99
    The first boats to leave Titanic carried few survivors because 1) nobody thought the ship would sink and 2) there was nobody around!

    Considering that crew members were more likely to hear that Titanic was doomed or come to the conclusion on their own, it is no wonder that so many of them made it out on the first few boats. Especially firemen, who had been forced from their boiler rooms and sleeping quarters. Some of these men found a lifeboat seat because there was nobody else around. All of the boats launched before No. 14 (Lowe's boat) were roughly half full. Who would want to be outside on the decks in that cold air? Any crew that made it off the ship after No. 14, did so fortuitously. Ranger and Scott come to mind, the two men who slid down the davits to the boats. Ranger even fell in the water!

    However, I think that the most important reason why crew members were saved was that someone had to command, power and steer the lifeboats. I don't think it's terribly significant that so many quartermasters, lookouts and ab-seamen were saved. Apart from the deck officers, they were probably the individuals most capable of effectively operating a lifeboat. (By the way, all lookouts and quartermasters were saved.)

    Nathan Robison

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Posts
    132
    Although the general order would be "Women and children first", I believe that First Officer Murdoch also said something along the lines of "Brides and grooms first", thus saving quite a few men.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Posts
    293
    Dear everybody. Quite a few crewmembers entered the lifeboats without further ado, at least on the starboard side. When there were no more women, anyone was allowed to get in; passengers and crewmen alike. AT boat 3, about ten or twelve firemen jumped in together with the same amount of male passengers, No 9 left with perhaps 20 crewmen (including six or eight firemen and perhaps ten stewards), in No 13 there were about 25 crewmen etc etc. Murdoch filled the boats up with the people who were there, rather than to send them away half-empty. The crewmen and the male passengers who ended up on the port side were not nearly as lucky, on the other hand.

    Best regards,

    Peter

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    58
    I am speaking in general terms , but I believe there were over 200 crew among the survivors. This would average over 15 per boat. While it makes sense to have seamen aboard, firemen and stewards would offer little if any needed expertise. I certainly am not faulting any crew who made it to the boats from the water (Lightoller, Bride, Joughin for example)but the percentage of crew survival was 3 times as high as that of 2nd class male passengers.

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Addingham, Yorkshire
    Posts
    78
    324 1st class passengers, 201 survived.

    277 2nd class passengers, 118 survived.

    708 3rd class passengers, 181 survived

    885 crew members, 212 survived (Stats from ET)

    I certainly am not faulting any crew....

    I should hope you were not...especially 90 years after the event. Statistics can be a minefield but it is an inescapable fact that a higher proportion of the crew perished compared to First, Second or Third class. As I have said in an earlier thread elsewhere, Butler's Unsinkable has faults but he does stress the point that the crew's sacrifice tends to be largely ignored, especially when compared to the admitted tragic casualty rate in Third Class. We must not fall into the trap of casting doubt on the behaviour of whole sections (firemen, stewards) when, in fact, barely 25 per cent of the roster survived. I do not recall any evidence of stewards and firemen taking places in boats and actually denying places to women and children there and then. Crewmen boarded boats when no one else was available and when ordered to by officers.

  11. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    58
    My last sentence reads MALE 2nd class passengers. I have nothing against fireman. I bear the same name as a Titanic fireman who perished. How many of the 118 2nd class survivors were male? then recompute the percentage.

  12. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Addingham, Yorkshire
    Posts
    78
    How many of the 118 2nd class survivors were male? then recompute the percentage.

    About eight per cent of the Second Class male passengers were saved - a shocking statistic, but I am referring to whole sections: First, Second, Third class and then Crew. The statistics can be broken down even further, eg 0 per cent of the engineering officers saved, 100 per cent of the look-outs saved. It would seem the second class men lost out as their boat deck (eight 65-seat boats) also "catered" for Third class passengers who managed to reach the Boat Deck. I believe Boats 13 and 15 had a high percentage of Third Class passengers aboard. And the crew possibly were not restricted by class barriers (real not metaphoric) throughout the ship. On the other hand the First Class passengers had readier access on their section of the Boat Deck to six 65-seater lifeboats, two 40-seat emergency boats and four 47-seater collapsibles - admittedly only two were launched correctly. The statistics of the night are truly cruel.

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    588
    Without taking into account the 3rd class male passengers, look at the difference between 1st class and 2nd class male survival.
    Both classes had the same oppurtunity to reach the boat deck, yet the percentage of 1st class males saved totally overwhelms 2nd class males.
    Was it the mind set of the day?
    Were there more single 1st class males than 2nd class males?
    There are so many intangibles to take into consideration that maybe it all boils down to each persons desire to survive and each mans integrity.
    Some can face death and accept, while others cannot.
    Chivalry was alive and kicking in the Edwardian age and most men played that game till the end.
    Guggenheim for one.
    We know so little it seems about 2nd class men and how they acted on that night.
    Yet, the figures of those saved seems to tell us they acted very well that night.
    I am not trying to open that can of worms of male chauvanism.
    Women of all classes that night showed their strength and metal that night.
    Bess Allison, Ida Straus and Lillian Goodwin to name but a few.

    Best reguards, Don

  14. #14
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    58
    [Good points Don, It seems for every selfish act that night there were a hundred acts of stoic self sacrifice. I doubt we'd see the degree of resigned acceptance of impending death today as shown aboard the Titanic in 1912. ]

  15. #15
    Andrea Jane Rice
    Guest
    Afternoon all, depending where you are on the globe.

    My personal feelings are that preferential treatment should have been for the children and animals onboard - adult humans are capable of looking after themselves and as a rule, selfishly, do. I am a woman myself, but feel it a shame that so many men had to perish because they weren't allowed to enter the lifeboats.

    Had I been Rose, i'd have pushed that no good fiance over the edge and saved him the trouble of suicide in the 30's crash. On the other hand, where Jack was concerned, would have gone down with him rather than get in a lifeboat without. Get a large bottle of plonk, drink it as quick as possible and don't watch what's happening.

    One of the worse memories for the survivors must be the images of the ship going down and the ringing of the cries of those with it. I cannot imagine having to live with that for the rest of my days.

 

 

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •