They were loaded poorly. But hey just hundreds left to die. No problem.

Your reply makes my point, Steven.

A lifeboat cannot be loaded "poorly"; it has to be loaded and lowered

**properly** and, more to the point -

** safely**.

To determine what is safe and proper, you have to know what you are talking about. Having loaded and lowered more lifeboats than I care to remember - including

*Titani*c-type and even older, allow me to advise you.

A Lifeboat capacity was decided by dividing the internal volume in cubic feet by ten. The standard 30 ft lifeboat had an internal volume of about 648 cu.ft. which means it was designed to carry +/- 65 people. These would first occupy the seating and the remainder stand between the thwarts.

In 1912, lifeboats were lowered using two individual manila ropes about 6.3 or 7.9 inches in circumference - situated- one at each end of the boat.

*Titani*c's lifeboats probably had the larger diameter ones.

Each rope was individually slackened -off by "surging" around a crucifix bollard mounted on the boat - one each end of the boat on the boat deck. Consequently, the lowering method was subject to jerks and jambs on the way down.

If we use an average of 140 lbs per person ,it means that a full, full-size boat and contents weighed close to 6.5 tons.

The ultimate strength of these lifeboat fall /ropes was found by dividing the circumference squared by 3. Thus for the thinner rope it was 13.25 tons and for the thicker one - 20.8 tons. "More than enough", you might say.

However, on page 37, the Seamanship manual of the day "Nicholls's Seamanship"

**, very clearly states:** *"one sixth of its [ manila rope} ultimate strength offers a good factor of safety in order to resists excessive stresses due to sudden jerks on the fall. When occasional lift is made there is not so much wear and tear on the gear and C squared divided by 7 may be accepted as giving a safe margin."* Consequently, using the less cautious factor of 6 -

*Titanic's* safety margin for her lifeboat falls was either 2.25 tons or 3.5 tons. If we use the one seventh-"belt and braces" recommendation, the problems is even greater.

If the above, less cautious and bigger rope fall factors are applied to

*Titani*c, then we find that the lifeboats should not have weighed more than 3.5 Tons fully loaded. This suggests that each boat should not have intially been loaded with more than 24 to 26 persons.

It follows that, by limiting the initial number boarding a lifeboat, a well-trained seaman would actively reduce the possibility of a lifeboat fall parting - caused by

* "excessive stresses due to sudden jerks on the fall" *resulting in the sudden stopping of the lowering process. Which initially would be caused by less than smooth slackening-off of the falls. ( Phew!)

This would most certainly have been the case when there was the least urgency and divided opinions of those on board.

Have a look at the time-line:

It was 20 minutes before they started getting the boats ready and another twenty before they started loading them. By that time, the distress calls had gone out. The first lifeboat - No.7 - was launched before bridge permission had been given.. it had 29 people on board - not one of them was a child.

Within one hour and 10 minutes, all the boats had gone. and before that time " despaerate times require(d) desperate measures."

I deal with this subject in my new book. I hope that it will help to clear the fog of conjecture which surrounds this part of the disaster.