Beesley (et al) and the Aft Port Side Boats

Encyclopedia Titanica

Encyclopedia Titanica

Philip Hind
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Sm port boats aft OG
Highly observant Second Class passenger Lawrence Beesley helps to rewrite the Titanics lifeboat departure story...
Particularly in relation to the lowering of the aft boats to port — numbers 16 and 14 — directly opposite the aft starboard side where Beesley was.
Titanica! Wed, 19 Apr 2023
 
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This is one of the most cherry-picket articles I've ever read. But then again, given the author, I'm not really surprised.
 
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But then again, given the author, I'm not really surprised.
Agreed. If he and a certain ET member with media links and a penchant for gunslingers on board the Titanic ever sat down to write an article together about the disaster, the casual reader can be forgiven for mistaking it for The Forsyte Saga.
 
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Doesn't make much sense.
Depending which survivor account one take, multiple launch orders could be done.
Can easily do one with No. 13 to be the first one launched or No. 6 to be the very first lowered from the ship (even before the starboard ones).
 
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Depending which survivor account one take, multiple launch orders could be done.
Which why a responsible author would never just go with just one or two accounts, but consider multiple accounts and their context with which to correlate with, as well as other evidence, in seeking out what might have really happened.
 
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Which why a responsible author would never just go with just one or two accounts, but consider multiple accounts and their context with which to correlate with, as well as other evidence, in seeking out what might have really happened.
True, in principle. But in some complicated cases, such as the Lifeboat Launching Sequence of the sinking Titanic, there are so many individually inconsistent, mutually contradictory and collectively ambiguous survivor statements that there is the risk that by considering and collating multiple accounts, any responsible author may unintentionally arrive at the wrong conclusion.
 
True, in principle. But in some complicated cases, such as the Lifeboat Launching Sequence of the sinking Titanic, there are so many individually inconsistent, mutually contradictory and collectively ambiguous survivor statements that there is the risk that by considering and collating multiple accounts, any responsible author may unintentionally arrive at the wrong conclusion.
Especially when one try to proof his theory as the only and right one.
 
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That is why also other factors had to be taken into account like the list and trim the ship had.
This of course did not work when false statements are done by what davits on the wreck show (they are in a swung out position and no indication that the crew try to "correct" the list).
 
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That is why also other factors had to be taken into account like the list and trim the ship had.
Exactly!
This of course did not work when false statements are done by what davits on the wreck show
I believe you are talking about the following inaccurate claim from the recently revised W-F-B article:

>>For example, there is one cluster of lifeboat davits that landed near each-other on the ocean floor. When looking at this image, it is readily apparent that the davit arms are swung out to different degrees, even on the same davit base. This indicates that neighboring lifeboats weren’t even necessarily swung out to the same degree. Indeed, one davit arm and base was recovered and preserved by RMS Titanic Inc. The preserved davit shows that the surviving davit arm, and the base of the davit for the neighboring lifeboat, were not swung out to the same angle. Technical researchers have indicated that the worm gear would not allow the angle of the davit arms to move accidentally within the base, even during the trauma of the sinking. In other words, the positions of the davits at the wreck site are where the crewmen positioned them, over 100 years ago.<<

As pointed out in App-A of my two part article,
"From Figure A-01 [in my article], it is clear that in the case of a davit that is fully swung out, the hub and screw block would be located at the end of its travel on the frame as shown on the right side of the figure. Thus, in the case of dislodged davit, such as found at a wreck, it is the position of the hub on the frame that would determine to what extent the davit was originally swung out to, not necessarily the angle of the davit arm itself."

The position of the hub and screw block is what is not likely to shift in a dislodged davit. The davit arm itself, as witnessed on the recovered davit, can easily swing to almost any angle once the quadrant gets dislodged from the bottom of the davit frame, but not the hub.
As concluded in App-A, of the 16 pairs of davits, we know the whereabouts of 12 of them. Aside from boat Station No. 1 (where collapsible boat A was to be attached to), only one pair (in total 2 arms) in the cluster of davits appear not to be in a fully swung out position. Both of these were from the forward starboard side.
 
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I'll never understand why Seanan Molony continues to get published and featured on documentaries, he is the Skip Bayless of the Titanic community. Please stop allowing him to post here.
 
Please confine comments to the substance of the article and not make personalised remarks.
 
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One of the problems I have with Beesley is that he never gave any testimony on oath.

I have read Beesley’s account of that night many times. I think there are some obvious errors in his account, and also some very accurate recollections. Not surprising given the circumstances.

Beesley’s account is so well known, but not being tested under oath and subject to cross examination must be treated as having certain caveats added?

His accounts are rather contrived and too considered. Nothing about ‘I did this at this time’ etc. Rather refrained and refined. Not ‘raw’ if that makes sense.

I am aware of the newspaper interviews then his published account at the time. I am also aware of the later controversy when he was interviewed by Leslie Harrison when Beesley was quite elderly.

One of the key witnesses who arguably should have been called as a witness to both Inquiries.
 
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One of the problems I have with Beesley is that he never gave any testimony on oath.

I have read Beesley’s account of that night many times. I think there are some obvious errors in his account, and also some very accurate recollections. Not surprising given the circumstances.

Beesley’s account is so well known, but not being tested under oath and subject to cross examination must be treated as having certain caveats added?

His accounts are rather contrived and too considered. Nothing about ‘I did this at this time’ etc. Rather refrained and refined. Not ‘raw’ if that makes sense.

I am aware of the newspaper interviews then his published account at the time. I am also aware of the later controversy when he was interviewed by Leslie Harrison when Beesley was quite elderly.

One of the key witnesses who arguably should have been called as a witness to both Inquiries.
I have read it a couple times also. It's not all that long of a book. But I found it interesting to read. I know I have posted this many times before but in case some of the newer members wish to read it you can read it free at the link below. Cheers all.
 
I have read Beesley’s account of that night many times. I think there are some obvious errors in his account, and also some very accurate recollections. Not surprising given the circumstances. His accounts are rather contrived and too considered. Nothing about ‘I did this at this time’ etc. Rather refrained and refined. Not ‘raw’ if that makes sense.
Very true, but Beesley was giving statements from his own somewhat limited perspective as a surviving passenger. Being berthed in Second Class at the stern of the ship, by his own admission it took him some minutes to realize something was wrong. We have to consider how much he could have seen , heard and understood about what actually was happening the first time he went up on to the deck of the 882-foot Titanic. He then returned to his cabin to put on warmer clothes, lifejacket etc and at some stage helped a couple of anxious ladies.....and so on before being eventually rescued on Lifeboat #13.

What I am saying is that while there are some very useful points in his narrative, it was mainly from his limited perspective of what he saw and heard before he found a place in the lifeboat. This would have been mostly what was happening around him on the stern section of the sinking Titanic and later on board the lifeboat - like his helping with little Alden Caldwell etc. As for his account being "too considered and refined", IMO that was the result of his background; Lawrence Beesley was an educated academician and would have wanted to put down what he saw and heard, as well as his interpretations thereof, in a clear and precise manner and in doing so might have added some caveats.

One of the problems I have with Beesley is that he never gave any testimony on oath. One of the key witnesses who arguably should have been called as a witness to both Inquiries.
Beesley’s account is so well known, but not being tested under oath and subject to cross examination must be treated as having certain caveats added?
Yes, had Beesley been called in to testify, some more useful information might have emerged but at the time he might not have been considered as a 'key witness'. His main exclusivity was that he was one of only a dozen or so male passengers from Second Class who survived.

There is another point I'd like to make at this juncture. While I feel that had Beesley been called in to testify, he would have given a clear and precise account of his experiences as he believed them, being under oath did not necessarily guarantee that the someone was being more accurate or truthful. Those who were called in made several mutually contradictory statements out of which at best only one could have been true and at worst, none at all. For example surviving officers like Lightoller and Boxhall made statements under oath the validity of which some of us are discussing and questioning over 110 years later in these forums.
 
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One of the problems I have with Beesley is that he never gave any testimony on oath.

I have read Beesley’s account of that night many times. I think there are some obvious errors in his account, and also some very accurate recollections. Not surprising given the circumstances.

Depends which version you take. His very first version he wrote aboard Carpathia was partly different from what he later published in his book.
 
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