Boat Winches on HMHS Britannic


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Bob Read

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Dec 9, 2000
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I am able to locate (photographically) two of the boat winches for the 30 ft. lifeboats in Welin davits amidships.
One is on the starboard side just aft of the
gymnasium. The other one in photos is on the port side at the aft end of the deckhouse under the third funnel.
My surmise is that the aft starboard winch mirrors the aft port winch location.
My problem is that the forward port winch can't mirror the location of the starboard forward winch. The starboard forward winch is located in
the alcove between the gymnasium and the raised
roof over the lounge. I see a couple of possibilities for the port forward winch:
1. winch located in the alcove between the raised roof over the lounge and the curved part
forming the port bulkhead of the reading and writing room.
2. To mirror the starboard side location the port
winch is located on the raised roof at the
most outboard part of the curved section
forming the port bulkhead of the reading and
writing room. There would have to be a gap
in the railing of the raised roof for this
winch.

Does anybody know if there is any wreck photo that indicates the location of the forward port
winch? I can't find it in any of the deck photos.

Regards,
Bob Read
 

Wesley Burton

Member
Apr 22, 2004
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Personally I always found the whole lifeboat arrangement on the Britannic to be odd. This dosnt really surprise me.

I dont think I have ever seen any photos from the wreck showing the locations of the winches. In the film I've seen of the area I never noticed a winch.
 

Bob Read

Member
Dec 9, 2000
393
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I am going to add a third possibility to the
locations of the boat winches. It may have been that there was only one boat winch per group of
six boats amidships. In that case the photos may show the location of the only two boat winches. These would be:
Starboard- just aft of the gymnasium
Port- at the aft aspect of the deckhouse under the third funnel.

Since these winches were only used in retrieving
lifeboats, there would not have been any emergency involved in their use which would require more than one winch.

Regards,
Bob Read
 
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