Bride under the boat

Arun Vajpey

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We have all read about how Harold Bride is supposed to have been briefly trapped under the capsized Collapsible B before swimming out under the side and on to the surface. Is there any information on whether he had to take off his life jacket in order to be able to do so?

I ask because I know from personal experience how hard it can be to submerge deliberately while wearing a life jacket. Whitewater rafting in Tully River in Queensland, Australia in 2006, our raft, with 6 on board, capsized. As I was sitting at one end, I was the only one ending-up under the upended raft. They had told us very clearly about that possibility and what to do if it happened and so I did not panic in the darkness (or at least I think that I didn't). It was only a 6-man raft and with its inflated edges far more buoyant than a lifeboat but it still took me 3 attempts before I managed to swim under and over to the surface. Bride's position must have been far more difficult and in icy waters of the Atlantic.
 
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SmileyGirl

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How frightening that must be when you have a life jacket on :eek:
 

Arun Vajpey

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I don't mind admitting that it was. The water was comfortably warm at around 30*C and despite the comparative shallowness of the raft, my head and shoulders were above the water, so I could breathe easily. But it was pitch dark under it and I could feel the floor pressing down on my head. I made two clumsy attempts to swim under and over and ended up being forced back under the raft. I then calmed myself down, recalled what the guide had told us, turned onto my back and used my hands and arms to push myself well beneath the raft before levering myself out.
 
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Aaron_2016

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We have all read about how Harold Bride is supposed to have been briefly trapped under the capsized Collapsible B before swimming out under the side and on to the surface. Is there any information on whether he had to take off his life jacket in order to be able to do so?

I ask because I know from personal experience how hard it can be to submerge deliberately while wearing a life jacket. Whitewater rafting in Tully River in Queensland, Australia in 2006, our raft, with 6 on board, capsized. As I was sitting at one end, I was the only one ending-up under the upended raft. They had told us very clearly about that possibility and what to do if it happened and so I did not panic in the darkness (or at least I think that I didn't). It was only a 6-man raft and with its inflated edges far more buoyant than a lifeboat but it still took me 3 attempts before I managed to swim under and over to the surface. Bride's position must have been far more difficult and in icy waters of the Atlantic.
I believe the capsized collapsible boat may have been pushed by the waves created by the falling funnels and this allowed Bride to escape from under the collapsible boat. Bride wasn't sure how he got free. He said:

"The big wave carried the boat off. I had hold of an oar-lock and I went off with it. The next I knew I was in the boat. But that wasn't all; I was in the boat, and the boat was upside down, and I was under it. I remember realising I was wet through, and that whatever happened I must breathe, for I was under water. I knew I had to fight for it, and I did. How I got out from under the boat I don't know, but I felt a breath of air at last. There were men all around me, hundreds of them. The sea was dotted with them, all depending on their lifebelts."


The collapsible was pushed onto the boat deck on the port side, but it ended up a considerable distance on the starboard side.

Lightoller and Colonel Gracie were sucked down and blown to the surface again by the release of compressed air and then they discovered the collapsible boat. Perhaps Bride was sucked down and blown to the surface and this freed him from being trapped underneath the collapsible? Jack Thayer was pushed out by the wave of the collapsing funnels and was also sucked down. He said - "I was pushed out and then sucked down. The cold was terrific. The shock of the water took the breath out of my lungs. "Down and down, I went, spinning in all directions. Swimming as hard as I could in the direction which I thought to be away from the ship, I finally came up with my lungs bursting, but not having taken any water." He climbed onto the collapsible boat with Lightoller and Gracie, and Bride. As the funnels fell the waves would push the collapsible one way and the large crowd of people would be pushed the other way.

Lightoller was on the collapsible boat and he was asked:

Q - There must have been a great number of people in the water?
A - But not near us. They were some distance away from us.
Q - How far?
A - It seemed about a half a mile.

I doubt it was that far, but the result of so much disturbance to the water may have pushed Bride from under the collapsible, or pushed the collapsible away from Bride which allowed him the opportunity to climb out from under it.


.
 
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SmileyGirl

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I don't mind admitting that it was. The water was comfortably warm at around 30*C and despite the comparative shallowness of the raft, my head and shoulders were above the water, so I could breathe easily. But it was pitch dark under it and I could feel the floor pressing down on my head. I made two clumsy attempts to swim under and over and ended up being forced back under the raft. I then calmed myself down, recalled what the guide had told us, turned onto my back and used my hands and arms to push myself well beneath the raft before levering myself out.
Now I know what to do should this happen! But I’m frightened of the sea and won’t go in so this won’t happen to me :D
 

Arun Vajpey

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I believe the capsized collapsible boat may have been pushed by the waves created by the falling funnels and this allowed Bride to escape from under the collapsible boat. Bride wasn't sure how he got free. He said:

"The big wave carried the boat off. I had hold of an oar-lock and I went off with it. The next I knew I was in the boat. But that wasn't all; I was in the boat, and the boat was upside down, and I was under it. I remember realising I was wet through, and that whatever happened I must breathe, for I was under water. I knew I had to fight for it, and I did. How I got out from under the boat I don't know, but I felt a breath of air at last. There were men all around me, hundreds of them. The sea was dotted with them, all depending on their lifebelts."


The result of so much disturbance to the water may have pushed Bride from under the collapsible, or pushed the collapsible away from Bride which allowed him the opportunity to climb out from under it.


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It may have happened something like you say but those 1912 life jackets look quite substantial and I imagine it would be difficult to swim under the upturned lifeboat's side with the jacket on, which is what Bride would have had to do if he was under the boat. When Collapsible B capsized, some air would have been trapped within, more than enough for several minutes for one man to breathe. But air does get compressed and considering the size and weight of the overturned lifeboat, I feel that the "draft" would have been a lot more than my raft mentioned above. I might be wrong, but under those circumstances it seems to me that quite a lot of effort would be required to go far enough underwater to be able to swim under the side of the boat and up to the surface with the jacket on.
 
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alorelle

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Perhaps, but the collapsible boats had canvas siding, and they had not had enough time to roll down Collapsible B's siding before the water hit. So he would not have had to swim that deep to get out from underneath.
 

Jim Currie

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Bride was nvolved with upturned boats///the one he was washed over the side with and the one he swam to after he escaped form under the first one. If he was at the bow of the first upturned platform(for in essence, that is what it was). he would simply have had to lie on his back, grab both gunwhales, lift a little and push. That would get him out from under. Thereafter, as I read it, he swam about 150 feet our from from the sinking ship. after that, he made his way to the other upturned boat.
 

Jim Currie

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There was only one upturned boat. Boat B. All others were accounted for, and they were not upturned.
:rolleyes:Bride was under an upturned one...how do you think he got out from under it? That is the consideration under discussion.

As for the upturned boat question and how many of them there were?

Bride implied that he swam 150 feet clear of the upturned boat then swam back to it and climbed onto it.
Colonel Gracie was on top of that very same boat as was Lightoller. Gracie and Bride said it was upturned, Lightoller said it was not. How do you know, or how did any of the others know for certain how that boat was floating when it was 2 or three feet under water on a pitch black night.?
Perhaps this is yet another mystery which you can explain?
 
Mar 18, 2008
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Mr. Bride: Then followed a general scramble down on the boat deck, but no sooner had we got there than the sea washed over. I managed to catch hold of the boat we had previously fixed up and was swept overboard with her.
I then experienced most exciting three or four hours anyone could reasonably wish for, and was in due course, with the rest of the survivors picked up by the Carpathia.
As you have probably heard, I got on the collapsible boat a second time, which was, as I felt it, upturned.

Mr. Bride: While collecting the wreckage together I got on a big wooden crate, some sort of wooden crate, or wood of that sort. I saw an upturned boat, and I struck out for that boat, and there I saw what I supposed were members of the crew on this upset boat. I grabbed the arm of one of them and pulled myself up on this boat.


Joughin

6085. Then you spoke of a collapsible boat. Tell us shortly about it? - Just as it was breaking daylight I saw what I thought was some wreckage, and I started to swim towards it slowly. When I got near enough, I found it was a collapsible not properly upturned but on its side, with an Officer and I should say about twenty or twenty-five men standing on the top of it.
6086. (The Commissioner.) With an Officer and what? - I should say roughly about twenty-five men standing on the top - well, on the side, not on the top.
6087. (The Solicitor-General.) Do you know which Officer it was? - Yes, Mr. Lightoller.
6088. Mr. Lightoller and you think about twenty or twenty-five people? - Yes.


Senator SMITH. Well, what happened to that boat?
Mr. LIGHTOLLER. It floated off the ship, sir.
Senator SMITH. It floated off?
Mr. LIGHTOLLER. Yes.
Senator SMITH. Without anyone in it?
Mr. LIGHTOLLER. I understand the men standing on top, who assisted to launch it down, jumped onto it as it was on the deck and floated off with it.
Senator SMITH. What type of boat was it?
Mr. LIGHTOLLER. Collapsible.
Senator SMITH. Did you see it afterwards?
Mr. LIGHTOLLER. Eventually. It was the boat that I got on.
Senator SMITH. Eventually that was the boat that you got on?
Mr. LIGHTOLLER. Yes, sir; bottom up.

Senator SMITH. Do you know any of the men who were in the water as you were and who boarded this lifeboat?
Mr. LIGHTOLLER. Yes, sir.
Senator SMITH. Give their names.
Mr. LIGHTOLLER. Mr. Thayer, a first class passenger; the second Marconi operator - I can tell you his name in a minute - Bride.
Senator SMITH. Was that the boat that Col. Gracie --
Mr. LIGHTOLLER. Col. Gracie was on the upturned boat with me; yes.
Senator SMITH. Was he on the upturned boat before you got it righted around?
Mr. LIGHTOLLER. We never righted it.
Senator SMITH. You never righted it?
Mr. LIGHTOLLER. No, sir, we could not.
 

Jim Currie

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Mr. Bride: Then followed a general scramble down on the boat deck, but no sooner had we got there than the sea washed over. I managed to catch hold of the boat we had previously fixed up and was swept overboard with her.
I then experienced most exciting three or four hours anyone could reasonably wish for, and was in due course, with the rest of the survivors picked up by the Carpathia.
As you have probably heard, I got on the collapsible boat a second time, which was, as I felt it, upturned.

Mr. Bride: While collecting the wreckage together I got on a big wooden crate, some sort of wooden crate, or wood of that sort. I saw an upturned boat, and I struck out for that boat, and there I saw what I supposed were members of the crew on this upset boat. I grabbed the arm of one of them and pulled myself up on this boat.


Joughin

6085. Then you spoke of a collapsible boat. Tell us shortly about it? - Just as it was breaking daylight I saw what I thought was some wreckage, and I started to swim towards it slowly. When I got near enough, I found it was a collapsible not properly upturned but on its side, with an Officer and I should say about twenty or twenty-five men standing on the top of it.
6086. (The Commissioner.) With an Officer and what? - I should say roughly about twenty-five men standing on the top - well, on the side, not on the top.
6087. (The Solicitor-General.) Do you know which Officer it was? - Yes, Mr. Lightoller.
6088. Mr. Lightoller and you think about twenty or twenty-five people? - Yes.


Senator SMITH. Well, what happened to that boat?
Mr. LIGHTOLLER. It floated off the ship, sir.
Senator SMITH. It floated off?
Mr. LIGHTOLLER. Yes.
Senator SMITH. Without anyone in it?
Mr. LIGHTOLLER. I understand the men standing on top, who assisted to launch it down, jumped onto it as it was on the deck and floated off with it.
Senator SMITH. What type of boat was it?
Mr. LIGHTOLLER. Collapsible.
Senator SMITH. Did you see it afterwards?
Mr. LIGHTOLLER. Eventually. It was the boat that I got on.
Senator SMITH. Eventually that was the boat that you got on?
Mr. LIGHTOLLER. Yes, sir; bottom up.

Senator SMITH. Do you know any of the men who were in the water as you were and who boarded this lifeboat?
Mr. LIGHTOLLER. Yes, sir.
Senator SMITH. Give their names.
Mr. LIGHTOLLER. Mr. Thayer, a first class passenger; the second Marconi operator - I can tell you his name in a minute - Bride.
Senator SMITH. Was that the boat that Col. Gracie --
Mr. LIGHTOLLER. Col. Gracie was on the upturned boat with me; yes.
Senator SMITH. Was he on the upturned boat before you got it righted around?
Mr. LIGHTOLLER. We never righted it.
Senator SMITH. You never righted it?
Mr. LIGHTOLLER. No, sir, we could not.
You miss the point.

After lightoller was blown out of the vent, he swam to a collapsible which already had a lot of people on it. Yet he stated:
Mr. LIGHTOLLER.:I understand the men standing on top, who assisted to launch it down, jumped onto it as it was on the deck and floated off with it.
Senator SMITH. What type of boat was it?
Mr. LIGHTOLLER. Collapsible.
Senator SMITH.Did you see it afterwards?
Mr. LIGHTOLLER.Eventually. It was the boat that I got on.
Senator SMITH.Eventually that was the boat that you got on?
Mr. LIGHTOLLER.Yes, sir; bottom up."


As you know, there were two such boats stowed on top of the bridge housing. 1 port - 1 stbd. Bride got off on the port one. Lightoller could not have known if the stbd one overturned or did not when it was washed off the deck.
On the other hand, Bride knew for sure his boat had overturned because he was under it.
Since both men were the last to climb aboard an upturned boat, how on earth was it possible for them to know what boat it was the eventually climbed onto?
It was very, very dark and the submerged boat was invisible to all on board it. Lightoller said his boat was "bottom-up" and Bride knew for sure, his boat was bottom up. In my book, that makes 2 boats bottom up
 
Mar 18, 2008
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Aside that Lightoller did mention at which boat he got on, he believed the other collapsible went down with the ship.

Collapsible A on the starboard side was cut free and floated off, several got into the boat, later in the morning 5th officer Lowe rescued 12 survivors from collapsible A leaving 3 bodies in the boat (it was recovered one month later by the Oceanic).
Collapsible B floated off upside down, around 30 people made it on top of it. The survivors were rescued by lifeboats No. 4 & No. 12. Lightoller went into No. 12 and took command of that boat. (Upturned Collapsible B was discovered by the MacKay Bennett a few days later.)

If Jim Currie want to claim that there were two bottom up boats in his book, making Titanic had 21 boats in total, that is his business.
 
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Ioannis, don't you realize that the second collapsible boat must have come from the nearby mystery ship? They must have sent over a boat to help with the rescue and it capsized just as it the got there. None of that vessel's crew survived, but some Titanic survivors saw the overturned boat and climbed on top of it.
 

Jim Currie

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Ioannis, don't you realize that the second collapsible boat must have come from the nearby mystery ship? They must have sent over a boat to help with the rescue and it capsized just as it the got there. None of that vessel's crew survived, but some Titanic survivors saw the overturned boat and climbed on top of it.
He who would wield the tool of sarcasm has an empty tool box.
 

Arun Vajpey

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Bride implied that he swam 150 feet clear of the upturned boat then swam back to it and climbed onto it.
If Bride really managed to swim under the edge of and over to come up to the surface with his life jacket on, why would he have to or want to swim 150 feet clear of the boat and swim back to it? Exhausted as he must have been with the "under and over" effort, in those frigid waters swimming even a short distance would have been difficult.
One thing surprises me though - when a lot of us (me included) have expressed doubts about verbatim truth of Bride's later statements, why is Lightoller's "hot air" story accepted as gospel? I am not saying that did not happen but seems odd that very few people have questioned its validity.
 

Jim Currie

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Aside that Lightoller did mention at which boat he got on, he believed the other collapsible went down with the ship.

Collapsible A on the starboard side was cut free and floated off, several got into the boat, later in the morning 5th officer Lowe rescued 12 survivors from collapsible A leaving 3 bodies in the boat (it was recovered one month later by the Oceanic).
Collapsible B floated off upside down, around 30 people made it on top of it. The survivors were rescued by lifeboats No. 4 & No. 12. Lightoller went into No. 12 and took command of that boat. (Upturned Collapsible B was discovered by the MacKay Bennett a few days later.)

If Jim Currie want to claim that there were two bottom up boats in his book, making Titanic had 21 boats in total, that is his business.
That is not what I am claiming at all, Ioannis.
Lightoller said he climbed onto the bottom of "B". Bride said he was under B". Lightoller said the bottom of a collapsible was flat, like a raft...it was not, it was shallow boat-shaped. Bride said there was no air space under "B". There would have been had it been bottom up.
Bride said "B" turned over as Titanic sank
Sarcasm? Now I thought it was just a piece of verbal irony. Hmmm?
Let's examine your reply according the King's English Dictionary of 1912. Hmmmmmm!

"
Irony 2019-09-23 001.jpg


Obviously The King thought an ironic remark was a form of veiled sarcasm. However let's dissect what he had to say about irony itself.

As far as I am concerned, you have never seemingly or otherwise, adopted, approved or defended anything I have every commented on. In fact, the very opposite has ever been the case.

Sam, you consistently contradict without offering alternatives. In this case, you pounce on the evidence presented by Bride and Lightoller without dissecting or questioning it.
In his last post, Aaron had done exactly that. The idea that Bride swam 150 feet out and 150 feet back wearing one of these things is ridiculous to say the least. The idea that he was under an upturned boat-shaped raft without air is equally silly.
Then there is Lightoller, climbing onto the upturned boat which he said he had last seen on the starboard side, not the port side. Not only that, he claimed this despite the fact that the "raft" was under water due to the weight of 17 or 18 adults standing on it and there was no light to read the boat number. He also said that the boat Bride was on was "set down" on the deck and the one on the port side was supported on sweeps being used as skids. Both these collapsables were upright before the ship sank. Which one turned over and how did it do so?

At least Ioannis offered a very sound contradiction backed by evidence.
 
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Mar 22, 2003
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There was only one upturned boat. Boat B. All others were accounted for, and they were not upturned.
Yet, you Jim, keep insisting that there were two upturned boats. Lightoller was climbed onto the same upturned boat as Bride. It was when both of them were on that boat that Lightoller learned from Bride that Carpathia was coming. If you would bother to look beyond what Bride and Lightoller said you would soon discover what I posted originally and quoted above. Every boat can be accounted for. All 20. There was one and only one that was upturned, and that turned out to be boat B.
 
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Paul Burrell

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You miss the point.

After lightoller was blown out of the vent, he swam to a collapsible which already had a lot of people on it. Yet he stated:
Mr. LIGHTOLLER.:I understand the men standing on top, who assisted to launch it down, jumped onto it as it was on the deck and floated off with it.
Senator SMITH. What type of boat was it?
Mr. LIGHTOLLER. Collapsible.
Senator SMITH.Did you see it afterwards?
Mr. LIGHTOLLER.Eventually. It was the boat that I got on.
Senator SMITH.Eventually that was the boat that you got on?
Mr. LIGHTOLLER.Yes, sir; bottom up."


As you know, there were two such boats stowed on top of the bridge housing. 1 port - 1 stbd. Bride got off on the port one. Lightoller could not have known if the stbd one overturned or did not when it was washed off the deck.
On the other hand, Bride knew for sure his boat had overturned because he was under it.
Since both men were the last to climb aboard an upturned boat, how on earth was it possible for them to know what boat it was the eventually climbed onto?
It was very, very dark and the submerged boat was invisible to all on board it. Lightoller said his boat was "bottom-up" and Bride knew for sure, his boat was bottom up. In my book, that makes 2 boats bottom up
Hi Jim. I am intrigued by this thread. As all boats and, perhaps more importantly, the ‘state’ of the boats is accounted for, is your theory that collapsible A left the ship bottom up but righted itself? That would seem to be the sole possible explanation?