Collapsible D

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Paul Lee

Can someone please be so kind as to refresh my memory. I know that collapsible D was launched at 2.05am, but I can't find the source. I'd be very grateful if someone could help!


Paul. it's from Lord Mersey's report, page 38. Mersey list a horde of witnesses that's too long for me to check just now. I see that Bill Wormstedt and others have the same time on their revised list, so I guess it's pretty right.

Paul Lee

Thanks Dave. I had a check on Mersey's report before I posted this, and I too found the discouragingly long list of sources! I've read Bill and George's revised lifeboat sequences, but it only listed two sources - both from the American part of the inquiry.

And sadly, doesn't list page numbers and I can't find the actual

witness who stated the time. I know someone in boat C gave the time of their departure as 1.40am, which given a possible change of clock time, puts their lowering at 2.03am, which is right for boat C departing a few minutes before D. But darnit, I can't find the witness who gave the 2.05 time!
Paul - our lifeboat article only listed two sources for the timing of Collapsible D, because that was all we could find that appeared to be accurate and useable.

And our time estimates were developed independently, not taking timings from previously published timelines. We used the sequence of the boats to each other, and times given by the witnesses. In the case of D, there is the evidence that D was launched minutes after C; if C was launched at 2:00, then that puts D at 2:05.

There was no witness that gave a 2:05 time, as far as I know.
Kind of a strange question, but here I go:
Okay, we know that Hugh Woolner and Lt. Bjornstrom-Steffansson jumped into Collapsible D from A-Deck, but could one have jumped from the Boat Deck above and made it into the boat without injury?
Am I right in saying that the boat was about 10-11 feet below the Boat Deck, at about the time the two gentlemen mentioned above jumped?
Sorry if this point have already been covered but do we know why so many first class women, like Mrs Harris, Mrs Hoyt, Mrs Brown, Mrs Thorne and possibly Mrs Futrelle(some sources say she was rescued in lifeboat 16), wait so long before entered in a lifeboat...I know that Mrs Brown was lost on the deck with Miss Evans, but what about the four others who, if I remember correctly, stuck together troughout the night with their husband(or boyfriend(I think they were not lovers, as Mr Thorne was unmarried no?) in the case of Mrs Thorne). But, I can understand that at the beginning, they could be thinking that the ship would not really sink...But after 1h30, they surely realize what was going on? Why did they not entered in lifeboat 2? I know that Mrs Harris was injured and if I were on a sinking ship with an injured wife, the first thing I would, it is put her in a lifeboat. Maybe did they arrived on deck after emergency boat 2's departur...If it is true, why did they stay so long insided...I know that Mrs Harris wrote an unpublished account and was interviewed a few times, as Mrs Futrelle, and some E.T. members see their account and maybe know the reason of their late departure...
Thanks for all


Sorry for my english
Jonathan, do stop apologizing for the perfect English.... it makes me feel very inadequate when I think about my occasional terrible efforts on French forums, about which some people are not very kind at all really, even though I too apologize.
I've often pondered the same question, Jonathan. Why DID Rene Harris, Maybelle Thorne and Caroline Brown - all of whom had every opportunity to board any one of the boats launched that night - wait so long to leave the sinking ship? What were their movements which might account for the delay?

For myself, I can only imagine that they prevaricated at the side of first one boat, and then another, delaying their departure on the assumption that they could always take the next one. On a ship of that size it may not have been apparent that, after a certain point, there simply wouldn't BE 'a next one'.

Let's not forget that we approach the 'Titanic' story with our knowledge of what the outcome will ultimately be - an agonizing death in the freezing Atlantic for over 1,500 people. Frightened or bewildered they may have been; but I doubt any of the ladies in question could picture such an eventuality around 1.50 on 15th April. I can assume that they were so reluctant to leave their partners that they delayed until absolutely the final moment.
What Martin speculates would be my guess.

This is a topic I've often thought about. Rene Harris and May Futrelle both discussed their reluctance to leave their husbands. Why Jane Hoyt remained aboard is more of a mystery, but her husband's manner of escaping indicates that they were pretty resolute about staying together (I think the Hoyts' story might just have the "happiest" ending of all those on the Titanic, in that they survived together and in a non-stigmatizing way).

Jonathan, you raise good points (and Monica's right about your English being excellent), but I would expand on what Martin said. Remember that the enormous length of the ship made the list fairly gradual. Even people who left in some of the last boats were shocked once they were on the water to see that the ship had sunk much deeper than they had perceived while standing on the deck.

I think it's also worth noting that, if you read of most pre-Titanic shipwrecks, it was a rare thing for lifeboats to be lowered successfully, or to mean survival if they did make it away. If the thoughts of Titanic's passengers drifted to the accounts they'd read about, the precedent would not have been encouraging. Wireless was new. And though wireless had played a huge part in the successful "Republic" rescue effort of a few years before, it's worth nothing that several ships were on hand before the Republic went under and assisted in the evacuation.

Of course, most of those offered a chance at the boats took it, but it isn't difficult to see why someone might have hesitated. In my view, the fact that Rene Harris had her arm in a sling could have made any hesitation even more reasonable.
Another possible contributing factor as to why there were 1st class women (and child) passengers around at such a late stage is that a number were initially hanging around on A deck awaiting the loading of #4. After quite a long period of time waiting they were ordered up to the boat deck before eventually being ordered back to A deck (once an officer - Lightoller - was free to supervise its loading). See Mrs Ryersons affadavit.

In the meantime once up on the boat deck some of the women may have taken the opportunity to jump into #2 whilst others seeing Coll D being prepared waited there rather than return to A deck. The vast majority though appear to have returned to A deck as #4 (launched just 15 mins before Coll D) had at least 24 first class women & children in it compared to 8 in #2 and 4 in Coll D.

(Figs based on ET survivor list and Bill/Tad/George launch timetable)
Hmmm - I don't know if I've seen the interview you refer to, Peter. I suppose some factors (having to climb over a rail) could point to 4.

But Colonel Gracie put the boat that Mrs. Brown boarded and Miss Evans approached as D, and he had assisted in loading boat 4. It was after boat 4 was gone, as he describes it, that he encountered Brown and Evans.
Hi Peter
I think the early interviews in the NY Times were not very reliable. Plus her words may have been twisted. I think since Gracie had private correspondence with Mrs. Brown, in conjunction with the story he told (although sometimes unreliable), she probably was in D.
It seems in the grouping she would have been so close to her sisters in boat 2, but the way it seems, the wandered away from them.
An additional circumstance to support Mrs. Brown in D is that her sisters whom she had gotten separated from had left in Boat 2 which was launched from not only the same area of the ship but the exact same set of davits. Plus I recall Gracie was fairly precise in placing her and Edith Evans near the entrance to the gymnasium and thus on the top deck.
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