Correct Procedure for Returning to the Ship


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Aaron_2016

Guest
Do you believe the officers were following the correct procedure to allow the lifeboats to return to the ship? e.g. Did Lightoller order the gangway doors to be opened so as to allow the passengers to climb back into the ship once the lifeboats had returned? He thought the evacuation was just a precaution and they would be back at daylight. Was his mind primarily focused on how the passengers were supposed to get aboard the ship again at daylight?

3rd officer Pitman
"We then cast the boat off and pulled away some safe distance from the ship. It was not for an hour that I realized she would go, an hour after we got into the water. I quite thought we would have to return to the ship again, perhaps at daylight. My idea was that if any wind sprang up we should drift away from the ship and have a job to get back again."

Able Seaman Mr. Jones
Q - You thought the ship was unsinkable, did you?
A - Yes, sir; I thought so.
Q - Was that the view of the crew, generally?
A - Yes, sir.
Q - Did you think at that time it would be as safe to stay on the ship as to go in the boat?
A - I thought they were only sending us away for an hour or so, until they got squared up again.
Q - Until they got what?
A - Until they got her pumped out.

Mrs. Lucian P. Smith
"......and said good-by with the expectation of seeing them within the next hour or two."


What puzzles me is, a number of lifeboats had to be cut free as the apparatus had jammed, but if they were expecting to return to the ship again at daylight how were they going to be able to raise the lifeboats after being cut free? Was it a simple matter of reattaching the cut ropes to the lifeboats again?


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Scott Mills

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Jul 10, 2008
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I don't know for sure, but it seems to me that it would be just a matter of running new lines to the davits. Keep in mind passengers would most likely have re-boarded by other means at the gangways--in fact, part of the "plan" was to ferry boats to the ship seen on the horizon and to return loading more passengers in the boats at those gangways.

Meaning, that for the most part, you just needed to attach the lifeboats to the mechanical wenches and haul them back up.
 
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A

Aaron_2016

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Lightoller mentioned rope ladders at the UK Inquiry.


Q - You had ordered the gangway to be lower, as I understand?
A - What gangway, my Lord?
Q - The gangway in the forward part of the ship?
A - I had ordered the doors to be opened.
Q - Well, that is what I mean. You had ordered the gangway doors to be opened?
A - Yes.
Q - And the gangway to be lowered from that point?
A - If there were sufficient time. We had a companion ladder.
Q - I do not see what is the use of the door if you do not lower the gangway?
A - We should probably lower the rope ladder; that was our idea.
Q - That is the same thing as a gangway. You would provide some sort of communication between the opening of the door and the boat in the water below?
A - Exactly.
Q - Whether it was a gangway or a rope ladder, it does not matter. You had ordered this door to be opened?
A - Yes.
Q - There was no use having that open unless there was some sort of gangway?
A - No.
Q - Now, was that for the purpose of putting more people into the boats as soon as they become water-borne?
A - Yes.
Q - Was that the object?
A - That was the object.

I think the rope ladders would also have been used in the return procedure as well.


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