Did Lifeboat 4 really go back to the site of the sinking?


Sep 10, 2012
29
0
31
30
Portugal
Greetings, everyone.

I hope I'm not repeating a question that was already posted, and no one finds the nature of it too weird, but I wanted to know the answer to that.

From what I have read in posts around here, it seems that Lifeboat 4 went back to the place where the Titanic sank immediately after the sinking and picked up either 8 or 9 people, two of which later died. And later on, Lifeboat 14 went back and picked up 4 more people, one of which died.

However, in Walter Lord's A Night To Remember - or at least, in the Portuguese translation that I own - it is said that only Lifeboat 14 went back, and Lifeboat 4 picked up those 8 people not because it went back to the site, but because it hadn't gone too far away.

Yet, like I said, many posts on this forum say that Lifeboat 4 went back to the site of the sinking.

I know that it has been almost sixty years of research since Walter Lord wrote A Night To Remember, but I would say that that particular tidbit of information could have been known feasibly back in the 1950s.

So, regarding this particular fact... is that something that Walter Lord got wrong when he wrote his book? Could it have been a mistake by the translator? Or is there some other explanation for it?

Well... this is it. Thank you to anyone who answers.
 

Thomas Ozel

Member
May 17, 2012
48
2
46
Hello

I own an English copy of a "A Night To Remember" and Lord clearly states that Lifeboat No.4 did not row back, but was within reach of swimmers - so it is definitely not a translator error. Titanic's lamp trimmer Samuel Hemming, was one of the people saved by No.4, and stated at the US inquiry: "after the ship had gone, we pulled back and picked up seven", also he said that the boat rowed towards the swimmers whom they rescued, whilst the men in the water swam towards the boat. Thomas Ranger who was also aboard No.4, also stated "we pulled back to the wreckage and picked up seven persons." These statements indicate that No.4 did indeed pull back to the wreckage site, or at least near to it, to look for survivors.

I think this was something that Walter Lord got wrong when writing A Night to Remember, although a quite a few books and TV documentaries have made the same error and described Harold Lowe as the only person to go back and look for survivors.

I hope this helps.

Thomas
 
Sep 10, 2012
29
0
31
30
Portugal
Thank you very much, your answer helped me a great deal.

But I feel kind of silly now, because it seems to be the sort of thing I could have easily checked for myself.

I wonder why Walter Lord made that mistake - like I said, it seems to be the sort of thing that could have been checked even in the 1950s.

On a slightly different topic, if both Ranger and Hemming are giving accurate estimates, it seems that Lifeboat 4 actually picked up a total of 10 people after casting off - three before the Titanic sunk, and seven more afterwards.

Again, thank you very much for your help.
 

Thomas Ozel

Member
May 17, 2012
48
2
46
No problem, I am glad that I could help. I don't know why Lord made that mistake, maybe he just accepted what most people assumed after the disaster: that only Lifeboat No.14 had returned to search for survivors, so perhaps he concluded that therefore anyone rescued from the water by other lifeboats must have swum there themselves, and maybe he did not feel any need to verify this, considering that many other lifeboats did not return to the wreckage site. Still, this is only a theory of mine.

Thomas
 

L. Colombo

Member
Nov 22, 2012
53
0
46
if both Ranger and Hemming are giving accurate estimates, it seems that Lifeboat 4 actually picked up a total of 10 people after casting off - three before the Titanic sunk, and seven more afterwards
Well, I, too, am convinced that boat 4 picked up more than the usual figure of eight (Scott, Hemming, Dillon, Cunningham, Siebert, Prentice, Lyons and another, possibly White). I think that two people were picked up before the sinking: Scott, who fell into the water while climbing down No. 16's falls to boat 4, and Hemming, who swam over to boat 4, about 200 yards away, in the last minutes of the sinking. (This would make three if we count also Ranger, but he was never in the water, he just climbed down the falls like Scott, without losing his hold). After the sinking, the boat rowed back and picked up seven or eight people from the water: Dillon, Cunningham, Siebert, Prentice, Lyons and two or three more (among them, probably, where White and a third class passenger). I was trying to analize some of boat 4 questions in my post "Boat 4 and men pulled from the water".
 

Similar threads