Did Lightoller's panic cost lives?

Do you think Lightoller cost lives because of his panic?

  • Yes

    Votes: 7 36.8%
  • No

    Votes: 12 63.2%

  • Total voters
    19

Cam Houseman

Member
Jul 14, 2020
2,214
532
188
16
Maryland, USA
What special thing did Lightoller do on the overturned Collapsible B that could be described as "heroic"? As I see it, he was one of several who managed to clamber aboard the "raft" and survive to tell the tale. Except that Lightoller's 'tale' had more carefully calculated embellishments that were accepted.....at least long enough for him.
He took charge of Collapsible B, and steadied it, and got them organized. And, when (I think) Lifeboat 14 came by with Lowe, Lightoller blew his Whistle. Collapsible B was sinking, the water was already over their ankles
 

Arun Vajpey

Member
Jul 8, 1999
2,599
986
388
65
I don't believe that Lightoller did anything to "steady" the overturned collapsible but things like taking charge, blowing his whistle etc are things one would expect from a surviving senior officer under the circumstances and not particularly heroic.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

James B

Member
May 3, 2021
102
14
53
Earth
A hero? Why?
For not filling lifeboats properly? For sending away stewardesses from lifeboats because they were crew? For not letting children over 12 years into a lifeboat?
There were not enough life boats, achoice had to be made, I dont judge nor am I envy on those who had to take such choices under stress.
 

Arun Vajpey

Member
Jul 8, 1999
2,599
986
388
65
There were not enough life boats, achoice had to be made
That's true, but there were not enough lifeboats from the perspective of every officer given charge of filling and lowering them on the Titanic. And yet, Murdoch and Lightoller interpreted the SOP and so carried out their tasks differently. Whereas Lightoller rigidly stuck to "women and children only", Murdoch followed the "women and children first" rule, allowing men into lifeboats if there were no women or children in the immediate vicinity. It is likely that between 50 and 70 men, perhaps more if you added additional (more than necessary to row) crewmen that Murdoch allowed when there was room owe their lives to the First Officer. As I have said earlier in this thread, there is absolutely no evidence that any woman or child was deprived of a place in a starboard lifeboat because a man had taken their place.

By the same token, a question that I have asked before but never answered is how many men died because of Lightoller's rigid and IMO illogical attitude. It might be difficult to put numbers to it but there were certainly more than a few. Lifeboats #8, #6 and even #4 had several places which no woman or child took and Lightoller could have been more flexible there.

A point has been made that even Murdoch allowed his early lifeboats on the starboard side to be lowered only partly filled. That's true, but the reasons were very different. Passengers, male or female, were very reluctant to leave a still steady looking ship and enter a small boat in the first 75 minutes or so after the collision. Unlike their port counterparts, the early starboard boats like #7, #5 and even #3 had plenty of men in them plus lots of empty seats. That points to reluctance of passengers to get on board them and not any laxity on part of Murdoch. He might have decided to set an example for those hesitant passengers by lowering a couple of partially filled boats but the intention of calling them back for further loading later. Although by the time he started launching lifeboats Murdoch knew that the Titanic was slowly sinking, he might not have known how long it had.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

William Oakes

Member
Mar 6, 2020
262
143
88
Never knew that Lightoller panicked.
I've never heard one survivor who was ever quoted as saying that Lightoller panicked.
An experienced seaman like Lightoller wasn't likely to panic about anything.
I think that it is quite an asumption- not to mention a stretch to ask a leading question that is entirely unfounded.
 

Arun Vajpey

Member
Jul 8, 1999
2,599
986
388
65
I think that it is quite an asumption- not to mention a stretch to ask a leading question that is entirely unfounded.
There have been a few of those lately.
- Was Murdoch drunk?
- Did Lightoller panic?
Etc. I am sure that there are some others. Like you say, all silly, unfounded assumptions.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 3 users

Similar threads

Similar threads