Emergency Boat No 1


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Mar 20, 2000
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Re: Boat 1

Any & All,

I've posted a couple of questions that have gone unanswered on the general "Lifeboats" thread so I'm trying it this way:

1) Was this boat's getting caught up in what has been called a guy wire (and I haven't the foggiest idea what that is)indicative of a list to port? Or was the "guy wire" an obstruction that would have figured in regardless of a list? (If a list caused or contributed to the trouble it could indicate 2 things: a) the known port side list was perceptible earlier than has been identified and /or b) boat 1 went off later than 1:10.)


2) A related question is: about how much time would the releasing of the craft from the "wire" have taken? Would this be a simple procedure or would it have taken a while to fix?

My suspicion is that Boat 1 was lowered AFTER 1:10 AM as is generally thought. My reasoning is based on:

1) my own little guess that as the boat got caught up on the way down, time was taken up in releasing it, and so it didn't hit the water til between 1:15 (as Mersey guessed during the Enquiry)and perhaps 1:20 or even after.

2) evidence in Lucy Duff Gordon's 1932 book to the effect that the boat was stuck for what she estimated to be a long time.

3) testimony of crewmember as to the fact that as the boat rowed off he noticed the portholes just under the Titanic's bow name-plate were awash - a time which Don Lynch/Ken Marscall in their collaborative rendition (pp 122-23 of Titanic: An Illustrated History)places at approximately 1:30 AM.

4) another mere hunch that the 30 minute gap between the long-held 1:10 time for Boat 1 and the 1:40 time for Boat C, which used the same davits, is excessive. Why would it have taken that long to load C into the davits when it was near at hand? Unless fitting a collapsible into davits was more time-consuming than with other boats(?)

I would especially like to hear from the several sea-faring men on the ET board who might be more adept at figuring out such complexities (at least to landlubbers) as freeing an entangled boat, loading davits, lowering boats, etc., and the time involved in these maneuvers.

Randy
 

George Behe

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Dec 11, 1999
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Randy wrote:

>4) another mere hunch that the 30 minute gap >between the long-held 1:10
>time for Boat 1 and the 1:40 time for Boat C, >which used the same
>davits, is excessive.

Hi, Randy!

Actually, it's worse than you think. :)

Collapsible C was actually launched at around 2 a.m. instead of 1:40 a.m. (Hugh Woolner testified that C was still on board the Titanic while Collapsible D was being hooked up to the davits.)

>Why would it have taken that long to load C into
>the davits when it was near at hand?

It was because of the non-availability of officers to supervise the lowering of the boat; all officers were occupied elsewhere until Murdoch arrived at Collapsible C.

All my best,

George
 
Mar 20, 2000
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George,

Thanks so much! YOUR expert opinion is of course TRULY expert. Very interesting about C leaving so very late.

So do you think Boat 1's launching could have been a bit later as well?

And in between finishing w/ 1 & coming back to get C ready where was Murdoch? I'm assuming he helped launch Boats 9, 11, 13, 15?

Do you believe (as I do) that he didn't go immediately to C because there was no one left on the forward starboard deck after 1 had gone to fill it? - the crowd having moved to the aft boats. This surely would back up the Duff Gordons' contention that the fore part of the boat deck was empty of people when it cast off.

Thanks so much, George.

Randy
 

George Behe

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Dec 11, 1999
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Hi, Randy!

>So do you think Boat 1's launching could have >been a bit later as well?

IMO not *too* much later, because Lowe and Crowe seem to have crossed over to #14 after they finished helping at #1, and #14 was launched before Murdoch launched #9. (As you may have gathered, the British Inquiry's lifeboat launch sequence leaves a lot to be desired as far as accuracy goes.)

>And in between finishing w/ 1 & coming back to >get C ready where was
>Murdoch? I'm assuming he helped launch Boats 9, >11, 13, 15?

Yes, as well as #10.

>Do you believe (as I do) that he didn't go >immediately to C because
>there was no one left on the forward starboard >deck after 1 had gone to
>fill it? - the crowd having moved to the aft >boats.

I suspect that had a lot to do with it. Also, since his presence wasn't required during the time Collapsible C was being attached to the falls and prepared for lowering, Murdoch probably figured he
could be more useful at other boats which were almost ready to be lowered.

Take care, old chap.

All my best,

George
 
Jun 28, 2009
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Another point to make is that William Carter saw his wife and children safely into lifeboat 4 which is thought to have left around 1.55am. Therefore this does indicate that Collapsible C was lowered later than generally estimated.
 
Jul 26, 2009
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omg those people didn't think about the others!!! 12 people out of 40 capacity?

[Moderator's note: Editied to delete potentially offensive expletive. MAB]
 
Jul 9, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
>>omg those people didn't think about the others!!! 12 people out of 40 capacity?<<

Errrr....I don't think you'll find it's quite that simple. That Titanic's crew managed to get 18 of 20 boats away in the time they had with no serious accident or injury even though they had practically non-existant training is no small accomplishment.

One of the overriding problems was that you had a distinct shortage of boats, an equally distinct surplus of people and no real plan for dealing with the emergency at hand. They had to make it up on the fly and hope for the best. It didn't help matters that some of the passengers flat out refused to get in the boats even when the offer was made.

While it's really indisputable that they could have done much better, in light of what they had going against them, it's amazing they managed even as well as they did.
 
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