George McGough


George Jacub

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Hi Sam,
The lowering of Lifeboats No. 13 and 15 is a complicated affair.
No. 13 was lowered off the boat deck to A deck. First Officer Murdoch was seen going to port after ordering No. 13 down. When he returned he wasn't happy to see No. 13 still at A Deck, where crew members had been rounding up stragglers. He ordered No. 13 lowered immediately. It started down, only to stop when it encountered water venting out of the ship just below it. No. 13 sat above the torrent until the ship settled low enough in the ocean that the discharge was under water. But the water flowing out of the Titanic created its own current which swept No.13 back and under the path of No. 15.
No. 15 stayed on the boat deck after No. 13 left, and wasn't lowered to A Deck until No.13 left that deck, too. At no time were both boats at A Deck together. No. 15 collected some people on A deck, even though ship's personnel had scoured the decks looking for passengers for No. 13 and found hardly any. No. 15 then began its descent, eventually threatening to swamp No.13 beneath it.
At which point in the scenario do you see the boats lowered one minute apart?
 
Mar 22, 2003
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No. 13 sat above the torrent until the ship settled low enough in the ocean that the discharge was under water.

George, I don't know where you are getting your information from but that discharge was just about at the water level around the longitudinal pivot point of the vessel. If anything, the discharge port would tend to rise a little higher as the ship continued to settle down by the head.
By the way, if the torrent from that discharge prevented boat 13 from being lowered, then it would also have prevented boat 11 from being lowered. The discharge port was located almost directly under the space between boats 11 and 13. The discharge did create a flow of water which carried boat 13 under the path of boat 15being lowered before the falls were cut. See diagram next post.
 
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ProfileStern detail (boat 13 drop).gif
 
Mar 18, 2008
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Hi Ioannis,
Without getting too technical, Scarrott never says he cut the falls. He says flat out, "We dropped her by the releasing gear." Which corresponds to what Lowe testified. If the lifeboat was hanging with its forward part in the water, i.e. afloat, the only part that could be "dropped" was the part that was ten feet higher, the aft part of the boat. Unless the releasing gear involves a sharp blade, there was no cutting that I can see.

Scarrott mentioned in Question 395 that he thinks he could cut it but Lowe said he will use the releasing gear. However the newspaper The Sketch published a picture of a knife stating that it is the knife now kept by Scarrot which was used to cut the falls of No. 14.

If he really did that I do not know. (I had that article in my mind when stating he cut them.)
 
Mar 18, 2008
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No. 15 was lowered within a minute or two of No. 13 since it nearly came right on top of 13 forcing them to cut the falls. If they had to push the boat off as it was being lowered, as we were told happened with No. 15, then I suspect that No. 13 was pushed off as well unless the list worsened sharply within a minute or so. A list to port would at first be more noticeable on the port side of the vessel because of a widening gap between the side of the boat and the ship's rail there.

I partly disagree with that. Also what most researchers has missed is the part mentioned by other survivors that the lowering of No. 15 was stopped to give No. 13 time to get away as it was mentioned by Ray, Dymond, Rule and Nichols.
Regarding the list in No. 13 it is only Beauchamp who mentioned that he had to "push" the boat away but it is unclear if it was because of the water discharge.

After having re-read some accounts I meanwhile think that during the loading of No. 15 there was no list until when it was started to lower it.
 

George Jacub

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Hi Ionnis, is the Sketch picture of the knife and accompanying cutline online? Do you have a link? This is the first tiime I've heard of it.
 

George Jacub

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Hi Ioannis, thanks for the picture.
Sam, I get my information from the crew and passengers of the Titanic who lived to tell their stories in the days and weeks after the disaster when their memories were still fresh, raw, and vibrant. Thanks for asking.

Sources like saloon steward Frederick Ray who told the British Inquiry:
"The boat was lowered away until we got nearly to the water, when two or three of us noticed a very large discharge of water coming from the ship's side, which I thought was the pumps working. The hole was about 2 feet wide and about a foot deep, a solid mass of water coming out from the hole. I realized that if the boat was lowered down straight away the boat would be swamped and we should all be thrown into the water. We shouted for the boat to be stopped from being lowered, and they responded promptly and stopped lowering the boat."

And leading fireman Frederick Barrett, who testified before the British Board of Trade inquiry this way:
"When we found the discharge was coming out we stopped lowering and all the hose was tied up in the boat."

And British school teacher Lawrence Beesley, whose "thrilling story" was reprinted in the book " "Wreck and sinking of the Titanic ... told by the survivors ; edited by Marshall Everett" where he wrote: "Down we went, the crew calling to those lowering which end to keep her level. 'Aft,' *stem,' 'both together,' until we were some ten feet from the water, and here occurred the only anxious moment we had during the whole of our experience from leaving the deck to reaching the Carpathia."

Some ten feet from the water. Stopped lowering the boat. We stopped lowering. And what happened then? Beesley wrote in his book 'The Loss of the S.S.Titanic": And all the time we got closer to the sea and the exhaust roared nearer and nearer---until finally we floated with the ropes still holding us from above..." Whew. Or, in other words, No. 13 sat above the torrent until the ship settled low enough in the ocean that the discharge was under water.

So, back to my question. At which point in the scenario do you see the boats lowered one minute apart?
 
Mar 18, 2008
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Some ten feet from the water. Stopped lowering the boat. We stopped lowering. And what happened then? Beesley wrote in his book 'The Loss of the S.S.Titanic": And all the time we got closer to the sea and the exhaust roared nearer and nearer---until finally we floated with the ropes still holding us from above..." Whew. Or, in other words, No. 13 sat above the torrent until the ship settled low enough in the ocean that the discharge was under water.

Oh, one moment, that is not quite right.
The boat was about 10 feet from the water when they noticed they would be swamped by the discharge (No. 11 got also close to it with its stern). The boat was stopped and they cut the fall which kept the oars together. Even several mentioned the boat was stopped (Ray, Barrett, Hopkins, Dr. Dodge etc.) no one said how long it was. However it was not so long that the discharge got under water.

Mr. Ray: .... The boat was lowered away until we got nearly to the water, when two or three of us noticed a very large discharge of water coming from the ship's side, which I thought was the pumps working. The hole was about 2 feet wide and about a foot deep, a solid mass of water coming out from the hole. I realized that if the boat was lowered down straight away the boat would be swamped and we should all be thrown into the water. We shouted for the boat to be stopped from being lowered, and they responded promptly and stopped lowering the boat.
We got oars and pushed it off from the side of the ship. It seemed impossible to lower the boat without being swamped; we pushed it out from the side of the ship and the next I knew we were in the water free from this discharge.

Barrett seems to confirm it but did not mentioned the discharge again (but others did)
2171. It was coming on top of you. Just tell us about that shortly? - Yes. When we found the discharge was coming out we stopped lowering and all the hose was tied up in the boat. I had a knife and I cut the hose adrift and shoved two oars over the forward end to shove the lifeboat off the ship's side. We got into the water and there was a bit of a current and it drifted us under No. 15 boat, and I sung out "Let go the after fall." Nobody seemed to realise what I was doing. I walked across the women to cut the fall, and the other fall touched my shoulder.

Similar statement by Beauchamp:

731. Did water come into your boat? – No. Everything lowered easily right till she got to the bottom, to the discharge, then we had a difficulty in keeping it away from the ship’s side, to prevent the water coming in.
732. Did you succeed in keeping her away from the side and getting off? – Yes.

Beesley (early newspaper version)
Down we went and presently floated with our ropes still holding us, the exhaust washing us away from the side of the vessel and the swell of the sea urging us back against the side again.

Mrs Dowdell: We were but ten feet above the water when we noticed immediately below our boat was the exhaust of the condensers. Just above the water line a huge stream of water came rushing from the ship's side. We became anxious, for we feared we would be swamped by the rush of water when we touched the level of the sea. Down, down we went. The force of the swell of the sea carried us directly under boat No. 14, [it was 15 of course]

Dr. Dodge: we pushed the bow of the lifeboat, by means of the oar, a sufficient distance away fr the side of the Titanic to clear this great stream of water.

However as I have stated earlier I do not see how No. 15 was lowered 30 second or 1 minute after No. 13. All the actions in No. 13 took time and no one mentioned how long the stopping of No. 13 was, then also to push away from the condenser exhaust and try to release the falls. (There is also mentioned that the falls get caught during lowering.) This all took time and as several mentioned the lowering of No. 15 was also stopped to give No. 13 time to get out of the way.
 

George Jacub

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Ioannis, I'm not sure what your dispute is. Are you suggesting that the crew managed to push the lifeboat away from the ship and bypass the water gushing from the vent without waiting for the ship to settle? There are two problems with that scenario:
1. While numerous occupants of No. 13 said the lowering of the boat was stopped, not one said it was ever restarted.
2. If you accept that the lifeboat carried 60 people (or more), then at an estimated 100 pounds per person bodyweight (extremely light by current standards), the boat would weigh 6000 pounds, or three tons. Add 500 pounds or more for the lifeboat itself and the crew would have to push and hold 3 1/4 tons of dead weight for the boat to lower into the ocean.

Here's how Dr. Washington Dodge described the sight in a speech delivered to the Commonwealth Club, San Francisco, May 11, 1912:
"The boat in which I embarked was rapidly lowered, and as it approached the water I observed, as I looked over the edge of the boat, that the bow, near which I was seated, was being lowered directly into an enormous stream of water, three or four feet in diameter, which was being thrown with great force from the side of the vessel. This was the water thrown out by the condenser pumps. Had our boat been lowered into the same it would have been swamped in an instant. The loud cries which were raised by the occupants of the boat, caused those who were sixty or seventy feet above us to cease lowering our boat."
Interested parties can do a Google search for "Images for titanic discharge pump condenser" and you will find a few pictures of what might be the vent in question.
 
Mar 18, 2008
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George I have quoted some survivors from No. 13 in my post # 29 including Dr. Dodge from the same source you use! If you continue the source you quoted you will see that they pushed away the boat with the oars! Dr. Dodge was by the way at the bow of the boat so it must have look to him that the water will flood the boat.
It is clear from others that the discharge exhaust was at water level and that water was the main reason why No. 13 drifted aft (as it was also hold by the ropes).

I do not know why you try to make something new. No one ever mentioned the boat stopped for a long time above the water.
 

George Jacub

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I do not know why you try to make something new. No one ever mentioned the boat stopped for a long time above the water.

Everything in history and science should be continually reexamined and re-tested. For generations students were taught that Richard III was not a hunchback as depicted by Shakespeare, that the great playwright used artistic licence to dramatize Richard's malevolence with a physical affliction. Then a few years ago they found the king's body. Guess what. He was a hunchback.

I've never said the boat stopped "for a long time" above the water. That's pure imagination. I said, and I repeat, "No. 13 sat above the torrent until the ship settled low enough in the ocean that the discharge was under water." There's no doubt that the lowering of No.13 was stopped after occupants of the lifeboat started yelling to the men on the boat deck as the boat was about 10 feet above the vent. That's roughly one deck up, but how far the lifeboat progressed before it stopped we don't know. The vent was near the level of the ocean, but, as Samuel pointed out, was likely higher as the stern of the Titanic was lifted out of the water.

How long it sat there, I don't know. Long enough, according to you to get the oars out. How long did that take? We don't know. Can someone estimate how long it took for the Titanic to sink a half a deck or a deck? Maybe. But the scenario casts doubt on the idea that No. 15 left A deck a minute after No. 13 did. If that's the argument by Sam. That's why I've asked twice already for clarification.
 

Gaston Sam

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Alright, updating this thread with a little guesswork:

Summing up, it’s most likely AB Scarrott was mistaken about AB McGough being at lifeboat 14, and that mistake lead Mr. Wormstedt to conceive a wrong lowering sequence. I believe, like many others, that the starboard aft boats were lowered before the aft port boats.

Thinking about who could have been the man that actually lowered the after falls of lifeboat 14 and that Scarrott mistook for McGough, I think a likely answer would be AB John Poingdestre.

Poingdestre confirmed his presence at lifeboat 14 in the British Inquiry. He said he helped load it with women and children, and when asked what was done afterwards with that boat he simply said it was lowered.

Poingdestre could bear some resemblance to McGough, and at any rate they were in the Starboard Watch as Scarrott –though maybe not in the same station- so he would at least merely recognize them both. That’s why he would confuse them, adding to that the poor light condition and the general disorder.
poingdestre mcgough.jpg

Then, Poingdestre never said he lowered that boat himself, neither was asked about that, but I think he didn’t mention that to avoid any responsibilities for the twisted after-fall.
 
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Mar 18, 2008
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Interesting! They look a little similar and with poor light on deck Scarrott might have mistook Poingdestre for McGough. (I am not sure I might have mentioned it already in my article that he mistook another crew member for McGough.)
However I do not think that Poingdestre avoid to mentioned that he lowered it to avoid that the boat hung up and if I remember right they did not asked him about it, only which officer was at that boat and if he helped with the loading of which he said that he spend about 10 Minutes at boat No. 14 before he turned to his own boat No. 12.
 
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