How did they recover the lifeboats from the water


Kari Holmgren

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Mar 6, 2006
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This is my first post so I hope I'm posting it in the right spot. For my english class we are to write a historical story and I'm of course doing mine on the Titanic. My question is, when the lifeboats got to the Carpathia. How did the crew recover them from the water? I know they used a winch but that's about it.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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As far as know, they were simply hoisted up in the davits and kept there until landed in New York at the White Star pier. Not all the boats were taken on board however. The Carpathia didn't have room for all of them so some of them were abandoned at sea after the passengers were brought aboard.
 

Kari Holmgren

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I'm sorry if I wasn't clear enough. What I need to know is how they did it. How did they bring the boats up on deck. Did they through a rope down and tie it onto the lifeboat and then bring it up or what. How did they use the winch? Once again I'm sorry if I wasn't clear enough.
 

Dave Gittins

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Apr 11, 2001
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Carpathia had big cargo derricks at her foremast. They would have had electric or steam power. The boats were hauled on board by the derricks and dumped on Carpathia's foredeck.

There's a photo of this being done. The lifeboat is almost standing on end. It's on page 189 of Titanic: Triumph and Tragedy. It may be online, so try Google images.
 

Lori Dunn

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I know before the Titanic left Southampton the Board of Trade had two lifeboats lowered. How did they get the lifeboats back on board again? The same way as the Carpathia or a different way? Did they wrap a rope around the winch and tie the other end of the rope to the lifeboat and pull the it up or what?
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>How did they get the lifeboats back on board again?<<

All they did was hook the boats up to the falls from the davits to hoist them back up again. There were electric winches up on deck by the boat davits that were designed expressly for that purpose.
 

John Clifford

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All they did was hook the boats up to the falls from the davits to hoist them back up again. There were electric winches up on deck by the boat davits that were designed expressly for that purpose.
BTW, Kari, the next time you're on an ocean liner or a cruise ship, you can see the same thing being done when the ship lowers and raises the tenders used to take passengers to and from shore at some destinations; the Queen Mary 2 did that when she was docked off Lahaina and Kailua, during the Hawaii cruise.
 

Erik Wood

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Apr 10, 2001
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As an aside:

Modern ships are designed to be able to launch and recover there own boats with very little effort. However, there never has been a exact method for a modern ship to recover any number of another ships lifeboats.

This discussion has been had in regards to SOLAS standards for cruise ships, ferries and other COI required vessels that require a passenger certificate. Of course in order for this to come to be, companies would have open the purse and spend some money, which as we all know they don't like to do.

Should a large passenger vessel require abandonment and another passenger vessel where to arrive. Passengers could be offloaded from the boats, but the boats could not be brought aboard as in Titanic's day. That boats can not be put on deck and unhooked from the davit, hence allowing the davit to be used to haul in other boats.

That is not to say that you can't unhook a boat from a davit before it has been lowered. My right knee can atest to that.
 

Noel F. Jones

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May 14, 2002
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“What I need to know is how they did it. How did they bring the boats up on deck. Did they through a rope down and tie it onto the lifeboat and then bring it up or what. How did they use the winch?”￾.

Kari, I can only conjecture that each of the Titanic’s lifeboats, after having been cleared of survivors by way of the shell doors amidships, was then warped forward by means of a wire rope rove through a handy fairlead and attached to a shackle on the guestline, to which shackle the boat would also be triced. The warp would probably be powered from the drum end of a handy foredeck cargo winch, or maybe a capstan if Carpathia was so equipped. This process would probably necessitate putting a couple of seamen into the boat. It could then be lifted onto the for’d well deck on a cargo hook from a swinging derrick, possibly on a spreader to keep it level.


Once inboard it could then be upended on the cargo hook so as to spill out any bilgewater (as per the photo link provided by Dave Gittins). Each boat could be further drained by unshipping the plug once it was stowed on the foredeck.

Noel
 
May 1, 2004
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Noel,
Could you recommend a nautical dictionary? One with illustrations. :) 'Warped forward', 'fairlead', 'shackle on the guestline', 'triced', 'spreader' just went over my head. :-$
Thanks.
 

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