Launching the lifeboats


Mar 18, 2008
2,284
594
183
Germany
The emergency boats were swung out when the ship was at sea. In port the emergency boats were swung inward, the collapsible boats (C&D) were under them.
Collapsible boats A&B were stored up right.
 

Mike Spooner

Member
Jan 31, 2018
798
117
53
The emergency boats were swung out when the ship was at sea. In port the emergency boats were swung inward, the collapsible boats (C&D) were under them.
Collapsible boats A&B were stored up right.
Thanks for that information on the emergency boats were swung in, when coming into port. Never stop learning some thing new on the Titanic story! As for the collapsible boats stored up right, was there bracket framework to hold up the canvas side sections?
 
Mar 18, 2008
2,284
594
183
Germany
Not sure if I get the question right, however the canvas sides were down and put up when the collapsible was made ready. When collapsible boat A was washed off from the deck it got damaged (it hit the welin davit and then drifted towards one of the funnels hitting it) the stiffs broke and the canvas sides could not be raised by those in the boat.
 
A

Aaron_2016

Guest
Thanks for that information on the emergency boats were swung in, when coming into port. Never stop learning some thing new on the Titanic story! As for the collapsible boats stored up right, was there bracket framework to hold up the canvas side sections?


collapsible1a.png




At a glance I would say the forward and aft parts of the boat needed to be lifted up and there might have been several wooden supports that folded down and slotted into place. Perhaps like this?


collapsible2.png



While scanning through the Titanic Inquiries I found several references to the boats.


Mr. Weikman - Collapsible A
"The men were trying to pull up the sides when the rush of water came."


5th officer Lowe
"The one that I picked up, I reckon, had been pierced, but I do not know. She was right side up and all that."
Q - Was she extended, or whatever you call it, opened out; were the collapsible sides pulled up?
A - No, the sides had dropped somehow or other.


Mr. Morris
Q - You said you rescued certain people from a collapsible boat which was in a sinking condition. Do you know what was the matter with the collapsible boat?
A - I should think the sides had not been fixed properly.


Edward Wilding
Q - But although the sides of these boats are not in position they will nevertheless act as rafts, will they not?
A - Quite as well. The bottom part of the boat, without the canvas sides, supplies the whole of the buoyancy of the boat. The boat does not depend upon its canvas sides for buoyancy. That is a distinction from the Berthon type, my Lord.
Q - The Englehardt’s are folded up when they are on deck?
A - The sides are; the bottom remains the same.
Q - But the bottom is an empty space, full of air?
A - Either full of air, or full of cork in some cases.


Mr. Lucas - Collapsible D
Q - The sides collapse, do not they?
A - No, they are three parts clinker boats and about three parts of the gunwale is canvas.
Q - Had the gunwale been pulled up?
A - Yes.
Q - And made fast?
A - Yes.
Q - Who had done that?
A - I assisted in doing that.
Q - Who else?
A - There were eight more sailors there besides myself just at the time.


Mr. Pearcey - Collapsible C
Q - Were the sides up? The canvas bulwarks?
A - Yes.
Q - Was it dry when you got into the water?
A - Yes.


.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Mike Spooner

Member
Jan 31, 2018
798
117
53
Thanks for the about information. It would seem this type of lifeboat is more trouble than its worth! Why they just a further four more emergency cutter boats as made by H&W?
 
A

Aaron_2016

Guest
They were indeed if needed in an emergency. After the disaster the crew on the Olympic believed the collapsible boats that were placed on the Olympic were unseaworthy. Not sure if they were the same kind of collapsible boats, but they had passed the Board of Trade inspection. The extract on wiki says:


'Olympic, like Titanic, did not carry enough lifeboats for everyone on board, and so was hurriedly equipped with additional, second-hand collapsible lifeboats following her return to Britain. 284 of the ship's firemen went on strike, for fear that the ship's new collapsible lifeboats were not seaworthy. 100 non-union crew were hastily hired from Southampton as replacements, with more being hired from Liverpool.'

'The 40 collapsible lifeboats were transferred from troopships and put on Olympic, and many were rotten and would not open. The crewmen, instead, sent a request to the Southampton manager of the White Star Line that the collapsible boats be replaced by wooden lifeboats; the manager replied that this was impossible and that the collapsible boats had been passed as seaworthy by a Board of Trade inspector. The men were not satisfied and ceased work in protest.'

'On 25 April, a deputation of strikers witnessed a test of four of the collapsible boats. Only one was unseaworthy and the deputation said that it was prepared to recommend the men return to work if the boat were replaced. However the strikers now objected to the non-union strikebreaker crew which had come on board, and demanded that they be dismissed, which the White Star Line refused. 54 sailors then left the ship, objecting to the non-union crew who they claimed were unqualified and therefore dangerous, and refused to sail with them. This led to the scheduled sailing being cancelled.'

'All 54 sailors were arrested on a charge of mutiny when they went ashore. On 4 May 1912, Portsmouth magistrates found the charges against the mutineers were proven, but discharged them without imprisonment or fine, due to the special circumstances of the case. Fearing that public opinion would be on the side of the strikers, the White Star Line let them return to work and Olympic sailed on 15 May.'



.
 

Mike Spooner

Member
Jan 31, 2018
798
117
53
I guest the 40 collapsible added to the Olympic after Titanic sunk was just a quick fix for the problem at the time. As looking at photos of the added lifeboats in 1913, they look like the same wooden boats as when launch in 1911.
 
Mar 18, 2008
2,284
594
183
Germany
She got Berthon collapsible boats which remained aboard until October 1912. During the 1912/13 refit she got additional wooden boats (to the already 16 she had) which had a different dimension as the ones she had and she also got new collapsible boats which were stored under the wooden boats.
 

Moj

Member
Jun 16, 2018
24
5
13
I have read a lot of threads about the fact that the lifeboats werent full and about 500 more people could have survived if the lifeboats were filled up to capacity. But on the other hand I read somewhere else that the officers didnt do that because of technical dangers relating to safety of the lifeboats.

I am no expert when it comes to ships so I would really appreciate it if someone clear this for me once and answer this question that afterall was it techincally possible for 500 or even 200 or 100 people to survive or not ?
 
A

Aaron_2016

Guest
I have read a lot of threads about the fact that the lifeboats werent full and about 500 more people could have survived if the lifeboats were filled up to capacity. But on the other hand I read somewhere else that the officers didnt do that because of technical dangers relating to safety of the lifeboats.

I am no expert when it comes to ships so I would really appreciate it if someone clear this for me once and answer this question that afterall was it techincally possible for 500 or even 200 or 100 people to survive or not ?
Their idea was to fill each lifeboat 'after' they had reached the water and the passengers would climb down rope ladders from the gangway doors. The women and children would find this too physical so they were asked to board the lifeboats from the top decks and the men would enter later via the gangway doors after each lifeboat was safely lowered into the water. The evacuation did not go according to plan. Here are survivor accounts of the gangway doors.

2nd officer Lightoller

"My idea was that I would lower the boats with a few people in each, and when safely in the water fill them up from the gangway doors on the lower decks, and transfer them to the other ship. Although lifeboats and falls were all brand new, it is a risky business at the best of times to attempt to lower a boat between seventy and eighty feet at night time, filled with people who are not 'boatwise.' It is, unfortunately, the rule rather than the exception for some mishap to occur in lowering boats loaded with people who, through no fault of their own, lack this boat sense. In addition, the strain is almost too much to expect of boats and falls under ordinary conditions."

"I got just on forty people into No 4 boat, and gave the order to “lower away,” and for the boat to “go up to the gangway door” with the idea of filling each boat as it became afloat, to its full capacity. At the same
time I told the Bosun’s Mate to take six hands and open the port lower-deck gangway door, which was abreast of No. 2 hatch. He took his men and proceeded to carry out the order, but neither he or the men
were seen again. One can only suppose that they gave their lives endeavouring to carry out this order, probably they were trapped in the alley-way by a rush of water, but by this time the fo’c’sle head was within about ten feet of the water. Yet I still had hope that we should save her."

"I had already sent the boatswain and 6 men and told the boatswain to go down below and take some men with him and open the gangway doors with the intention of sending the boats to the gangway doors to be filled up.......We should probably lower the rope ladder; that was our idea.

Q - Now, was that for the purpose of putting more people into the boats as soon as they become water-borne?
A - Yes.
Q - Was that the object?
A - That was the object.

"I told off the boatswain to take some men. I didn't say how many, leaving the man to use his own judgment, to go down below and open the gangway doors in order that some boats could come alongside and be filled to their utmost capacity. He complied with the order, and, so far as I know, went down below, and I did not see him afterwards. That took away a number of men, and we detailed two men for each boat and two men for lowering down."


3rd officer Pitman had received the following order from 1st officer Murdoch.
"He said, "You go away in this boat, old man, and hang around the after gangway."


5th officer Lowe said:
"A crowd of men went down with the boatswain to clear away the gangway doors in the hope that we should be able to find people down there when we had lowered the boats down."
Q - That did not require much skill, to clear away the gangway doors. Anybody could do that?
A - Anybody could do it, but whom were we going to send?
Q - You must remember, sir, that there was a crowd went down to the gangway doors to get them open and we were going to load the boats and take passengers from these gangway doors.

Mr. Chambers
"I noticed a tall young officer clad in a long overcoat, which may help identify him, giving orders to another officer to go into our boat and take charge of the boats on our side. As a parting injunction he gave our officer whom I later found to be a Mr. Pitman instructions to hold onto his painter and pull up alongside the gangway after the boat had reached the water. Preliminary to this, and before lowering, all of which was done with absolute calm, I heard someone in authority say, "That is enough before lowering. We can get more in after she is in the water."


.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Moj

Member
Jun 16, 2018
24
5
13
Thank you very much. This was very helpful. Now I can understand they probably did the best they could at that situation.

And I assume that by the time the ship sank and many people were in the other and still alive the lifeboats were far away and so they couldnt pick up any more people from the water.
 

Similar threads