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Lifeboat drill

Discussion in 'Security & Safety' started by Paul Lee, Jun 13, 2004.

  1. Paul Lee

    Paul Lee Member

    I gather there was supposed to be a lifeboat drill on ship on the Sunday, but for some reason this didn't happen. One explanation that I have heard is that this was dropped because the disparity between the lifeboat capacity and the number of people on board would have been obvious; I don't believe this, as I am sure there were drills on the Olympic?

    Cheers

    Paul
    --
    http://www.paullee.com
     
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  2. Dave Gittins

    Dave Gittins Member

    Several explanations have been offered. Archie Jewell put it down to the cold wind. Edward Wheelton said it would interfere with preparations for lunch. The boat list for the black gang was not displayed until after the drill was due.

    The lack of a drill probably didn't matter much. It would only have involved mustering the crew at their boats.
     
  3. Paul Lee

    Paul Lee Member

    Yes, I recall Frank Prentice saying that the lifeboat stations' notice was pinned up in the galley, on the 14th - probably too late to do anything about it.

    Paul
    --
    http://www.paullee.com
     
  4. >>One explanation that I have heard is that this was dropped because the disparity between the lifeboat capacity and the number of people on board would have been obvious; I don't believe this,<<

    Neither do I. Lifeboat drills at the time didn't even involve mustering the passengers. Just the crews who would be manning the boats. It helps to know that very few ships of the time carried lifeboats for all. As far as I know, none of the big liners did, and the expectation that a distressed ship would act as her own lifeboat until rescue ships arrived was very real. The system worked well enough with the Republic, and nobody had any reason to think it wouldn't work with another casualty.

    In fact, the only ship out there that night that had lifeboats for everybody with room to spare was the ever "popular" Californian.
     
  5. Dave Gittins

    Dave Gittins Member

    The rules at the time were based on what was practicable. Californian had boats for twice the number of crew and passengers she could carry because she came under the rules for freighters. It was easy to fit plenty of boats to such ships. Most passenger ships had "boats for all" because they didn't carry numerous emigrants.

    Of 521 British passenger ships, only 93 didn't have "boats for all" in one way or another. The 93 were the emigrant ships that might carry 2,000 people on a ship of well under 10,000 GRT. As British ships lost only 85 passengers in the 20 years ending 1911, the system seemed adequate. I might add that most of those lost were concentrated in two small ships that probably had "boats for all".
     
  6. I've heard there was supposed to be a lifeboat drill on April 14th but the Captain cancelled it. Has anyone ever established why this lifeboat drill was cancelled?
     
  7. Dave Gittins

    Dave Gittins Member

    Read the earlier posts. The truth is that nobody knows the real reason for the lack of drills.
     
  8. As I have summarized in my research article (Voyage 95, Titanic International Society) not all list were ready and it was the Captain decision when and were to do one. On Olympic Captain Smith usually did it in port.
     
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