Lifeboat drill

C

coal eater

Member
did they tested the lifeboats in belfast before fateful voyage?
 
Jim Currie

Jim Currie

Senior Member
The problem most folks have is the word 'drill'.
At sea - when men were standing watches - only those who were off duty and Dayworker attended what was termed a 'Boat Muster' followed by a "Fire Drill". (affectionally known as Board of Trade Sports). A proper Boat Drill only took place in port or at anchor when a boat could actually be manned and deployed.
 
Steven Christian

Steven Christian

Member
I was going to start another thread until I found this one. Figured it would get moved here. Anyway I made a comment in another thread about the Sunday morning drill. There's 2 takes on it that I'm aware of. It got cancelled on Sunday morning or there was never a drill scheduled. I went and read thru the inquiries and the testimonies. The only conclusion I came too was there is no conclusion. They testimonies were all over the place. "Yes we had drills, No we didn't have any drills". Some testified there were daily drills some said none at all. Some testified that the drills were "muster only". Which was report at your station then were dismissed. Some testified that they took 2 hours long. I guess because before Titanic sank there was no requirement by the B.O.T for liners to conduct drills it was not taken very seriously. Certainly seems to me that there wasn't much quality communication about it among the crew. Some testified that the black gang wouldn't show up for the drills even if required. But my question I want to ask is that if anyone knows when the story about the Sunday morning drill being cancelled started? Was it in the papers right after the sinking or did it come later? I'm curious because I ran an across an item in the inquiries that might have fueled the Sunday morning story whether it was true or not. Item below. Cheers all.

3597. How long have you been going to sea?
- A few years, 25 to 30 very near.

3598. How long have you been in the employ of the White Star Line?
- Over 18 years.

3599. Have you ever taken part in a boat drill?
- Everybody in the White Star knows their boats. Every Sunday you have to have a boat drill, but I have never taken a boat drill for lowering a boat.

 
Kathy S

Kathy S

Member
I was going to start another thread until I found this one. Figured it would get moved here. Anyway I made a comment in another thread about the Sunday morning drill. There's 2 takes on it that I'm aware of. It got cancelled on Sunday morning or there was never a drill scheduled. I went and read thru the inquiries and the testimonies. The only conclusion I came too was there is no conclusion. They testimonies were all over the place. "Yes we had drills, No we didn't have any drills". Some testified there were daily drills some said none at all. Some testified that the drills were "muster only". Which was report at your station then were dismissed. Some testified that they took 2 hours long. I guess because before Titanic sank there was no requirement by the B.O.T for liners to conduct drills it was not taken very seriously. Certainly seems to me that there wasn't much quality communication about it among the crew. Some testified that the black gang wouldn't show up for the drills even if required. But my question I want to ask is that if anyone knows when the story about the Sunday morning drill being cancelled started? Was it in the papers right after the sinking or did it come later? I'm curious because I ran an across an item in the inquiries that might have fueled the Sunday morning story whether it was true or not. Item below. Cheers all.
I don't have an answer to your question, but I have read—and I cannot recall where (I really must start taking notes as I read)—that the drill on Titanic consisted only of a group of crewmen getting into one lifeboat, which was not lowered, and then getting back out again. That doesn't seem terribly helpful to me, if it's even correct. (Doesn't sound like it is, from what you posted.)

Thanks for sharing that link; I'm going to check it out.

This is an apples-and-oranges comparison, but I went on a cruise several years ago, and the muster drill was completely useless. We couldn't even see the crew member giving the demonstration of how to put on a lifejacket. Yeesh.
 
Steven Christian

Steven Christian

Member
I don't have an answer to your question, but I have read—and I cannot recall where (I really must start taking notes as I read)—that the drill on Titanic consisted only of a group of crewmen getting into one lifeboat, which was not lowered, and then getting back out again. That doesn't seem terribly helpful to me, if it's even correct. (Doesn't sound like it is, from what you posted.)

Thanks for sharing that link; I'm going to check it out.

This is an apples-and-oranges comparison, but I went on a cruise several years ago, and the muster drill was completely useless. We couldn't even see the crew member giving the demonstration of how to put on a lifejacket. Yeesh.
If you go to the search page on the inquires site and type in "lifeboat drill" without the quote marks it will save you a lot of time. With your field I'm sure you know that already. I just mention it because I have friends and family that even though they've been on the internet for 25 years they still don't know how to search or copy and paste. I've never been on a cruise ship so don't know how they do their drills. I lived on a ship for a couple of years when I was a lad but I don't remember us ever having a lifeboat drill or abandon ship drills. All we were told was jump off the ship like you were trained and swim for one of the rafts. We did have a lot fire fighting drills though. Cheers.
P.S...According to testimonies the only time they actually would hoist and lower a boat was while they were in port. When they were underway they would just muster at their boat station or on the bridge to be counted and then dismissed.
 
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Mike Spooner

Mike Spooner

Member
did they tested the lifeboats in belfast before fateful voyage?
If one read into the British Inquiry William Henry Chantler a served apprenticeship survey shipwrights and Admiralty draughtsman working for the BoT over 15 years. Under his sworn statement that all 16 wooden lifeboats where fully tested at Belfast with weights with no buckling of the boats, and had calculator could take twice the load to.
 
Jason D. Tiller

Jason D. Tiller

Staff member
Moderator
Member
But my question I want to ask is that if anyone knows when the story about the Sunday morning drill being cancelled started? Was it in the papers right after the sinking or did it come later?
This well researched article written by fellow researcher and friend Ioannis Georgiou, may help you. It was a common practice aboard ocean liners. I know that Arthur Peuchen mentioned the lack of drills in his account, which was published in the local newspapers right after the sinking. But really, no one knows the answer for the lack of drills.

 
Steven Christian

Steven Christian

Member
This well researched article written by fellow researcher and friend Ioannis Georgiou, may help you. It was a common practice aboard ocean liners. I know that Arthur Peuchen mentioned the lack of drills in his account, which was published in the local newspapers right after the sinking. But really, no one knows the answer for the lack of drills.

Don't know how I missed finding that article. Serves me right I guess for ragging on my friends about searching the internet. Didn't come up when I used the search function here. Anyway that was a really good article. Kudo's to Ioannis for researching/writing it. I read in an article the reason Captain Smith cancelled the drill that Sunday morning was because he didn't want it to interfere with his Sunday sermon, possibly his last at sea. But after thinking about it that doesn't make sense to me for various reasons. Again thanks for the link. Cheers.
 
Jason D. Tiller

Jason D. Tiller

Staff member
Moderator
Member
I read in an article the reason Captain Smith cancelled the drill that Sunday morning was because he didn't want it to interfere with his Sunday sermon, possibly his last at sea. But after thinking about it that doesn't make sense to me for various reasons.
Yes I've read that as well but as you said it doesn't make sense and plus, there is no evidence to support it.

Again thanks for the link.
You're most welcome.
 
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