Lifeboats that were set adrift


Rick Beaver

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Nov 24, 2006
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When survivors were picked up by the Carpathia, some of the Titanic's lifeboats were set adrift. Does anyone know if the lifeboats surfaced anywhere months or years later? I know the ones that were brought to NY had the name "Titanic" removed from them.

I am new here. Great site with loads of information. You gotta love it!!!!

Later
 

Rick Beaver

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Nov 24, 2006
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Interesting. I wonder where the other boats went. Probably an Atlantic storm overturned them and they sank.

Who knows? Maybe some remote beach in Africa or South America has one just sitting there.
 

Dave Gittins

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Apr 11, 2001
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The boats recovered by Carpathia were 11 large lifeboats and the two emergency boats.

Collapsible B was found still inverted by Baltic. It was not recovered. Collapsible A was found and recovered by Oceanic.

The missing boats remain a mystery but it might be noted that some boats were reported to be leaking. Their metal buoyancy tanks should have kept them afloat, though very low in the water. They would have first drifted south a little, then been taken NE by the North Atlantic Drift.

I think if one had turned up it would have been loudly announced. I've never heard of even a tall tale of one being found.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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Overturned Collapsible B was also seen by the Mackay-Bennett but not recovered. Story can be read here: AN ECHO OF A PAST TRAGEDY

Photo is here:

morn_image004.jpg
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>I saw a titanic lifeboat in the Maritime Museum in Greenwich, England in 1968. Is it still there?<<

I hope you checked the provanance of the claim that the boat you saw was actually from the Titanic and not a duplicate. The remaining boats were turned over to White Star in New York City as the last remaining tangible assets from the ship. Eventually, they were hauled up out of the water and after that, they disappeared from all known historical record. If somebody has one of the boats and can prove it, that would be quite a find.
 

Kammy Tribus

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Aug 6, 2006
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Hi,

I haven't been around for a while (too busy watching Titanic documentaries) but I just can't resist... Have any of the missing life boats turned up on eBay?
happy.gif
LOL! LOL! ROFLOL!

Cheers!

Kammy
 

PRR5406

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There are reports the lifeboats were placed in an attic space of the White Star pier. Other report the boats went back to England, and were refurbished for re-use. Another report says at least one was broken to splinters by souvenir hunters. I am certain that a corporate record was made on paper and may exist today, but so much simply gets thrown away or burned to get ride of "these old papers". Keep looking. Possibly a tiny notice in fine print, in a long forgotten newspaper.
 

Scott Mills

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>>I'm guessing that at least some of them were re-used on Olympic<<

None were re-used.

Ioannis, my understanding is that there is absolutely no paper trail as to what happened to the life boats, other than they were delivered to White Star as the last survivable piece/only salvage from the ship, and that they were appraised for their salvage value.

As White Star Line and IMM were capitalist entities I find it highly it highly unlikely that their salvage value was not "obtained" in some way. Given that, baring any actual damage to the lifeboats, these lifeboats were most valuable as lifeboats as opposed to scrap wood for a fireplace, it only makes sense that they would be:

  1. Sold, after ship identifying marks were removed, for use as lifeboats;
  2. Used by White Star Line or IMM on their vessels;

In either case, they would have been reused. I suspect the second option is the most likely, because of the very high profile Titanic sinking and the following Olympic mutiny, there was a serious shortage of lifeboats as lines scrambled to add lifeboats to their vessels. It would only make sense then that White Star and IMM use whatever resources they had available to meet their new demand.

In reality, they could have been reused on any White Star or IMM vessel. I base my conjecture regarding re-use on Olympic on the fact that, with the loss of Titanic, Olympic was the primary revenue generating White Star vessel. Ergo, in a way similar to how other White Star ships had their coal cannibalized so Titanic could sail on April 10th, Olympic would get priority in receiving available lifeboats.

Now I cannot prove any of this, of course, but I think it is the simplest explanation to the fate of the surviving lifeboats (not the ones set adrift). And Okkahm's razor is a very sharp thing indeed.
 
Mar 18, 2008
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13 boats and one collapsible were brought to New York (13 boats by Carpathia, Collapsible A by Oceanic). All boats had missing pieces and were damaged. They were in the 2nd floor loft between piers 58 & 59 where they remained until late December 1912. By that time Olympic was already at H&W in Belfast for her refit, receiving additional davits and more boats (larger than the 16 she already had). All other IMM vessels (as well as others) had enough boats.

The value of the Titanic boats was added to the total sum for compensation. It is very likely they were bought by the company which did examined them.
 

Scott Mills

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The damage to the lifeboats was not significant other than damage done by souvenir collectors immediately following the boats being deposited at Pier 59. The collapsable boats might have very little re-use value, but even then I doubt it. Given what went on Olympic in May of 1912 (I'm talking about the shoddy and rotting lifeboat additions) and the overall shortage of lifeboats, I still think it is entirely possible that some of these boats found their way onto Olympic.

In any case, assuming you are correct and the lifeboats were "purchased" by the company that did the appraisal, this company would have turned around and sold them as lifeboats to other ship owners and shipping lines.

There is really no way in my mind, without documentation to the contrary, that you can convince me that these lifeboats were not re-used on other vessels be they White Star/IMM ships or a third party.
 
Mar 18, 2008
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So how does some of the boats made it on Olympic when they were until December 1912 in New York and the Olympic was in Belfast receiving new boats which had different size as an addition to the 16 wooden boats????

What did went on in May 1912?
In April 1912 she received about 40 bethon collapsible boats, all were seaworthy and about 2 or 4 had some short of a small hole/puncture in the canvas.

>>The damage to the lifeboats was not significant other than damage done by souvenir collectors immediately following the boats being deposited at Pier 59.<<

Sure you can show us where you got that fact from?
 

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