Loading Collapsible D


Arun Vajpey

Member
Apr 21, 2009
1,817
561
248
65
I have a few questions regarding the scene around Collapsible D as it was being loaded.

- Here on ET it says that "Lightoller had managed to fit Collapsible D onto the now empty davits of Lifeboat #1". Surely that's an error because Collapsible D was a port boat and #1 the starboard cutter. Therefore, I assume that they fitted Collapsible D onto the davits of Lifeboat #2 that was lowered some 10 minutes earlier on the port side.

-That being the case, was #2 the best choice of davits under the circumstances given the significant port list by then? Was the area where Collapsible D was stored closer to #2 davits than #4?

- Also, several works say that Lightoller and his crew linked arms around Collapsible D allowing only women and children through. They found around 20 of them, including the Navratil children when Michel Navratil Sr handed them across and stepped back. Did Lightoller or any other surviving crew member in the vicinity confirm later that there were no women nearby? In fact, is it known which other crew members from that 'ring' around Collapsible D survived?

The reason I want to know is to try and reason why Martta Hiltunen, the second class Titanic victim who missed getting into Lifeboat #4 some 10 minutes earlier, did not find a place on Collapsible D, as it was less than half full when lowered by some accounts. The davits of Lifeboat #4 were close enough to those of #2 and so if Martta had remained n the vicinity, someone would have surely hustled her into Collapsible D. The fact that no one even mentioned her - a rather obvious single woman - after #4 was lowered makes me wonder if she did not realize that there was still another lifeboat (Collapsible D) in the area and returned to her cabin to wait for the end.
 
B

Bob_Read

Guest
Hi Arun: The drawing below shows where the collapsibles
D8E7918B-EA01-481F-B6F4-B650FF0DE008.jpeg
were stowed. Collapsible D was directly under #2 davits. All they had to do was hook the #2 falls to collapsible D directly under them.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

Arun Vajpey

Member
Apr 21, 2009
1,817
561
248
65
Thanks Bob. That settles the first query then.

About the second question, has there been any direct or indirect report from surviving crew or passengers near Lifeboat #4 or a bit later Collapsible D of seeing a solitary young woman who did not get into either lifeboat? I have searched every source that I can find, both paper and on-line but thus far no joy. The last anyone seems to have seen Martta Hiltunen was when Anna Hamalainen got into #4 with baby son Wiljo; Anna expected Martta to follow her into the lifeboat but for some reason (fright? confusion with crew's instructions?) the latter did not do so. The last Anna saw her, Martta was standing on the deck still holding that bag as #4 was lowered.

If only Martta had remained where she was, Lightoller or one of the others would have ushered her into Collapsible D soon afterwards. The fact that that did not happen and no survivor near or on board Collapsible D mentioned seeing her suggests to me that she might have returned to her cabin.
 
B

Bob_Read

Guest
Thanks Bob. That settles the first query then.

About the second question, has there been any direct or indirect report from surviving crew or passengers near Lifeboat #4 or a bit later Collapsible D of seeing a solitary young woman who did not get into either lifeboat? I have searched every source that I can find, both paper and on-line but thus far no joy. The last anyone seems to have seen Martta Hiltunen was when Anna Hamalainen got into #4 with baby son Wiljo; Anna expected Martta to follow her into the lifeboat but for some reason (fright? confusion with crew's instructions?) the latter did not do so. The last Anna saw her, Martta was standing on the deck still holding that bag as #4 was lowered.

If only Martta had remained where she was, Lightoller or one of the others would have ushered her into Collapsible D soon afterwards. The fact that that did not happen and no survivor near or on board Collapsible D mentioned seeing her suggests to me that she might have returned to her cabin.

Hi Arun: You're asking the wrong person about that. I'm just a rivet counter.
 
Mar 18, 2008
2,558
1,009
248
Germany
About the second question, has there been any direct or indirect report from surviving crew or passengers near Lifeboat #4 or a bit later Collapsible D of seeing a solitary young woman who did not get into either lifeboat? I have searched every source that I can find, both paper and on-line but thus far no joy.

The last anyone seems to have seen Martta Hiltunen was when Anna Hamalainen got into #4 with baby son Wiljo; Anna expected Martta to follow her into the lifeboat but for some reason (fright? confusion with crew's instructions?) the latter did not do so. The last Anna saw her, Martta was standing on the deck still holding that bag as #4 was lowered.

I do not think I have seen a report that women were left behind at No. 4. However it could well be as Mrs. Reyerson describes how an Officer (most likely Wilde) asked how many woman are in the boat and when getting the answer 24 said "That's enough; lower away."

I am wondering how she was able to see Hiltunen with the bag on deck. Boat No. 4 was loaded thought the windows on A Deck. It would have been difficult to see from the lifeboat onto the "deck". Unless she was close to a window and Hilturnen was standing way off.

If only Martta had remained where she was, Lightoller or one of the others would have ushered her into Collapsible D soon afterwards. The fact that that did not happen and no survivor near or on board Collapsible D mentioned seeing her suggests to me that she might have returned to her cabin.

At collapsible D it was AB Lucas who later stated that two young girls were left behind when No. D was lowered.

I would not put too much into what Lightoller said. He made many claims and was contradicted by several survivors.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Arun Vajpey

Member
Apr 21, 2009
1,817
561
248
65
I am wondering how she was able to see Hiltunen with the bag on deck. Boat No. 4 was loaded thought the windows on A Deck. It would have been difficult to see from the lifeboat onto the "deck". Unless she was close to a window and Hilturnen was standing way off.

At collapsible D it was AB Lucas who later stated that two young girls were left behind when No. D was lowered.

I would not put too much into what Lightoller said. He made many claims and was contradicted by several survivors.

Thanks Ioannis.

I do not know how Anna Hamalainen saw what Martta was doing. I first read about her in the book On A Sea Of Glass several years ago and then became very interested for reasons that I cannot explain to myself. I do not know what source the authors Fitch, Leyton & Wormstedt got their information from but since then I found her missing #4 similarly worded almost everywhere else. For the past 2 years I have written (e-mailed) several sources including her hometown, Finnish National Archives etc. This Titanicin uppoamisesta 104 vuotta – Martta, 18, hukkui matkalaukut käsissään is a useful link on an article about her; it is in Finnish but can be easily translated by Google or any other web source. I also got limited information about Martta's childhood, schooling etc from Finnish sources.

I also corresponded with Archive Counselor Jarno Linnolahti about Martta Hiltunen in 2018. Anna Hamalained (and baby Wiljo) and Martta Hiltunen were travelling together in Second Class, the only Finns there (others were in Third Class). The two women bought their tickets together: Anna’s ticket number, which included her infant son Wiljo in it, was 250649 and Martta’s was 250650. Not much is known about what they did during the voyage probably because almost all other Scandinavian passengers were in 3rd Class.

On the night of the sinking, Anna, Wiljo and Martta found themselves near Lifeboat #4 but I have not yet found out exactly where they were. All sources that I have seen say that Anna handed Martta a bag while she and Wiljo got into Lifeboat #4. The boat was lowered very soon afterwards and so Anna and Wiljo must have been among the last passengers to get in. That also probably means that they were close to one side of the boat ie close to the window like you said. When Anna then looked up, Martta had not got into the boat but was standing with the bag in the crowd.

That sort of information could only have come from Anna Hamalainen herself; she is supposed to have given one or teo interviews after arrival in America but Jarno did not tell me details when he replied to my mail. Maybe he does not know himself.

Now, the most interesting bit of information that you have told me is about A B Lucas testimony that "2 young girls" were left behind as Collapsible D was lowered. PLEASE, can you send me the source link or anything else about that sighting. Was he questioned further about that?

The only thing I know about AB William Lucas is that he told First Class passenger and Titanic victim Edith Evans that there would be another lifeboat for her just as Collapsible D was being lowered. But I was under the impression that Edith Evans chose not to go of her own accord; she allowed her companion Mrs Brown to get into the boat and remained on the deck herself? I don't know her reason but at 36 years of age she was not a "young girl", especially not to the then 25 year-old Lucas. Still, I suppose it is possible that he was referring to her and another woman....who might have been Martta Hiltunen.

Yes, I don't give too much weight to Lightoller's statements, which were often conveniently changed. But his story of loading of Collapsible D has remained consistent and as far as I know no other survivor, crew or passenger, has challenged it as far as I know. If you have more information about it, please share it with me.
 
Last edited:

Mike Friedman

Member
Apr 2, 2020
16
7
3
Actually, there were a few other Finns in Second Class, in case it might give you some leads: Erik Collander seems to have been traveling alone. Mr. and Mrs. Lahtinen were traveling with two other Finnish girls, Miss Silven and Miss Siukkonen, both of whom were saved.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
Mar 18, 2008
2,558
1,009
248
Germany
Thanks for all the information! :)

Now, the most interesting bit of information that you have told me is about A B Lucas testimony that "2 young girls" were left behind as Collapsible D was lowered. PLEASE, can you send me the source link or anything else about that sighting. Was he questioned further about that?

It is part of his testimony at the British Inquiry which is mainly connected with Edith Evans. Unfortunately there were no detail question about the two young woman.

1784. Were there any women or children left behind when you left on this collapsible boat? – Yes, I left two myself.
1785. Where were they? – They were lying alongside of me and I said to them: "Wait a minute, there's another boat going to be put down from the funnel for you."
1786. That was because you could not take them? – I could not take them.
1787. Were they young people or old? – Two young girls.



Yes, I don't give too much weight to Lightoller's statements, which were often conveniently changed. But his story of loading of Collapsible D has remained consistent and as far as I know no other survivor, crew or passenger, has challenged it as far as I know. If you have more information about it, please share it with me.

Aboard Carpathia he told Archibald Gracie that there was a rush at collapsible D and that he used his gun and fired into the air. At the British Inquiry he claimed the order was "splendid" and years later that the gun was not loaded but placed that incident at boat No. 2. In his book Lightoller claims that Chief Wilde ordered him to leave with Collapsible D which he denied with the words "“Not damn likely,” and jumped back. Steward Hardy who left with collapsible D gave a different version, that Lightoller stepped back on board to leave space for someone else and because there was no one to work on the forward fall of the boat. Interestingly Lightoller had previously ordered AB Lucas out of the boat and then back into the boat when he noticed that there were not enough men. This are some of the contradictions regarding boat No. D where the version of Lightoller does not fit with what others said.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Arun Vajpey

Member
Apr 21, 2009
1,817
561
248
65
In his book Lightoller claims that Chief Wilde ordered him to leave with Collapsible D which he denied with the words "“Not damn likely,” and jumped back.
I have often wondered where that particular remark about Lightoller originated; it sounds so theatrical and contrived. If the first mention was in Lightoller's 1935 book "Titanic and other Ships", then that explains it.

I believe that Lightoller was lucky to be in the right place at the right time that night and somehow ended-up as a 'hero' of his own making. Although he was dead by the time the film ANTR was released in 1958, Kenneth More's antics (he was everywhere on the ship, including both Collapsibles A & B in the film) helped Lightoller's cause for posterity.
 

Gaston Sam

Member
Aug 16, 2016
142
105
88
Hello everyone, just to add something regarding AB William Lucas at this stage: we know from his evidence given at the British Inquiry that he helped to put Collapsible D in place and get it ready for loading people, and that he spent some time looking for the plugs with Lightoller. Some time later he was ordered out to go help clear a collpasible boat on the roof top (probably B), and at some time the women at Collapsible D sang out there was no seaman and no plugs, so he took his chance to leave the ship in such boat, in which he took an oar to compensate for the lack of tiller to get away from the sinking vessel.

On a newspaper account of Mrs.May Futrelle she mentions that the boat's crew (of Boat D) had some trouble unlashing the oars and that there was a cry for a knife, and "finally one man succeded in wrenching loose one oar, with which he pushed the boat away".
I think that's the call Lucas took as a chance to leave Titanic. From general accounts, the boat was more than once stopped from being lowered, either it was because of more women coming towards it or because of passengers rushing it. So at this last interrumption, when Lucas took his place on board Collapsible D, they would no longer wait for the boat to be launched and in the last seconds before this proceded, Lucas mentioned Miss Evans about the other collapsible that would be put down, and the other young girl left behind could perfectly be Miss Hiltunen.
 

Arun Vajpey

Member
Apr 21, 2009
1,817
561
248
65
Hello everyone, just to add something regarding AB William Lucas at this stage: we know from his evidence given at the British Inquiry that he helped to put Collapsible D in place and get it ready for loading people, and that he spent some time looking for the plugs with Lightoller. Some time later he was ordered out to go help clear a collpasible boat on the roof top (probably B), and at some time the women at Collapsible D sang out there was no seaman and no plugs, so he took his chance to leave the ship in such boat, in which he took an oar to compensate for the lack of tiller to get away from the sinking vessel.

On a newspaper account of Mrs.May Futrelle she mentions that the boat's crew (of Boat D) had some trouble unlashing the oars and that there was a cry for a knife, and "finally one man succeded in wrenching loose one oar, with which he pushed the boat away".
I think that's the call Lucas took as a chance to leave Titanic. From general accounts, the boat was more than once stopped from being lowered, either it was because of more women coming towards it or because of passengers rushing it. So at this last interrumption, when Lucas took his place on board Collapsible D, they would no longer wait for the boat to be launched and in the last seconds before this proceded, Lucas mentioned Miss Evans about the other collapsible that would be put down, and the other young girl left behind could perfectly be Miss Hiltunen.

Sounds like you could be right.Not sure why Edith Evans did not also get on board Collapsible D with Mrs Brown; surely there was plenty of space. If they had to lower the boat in a hurry later and she stood hesitating, that might have accounted for her missing the boat. The other woman in the same position then was very likely Martta Hiltunen.
 

Gaston Sam

Member
Aug 16, 2016
142
105
88
Miss Evans in fact backed away herself and Lucas said what he said to her kind of saying "Hey Miss, don't you stop making a try for it", but they could have perfectly thrown her in, unless there were no more hands present than those there lowering the boat, which actually seems was the case.
Regarding Miss Hiltunen, either she had the same will as Edith Evans, or she just arrived as the boat was being lowered, not giving her enough chance or confidence to jump in but still staying within sight of Lucas. If she decisively didn't want to enter the boat she wouldn't have moved that far forward, but it is certainly hard to say, maybe the crew didn't want to argue long with unwilling women and just let them be left aboard.
 

Arun Vajpey

Member
Apr 21, 2009
1,817
561
248
65
Regarding Miss Hiltunen, either she had the same will as Edith Evans, or she just arrived as the boat was being lowered, not giving her enough chance or confidence to jump in but still staying within sight of Lucas. If she decisively didn't want to enter the boat she wouldn't have moved that far forward, but it is certainly hard to say, maybe the crew didn't want to argue long with unwilling women and just let them be left aboard.

Martta Hiltunen was already on the scene at around 01:45 am if not earlier. Her companions Anna and baby Wiljo Hamalainen got on board Lifeboat #4 just before it was lowered. Martta was supposed to follow them in, but did not do so, possibly due to fright and/or confusion.

I often wondered what she did after missing a pace on #4. My original conjecture was that she returned to her cabin believing that there were no more lifeboats; but the fact that Collapsible D was being fitted to Lifeboat #2's davits right next to #4's place would mean that she could not have missed it. I had somehow missed reading about William Lucas' testimony about leaving behind "two young girls" as Collapsible D was lowered till IG updated me yesterday (thanks Ioannis!). Taking that into consideration, it is possible that Martta Hiltunen was indeed the other woman in the vicinity (Edith Evans being the first) and did not get into the boat due to a combination of fright, language barrier and surrounding chaos. It was almost 02:05 by then the combination of the Titanic's bow being well down, a significant port list and the possibility of a sudden rush by nearby men would have been sufficient deterrent for both Edith Evans and Martta Hiltunen to back off.

I have a feeling that Lightoller's statements and perhaps his 1935 book influenced many of the earlier works on the Titanic, which either did not cover the scene around Collapsible D in detail or made it appear as though the loading and subsequent launch was more orderly that it really was. Till last night I also believed that this was probably the case (crew linking arms around the boat and all that), despite the fact that I do not have a great opinion about Lightoller. It seems somewhat different now.
 
Mar 18, 2008
2,558
1,009
248
Germany
Hello everyone, just to add something regarding AB William Lucas at this stage: we know from his evidence given at the British Inquiry that he helped to put Collapsible D in place and get it ready for loading people, and that he spent some time looking for the plugs with Lightoller.

As far as I remember Lightoller did not mentioned that he searched with Lucas for a plug. The Collapsible boats did not had plugs by the way.

Some time later he was ordered out to go help clear a collpasible boat on the roof top (probably B), and at some time the women at Collapsible D sang out there was no seaman and no plugs, so he took his chance to leave the ship in such boat, in which he took an oar to compensate for the lack of tiller to get away from the sinking vessel.

Interestingly Lucas first stated he went to the starboard side to see if he can be of use there and then went back to the port side. However even he looks out for a rudder the collapsible boat did not had one. Instead there was a oar to steer the boat.

On a newspaper account of Mrs.May Futrelle she mentions that the boat's crew (of Boat D) had some trouble unlashing the oars and that there was a cry for a knife, and "finally one man succeded in wrenching loose one oar, with which he pushed the boat away".

May Futrelle actually left with lifeboat No. 9.


Lucas mentioned Miss Evans about the other collapsible that would be put down, and the other young girl left behind could perfectly be Miss Hiltunen.

Lucas only mentioned two young girls which generally is claimed to have been Miss Evans.
 
Nov 14, 2005
1,646
720
308
Thanks Ioannis.

I do not know how Anna Hamalainen saw what Martta was doing. I first read about her in the book On A Sea Of Glass several years ago and then became very interested for reasons that I cannot explain to myself. I do not know what source the authors Fitch, Leyton & Wormstedt got their information from but since then I found her missing #4 similarly worded almost everywhere else. For the past 2 years I have written (e-mailed) several sources including her hometown, Finnish National Archives etc. This Titanicin uppoamisesta 104 vuotta – Martta, 18, hukkui matkalaukut käsissään is a useful link on an article about her; it is in Finnish but can be easily translated by Google or any other web source. I also got limited information about Martta's childhood, schooling etc from Finnish sources.

I also corresponded with Archive Counselor Jarno Linnolahti about Martta Hiltunen in 2018. Anna Hamalained (and baby Wiljo) and Martta Hiltunen were travelling together in Second Class, the only Finns there (others were in Third Class). The two women bought their tickets together: Anna’s ticket number, which included her infant son Wiljo in it, was 250649 and Martta’s was 250650. Not much is known about what they did during the voyage probably because almost all other Scandinavian passengers were in 3rd Class.

On the night of the sinking, Anna, Wiljo and Martta found themselves near Lifeboat #4 but I have not yet found out exactly where they were. All sources that I have seen say that Anna handed Martta a bag while she and Wiljo got into Lifeboat #4. The boat was lowered very soon afterwards and so Anna and Wiljo must have been among the last passengers to get in. That also probably means that they were close to one side of the boat ie close to the window like you said. When Anna then looked up, Martta had not got into the boat but was standing with the bag in the crowd.

That sort of information could only have come from Anna Hamalainen herself; she is supposed to have given one or teo interviews after arrival in America but Jarno did not tell me details when he replied to my mail. Maybe he does not know himself.

Now, the most interesting bit of information that you have told me is about A B Lucas testimony that "2 young girls" were left behind as Collapsible D was lowered. PLEASE, can you send me the source link or anything else about that sighting. Was he questioned further about that?

The only thing I know about AB William Lucas is that he told First Class passenger and Titanic victim Edith Evans that there would be another lifeboat for her just as Collapsible D was being lowered. But I was under the impression that Edith Evans chose not to go of her own accord; she allowed her companion Mrs Brown to get into the boat and remained on the deck herself? I don't know her reason but at 36 years of age she was not a "young girl", especially not to the then 25 year-old Lucas. Still, I suppose it is possible that he was referring to her and another woman....who might have been Martta Hiltunen.

Yes, I don't give too much weight to Lightoller's statements, which were often conveniently changed. But his story of loading of Collapsible D has remained consistent and as far as I know no other survivor, crew or passenger, has challenged it as far as I know. If you have more information about it, please share it with me.
Is that photo in the link you provided copyrighted? If not it would probably be a good thing if it could be added to her bio on ET. Just a thought.
 

Arun Vajpey

Member
Apr 21, 2009
1,817
561
248
65
I don't know. It was sent to me by Finnish researcher Silja Vuorikuru when I corresponded with her. She might be an ET member; I'll check.
 

Arun Vajpey

Member
Apr 21, 2009
1,817
561
248
65
Is that photo in the link you provided copyrighted? If not it would probably be a good thing if it could be added to her bio on ET. Just a thought.

I messaged Silja about this and the following was her response.

Thank you for your question!

Did you mean this link: Titanicin uppoamisesta 104 vuotta – Martta, 18, hukkui matkalaukut käsissään For copyright issues, please contact the writer of the article: tanja.perkkio(a)yle.fi.

I hope this information will help you.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Gaston Sam

Member
Aug 16, 2016
142
105
88
As far as I remember Lightoller did not mentioned that he searched with Lucas for a plug. The Collapsible boats did not had plugs by the way.
It was Lucas who mentioned that, they may not have known there weren't plugs for those in any case. Lightoller not mentioning that wouldn't be of significance considering the level of truthfulness and omision sorrounding his accounts.

Interestingly Lucas first stated he went to the starboard side to see if he can be of use there and then went back to the port side. However even he looks out for a rudder the collapsible boat did not had one. Instead there was a oar to steer the boat.
Yes, I forgot to mention that, specially given the fact that there was actually a boat being readied (namely Collapsible A). I'm under the impression Lucas was always keeping an eye Boat D as the last reliable meaning of survival.

May Futrelle actually left with lifeboat No. 9.
Mrs. Futrelle is one of a number of 1st class surviving passengers oftenly placed in different lifeboats. I believed she left along with Mrs. Harris aboard Collapsible D.
 
B

Bob_Read

Guest
The crew didn’t seem to have much familiarity with the Engelhardt boat. I think some of them even referred to them as Berthon boats.
 

Similar threads

Similar threads