I am so disgusted as so many men died when so many lifeboats went half or even less than half-filled, why were men barred from entering the lifeboats even the last ones which left then being filled up.
Jonathan; it wasn't like this everywhere. When No 15 was lowered away, it contained mainly men - passengers and crew. I believe that out of possibly 65 occupants, about 25 or so were men passengers and 27 or 28 crewmen. Murdoch allowed them in.
Peter: True Murdoch allowed men into the boats when there were no women & children present, which i think should have been the correct procedure it seems the starboard boats saved more lives then the port boats, boats 11,13 & 15 were the only boats to leave the Titanic filled to capacity. You should see the 3D film Ghosts of the Abyss it is brilliant i have seen it 4 times.
>>You should see the 3D film Ghosts of the Abyss it is brilliant i have seen it 4 times.<<
Errrrmmmmm...yes. We know. I've seen it several times myself and look forward to whatever time Disney will release the DVD. If I may be so bold, what does this have to do with the decision making in the evacuation process???-
I think it is important to remeber that for 1912 Titanic's evcuation was a relative success. 700 passengers and crew where SAFELY removed from a foundering vessel.
Abandonment of a vessel is a dangerous undertaking in the best of conditions, with a ship loosing stability the danger increases significantly.
That fact that only 700 out of a possible (given the lifeboats) 1200 (not sure of the number) where saved has more then a few meanings.
1. Not enough lifeboats for all.
2. Boats where not filled to capacity.
3. Panic was averted for the majority of the night.
Fear is a dangerous creature, it spreads much like a fire and it causes even the most rational person to go looney. The officers and crew of Titanic did an outstanding job of "keeping the peace" until the very end.
Culpable in what regard? Certainly it cost some lives, but I think we're on very thin ice when we try to make judgement calls on that. Like every officer and crewman on the ship that night, Lights had to make the best of a really bad situation and try and hold off panic even knowing that things were going to get worse. Averting panic up until it no longer mattered in all likelihood saved far more lives then his perhaps overly zealous interpretation of his orders did.
I've always wondered if Lightoller was secretly guilt ridden in later life. The fact that he knew Titanic was doomed, coupled with his obvious knowledge of the lack of lifeboat spaces is inescapable. Was he that much of a "Company Man" for his instructions to overule his moral obligations?
But at what point did he 'know' the Titanic was doomed, Geoff? Even Wyn Craig Wade, one of the first to criticise him extensively, believes he was answering with absolute sincerity when he said he didn't realise until comparatively late that the ship was going to founder.
I don't know about him being guilt-ridden - the family members I've spoken to certainly didn't indicate it. They described him as a very proactive, forward thinking man, so such tortured introspection doesn't particularly seem in character. One family member said he wasn't inclined to brood over the past. Of course, we can never know what a man feels in his very innermost soul. He himself wrote that it was wise not to dwell on the final moments as the ship went down. He possibly had regrets - I find it hard to imagine that anyone in that situation, no matter what sort of job they did, would not look back at some point and wonder how they could have done better.
>>He possibly had regrets - I find it hard to imagine that anyone in that situation, no matter what sort of job they did, would not look back at some point and wonder how they could have done better.<<
Inger, I'd be surprised if he didn't have regrets. However, what little I know about Lights impresses indicates to me that he was a staunch realist if nothing else. (You have to be if you wish to make a career of the sea and live long enough to collect a pension!) Even if he didn't quite figure it out at the time, it wouldn't have been lost on him later on to know that he had been playing against a stacked deck. I think he would have made a point of learning the lessons and moving on, and not making a really big fuss about it publicly.
Privately may have been a different matter. I have no way of knowing, but I'm certain I wouldn't have wanted any part of whatever nightmares he had.
If Lightoller's intent was to load more men from the gangway doors, why did he even try to disallow that teenage boy from entering the lifeboat?
btw, can someone provide the section in Lightoller's testimony where he says he intended to embark more passengers in the boats from a gangway door? I don't doubt he said it, but the quizzing that he got is massive!
He certainly said that, both in testimony and in his memoirs: "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". Murdoch gave similar instructions to those in charge of boats. As to why these instructions were not followed, Boxhall for instance in boat 2 implied in testimony that the doors were closed. But in later life he explained in an interview: "I found that there was such a mob standing in the gangway doors really I daren't go alongside because if they'd jumped they would have swamped the boat".