Pulled from the water

Dave Gittins

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Each boat was equipped with two boathooks, but some apparently grew legs by the time the boats were valued in New York.

Personally, I don't think I'd have tried to fish somebody out with a boathook. The hook is quite small and is really meant for catching ropes. There was no convenient loop on the top of the lifebelts to hook on to.

Fishing people out by musclepower is not an easy task, as many a boating accident proves. In a samll boat, it's alarmingly easy to capsize the whole affair. There are quite a few patent gizmos that are supposed to make the job easier, sometimes with the aid of a yacht winch. Those who were not keen on going to the rescue were not entirely silly.
 

Inger Sheil

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Fishing people out by musclepower is not an easy task, as many a boating accident proves.
True - and it makes me think of the combined efforts of the crew of Boat 14 needed to pull Hoyt out of the water. Given the man's size, and the fact that the crew would have needed to get to one side of the boat to haul him in, I imagine there was a difficult moment or two. This is indicated in the accounts of the crew - one of the men in Boat 14 describing the struggle suggested that the cramping of Hoyt's limbs didn't help.
 

Inger Sheil

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Probably a number of factors, Delia. Statistically, there were far fewer women than men in the water to be saved, so out of a random sample (all other factors being equal) one would have expected more men saved than women. Add in the other possible elements, such as the more cumbersome clothing worn by women and a tendency towards smaller body mass/increased susceptibility to hypothermia.
 

Inger Sheil

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Possibly - women tend to have less upper body strength than men, and for reasons I've already mentioned the cold and their clothing would have to be factored in as well.
 
Dec 31, 2003
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Michael and Dave have made reference to boathooks and musclepower. Here is a photo of the hook to which I referred; simply a hand-held tool. It was believed someone had thought it could safely catch into the thick cork of the lifejackets. And, that the 'boathooks' were hook-tipped poles - which they can be. But, Dave, you seem to have clarified things on this. It appears, to me, from what you've said that this wasn't an on-board 'cargo-hook'. I'd never been quite convinced by the "some unknown clever crewman" explanation. Isn't likely such an item would have been especially made for the ship and stamped with its name! No, this is simply one of Titanic's numerous 'boathooks'. One of the ones that "apparently grew legs by the time the boats were valued in New York."
84224.jpg
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>Isn't likely such an item would have been especially made for the ship and stamped with its name!<<

You're right. It wouldn't be. A boathook is the sort of common tool that's produced in mass quantities and there's really no reason to put any special identifying marks on it. (Beyond the makers trademark perhaps.)
 

Dave Gittins

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The device in the photo is a cargo hook. It's a rather fancy one. The ones I'm familiar with had wooden handles and the hooks were made of round rod. They were not used by sailors but by stevedores when handling cargo. They can be hooked onto things like wool bales or wooden crates and are quite handy when moving them into place in a hold or warehouse. I have vague memories of wielding one in a fabric warehouse years ago. They used to be used in fights in the old days. In these days of container ships they are pretty well history.
 
Dec 31, 2003
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Dave and Michael must both - once again - be thanked for spot-on, detailed replies. But, I'm intrigued that the old myth of the "clever crewman " again seems plausible. And, I'm not sure Michael would be entirely content with having - however inadvertently! - contributed to anything that was merely a myth. Seriously: this hook is from Titanic. And, it may not be one of the "small" 'boathooks' that could catch bundled roping. Nor, obviously, can it be a boathook of the conventional pole type. What we can all see is that it does resemble a cargo or 'tote-that-bale' type of hook. Hence, the mythology had been that it was the foresight of a deep-below-decks crewman that had brought it aboard one of the lifeboats. And, no one could ever know if that intention actually led to the real rescue of anyone whatsoever. That wasn't anyone's claim. Yet, this hook could have safely caught into panels of thick cork. Can it possibly be that there was some clever - heroic - stevedore after all?
 

Dave Gittins

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One things for sure, if the hook is stamped "Titanic", it's not from Titanic. If it really was found in a boat at New York, it's more likely that somebody used it to take White Star flags and numbers off the boats. Many of these were gone very smartly. I'd bet that some, such as the number that Seaman Jones acquired, were taken while the boats were on Carpathia. I'd back a thieving longshoreman ahead of an "unknown clever crewman". Apply Occam's Razor.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>Can it possibly be that there was some clever - heroic - stevedore after all?<<

A clever and heroic somebody...well...maybe. That's assuming that this hook actually came from Titanic and has the provinance to back it up. Since I have no way of knowing, I'll refrain from making any assumptions.

But a stevedore? Not a chance. Stevedores are dock workers and don't genrally make crossings on board ship. Not as crew anyway.
 
Dec 31, 2003
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Michael and Dave - This item isn't a 'steeve'; which cargo-handlers do use - dock or hold! This is, rather, a 'cargo-hook' style item found in a life-boat - and made to be there. Hence the otherwise unlikely fact of it being stamped 'SS Titanic'. And it has a provenance. I made a vow to the owner of it in New York in mid-September 2001 (he had been - until then - consultant electrical engineer for the WTC), that he and his family would be credited on its exhibition-card at 'Titanic100' in Greenwich, 2012. There may be someone on ET - or at the Naval Museum - who can tell me more. Meanwhile, research will continue - more quietly! Not everything hangs by a thread.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Donald, I would like to see the actual documented provinance of this article befor I accept the premise that it came from Titanic. The reason for this is that there is simply no reason to stamp such a common tool with the name of any ship, much less the Titanic.

IF it's the real deal, then in all likelihood, the thing was stamped with the ship's name after the sinking. Good luck with your quest.
 
M

Marion J Morton

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How many survivors where actually pulled out of the water.

[Moderator's note: This post, which was in another topic outside of this one has been moved to here, which is discussing the same subject. JDT]
 
Feb 23, 2006
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Hey, this may not be the right place for this thread, so just move it if I made a mistake. But anywhoo...

I was just wondering if what was said in the movie Titanic was actually true - about 6 people being saved from the water by the 1 lifeboat that came back? Anyone know how to verify it? I tried searching, but there were tons of results, and most had nothing to do with this topic. Thanks!