The Average Lifeboat


Jul 20, 2000
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Mark,

In the Revised edition of his paper Senan used the figures in my Statistics of the Disaster paper to calculate his Average Lifeboat.

With a minor adjustment [The Asplunds in boat 15, not boat 4.] the figures I gave above are based on a quick count on my part of the names Kyrila gives in her Lifeboat Lists. [Boats 13 & 15 should each be 2 higher than I posted above.] - I do not know what evidences Kyrila used for most of her assignments.
 
Jun 12, 2004
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Lester,

No, you misunderstand. I wasn't referring to the average lifeboat, but overall space occupied by the space unoccupied. By looking at the overall picture, knowing the total capacity of lifeboats and then comparing that to the number of those who survived, I ascertained my data. Senon did his calculating, but I did mine as well. I merely used Senon's figures to support my own.

Thanks for the adjustments. They help. I knew the Asplunds were in 15 and that 13 and 15 actually exceeded the number of capacity. The added numbers in those were redistributed among the other boats to help make the overall open space of the boats closer to precision. Although it isn't exact, it serves my particular point well. Thanks for all the added information. As usual, is appreciated.

Take care
 

Paul Rogers

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Mark,
I already covered this. Using Senon's figures, we know that there, in fact, was enough room in the life boats for all of the women and children. I calculated this. Even the the extant boat count shows this.

AND...

The "panic" we've witnessed by them later on when they finally emerged onto the boat deck has been thoroughly explained (by me) above. Please go back and reread the texts. Thank you.
Yet again, you have failed to understand the points I was trying to make. I could comment further, but will instead go outside and count to 10.
You don't know as a fact that keeping third-class below decks would have resulted in a higher percentage of survivors. To presume so could be deemed impulsive and wreckless. Such thinking is therefore erroneous.
I was answering a hypothetical question (asked by you) about what actions I would have taken regarding leaving people below decks. It related to your "cold and heartless" comment, if you recall. The scenario has been thoroughly explained (by me) above. Please go back and reread the texts. Thank you.
 
Jun 12, 2004
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Paul,

It appears as if you're starting to take this discussion personally and questioning my character, which I will not tolerate. Keep you statements directed at the issues.

No more debating tactics!

As a matter of fact, don't! I have my opinions (which have been confirmed), you have your opinions (which have been confirmed to be in error, considering the evidence), let's call the whole thing off, except...


>>Yet again, you have failed to understand the points I was trying to make. I could comment further, but will instead go outside and count to 10.<<

What is there to misunderstand? This is what you said:

>>>>>>Perhaps the loss of so many 3rd Class women and children was the fault, indirectly, of insufficient lifeboats after all; even though the crew couldn't launch what boats they had in the time available.<<<<

This seems straightforward to me. You addressed this point probably for the umpteenth time, after Senon and I both have shown, with evidence and reasoning, that life boat space would/could not have been a concern: There was plenty of room for all the third-class women and children and would/could have been utilized by them had they been allowed access or lead to the boat deck earlier. And there is evidence that there would not have been any panic on their part. What part of this explanation do you not understand?

Further, the fact that there wasn't enough time to launch all the boats safely suggests even more that the third-class women and children should have, and easily could have, been lead to the boat deck early. Again, Senon and I both have explained this to you.

It seems that everyone else understands what has been explained, but, for some reason, you either don't get it or you refuse to accept it. Which is it?

How could the explanations have not been clearer? Would you prefer to discuss them, say, in Spanish? Okay...

Expliqueme de nuevo, por favor. Tal vez esta discusion y las respuestas relatadas seran mas claro para entender en espanol, si?

Why is it, Paul, that you seem to respond humbly and submissively toward Senon's responses, but you take on a more antagonistic stance toward me, hmmm? (I'm not saying this is what you are actually doing, only that that is the impression I receive) And after we've both explained this whole thing to you over and over (and over and over and over and over and over *rolls eyes*) again. I am trying to be patient with you.

For example:

Your response...

>>>>I was answering a hypothetical question (asked by you) about what actions I would have taken regarding leaving people below decks.<<<<

And I have explained to you, with support from Senon and Samuel Halpern, how your stance in such a situation would/could not have worked or served most beneficial or most wisely under the circumstances of the Titanic sinking. I didn't misunderstand it - I answered it!

But, for some reason, you refuse to accept that and continue to push the issue, even to the point of turning it into a flared argument against me and (seemingly) my character.

Once again: Deliberately leaving/blocking third-class below decks based on an assumption of panic during a sinking - even for the sole purpose is to save more, especially when your reasons for doing so are based on biased assumptions - is nothing short of, and certainly nothing more than, murder, ill-informed planning, and wrecklessness. The evidence shows that such a decision was not needed to have been carried out. I even explained how and why the experienced officers whould have been aware of proven ill-conception and should have known about life boat weight. The evidence seems to place them at fault for assuming panic - just as you're doing!

(Note to Noel Jones: You were right - there are some whose objective will be to lambaste you and cut you off at the knees at all costs. For these people, "willing to accept an opinion" [even an educated and well-supported one] has no meaning whatsoever. Thanks again for the 'heads-up.';) )

Paul, you're turning this into a boxing match, and I won't have that. That is why I am pulling myself out if this. I have nothing against you personally, but I am above senseless bickering.

By the way, a good piece of advice: NEVER question my intelligence. That's the most foolish thing you can do. The one who begins attacking the counterpoint's character instead of civilly addressing the issues is the one with the weaker stance in the discussion.

I've been sticking to the issues and explaining things thoroughly for you, and I have detailed support from both Senon and Samuel Halpern on this (just for starters). I don't mean to be harsh, but, please, be big about this and let it go!

I will not respond any further on this - one, because I don't want to argue, and two, my points are clartified, supported, and validated, and I therefore need not say any more.

Good Day!

Mark Hopkins
Ph.D. student in Writing and Literature
Editorial Executive and Chief Editor
River Walk Journal, Inc.
http://www.riverwalkjournal.org
http://www.riverwalkjournal.org/forum
 

Paul Rogers

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Dear Mr Hopkins, Ph.D student, Editorial Executive, etc. etc.

Show me one example where I have questioned either your character or your intelligence.

My saying that you haven't understood a point I was trying to make is a statement of fact. I'll take the blame for your misunderstandings because, in my job, it's the communicator's responsibility to make his/her message clear.

In the meantime, I can show you numerous examples where you have made comments that belittle my character and intelligence:
- "In a way, by impugning my statements, you are impugning the article.."

- "Sorry, I'm not saying you're cold and heartless, but I'm not one consigned to leave people below on a sinking ship simply because there is no easy, sure-fire way of getting them to safety."

- "Not only has that line of thinking been shown to be presumptuous and biased toward third-class, the evidence clearly points to the fact that panic would likely not have occurred."

- "Please go back and reread the texts. Thank you."

- "You don't know as a fact that keeping third-class below decks would have resulted in a higher percentage of survivors. To presume so could be deemed impulsive and wreckless [sic]. Such thinking is therefore erroneous."

- "It seems that everyone else understands what has been explained, but, for some reason, you either don't get it or you refuse to accept it. Which is it? How could the explanations have not been clearer? Would you prefer to discuss them, say, in Spanish? Okay..."

- "Note to Noel Jones: You were right - there are some whose objective will be to lambaste you and cut you off at the knees at all costs. For these people, 'willing to accept an opinion' [even an educated and well-supported one] has no meaning whatsoever. Thanks again for the 'heads-up.'

- "I've been sticking to the issues and explaining things thoroughly for you.. [.......] I don't mean to be harsh, but, please, be big about this and let it go!"
It must be such a surprise to you, I am sure, that after reading such comments I'm starting to take this discussion personally.
Why is it, Paul, that you seem to respond humbly and submissively toward Senon's responses, but you take on a more antagonistic stance toward me, hmmm?
Humbly and submissively, eh? No judgmental language used against my character there then! For your information I responded to 'Senon' [sic] in the same way that I respond to most posts. (I also managed to spell his name correctly.) I was happy to recognise that he had made a strong case without either using sarcasm or rudeness, or by belittling my opinions.

I will not respond any further on this because I can't see the point.

Good Afternoon!

Paul Rogers
8 O-Levels and 3 A-Levels
('Unclassified' Grade in Art - Pot Blew Up In Kiln)
Ordinary Slave of the Capitalist System
No Important Job Titles
Not Even A Website
 
Jun 12, 2004
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Paul,

My apologies. I never meant to belittle you or your opinions; that was never my intentions. Through the examples you listed above, I was merely pointing out what were my impressions at the time (and, in some cases, I clarified that). I never meant to be condescending - only assertive, and, as far as I see it, there's nothing wrong with that.

I also apologize for my harshness in the last post. Not a good day for me, I'm afraid. Further, your insistance that "once again, I misunderstood" tended to get aggravating after I have explained my points above in response to your comments.

Where is it or in what way am I missing your point? Please, explain it to me. How has anything I've said about my stance missed the mark on what you're trying to establish? Clarify that, and we can take it from there (see, I can be open-minded, when not in a foul mood).

"Humbly and Submissively," perhaps, were the wrong words. There were responses to Senan's posts that seemed more "yes, sir, I see your point, sir..." where it seemed as if, to me, you've been more confrontational. True, this hasn't always been the case, but I received the impression that you've been challenging me or confronting me more than discussing (just my perception). An example of this would be the great host of questions to threw at me almost right away. You may not have intended that to be challenging, but that's how it came off. But, still, I went through and addressed each one thoroughly, with my own perspective and with support from Senan's article.

The end point here is that I don't want to argue, and I don't wish to be made out as some oblivious twit who hasn't got a clue ("once again, you misunderstand my points, so instead of responding, I'll go outside and count to 10"), because I've proven that I'm far from it. The titles I provide to show people at just the right time that I'm not some 'Joe Smoe' from off the street. That comes from being constantly judged and misunderstood, so I immediately react to it in that fashion. No offense to you.

Again, you have my sincere apologies. If you wish to continue civilly, then that's acceptable. Let's begin, then, with how I misunderstood your points. What have I said that either missed the mark or didn't quite come off clearly?...

Take care, and please take note of my signature below. That's why it's there. ;)
 
D

Dave Webster

Guest
> [Mark,

I agree with most of your points re. Titanic.

However...........

"I'm not some 'Joe Smoe' from off the street."

May I remind you that there are a lot of Joe Smoe's from off the street who come on this site and might be just as interested in all things to do with Titanic as you are.

Maybe you didn't mean it, but it did come across as very snobbish.]
 
Jun 12, 2004
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Yes, that's true, Dave, but 'Joe Smoe' is just a general term not really applied to any particular person or group. However, I get what you mean, and I wasn't trying to be snobbish either. As said, I've had people misconceive me, judge me, and misunderstand me, so I naturally react the way I do for clarification. It's in no way intended to be condescending toward anyone. I apologize to anyone (and everyone) who may think so. I accept everyone for who they are.

Thank you for pointing that out to me, and for giving me the benefit of the doubt. It's much appreciated, and I'm grateful for that.
happy.gif


Take care
 

Paul Rogers

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Mark: apology accepted, of course.

You say that you perceived some of my posts to be confrontational and/or unnecessarily challenging. This was not my intention and therefore I would ask you to accept my apologies also.

Best wishes,
Paul.
 
Jun 12, 2004
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Paul,

Apology accepted. No harm, no foul. It appears that we've both had our egos bruised, but it's important to focused on the issue(s).

With that, I politely reiterate the questions: In which ways do my responses and explanations not address your points? How am I not understanding? If we address this in particular, perhaps we can clear up the misunderstanding or confusion. Agreed?...

With Warm Regards,
Mark
 

Paul Rogers

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Mark,

The point I made was more of a musing than a serious hypothesis, and I wasn't expecting a response from anyone on the thread. I didn't really want to come back to it but as you've asked... I said:
One final thought: [...] If there had been sufficient lifeboats for all, then how, I wonder, would that fact have impacted on Senan's hypothetical Officer's summit on the bridge. Would there have been a concerted effort to evacuate 3rd Class in those circumstances, or would the spectre of 'panic' still have existed?

Perhaps the loss of so many 3rd Class women and children was the fault, indirectly, of insufficient lifeboats after all.
My thinking was as follows:

1. Assume Senan's theory re: an Officers' summit took place. It is logical after all. Assume also, as Senan posited, that they feared "unrestricted steerage".

2. That fear of the 3rd Class (it has been suggested) led to a "containment plan" to control access to the Boat Deck. This must have been to ensure that the boats weren't rushed by the steerage passengers. As Sam said:
The senior officers knew that there was not enough lifeboat space to save all on board, and the first priority was given to limit access to the boat deck, maybe in fear of a panic if they brought up everyone topside. This in itself meant that 1st and 2nd class got priority over steerage passengers.
Senan then stated that he was in complete agreement with Sam's post.

3. Sam and Senan are suggesting that, even though there was enough room in the boats for the women and children from all the Classes, the 3rd Class women and children were contained away from the Boat Deck, due to a fear of the large number of steerage passengers creating mayhem on the Boat Deck.

4. My question was: if it had existed, how would that "fear of panic" have changed - if at all - if there had been sufficient boats available for all passengers? Perhaps that "fear" would not have existed at all.

5. In that case, the Officers would then have had no obstacles (mental or physical) to attempt to rescue all passengers, including 3rd Class, whilst focusing on the tradition of loading women and children into the boats first (as opposed to only).

6. Therefore, perhaps the loss of so many 3rd Class women and children was the fault, indirectly, of there being insufficient lifeboats for all passengers.

You'll see why I described this as a "thought" as I was basically thinking (typing) out loud. I didn't expect anyone to actually consider my musings seriously, as I hadn't fully thought them through myself, they rely on a tenuous (and ultimately unknowable) chain of events and the ideas themselves are hardly 'rocket science'.

You said in your reply:
I already covered this. Using Senon's figures, we know that there, in fact, was enough room in the life boats for all of the women and children. I calculated this. Even the the extant boat count shows this.
It would appear that you thought I was under the impression that the boats did not have the capacity for all the women and children. You will see now, I hope, that I was not going down that road at all, hence my comment that you had failed to understand what I was getting at.
 
Jun 12, 2004
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Paul,

Oh yes. I've read about and considered this line of thinking before. Hardly "Rocket Science" you say? I agree. Not even close, but it's not cut-and-dry either, and you acknowledge that you know that.

I would consider this basic high school "Titanic 101" thinking (again, no condescension intended. I'm merely speaking in relative terms)

However, although you admitted that such musings were passing thoughts, if I may comment on a few points you've made...


>>4. My question was: if it had existed, how would that "fear of panic" have changed - if at all - if there had been sufficient boats available for all passengers? Perhaps that "fear" would not have existed at all.

5. In that case, the Officers would then have had no obstacles (mental or physical) to attempt to rescue all passengers, including 3rd Class, whilst focusing on the tradition of loading women and children into the boats first (as opposed to only).

6. Therefore, perhaps the loss of so many 3rd Class women and children was the fault, indirectly, of there being insufficient lifeboats for all passengers.<<


Please keep in mind that the following is in no way intended to serve as "guessing" or "speculative line of thinking" regarding the possible future projection of your development of this idea here, just my own considerations.

In my opinion, if the "panic" had existed, it probably would have still be a concern. Even if the Titanic had been carrying enough boats for all, there was still the consideration of time. As we know, the officers barely had enough time to lower 18. With an equivalent amount of time, those extra boats still would not have been lowered. It would seem that the concern of panic wouldn't have necessarily been due to the number of boats, but due to the amount of time (or lack of time) needed to lower them or lower them safely.

Captain Smith and Andrews knew there wasn't going to be enough time to lower twenty, so the idea of having enough for all (approximately double the amount they had) shouldn't have been a major consideration, although the thought of "having enough for all" perhaps would have eased the passengers' nerves, as most were unlikely unaware of how much time they had.

In actuality, then, the "boats for all" consideration wouldn't have made a difference in light of the time factor, but it might have made a different regarding the overall mindset and emotions of the passengers (i.e. their perception that because there were enough boats for all, they would have been induced with a sense of security and calmness).

However, since the executive officers and Andrews knew that they wouldn't have time to lower all the boats had they enough for all, would they still have allowed/lead the steerage access to the boat deck?

We're dealing strictly with perception, here, so the point which Senan made about the unlikelihood of the steerage panicking shouldn't be considered right away. At the time, the officers, presumably perceived the steerage would panic, so that was a real consideration, and obstacle, to them.

The question I am asking, though, is: Did the lack of enough lifeboats really have an indirect effect over the loss of steerage, considering the time factor?

It is possible that I was thinking along the lines of the actual state of things, whereas you were considering the situation through the factor of the perception of those involved - both perspectives of which carry significant weight when it comes to considering the outcome and fate of the steerage?

Hypothetically speaking, if the ship had enough boats for all, and the officers allowed/lead the steerage to the boat deck, even early on, there may not have been panic due to the perception of security...until the point when water began washing over the precipitously slanting boat deck. Half the boats would still be racked, and reality would set in. Panic, then, would still be inevitable. The time factor, although never shared with the passengers, would still have the final say in the situation.

In this case, how would boats enough for all have influenced the outcome of the death toll of the steerage? Of course, all of the women and children would have had a better chance of survival (if they all had made it to the boat deck in time. The crew couldn't actually bring them all up at once. Not enough room on deck), but no one knows what the final overall toll would have been. Certainly, the condition of having enough life boats for all still wouldn't have completely removed the "panic" factor.

These are just some (although by no means exhaustive) thoughts of my own regarding this line of thinking. Like you, I'm just thinking (writing) out loud...
 
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>>Failure to establish a means so that all women and children had 1st priority to the few lifeboats they had, and failure to adequately communicate the seriousness of the situation to those who had to carry out whatever policy was set, does not convey exemplary performance.<<

I agree, Samuel. IMHO, some of the fault might have laid in the officers' perception of the steerage, among other things. If they had perceived the steerage were to have panicked, despite Senan's well-supported assertion that the latter most likely would not have, what other elusive alternative could they have adapted to benefit those third-class women and children? Perception is a very powerful and sometimes unwavering thing, especially during emergency situations.

As I stated above, most of the officers had previous experiences in not only accidents at sea, but also dealing with passengers during emergency situations. Is it not possible that they were aware of the steerage passengers' ability to remain calm and that the officers' motivations were along different lines?

Considering their previous experience in like situations and their likely knowledge that steerage would have remained calm, does it seem logical that they should have withheld critical information necessary to in ensure the immediate safety of those women and children? Or was it some other consideration than the "fear of panic" that motivated the officers to exclusively maintain that knowledge?

I don't see Smith or the others as being that incompetent, especially with their respective backgrounds.

Still, there were apparent coverups in the Inquiries, and the actions conveyed that night clearly indicate that things were not as they were intended to appear.

These questions aren't rhetorical; I am genuinely curious about this and therefore considering all the possible alternatives.

I would like to know what you think. If I missed that in one of your posts, then I apologize. I will look through them again. I was compelled to ask.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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Having enough lifeboat capacity is one factor, but in my opinion, not having a plan of action in advance and withholding critical information from some of those in charge of filling the boats they did have is an even bigger factor. The Titanic, unlike some other ships, was lucky during the 2 hour and 40 minutes it stayed afloat. It was for all practical purposes a very stable platform. Even having enough boats for all doesn't mean you always get the chance to launch them due to the ship taking on a severe list. But without a plan worked out in advance, and practiced at times, the numbers of boats you carry has little meaning. And my point was that no real plan seemed to be put in place or communicated very well by the senior officials in charge. It was all make shift with the result that:

+ highest priority was given to those who had the easiest access to the boat deck to begin with

+ lifeboats were launched half full for unwarranted fears of what the gear could handle safely

+ scores of women and children were effectively kept below because nobody was given the responsibility to see that they were given priority access to boat deck (with the result that those in charge with loading the boats were calling out at times if there were any more ladies)

+ the assignment of crew (deck and victualling) to handle the loading, launching, and manning the boats that they did have was grab who you can find

The real problem was not in the total lifeboat capacity, but the fact that they thought they never would have to use them. (Case in point is the ridiculous position for storing collapsibles A and B.)

If they would have had a plan in place, or at least establish priorities better and communicated them better, I believe that all women and children could have been saved. There was plenty of time to get 18 out the 20 boats fully loaded and launched if only those in charge that night would have acted differently. The fact that Lightoller had to ask if he should start filling and lowering the boats, first from Wilde and them from Smith, tells me much about failed leadership at very the top. It was a bottoms up execution that saved those that were lucky enough to be saved. It certainly was not top down.
 
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>>And my point was that no real plan seemed to be put in place or communicated very well by the senior officials in charge.<<

Anyone care to bet that this same situation didn't apply to just about every express liner on the North Atlantic run? The thinking behind lifeboats was that they would be used to transfer passengers and crew from a distressed vessel to a rescue ship. Up to this point, the system worked when needed and there was the recent RMS Republic fiasco that could be used as an example. The ship was lost but they managed to evacuate every living soul befor she foundered. Why bother with a plan when the current system appears to work?

Titanic served as a nasty wake up call as to why a plan was needed.

Titanic's owners, corperate management, and her officers did nothing different from anyone else in regards the management, operation, navigation, and planning from anyone else. I have the impression that this much is one of the dirty little secrets that the Mersey Whitewash Inquiry was trying to softpedal now that there was no way to really hide it. In light of that, I'm a bit hesitant to blame Smith & Co. for not having a plan when the reality was that nobody had a plan.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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There are a lot of things that take place in life the you never plan for. But when they do happen some people rise to the top and shine. Others don't. Rising to the top and showing strong leadership, in my opinion, is not what Capt. Smith did. From all accounts, many of the proactive things that did take place were at the suggestion of others. Certainly from Lightoller's testimony regarding lifeboat loading and Boxhall's testimony regarding firing distress signals, it was always "yes, carry on with it." And these were critical things to do. I'm not saying Smith was in a daze, but he was never really tested to this extent before. Maybe he performed the best he could do, but the stats say a lot more could have been done, and I am saying that they had the time and the stable platform from which to do it.
 
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>>The real problem was not in the total lifeboat capacity, but the fact that they thought they never would have to use them. (Case in point is the ridiculous position for storing collapsibles A and B.)<<

Samuel,

So that is to say that had they better management, they would have had enough time to lower all twenty boats filled to capacity? One wonders, in light of that, if they could have feasibly had enough time to lower more than twenty boats should the management have been better.

I also wonder if the dissemination of critical information by Captain, Wilde, and Andrews to the rest of the officers should have included some insight as to the actual chances of third-class not having been likely to panic. If so, then the greater chances that a vital part of that management plan included the assistance of third-class to the boat deck right from the beginning. In my opinion, that should have been an integral part of the plan, since the safety of all the passengers was priority.

The question, here, is: What was the most important connection between the dissemination of critical information about the impending danger and life boat capacity and the handling of steerage? What important details of such a plan needed to be established to benefit the steerage most?


>>The fact that Lightoller had to ask if he should start filling and lowering the boats, first from Wilde and them from Smith, tells me much about failed leadership at very the top. It was a bottoms up execution that saved those that were lucky enough to be saved. It certainly was not top down.<<

I presume that Lightoller couldn't legally or officially begin loading and lowering life boats without the captain's order first? It seems to me that he would have known exactly what to do but hesitated due to maritime or company protocol. I don't see why it would have been out-of-line for him to have superceded the captain's official order in order to carry out the obvious priority (and when I say 'superceded," I don't mean to disrespectfully go against or ignore the captain, but to do what was necessary without the captain's order, out of the sense of urgency). After all, isn't the officers' utmost priority to tend to the safety of the passengers? Lightoller would ultimately have been doing his duty. It was unusual circumstances that required quick reaction, and that time he hesitated to wait for the captain's order could have made the difference.

Another indication that added to that was obviously unclear or ineffective orders issued. Lightoller, on the port side, was supposedly going by "women and children first," whereas Murdoch was initiating an entirely different policy on the starboard. Whatever order was issued by the captain, the results were inconsistent. But was that due to lack of clarity on the captain's part, or lack of understanding or misinterpretation on the officers' parts? Obviously the overall problem included both, but if the captain's order had been clear and precise, the other officers, undoubtedly experienced and competent, would have likely not misinterpreted.

It would be interesting to know the captain's initial order to the officers was, word-for-word. That would definitely shed light on what was conducted, why things were inconsistent, and even exactly why the third-class didn't factor into the order.
 
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>>In light of that, I'm a bit hesitant to blame Smith & Co. for not having a plan when the reality was that nobody had a plan.<<

Maybe, but a degree of common sense goes far, plan or no plan. It would seem that a host of experienced officers would have a sense of what to do in emergency situations. I'm just wondering - and some testimony seems to cover this - if the apparent inconsistency in conduct was due more to the non-existence of a viable plan or to lack of clarity in the captain's order(s). I wonder this because it was the captain's supposed order which set things into motion, as it were, so the lack of a plan doesn't necessarily suggest inconsistent results.

Just a thought...
 
Mar 22, 2003
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What orders?

Senator SMITH. From what you have said, you discriminated entirely in the interest of the passengers - first the women and children - in filling those lifeboats?
Mr. LIGHTOLLER. Yes, sir.
Senator SMITH. Why did you do that? Because of the captain's orders, or because of the rule of the sea?
Mr. LIGHTOLLER. The rule of human nature.


And

Senator SMITH. Were all the women supposed to be on the boat deck?
Mr. LIGHTOLLER. Yes, sir; they were supposed to be.
Senator SMITH. Why?
Mr. LIGHTOLLER. Because the boats were there.


But who was put in charge of making sure all of them were going to be there?
 
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>>The fact that Lightoller had to ask if he should start filling and lowering the boats, first from Wilde and them from Smith, tells me much about failed leadership at very the top.<<

Samuel,

From this, I inferred that Smith must have told them something, because Lightoller eventually asked, but I can see that isn't the same as issuing an order, unless we can assume that whatever Smith eventually passed on to him could have been construed as an "order." Regardless, it was inadequate, and such directives should have motivated the action, not come about due to confusion because the officers were unsure what to do.

This sheds light on my question above - there was inconsistency because there was no order.


>>But who was put in charge of making sure all of them were going to be there?<<

That seems like the magic question. I would say the stewards, but I know that it was rhetorical, because, apparently, no one was - hence, the missing third-class.

The majority of third-class (certainly the women and children) were lost simply because the officers were lost. You cut off the head, and the body eventually dies.

Still, plan or no, it seems reasonable to presume that somebody would have thought of bring the third-class (albeit a few at a time) to the boat deck, and early-on. As I said before, that seems like common sense.

Do a plan-of-action and common sense necessarily have to go together, or am I missing something?
 

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