The Lifeboat Launching Sequence Reexamined 2009


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Dec 12, 1999
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I just wanted to thank all those involved with the lifeboat launching sequence report. The article was extremely well presented, and I read it with great interest.

I am sorry to say that I am still in disagreement with boat #10 being the last aft portside boat to be launched, but perhaps I will change my mind. I guess I am more inclined to believe baker Joughin's testimony rather than steward Burke, whose story seemed to change pretty frequently.

In any event, my congratulations once again on a terrific article. I enjoyed it very much and find it to be the best referenced document relating to the lifeboat launching order - a particular area of interest for me.

Thanks again,

Best,

Mike Findlay
 
Mar 18, 2000
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Thanks, Mike.

Much of our logic regarding #10 has to do with Seaman Evans and Buley. Obviously, they disagree with Joughin (they claim #10 was last, Joughin said it was first), and only one of them can be correct! Then, there is also the increased list of the Titanic, which also helps us place it in sequence.
 
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>>Then, there is also the increased list of the Titanic, which also helps us place it in sequence.<<

That is a key point that is often overlooked by many. Joughin specifically mentioned a large gap between the boat and the ship's rail, "a yard and a half" according to his estimate, and "two feet and a half feet" according to AB Evans who was sent away in #10. When #16, #14, and #12 were sent away, there was only a slight list to port at best noticed by only a few, not enough to affect the launching of any of those boats or the aft boats on the starboard side.
 
Dec 12, 1999
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Thanks for the additional insight into Joughin's testimony and that of AB Evans regarding "the gap." I guess I just find it puzzling that there seems to be more of a commotion during the loading and lowering of boat #14 than at boat #10. Also, survivor Gretchen Longley reported that after she and her aunts had been turned away from forward port boats, they walked down the deck to the next boat waiting in the davits - which was later decided to be boat #10. Gretchen stated that there seemed plenty of room to enter the boat, and no "rush" to enter it if it were to be the last lifeboat hanging in the davits.

It's a mystery to be sure, and one too close to call for me. I am open to the possibility of boat #10 being the last, but I still wonder.

These are my opinions only, and they are not meant to persuade others away from the facts presented by Bill Wormstedt and his fellow researchers who did an excellent job in producing this extraordinary work. I have always found the aft portside boats to be somewhat of a mystery.

I am firmly convinced that boat #8 left the Titanic before boat #6. There is another incident that deserves mention. Molly Brown indicated that she helped her friend, Emma Bucknell, into a lifeboat before turning away and entering a later one. Given Emma Bucknell's emotional state during the evacuation, I would doubt that Molly Brown would leave her frightened friend behind to fend for herself by leaving the ship before her in boat #6. Molly clearly says that once Emmma was safely away, she stepped back into the crowed, only to be shortly escorted to boat #6 and "dumped" in.

Col. Gracie believed that boat #8 was the first boat to touch the water on the port side, even though the inquiry reported boat #6.

In any event, congratulations on a wonderful piece of research. It is one of the best written research articles that I have read in a long time.

Kind regards to all,

Mike Findlay
 

Tad G. Fitch

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Mike,
Hello, how are you? I just wanted to say thank you for your kind words and comments regarding the article, I appreciate it.

We definitely made a concentrated effort to document everything thoroughly so that the readers could see where we reached our conclusions. I am glad that you found it interesting, particularly since it is a shared area of interest.

Thanks, and I hope that you're doing well.

Kind regards,
Tad
 

Tad G. Fitch

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Yes, thank you again Sam. This helps illustrate some of the evidence and points in the article quite nicely.

All my best,
Tad
 

J Kent Layton

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Gentlemen,

What I particularly like about the inclusion of Sam's diagrams is how well they illustrate the point about Boat No. 10 and its launch order. It's one thing to read the evidence and draw a conclusion from reading it, but it's quite another to visually see a diagram of that same evidence. It was most kind of Sam to allow the inclusion of those illustrations.
Take care, gentlemen!
 
Mar 18, 2000
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All,

George, Tad, and I (with help from Sam Halpern and J. Kent Layton) have made some changes in our article.

The changes include some new accounts from Ada Ball and Imanita Shelly, and we have changed the final rocket to a 1:50 a.m. time.

We've also added a link at the bottom to a related new research article that Sam Halpern is working on, "Rockets, Lifeboats and Time Changes", relating to the rocket timings.
 
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