Two men under the lifeboat seats Yates


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Of course, in another thread or two in this folder, I found what I was looking for:

>>Boat No 4 probably left the Titanic with about 30 people in it (or 35 including the Richards/Hockings), then picked up eight crewmembers from sea, two of whom died, after that got perhaps eight or nine from boat 14, and then another eight or ten from boat B, for a grand total of perhaps 55 or 60 when the Carpathia rescued them.

Best regards,

Peter K.

Someone else said that LB #4 had 12 crewmen, which is a tally most likely included in Peter's summary.

Okay, so presuming that LB #4 was lowered with a regular complement of three crewmen, including Perkis (and if I'm wrong, it'll no doubt be more, which would confirm my case even more), this lifeboat picked up 8 crewmen from the sea, eight or nine more from 14 (although I think that Peter suggests that some of these were passengers, too), and another 8 from Collapsible B (also including passengers). With the 8 crewman from the sea and the initial 3 (?) crewmen, that would make 11 crewmen known to have been on board this lifeboat. That's a lot of crewmen in a single lifeboat. This is not counting the exchange from LB #14 and C. B, which would increase that already excessive tally probably beyond a dozen crewmen. Therefore, the entire allotment of occupants in this lifeboat consisted of at least a dozen to 20 out of 60 occupants--1/5 to 1/3 (or more?) of the total amount of occupants in the lifeboat. It is no wonder that a woman would think that the boat was "overmanned" with all the crew on board. Perhaps, too, she used the term "overmanned" to refer to the actual number of crew on board as opposed to the number of crew actually maintaining operations, per se.

Just my thoughts.
 
Mark, you may well be absolutely right. I have tried to find where it is stated who the people were that were transferred from boat No. 14 to No. 4 and the only reference I have found suggests that there were only four or five people (no men, I believe). I suppose Mrs. Chaffee may well have been in No. 4, but the only little thing I have seen, which Arne Mjåland presented some time ago, indicates that the boat per se was full. I took 'overmanned' to mean 'full with people' (not just crew), but I wouldn't know exactly what she meant by that remark. The factors making me doubt her presence in boat 4 based on that short article are:
a) That the boat was described as 'overmanned' ant the crew had difficulties in rowing due to the amount of people on the boat
b) That those rowing were sailors and stewards (firemen/stokers aren't mentioned)
c) That she doesn't mention anyone being picked up from the sea or being in the same boat as Mrs. Astor (quite a few women said that)
d) That there were two men 'under the seats' smoking - this never happened in boat 4.

To me, her statements made me believe she was in a starboard boat - boats 9,11,13 and 15 all had a large amount of crew in them (in percent beginning with No. 9 - 40%, No 11. - 45-50% (including stewardesses),No 13. - 40% and No. 15 - 45%)
But then, Ben Holme had an interview indicating her presence in No. 4. I really don't know what to believe.

Best regards,

Peter
 
Peter, steward Cunningham in testimony also stated that boat 4 was "fairly well crowded" and that "there was not room to row" even before any transfers had taken place. He also claimed to have been one of the rowers, so Mrs Chaffee's statement that the boat was rowed by "sailors and stewards" does not seem too far out of place as a subjective observation, especially since she probably didn't have a clear view of all of the rowers from whatever position she was seated in - possibly too far away from Mrs Astor to make her presence notable. The one objective statement she did make was that she had to climb through a window to get into the boat, and that surely is more than a hint at boat 4.
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I'm not sure exactly what was said about the smokers under the seats, but can we be sure that it didn't happen? There were several men pulled in from the water who were sitting or lying in the bottom of the boat, and some of them were conscious though all would have been soaked and freezing. Had I been one of them I'd probably have sought any available shelter (like under the seats) and certainly would have eagerly accepted the likely offer of a smoke.
 
Hello, Bob. Quite a few of those in No. 11 also had to climb through a 'window,' or at least something rather similar to it, from deck A. This would also apply to some of those who left in boats 13 and 15 and perhaps No 9. as well.
I am not saying Mrs. Chaffee was not in boat 4, but her statements may well indicate one of the starboard aft boats as well...

Peter
 
>>That she doesn't mention anyone being picked up from the sea or being in the same boat as Mrs. Astor (quite a few women said that)<<

Peter, just one thing to say: Just because it wasn't mentioned doesn't mean it wasn't true. Now, if she said that it hadn't happened, then I'd say we have a contradictive mystery and thus a puzzle. Did she have to elaborate on these two items in order for her to have been in LB #4? As Bob said, it's possible that she wasn't close to Mrs. Astor and therefore couldn't see her (at the other end of the boat?).

As for smokers, face it, Peter--every boat (or probably most) no doubt had smokers in it. As Bob said, the ship was bloody sinking. Hell, I probably would have been smoking and I haven't smoked a cigarette in two years. This is the kind of event that would more than likely get me started back up again. Smoking/smokers was/were not exclusive to the starboard boats, so what makes you think that there were no smokers in LB #4?

"That there were two men 'under the seats' smoking - this never happened in boat 4."

How do you know this? Were there any other survivors who testified to there having been no smokers in the boat? Who? How many?

LB #4 was crammed to the hilt, especially after the transference from not one but two boats. It was the proverbial 'Grand Central Station' and a very popular boat that night. Although LB #4 had the capacity for 65, it wouldn't have been surprising to find a few people decked out on the floor.

Unless I receive confirmation of the opposite, omissions are evidence of nothing!

Take care
 
>>Quite a few of those in No. 11 also had to climb through a 'window,' or at least something rather similar to it, from deck A. This would also apply to some of those who left in boats 13 and 15 and perhaps No 9. as well.<<

Where did you get this information? It's been a while since I've read the transcripts, and I've only read bits and pieces (rereading it right now), so I have no recollection of having read anything about this. Care to enlighten me? If possible, could you give me page numbers from the Inquiries' transcripts as to where I may find the information for myself? Thanks.

Take care
 
Mark, there are too many accounts of the starboard aft boats being loaded partly from A deck to list them all - best check the Inquiry witness lists for the testimony of any crew member who was in one of those boats. But did Mrs Chaffee specifically mention the glass-enclosed section of the deck, as Ben has inferred. Can anybody (Ben?) confirm exactly what she was reported to have said in that Minnesota paper?

There certainly were people sitting on the floor of boat 4, in several inches of water. Emily Richards was one. She mentioned that several of the women were restrained from standing up by the men at the oars who, having their hands full, used their feet. More to the point, Emily further stated that two of the men pulled into the boat from the water were less than rational and had again to be restrained from standing and disturbing the balance of the boat: "The other men had to sit upon them to hold them down". Literally perhaps, but since the men fit enough to do any restraining were likely to be busy rowing I think it's at least possible that these two were kept out of harm's way by being pushed under the seats and trapped there by the rowers' legs.
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Hello again! What I mean is that
a) the starboard aft boats, 11, 13 and 15 were fuller than No. 4 notwithstanding transfers and as Bob says, there are several accounts of survivors being loaded from A deck. I just want to make sure that Mrs. Chaffee actually said that she entered her lifeboat via the glass enclosed promenade deck - in that case, the 'problem' is solved!
As for boat No. 4 - I have never come across an interview where anybody stated there were stowaways hiding under the seats!

Best regards,

Peter
 
I think we got a bit sidetracked earlier in this thread with talk of stowaways. One of my points is that people who ended up underneath seats were not necessarily hiding. This thread started with the statement attributed to Mrs Chaffee that "Two men were discovered smoking cigarettes under the seats", and Arne was wondering who they might have been. But did Mrs C describe these men as 'stowaways'? If not, I am suggesting that we could take her meaning as "two men were discovered to be smoking cigarettes under the seats". And if she was indeed talking about boat 4, likely candidates would include the rescued swimmers. Specifically those two who were perceived as "mad with exposure" (by Emily Richards) and alternatively, but probably the same two, as "drunk and gave us much trouble all the time" (by Marion Thayer). To put names in the frame, my guess would be Dillon and Prentice. But I'm just playing the game of speculation! :-}
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According to Kyrila Scully s book Mrs. Chaffee was in lifeboat 4. According to George Behe s article in The Titanic Commutator about Jay Yates winter 1982 Mrs Silvey also discovered a man lying under the seats. She met him later on the Carpathia, and she thought he was a gambler.George refers to an article in Duluth News Tribune May 2 1912) I will try to find the article in Fargo Forum and see if there are more details.
 
Hello Arne, the three gamblers were all in starboard boats - Romaine said he entered 'one of the first', Brereton may have been with him or with Homer in No. 15. Mrs. Silvey was almost certainly in No. 11.

Best regards,

Peter
 

Ben Holme

Member
On reflection, the Chaffee account to which I referred may well have originated in Duluth, perhaps even the News Tribune. Herbert Fuller Chaffee was prominent in Duluth and was almost certainly acquainted with the Silveys, who were residents of that city. There is ample evidence to suggest that representatives of both families arrived together at the Hotel Gotham in New York, to await news as to the fate of their loved ones.

There is little evidence, however, to suggest that Mmes. Silvey and Chaffee escaped in the same lifeboat. Peter - just out of interest, how strong is the evidence to the effect that Alice Silvey escaped in boat #11?

From my dim recollections, the article did not mention any "glass" per se, merely the precarious nature of stepping through a window into a boat.

Best wishes,
Ben
 
Hello again, Ben. According to what I have been told, Mrs. Silvey recognized the Allison baby in the boat with her, but I have not seen that account by her, so I can only rely on what I have been told. Perhaps you have seen some sort of account by her? Other than the short passage where she stated she stepped on some man whom she thought was a gambler, of course...

Best regards,

Peter
 
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