What happened to the Titanic lifeboats?


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Esther Graf

Guest
Hello!

I am wondering about the remaining of the Titanic Lifeboats. Can anybody answer this question? I would be very happy, thank you!
Esther (Switzerland)
 
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Tracey McIntire

Guest
Hi Esther! The fate of Titanic's lifeboats is somewhat of a mystery. After they were dropped off at the White Star Line pier in New York by the Carpathia, souvenir hunters began to take things off of them. An inventory was taken of everything in the boats for court purposes, and the name plates were removed. It is thought the boats then might have been put in storage in New York and forgotten about, but most likely they were "recycled" and used on other White Star liners. No one knows for sure.
 
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Esther Graf

Guest
Hello Tracey!

Thank you very much for your answer. That sounds so incredible to me!! There were 16 Lifeboats and 2 collapsible boats at the pier. How can they disappear and no one knows for sure what became of them?? That is really amazing! Well, do you think that the White Star Line had something to hush up? I think it's very suspicious...
 
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Tracey McIntire

Guest
Hi Esther!
Actually there were only 13 boats at the pier. Carpathia did not take all of Titanic's boats on board. I think if White Star had anything to hide about the boats, it would have come up in the Senate hearings. I can't remember where I saw the actual report, but a complete examination and inventory of everything in the boats was taken. I know some passengers complained that some boats were lacking food, water, flashights, compasses, etc.
 
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Esther Graf

Guest
Oh I see! Thank you for your infos!
Perhaps you can also help me concerning my last message about the life preservers.
I hope I will soon read more of your knowledge!
Have you got ancestors who were on the Titanic or are you simply interested in this awful but fascinating story?
Best Regards
Esther
 

Dan Cherry

Member
Mar 3, 2000
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Esther,
As Tracy said in her 1st message, Titanic's 13
saved lifeboats were likely re-used on other White
Star ships. There is a picture in "Titanic - An
Illustrated History" which shows Olympic shortly
after the disaster with a handful of lifeboats in
the foreground. It is possible that the boats were
transported back to England and re-installed
perhaps even on the Olympic. They were only used
once and in good shape. With the name plates
removed, no one would ever know if they were new
or from the Titanic. Officials would not have
discarded a good boat, as it would have been a
waste of money to do so, especially then in a
non-disposable society. Those boats the Carpathia
couldn't haul back to New York on her decks were
deliberately sunk for safety purposes.
Collapsibles A and B were left adrift, as they
never made it to the Carpathia. A was picked up
some time later and hauled ashore. As far as I
know, B, damaged during the sinking, drifted and
probably eventually rotted somewhe
 
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Tracey McIntire

Guest
Esther--To answer your question--I may have had a very distant relative on Titanic. His name was William McIntyre and he was a trimmer(shovelled coal).
 
Dec 12, 1999
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Dan:
On Collapsible "B" - - I'm fairly certain that I read McKay-Bennett's seamen tried to recover it, but for some reason could not, and then they decided to chop a hole in it and sink it.
Joe
 

Mike Herbold

Member
Feb 13, 2001
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Hi Joe:
We're getting a huge thunder and lightning storm down here. Hope you're keeping dry up there.

I went bananas on Amazon.com awhile back and got another dozen books that had somehow avaided me before. One of them, "Titanic Halifax," could add a lot to your 'Bremen' discussion. It says: "Mackay-Bennett came across Titanic lifeboat Collapsible B, which was found overturned with a gaping hole in one side."
But I haven't seen any reference yet as to whether they sank it or not.

There is also a fascinating letter by Francis Dyke, a crew member on the Minia, to his mother that is on display at the Regional Museum of Cultural History in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Here's part of it:
"May 2nd.......We have been sailing about looking for bodies for the last four days and have only picked up seventeen. There has been a lot of wind and bad weather since the accident so the bodies are much scattered.
"Some we picked up over 130 miles from the wreck as they go very fast when in the Gulf Stream. Very likely many will be washed up on the Irish Coast as they are all going East."

This is a must-buy book.
Mike
 
Dec 12, 1999
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Hi Mike!
Actually, the weather's quite good up here. So your weather will be good tomorrow. Yesterday, it rained a lot. Pretty heavy, too. I am very intrigued by your quote from the Minia seaman's letter - - were any bodies washed up on the Irish Coast? I never heard that there were any washed ashore anywhere. This is something altogether new. Joe
 

Mike Herbold

Member
Feb 13, 2001
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Hi Buddy:
I don't know if Dyke was exaggerating about the 130 miles but he probably was about the Irish coast. This book is small, but chock full of interesting information that you don't normally see elsewhere. I'm loaning it to you by mail today.
Mike
 
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Daniel Rosenshine (Danielr)

Guest
Hi!

The book that mentions the thirteen lifeboats and shows what they are missing and what they have, even the original cost and their post disaster worth, is the Haas and Eaton book "Titanic: Triumph and tragedy"

There was wrekage that was washed up, but it was mainly wood, oh yes and it was washed up somewhere around the Canadian coast.

Daniel.
 
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Tim McCann

Guest
Did they set them adrift into the ocean off the Carpathia after the passengers were saved or did the lifeboats get brought aboard as well? How many are still in known exsistence today? Are they in a museum somewhere? Where could one be viewed? Thanks for your input.

Tim
 

Dave Gittins

Member
Apr 11, 2001
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Nobody knows. Certainly none exist today. Carpathia retrieved 13 of them and took them to New York where they were taken immediately to the White Star dock. They stayed there long enough to be inspected and valued. Later they disappeared. Probably the most likely thing is that they were rebadged and used on some other White Star ship or ships. After the disaster lifeboats were rather in demand!
 
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E-JAI

Guest
HELLO TIM I'M SORRY THE ANSWER TO YOUR QUESTION HAS ARRIVED LATE AS I HAVE ONLY JUST DICOVERED THIS WEB SITE. BUT THE ANSWER TO YOUR QUESTION IS THAT TITANIC'S LIFE BOATS WERE TAKEN TO NEW YORK HARBOUR AND WERE LATER TAKEN BACK TO SOUTHAMPTON WHERE THEY REMOVED IDENTITY PLATES AND REPLACED THEM AND THEY WERE ACTUALLY USED ABOARD THE OLYMPIC. HOW TRUE THESE ACCOUNTS ARE I'M NOT SURE BUT WITH SO MUCH MYSTERY SURROUNDING TITANIC YOU CAN NEVER TELL. BUT I HOPE THIS HELPS YOU. E-JAI
 
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Philip Hind

Editor
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Sep 1, 1996
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A Harland & Wolff built lifeboat of the same dimensions to those on the Titanic was recently auctioned in Southampton.

The lifeboat had apparently been bought by 20th Century Fox. They were under the impression that it was a genuine Titanic lifeboat. The boat was used in the Hitchcock film "Lifeboat" as well as, it is thought, Titanic (1953). A prop bracelet was found in the boat.

The boat, which lies somewhere in the US, failed to reach its reserve.

Phil
 
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Jen Kauk

Guest
Can someone please tell me what happened to Titanic's life boats after the wreck? Is the story true that they just mysteriously vanished? They had to go somewhere,right?
 
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William Conrad

Guest
I believe they were removed of all Titanic related artifacts, ghoulish souvenir hunters aren't a modern phenomenon, you know! They were then stowed in a building somewhere. When all the fuss had died down, they may of been transported back to Britain on a ship, although at this point they 'disappeared into the mists of history'...

It's quite probable, although unproved, that they were reused as lifeboats on other ships. If this was so, then I'm not surprised it was done in secrecy, so as not to upset the public. In reality, nobody knows for absolute certain what happened to those boats...
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
Jen, we had this same discussion in the Titanic Salvage And Exploration folder uder this same heading. I'll just refer you there instead of repeating myself. The short version is that William is essentially correct. After the boats were dropped off at the White Star peir by the RMS Carpathia, White Star employees removed all the identifying name plates, materials(Which hadn't been stolen), then took them up into the loft of their building. Souvenier hunters were known to have helped themselves to a few odds and ends. After that, the boats were apparently sent back to England where they were likely re-used on another ship. No record seems to exist on their ultimate disposition.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
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Andy Rosnberg

Guest
Are there any know photographs of the identity plaques that were taken from the lifeboats? If so, how can someone go about authenticating it? Thanks, Andy
 

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