What happened to the Titanic lifeboats?


Jim Kalafus

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Dec 3, 2000
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There is a photograph of one on pg. 87 of Titanic: Legacy Of The World's Greatest Ocean Liner (Susan Wels) which is the Discovery Channel's contribution to Titanic literature. In Titanic; Women and Children First (Judith Geller) there is a picture (Pg 163) of survivor Margaret Devaney and her authentic lifeboat FLAG as well.
 
Apr 11, 2001
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Andy, I have seen the White Star Burgee (metal) which was pried off the bow of the lifeboat and given to the Countess of Rothes as a souvenir.
There is also a family in New Jersey whose ancestor kept a "pilot" cracker from the lifeboat's rations- photos exist of these items several Titanic publications including the Haas-Eaton books.
 
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jean leysman

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This question was already posted in another area. I can tell that almost all the Titanic lifeboats were taken aboard Carpathia an later used on Olympic and some other ships, since lifeboat regulations became much stricter almost overnight after the Ttanic tragedy.

Jean
 
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April Cooper

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I was sitting here reading some of the messages on this board and wondered where ( if there are any at all left ) the lifeboats from the Titanic went to? Were any saved and are now in a museum somewhere? Any info would be much appreciated!
Thanks April
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
Hi April, I'm afraid that after thedisaster, the lifeboats pretty much disappeared from view once they were turned over to White Star. I wouldn't be surprised if they were used on another ship after any identifying markings had been changed, but their ultimate fate remains unknown.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
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jean leysman

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Hi April,

Almost all the life boats (20 total) where taken aboard the Carpathia and brought to new York. One boat was found 1 year later near the Bahama's. Another one was found by a Canadian ship a few days after the disaster while it was searching for the victims bodies.
The boats that where taken on Carpathia where later used on Olympic as demand for lifeboats grew essentially after the sinking of Titanic.
I agree with Michael that their ultimate fate remains unknown, probably they just ended as most ships and boats do: dismantled on some junkyard.
Hope to have been of help.

Regards
Leysman
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Hi Jean, you might want to change the above to "Might have been used on the Olympic." I'm inclined to believe that they were, (Why let good boats go to waste when you know they worked right on one occassion?) but the problem is that no records appear to have been made on the matter one way or the other. That or they disappeared over time or they lie undiscovered in some corner of an archive somewhere.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
Apr 22, 2012
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Hello,

Does anyone know what happened to Collapsible A? That was the boat that the three bodies were recovered from. I seem to remember seeing a photo showing it on the deck of the ship that came across it. Just curious...


Cheers,
happy.gif


-B.W.
 
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Ben Holme

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Feb 11, 2001
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Hi Brandon,

I've seen that photo on page 118 of "Titanic, Journey Through Time" by Eaton & Haas. All I can tell you is that collapsible A was not cast adrift, but instead taken back to new york and placed in pier 58/59's loft in New York along with the other remaining Titanic lifebaots. I'm uncertain as to what became of A afterwards, but I'd be surprised if it was put to any further use(except maybe firewood
sad.gif
).

Regards,
Ben
 
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jean leysman

Guest
Michael,

Believe me, the boats from Titanic have been installed on Olympic, not right away, but some time later. Shortly after the tragedy the crew of Olympic refused to set sail until an adequate number of lifeboats would be installed on the ship. Some boats were added, but still not enough simply because there weren't any available. The ones they were short were later added, some of them from Titanic.

Regards
Leysman
 

Inger Sheil

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Dec 3, 2000
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Jean -

Would it be possible for you to provide a specific reference for your information that the Titanic's lifeboats were installed on the Olympic? This would be a bit of a breakthrough if a primary source could be produced establishing this as a fact. It has been speculated that some boats might have been utilised in this fashion (given the haste to fulfill the requirement for 'boats for all'), but there has been no documented proof to date. If you could cite a specific source it would be very useful!

Best wishes,

Inger
 
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jean leysman

Guest
Hi Inger,

I don't have that documentation at hand right now, but I will look in to the matter and let you know as soon as I find out more!

Regards
Leysman
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Hi Jean, I am of the opinion(As in I agree with you) that most though probably not all of the Titanic's usable boats were later installed onboard the Olympic. The problem is that there is not a smidgen of first hand evidence available to either support or refute that opinion. None that has seen daylight in nearly ninety years anyway. If you have or can find records to support this, it would be quite a find!

The additional boats installed on the Olympic initially were 40 Berthon collapsibles which came from the Royal Navy dockyard. 16 of them were later landed when it was realized that they were more then was needed. This sparked rumours that these boats were in poor condition and that was what led to the stokehold crew bolting the ship en masse. The gory details of this unhappy episode can be found in Simon Mills "RMS Olympic, The Old Reliable" on pages 27-28. On pages 29-30 of the same book, you can find details of the refit accomplished where among other things, the lifeboat arrangements were upgraded to a total number of 32 boats with a capacity of 3,510.

As there was a shortage of boats at the time due to the sudden damand for same, they had to make due with ten Berthon and six Henderson collapsibles until the permanent lifeboats could be aquired. Frankly, I wouldn't be surprised if some of the Titanic's boats made it to other ships.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
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jean leysman

Guest
Hi Inger and Michael,
I'm very sorry if I have led you astray on this subject. I have (re)done my homework this weekend and I have learned that there is no evidence that Titanic's lifeboats were actually used on Olympic. I don't know what I was thinking. I thought that I had read it in the book 'Titanic'.
I must have misinterpreted it.
But the quest for the lifeboats fate goes on!

Regards
Leysman
 

Inger Sheil

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Dec 3, 2000
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G'day Jean -

No problem at all. I think we've all had the same experience where we're quite certain that we've read a statement or fact, but upon rechecking have found it wasn't quite as we recalled. Perhaps one day we will find that elusive proof as to what became of the lifeboats!

All the best,

Inger
 

Dave Gittins

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Apr 11, 2001
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Surely it's likely that the boats went to the first IMM liner that came along. Olympic did not get back to New York until long after Carpathia brought the 13 boats in.

An odd point is that none of the three ordinary boats left at sea were ever found, even though they had buoyancy tanks and should have stayed afloat indefinitely. Here's a wild thought! Some Bluenose fishermen found them and added them to their fleet!
 
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Inger Sheil

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Dave -

For some reason I find the idea of #14 leading a rapscallion existance as a working boat quite appealing...who knows, perhaps they even managed to fix that irritating leak!

~ Inger
 
Dec 7, 2000
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Ok, I can't find the exact wording now, but I'll go along with Eaton and Haas. On pp.281 - 282 of TTT they show the inspection results of the 13 boats (and later 14th).

The first page is dated Nov 27, 1912. This would mean that the boats had been unused and lay somewhere as late as almost December 1912. Whether they were still useful after that I don't know. They lay unused for over 7 months, and I think it was Eaton and Haas who say that they probably were never used and simply rotted away ... There go all our dreams that they were put on another ship.

Daniel.
 
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Jan Kite

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Can you really see White Star not putting the lifeboats to some use,after all they had to equip all their liners with adequate life boats in a hurry and being in business would have siezed the chance to re use them and would not have advertised the fact for obvious reasons.Jan BTS
 

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