to pull too far from the sinking vessel as he wished to be in a position to pick up anyone coming over the sides.
. . . which is also likely why Boxhall took boat 2 around to the stern--to be there for the eventuality of people jumping from the stern. He was thinking ahead.
Attempting to get to the doors on the starboard side (which is what I have read) was a weak directive for Boxhall to follow, and I don't buy it.
I say this for three legitimate reasons:
(1) The boats lowering on the starboard side were closer and more appropriate for that.
(2) Since he was on the port side, why not get people from the port side doors? That's where he was after all.
(3) If he were going around to the starboard doors, curving around the bridge would have been a quicker and shorter path than pushing all the way to the stern and then back up the other side, especially since time was of the essence. Heading to the stern, then, wasn't likely for this purpose.
It would seem ironic, then, that his boat was too far away not to have come back, unless his was a case of resistance due to fear of swamping.
they would have been too late for the majority of those still in the water.
The boats didn't have a capacity for everyone on board, so even if all had gone back earlier than Lowe, the majority of people would have been out of luck anyway, freezing or no freezing water. Some people would have been saved, though, and that's the point.
The fact that the water was a freezing 28 degrees would have served as a benefit to those in the boats because, as said, by the time of any return, those in the water who were not already dead would have been too weak to swamp the boats. This wouldn't have been the case for going back right away, of course, but definitely before the actual point that Lowe was known to have gone back.
In the end, going back earlier would have probably made a difference.
Still, as said, I understand the fear factor. Swamping [early on] was a very real concern.
No doubt, too, that resistance had to do with the fear of seeing the bodies of the dead. Hearing their screams was one thing; seeing their bodies was an entirely different prospect altogether.
to answer your question, Mark, Lifeboat 4 pulled survivors from the water before it joined up with Lowe's flotilla of boats.
Mine were rhetorical questions, Inger, as I was actually clarifying that point, but I appreciate the acknowledgement anyway. Thank you.