Full capacity was 3547 and 2228 were on board. (Figures vary, it seems,depending on your source.)
Still there was room for only 1178 in the lifeboats.
I think it would only be a matter of conjecture as to whether they would have been filled more to capacity if there had been more aboard, but I don't believe it would have been too far off to expect at least 1000 more to be lost if there had been a full load aboard .
I'd rather not imagine it but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that nothing good would have come of it. Even if they had filled each boat to it's rated capacity, it still adds up to a much higher death toll.
>>I'd rather not imagine it but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that nothing good would have come of it. Even if they had filled each boat to it's rated capacity, it still adds up to a much higher death toll.<<
Difficult question. If they'd attempted to fill the early boats to capacity, they'd have lost precious time - and they'd have risked tipping off people as to what was really going on - people who would then have started asking, none too gently, why there wasn't a place for them in those boats. Ugly!
The real question is not what would have happened had the ship been full to capacity. Instead, why was Titanic so empty? The coal strike had a lot of other ships tied up for the duration. That meant fewer open berths available to passengers. Presumably, the passengers were not on sympathy strike with the miners (or we have no such stories). So, with fewer berths available, those in Titanic should have been full up. But, they weren't. Why was Titanic so empty on its maiden voyage?
David-Does indeed make you wonder. Better than normal weather? Social events? Less pogroms in Eastern Europe? Ticket prices, etc,. Could be a lot of little stories that added up to a lot of empty berths. Sounds like a book-"Why I Didn't Sail On The Titanic"-don't know it could be researched so far after the fact-unfortunately that's the type of history you really need to gather first hand..
I don't think any of you will find that this is much of a mystery. When the people who provide the fuel decide not to do so (The strike) you tend not to go anywhere in great numbers, and it's not just one ship that's effected. Spring time was not really what was considered the hight of the travel season in any event.
It's also well to note that seasoned travellers tended to avoid maiden voyages because new ships have a tendency to cough up a whole series of annoying problems, ranging from the technical to the sort of things that crop up with new crews not used to working together.
The points Michael made are all valid, but I am not satisfied by those explanations. The number of lost berths aboard the idle passenger vessels would have overridden concerns about paint smells, etc. on a maiden voyage of a working new ship. Also, people crossing the ocean in 1912 did not do so on a whim. I suspect most had reasons for making the passage at a particular time. Many of the immigrants in 3rd cabin had "sold out" at home, so were effectively homeless without a ship to board.
So, I really don't find arguments about the newness of the ship compelling. Nor am I comfortable with explanations that people put off their voyages to wait for the coal strike to end.
As a passenger vessel owner/operator, I know for certain that unsold tickets on a completed voyage can never be sold again. White Star Line would never have allowed ticket revenue from idle ships to slip away when it could have been realized by re-booking those passengers aboard the new Titanic. The economics of business argue for a full ship every trip.
>>So, I really don't find arguments about the newness of the ship compelling. <<
Taken in isolation, neither would I, however, nothing here happened in isolation. The coal strike was in the UK so this would have thrown quite the monkey wrench in anybody's plans to travel there. What this would have meant would be that people would simply be traveling elsewhere...to places not effected by the strike....rather then take a chance on going someplace where they just might find themselves stranded for awhile. With all the world to choose from, there were plenty of options available.
Since it was "Off Season" there would have been fewer travelers, and those who were out there simply would have chosen to go to less troublesome destinations.
Look at the bookings on Olympic which sailed to NY the week before Titanic departed. The coal strike was officially in effect from Feb 26 and was not officially over until Apr 6, four days before Titanic departed Southampton. Its affect would have equally impacted Olympic's bookings if it were a significant factor.
As an aside, despite what had been written by others, Titanic was not short of coal on her maiden voyage. Her main coal bunkers were filled to 89% capacity, more than enough to get to NY at full service speed with 2 days to spare.
Coal in Titanic's bunkers has nothing to do with empty beds in its cabins.
I ask the question out of curiosity. There seems something out of whack when a ship in service has empty accommodations while a significant number of other ships are laid up. The answer could be as simple as that the industry had over-built the number of ships for the normal April traffic. Did Nostradamus predict something? I really don't know. But, I find the emptiness of Titanic curious under the circumstances.
For what it's worth: after reading Jim Kalafus' on-board account of the maiden voyage of the Queen Mary 2 (posted on ET), there's no way you could convince me to travel on a ship until the crew had settled into a routine and any initial teething pains in the ship's machinery had been resolved.
I wonder if maiden voyages had a similarly bad rap back in 1912?
Good question Jim. As I stated in a earlier post. I used to be a Deckhand and we changed boats we had a whole bunch of kinks to iron out. This with a crew that worked together before on the old boat. I'm certain they had the same issues in 1912.
Could Fare Rates have been a factor?
In The Irish Aboard Titanic, Appendix 3, Senan Molony wrote: "....... Cheaper passage could however be had by waiting until the following day to board the Celtic, which left Ireland with more than 400 steerage passengers, compared to Titanic's 113."