Yes, I believe that was what Captain Smith hoped but he might have failed to consider how most people would react under duress. Many crew members like QM Hichens, in charge of Lifeboat #6, were reluctant to go back to pick-up more survivors from the water for fear of being swamped. But the sad part is that Hichen's conjecture might have been right, even though in saying "it's our lives now, not theirs" (or something like that), he put it rather crudely. After a while, that thought might have crossed the minds of the other occupants of his boat, including the 4 women who had left husbands behind on the sinking Titanic. I concede that it is possible that Helene Baxter, whose son Quigg was lost in the sinking, thought differently. The instinct for self-preservation among humans is extremely high, even though most of us like to think otherwise.I subscribe to the school of thought that believes Captain Smith walked a very fine line - he maximised lifeboat capacity as quickly and quietly as possible, and got the boats in the water to hopefully ferry/pick up survivors before the inevitable panic set in.
Right again and I think "Lightoller's obstinacy" that you allude to played a significant part in loss of lives overall. We often discuss how many men, perhaps close to a hundred, survived the Titanic disaster because of Murdoch's sensible policy of "Women & Children first, but men of there was room afterwards" on the starboard side. But what is not mentioned as often is how many people needlessly lost their lives because of Lightoller's illogical policy of allowing "Women & Children only" under any circumstances on the port side. Paradoxically, this included a few women like Ida Straus and perhaps Bess Allison, who had every chance of getting into a lifeboat but would not leave their husbands; of course, in case of Bess, it resulted in the death of poor Loraine Allison as well. In fact, of the 15 or so male passenger survivors on all launched port lifeboats, only Major Peuchen was actually allowed in by Lightoller, to help the crew. He was not involved with launching of Lifeboats #2, #14 and #16 and with the other portside boats just 6 male passengers survived, all sneaking into the boats one way or another behind Lightoller's back. These were al Zainni (#6), Gurshon Cohen (#12), Woolner, Stefansson, Duquemin and Fred Hoyt (all Collapsible D).The strategy was correct, the execution was lacking due to issues such as Lightoller's obstinacy with men getting in the boats.