Wrong fill rate numbers

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Apr 24, 2003
Hello all!

In older titanic books (Titanic: An Illustrated History; Triumph and Tragedy etc.) the number of people rescued in every lifeboat is often much higher than the "new", more correct numbers here on this side (determined by Peter Engberg Klarström). ( We all know the "old" numbers, for example Boat 14 with 60 people (in fact: 40), D with 44(in fact: 25), 2 with 25(in fact:18), 10 with 50(in fact: 30)).

Why were these numbers not corrected earlier?

IMO, it was very easy to realize that the older numbers were wrong. If the authors would have added up the several numbers, they would have realized that they were to high (around 830 instead of 712 survivors).
Why didn't they adapt the wrong numbers on the real number of survivors?
Did they assume that some people dropped out or died in the boats? Over 100 people?
That sounds ridiculous.

Manuel Reiprich
Jul 9, 2000
Easley South Carolina
>>Why were these numbers not corrected earlier?<<

Probably because nobody recognized the errors for what they were at the time. The information available now was produced only after a lot of dedicated research and detective work which started sources that weren't always the best. The BOT used official lists of passengers and crew, quite a few of which were riddled with mistakes of just about every description imaginable.

Not surprisingly, the numbers they came up with were equally bogus and it would take decades of research to clear it up.

Dave Gittins

Mar 16, 2000
Early writers didn't read the full transcript of the British inquiry. If they had, they would have seen that Lord Mersey declared that it was impossible to arrive at accurate figures for the numbers in the bosts. He knew they were exaggerated and charitably put it down to the witnesses' natural desire to "make the best case for themselves and their ship". So even in 1912 "it was very easy to realize that the older numbers were wrong". My own opinion is that certain writers are very strong on gathering material and very weak on interpreting it.

Much of the modern research was done with newspaper reports, private letters and other things that Lord Mersey didn't have. Nor was the matter of real importance. The overall figures showed that the boats were not as well filled as they might have been. I make it about 665 people actually loaded into boats. The rest of the survivors swam for it.
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