Lifeboats {Even if there had been enough...} : LUSENET : TitanicShack : One Thread

people say that if the titanic would have had enough lifeboats for all passengers it would have saved most if not all the people. but is this really true? it seemed to me in the movie that some boats boats didn't get used because there was not enough time. would they have had enough time to load all the lifeboats even if there was enough for everyone?

-- Kate (, February 14, 1998


yes, they would have had time to load them all. The titanic did not sink until 2 hours after it hit, and the officers spent a lot of time worrying "omigod, we don't have enough lifeboats" and separating the women & children from the men... They wouldn't have had to do this if there were enough lifeboats for everyone.

-- Natalie (, February 14, 1998.

From the exclusive presentation on Titanic "Death of a Dream" I understood that both people ad crew were to be blamed. Passangers felt that the ship will never sink but stay afloat and that some people will only get in the boats for a while, until the problem on the ship will be solved. The crew did not know the real situation, except for the captain, Ismay and Mr.Andrews. As they got to realize the situation it was too late. Also, the captain never handled before any such problem, while the crew was reshuffled and not enough trained for such a ship. Passangers felt, up to a point, much safer on the ship than in those boat at the mercy of the ocean. So even with boats for everyone, I consider that at least some hundred people would have died. Some died in boats, some refused to go...then the people in the boilers room, those who died on the ship during falls or being hit.

-- Dan Draghici (, February 15, 1998.

Lifeboats were being lowered by two teams only, one on each side of the boat. 1st officer Murdoch on one, 2nd officer Lightoller on the other. And the last lifeboat was cut free as the bow was going under. So if there were more boats and the crew was using the exact same strategy to launch boats as they did in the actual sinking, it's not probable that one more boat would have been launched. Lifeboats weren't being launched from the minute the captain knew the boat would sink, passengers and crew still believed the boat could be saved because of the water-tight compartments. Once stewards got passengers out of their rooms and got them to the boat deck, many people went to the gymnasium or back inside because it was cold outside and they thought it was safer on a great big ship than on a tiny little lifeboat. One lifeboat had TWELVE people on it. The people who got into the first lifeboats thought it was just a precaution, and that in a few hours they would board Titanic again. Stewards didn't want to create panic, and so they started this whole "just a precaution" story. With that mindset, it was hard to get people onto the boats, and since so many people refused to enter the boats, they let some men on, because otherwise, one boat would have had two ladies on it plus the rowing crew. IF they forced people on to the boats the second the bridge knew Titanic couldn't stay afloat (and just because the bridge knew the facts, lots of the crew were still uninformed) more people could have been saved. I'm thinking that if more crew was trained on how to lower lifeboats, there would have been even more half-empty lifeboats launched, since for the first half hour or so crew had to beg people to get in, and were happy when half on the seats were filled. So maybe that part of the tragedy wasn't all that tragic. If there were enough lifeboats, I'm hoping that the two crews launching the boats could have split into more launch crews, how hard could it be to get the hang of the equipment? Talk about a crash course. But if enough lifeboats was the scenario, there would have been more half-full lifeboats launched also, not 100% effective in life-saving, but more lives would have been saved. But that's if the crew's split into more crews, and who knew if that would have happened. Logic and panic rarely coexist. Once people realized that she was going down, the rush to get on a boat started. It was cold outside so many men went to the smoking room to play cards. If crew let passengers know of the urgency to get moving quicker, or simply let steerage up to the first class deck, another 580 people could have been saved. Room for 1280 and 700 were on the boats. That's 55% of capacity. To me, that's the most tragic part, this is a statistic that the crew could have done something about. Even if it meant letting men on, a life is still a life. We should be grateful for the lives that that the crew did save, some of those guys were heros.

-- Jen (, February 15, 1998.

If there had been enough lifeboats on Titanic it would have been because White Star held a very different attitude than the one they had toward possible dangers at sea. Such an attitude would have probably also been reflected in other ways:

1) A crew trained to use the lifeboat davits quickly and safely.

2) Lifeboat drills at the begining of the voyage, so that everyone (crew and passangers) would know where to go if evacuation were necessary.

3) Not storing valuable lifeboats on the roof of the officers' quarters with no way to get them down easily.

4) Making the situation clear ("We are going to sink") to everyone so that there would be no milling about, refusing to get in the boats, etc.

Granted the basic premise--a correct attitude toward safety--then, yes, having more boats would probably have saved many, if not all, lives.

-- Thomas Shoebotham (, February 15, 1998.

Captain Smith did not tell the crew the ship was going to sink until late on so not enough people boarded. Also, the ship's lifeboats were hung from high up and many people were worried about them falling and swinging as they got in. The boats were said to hold 60 people but a test by the harland and wolff builders proved they could hold 70 fully grown men and not fall. This information wasnt passed onto the captain or any crew. The titanic had 4 more lifeboats than the legal amount for a ship of its size!!! 4 were just inflatable ones and were never used! Everyone was so convinced the ship was unsinkable, there was not much worry to begin with. The crew had no training in emergency procedures because it wasnt law! The distress signals were mistaken as fireworks by nearby California!!!!!!!!!!!1 THERE ARE SO MANY REASONS PEOPLE DIED AND LIFEBOATS WERE NOT USED!!! GO AND GET A BOOK ON IT AS THEY ARE NORMALLY EASILY PRESENTED AND PUT TOGETHER THAN TITANIC WEBPAGES!!! ALSO, TRY THIS ABSOLOUTELY FANTASTIC SITE:

-- Jonathan (, February 01, 2003.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ