Lifeboats on the Titanic : LUSENET : TitanicShack : One Thread

Why did'nt they have enough lifeboats on the Titanic?

-- (""), November 12, 1998


I still believe that even if they had enough lifeboats for all on board, not everyone would have been saved because they barely had enough time to launch the 20 lifeboats they had.

-- Emma (, November 12, 1998.

That's right!

-- Dan Draghici (, November 12, 1998.

True, but had the boats been there they could have been released, and would have provided some hope for those in the water. I will never bend on the lifeboat issue. It was a ridiculous standard then and it would be the same today. Whether they had the time or the manpower to launch the missing boats is not the issue. The fact that they were not there to begin with, is the issue. This was not the White Star line's problem, but they certainly did nothing to ensure the safety of the passengers on that ship. It is true that they had more lifeboats than the British Board of Trade required, but it was a smoke and mirrors show. Four "collapsibles" berthed on top of the Officers's Quarters that were damned near impossible to launch satisfied the regulations, but were an insult to humanity. That one I will have, and have had, a hard time getting over. The fact is, that ship, her owners and her crew, were not at all prepared for what would happen and they had no respect for what can happen at sea and that was a tragic mistake. I apologize for letting loose here a bit, but this has always been a sore spot with me.

Regards, Peter

-- Peter Nivling (, November 17, 1998.

Yes, Peter, they did need more boats, much more training for the crew and more testing of the ship before "heading to the horizon." And those binoculars so needed for night vision, especially when you pass through an ice field with almost 100% probability.

-- Dan Draghici (, November 17, 1998.

One has to remember that althought the White Star Line exceded their legal requirment in regards to life boats, the prevailing beliefs at the time were as follows: A) That any ship of the size of the Olypmpic Class Liners would not sink and if involved in a sea accident enough time would be affored that the life boats would be used to ferry passengers from ship to ship not to sustain them as group on the whole. B) At this time in history though it had been many years since a major sea disaster. Ocean crossings were consider extremely risky. Many ships were lost at sea never to be heard of again. It was common belief that if you traveled this way you took the chance of not surviving.

-- RL-Memeber Titanic Historical Soceity (, January 22, 1999.

The BBOT regs concerning lifeboats on the Titanic and other ships of British registry at that time were determined in 1894 and were based on a vessel of 10,000 tons. The ship I was stationed on in the U.S. Navy in 1968 was a 10,000 ton attack transport that could carry around 900 souls when we had the Marines on board. Not including the 20 or so landing craft that we carried in the davits (Welin davits, by the way), we had more than enough lifesaving, automatically inflating, liferafts aboard for all and then some (the exact number escapes me as that was over 30 years ago). It still amazes me that 14 full size, 2 smaller and 4 collapsible, unlaunchable, boats were thought to be enough for the 2200 aboard Titanic. What were they thinking other than even those would probably never be needed? I have always felt that sacrificing safety for comfort aboard a seagoing vessel is backward thinking. It really is sad when you think about it.

Regards, Peter

-- Peter Nivling (, January 23, 1999.

Just to add to the post by R.L., we have to remember that in 1912, shipboard travel was the only way to cross the atlantic.

Regards, Peter

-- Peter Nivling (, January 25, 1999.

In response to the comment that they barely had time to launch the twenty boats they did have:

The crew of Titanic had little or no training on how to launch the lifeboats--with the proper training, it would have been no problem to launch enough boats for everyone to survive.

-- Nonnie Parker (, April 16, 1999.

Thomas Andrews, the desighner, said it was unsinkable, so the lifeboats were not needed. He said it was a waist of deck space.

-- Tommy Lynskey (, August 14, 2003.

the law was that ships like titanic had to have at least 11 boats. By having 16 proper lifeboats and 4 collapsable lifeboats, titanic was well above the law. They didn't think that they;d ever need the lifeboats and 1st class passengers thought it looked too cluttered

-- me (, February 26, 2004.

I fink tat the titanic od hav ad more bouts than it ad so the people like c ould av livied like

-- Charmaine Baynon (, December 01, 2004.

I think that even if they did have enough lifeboats, they would not have enough time to launch them with or without anymore boats. Plus, the crew wasn't very good with lowering the lifeboats.

-- Emily (, January 05, 2005.

I know if the Titanic did have enough lifeboats aboard it at the time of the crash it would of only made a little bit of a difference in the amount of survivors. But think of it this way, if the Titanic was somehow damaged in a different way in which would have given them around a day to get off of it before it sank and they didn't have enough lifeboats for everyone, then what could they do? They would just have to sit there killing time while they could be safe in a lifeboat.

-- laura (, February 16, 2005.

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