Friday, April 15, 2005

Lifeboats are launched

Lifeboat number 7 is the first to be lowered at 12:45 am, with only 19 people aboard. It had a capacity of 65.

It was difficult to convince people this early on to get into the lifeboats. Why would they trade the sturdy deck of an "unsinkable" ship for an unstable little boat? Some of the officers held the "women and children" order firm, and the only men allowed into those boats were crew members, or an occasional male passenger with sea experience to man the boat. Other officers were lenient, and allowed men into the boats when no other women and children were around.

To give you an idea for how quickly the lifeboats were launched, what their capacity was, and how many people they actually held, here is a rundown for you. (This information is taken from The Titanic-Nautical Resource Center.)

12:55 am - Boat #5 with 41 aboard (capacity 65)
12:55 am - Boat #6 with 28 aboard (capacity 65)
1:00 am - Boat #3 with 32 aboard (capacity 65)
1:10 am - Boat #1 with 12 aboard (capacity 40)
1:10 am - Boat #8 with 28 aboard (capacity 65)
1:20 am - Boat #10 with 55 aboard (capaticy 65)
1:25 am - Boat #14 with 60 aboard (capacity 65)
1:25 am - Boat #16 with 50 aboard (capacity 65)
1:30 am - Boat #9 with 56 aboard (capacity 65)
1:30 am - Boat #12 with 40 aboard (capacity 65)
1:35 am - Boat #11 with 70 aboard (capacity 65)
1:40 am - Boat #13 with 64 aboard (capacity 65)
1:40 am - Boat #15 with 70 aboard (capacity 65)
1:45 am - Boat #2 with 25 aboard (capacity 40)
1:50 am - Boat #4 with 40 aboard (capacity 65)
2:00 am - Boat C with 42 aboard (capacity 47)
2:05 am - Boat D with 40 aboard (capacity 47)
2:20 am - Boat A with 13 aboard (capacity 47)
2:20 am - Boat B with 30 aboard* (capacity 47)

*This boat was never actually launched, but floated off upside-down when the ship went under. The 30 people saved by this boat were those who were able to swim to it and balance on the hull.)
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