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There has always been much discussion about which lifeboat was launched when and what the order was. Lifeboat 7 was the first one to leave, but at 12:45 A.M.? And was boat 10 launched before or after boat 12? And did Captain Smith launch boat 1 or 2?

Titanic's list at the launchingsEdit

Titanic was listing to starboard at the beginning of her sinking[1][2] until 1:05 A.M., afterwards slowly that list shifted to port and she sank under a heavy port list. Between that, there was a period where Titanic had no list. This provided a first important clue on the overall launching sequence.

List at the starboard boatsEdit

Lifeboat List of the ship during launch Launched by these officers
1 Starboard[3][4][5] Murdoch, Lowe
3 Starboard[3] Murdoch, Lowe
5 Starboard[3] Murdoch, Pitman (left), Lowe
7 Starboard[3][6] Murdoch, Lowe
9 None[7] Murdoch, Moody
11 None Murdoch
13 None, port list started during lowering[8] Murdoch, Moody
15 Slight port[9] Murdoch
A Port[10] Murdoch, Moody
C Port[11] Wilde, Murdoch

List at the port boatsEdit

Lifeboat List of the ship during launch Launched by these officers
2 Port Smith, Wilde, Boxhall (left)
4 Port Lightoller
6 Starboard[12] Smith, Lightoller
8 Slight port[13] Smith, Wilde, Lightoller
10 Port[14] Wilde
12 Port[15] Wilde, Lightoller
14 Port[16] Wilde, Lightoller, Lowe (left)
16 Port Moody
B Port Lightoller (left)
D Port[17][18] Wilde, Lightoller

Conclusions to be drawn from Titanic's listEdit

Based on Titanic's list, we have three "sets" of lifeboats:

  • Boats 1, 3, 5, 6 & 7 went first, when Titanic still had a starboard list.
  • Boats 8, 9, 11 & 13 went after these 5, when Titanic had no list.
  • Boats 10, 12, 14, 15, 16 & the collapsibles went after these 9, when Titanic had a port list.

Comparing the new theory to the British InquiryEdit

Ioannis Georgiou created a full launching sequence based on his own research. It is presented here for a side-by-side comparison with the old sequence from the British Inquiry. The times presented by Georgiou are estimated presented in a 5-minute interval, except boats A & B.

Launch times British Inquiry Georgiou
12:40 7
12:45 7
12:50 5
12:55 5 & 6 3 & 6
1:00 3 1
1:05 9
1:10 1 & 8 11
1:15 13
1:20 9 & 10 8
1:25 11 & 12 15
1:30 14 16
1:35 13 & 15 & 16 12
1:40 C 14
1:45 2 10
1:50 2
1:55 4 4
2:05 D C
2:10 D
2:17 A*
2:18 B*
2:20 A* & B*

* Floated off when bridge went under, not launched.

SourcesEdit

  1. US Inquiry day 5, Robert Hichens
  2. US Inquiry day 7, Frank Osman
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 British Inquiry day 10, questions 11440-11442, George Symons
  4. British Inquiry day 10, questions 11467a, George Symons
  5. British Inquiry day 10, questions 12511-12513, Sir Cosmo Duff-Gordon
  6. US Inquiry day 13, Norman Campbell Chambers
  7. US Inquiry day 7, William Ward
  8. British Inquiry day 3, questions 719, George William Beauchamp
  9. British Inquiry day 6, questions 6501-6505, Samuel James Rule
  10. British Inquiry day 9, questions 10530, Edward Brown
  11. US Inquiry day 11, Bruce Ismay
  12. British Inquiry day 3, questions 1372-1377, Robert Hichens
  13. British Inquiry day 16, questions 17943-17946, Alfred George Crawford
  14. British Inquiry day 6, questions 5987-5989, Charles John Joughin
  15. British Inquiry day 4, questions 3301-3306, John Thomas Poingdestre
  16. British Inquiry day 6, questions 5475-5476, Frank Herbert Morris
  17. US Inquiry day 7, John Hardy
  18. US Inquiry day 10, Hugh Woolner
http://www.titanicinquiry.org/BOTInq/BOTReport/BOTRepBoats.php

Ioannis Georgiou (December 2012 - September 2015). Die Geschichte der Rettungsboote. Titanic Post, Titanic-Verein Schweiz.