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Titanic Survivors of Lifeboats Seven, Eight and Nine

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Titanic Survivors of Lifeboats Seven, Eight and Nine

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There were Twenty Lifeboats aboard the Titanic on that fateful journey that ended so disastrously. The ship was built with all the most up to date safety measures however there were only enough lifeboats to carry a fraction of the passengers and crew should the unthinkable happen which did happen.

Had the twenty been used as intended they could have carried 1,178 of the 2,224 on board. The total number of survivors on the night of 14-15 April 1912 was only 706.

The aim of this group of projects is to list those survivors linked to the lifeboat they were rescued in so that we can get a clearer picture of who experienced that nightmare together and what their reactions were under such severe stress and fear.

This project will list those survivors who were in Lifeboats One, Two, and Three and attempt to describe the unthinkable nightmare they would have experienced, though mere words will be inadequate.

Order of Lifeboat Launches

  1. Boat 7 (starboard)
  2. Boat 5 (starboard)
  3. Boat 3 (starboard)
  4. Boat 8 (port)
  5. Boat 1 (starboard)
  6. Boat 6 (port)
  7. Boat 16 (port)
  8. Boat 14 (port)
  9. Boat 12 (port)
  10. Boat 9 (starboard)
  11. Boat 11 (starboard)
  12. Boat 13 (starboard)
  13. Boat 15 (starboard)
  14. Boat 2 (port)
  15. Boat 10 (port)
  16. Boat 4 (port)
  17. Collapsible Boat C (starboard)
  18. Collapsible Boat D (port)
  19. Collapsible Boat B (port)
  20. Collapsible Boat A (starboard)

Lifeboat Seven

Lifeboat 7 ,the first to be lowered, came down at about 12:40 am with only 28 people occupying a boat with capacity for up to 65 apparently due to passenger's reluctance to board. The loading was supervised by First Officer Murdoch and Fifth Officer Lowe who endeavoured to persuade people to board for some minutes. Later testimony suggests that officers were not confident that the lifeboats were sturdy enough to be lowered full and that passengers could board the lifeboats from doors in the ship's side or from the water. It seems that this was just one example of where the training of ship's crew was lacking.

Somehow the boat's plug was missing or displaced during launch and as Dorothy Gibson recalled ""this was remedied by volunteer contributions from the lingerie of the women and the garments of men." She also described the sound of all the people screaming following the sinking of the Titanic as something that would "remain in my memory until the day I die."

Following the transfer of some passengers from boat 5 to boat 7 the two boats were lashed together until finally rescued by RMS Carpathia.

Occupants

  • Dorothy Gibson, American silent film actress who starred in Saved from the Titanic (1912), the first motion picture produced about the disaster
  • Pierre Maréchal, French aviator and father of race car driver Jean-Pierre Maréchal
  • Frederic Kimber Seward, prominent New York corporate lawyer
  • James McGough, Philadelphia department store buyer
  • William T. Sloper, Connecticut banker, who was falsely accused of dressing as a woman to get into the lifeboat
  • George Hogg, Titanic lookout, who manned the boat along with fellow lookout Archie Jewell
  • Margaret Hays, New York heiress, who brought her Pomeranian "Lady" with her
  • Alfred Nourney, who used the pseudonym Baron Alfred von Drachstedt
  • Dickinson Bishop, businessman, who was also falsely accused of dressing as a woman that night
  • William Clifford Weller

Lifeboat Eight

Lifeboat 8 was the fourth lifeboat to be launched however it was the first, under direction of Lightoller with assistance from Chief Officer Wilde and Captain Smith, to be launched on the portside. When asked to join others preparing to board boat 8 Ida Straus said, "I will not be separated from my husband. As we have lived, so will we die – together." Her husband,67 year old New York merchant Isidor Straus, echoed her sentiments saying, "I do not wish any distinction in my favor which is not granted to others." The couple were apparently last seen alive, arm in arm on the deck of the Titanic. True to the conventions and etiquette of the time gentlemen volunteered to offer their services and escort single unprotected ladies. An example of this was Marie Young, a former music teacher to the children of President Theodore Roosevelt who was escorted to Boat 8 by Major Archibald Butt, military aide to US President William Howard Taft. She remembered later that he "wrapped blankets about me and tucked me in as carefully as if we were going on a motor ride." He wished her goodbye and good luck and "remember me to the folks back home." Following the sinking of the Titanic able-bodied seaman Thomas Jones only had the support of three other occupants of the boat to rescue the desperate swimmers and stated "Ladies, if any of us are saved, remember I wanted to go back. I would rather drown with them than leave them." He later said of Lady Rothes who was one of three, that she was "more of a man than any we had aboard" as she took charge of the tiller and organised the others to work the oars. Jones and Lady Rothes went on to nurture their mutual appreciation with a lifelong correspondence.

Boat 8 had rowed the furthest from the scene as they had been rowing towards what they perceived to be the lights of a ship in the distance however the Carpathia when it arrived came from the opposite direction, hence their rescue did not occur until 7:30 am.

Occupants

  • Ellen Bird, maid to Ida Straus
  • Noëlle, Countess of Rothes, who took charge of the lifeboat's tiller and helped row
  • Gladys Cherry, a cousin of Noëlle Rothes' husband
  • María Josefa Pérez de Soto, who was comforted by the Countess of Rothes and her maid Fermina Oliva Ocaña
  • Thomas Jones, Able-Bodied Seaman, who was in charge of the boat[49]
  • Emma Bucknell, wife of the founder of Bucknell University
  • Charles H Pascoe

Lifeboat Nine

Boat 9 was lowered from the starboard side by Murdoch possibly assisted by Moody at 1:30 am. Murdoch put Boatswain's Mate Albert Hames in charge of boat 9 with Able-Bodied Seaman George McGough at the tiller. Boat 9 was mostly occupied by women including Kate Buss and her friend Marion Wright who wee brought to boat 9 on the call for 'any more women or children' by thei ship board acquaintances, Douglas Norman and Dr. Alfred Pain who were, to the distress of Misses Buss and Wright, barred from joining them. Norman and Pain both perished in the disaster.

Having seen his mistress and her maid to boat 9 millionaire Benjamin Guggenheim retired wth his valet,Victor Giglio, to his stateroom, donned evening dress and tod a steward, "We've dressed in our best, and are prepared to go down like gentlemen. There is grave doubt that the men will get off. I am willing to remain and play the man's game if there are not enough boats for more than the women and children. I won't die here like a beast. Tell my wife I played the game out straight and to the end. No women shall be left aboard this ship because Ben Guggenheim was a coward." Boat 9 was rescued by the Carpathia at approximately 6:15 am

Occupants