Titanic: it’s 11:40 p.m. April 14 1912… Where have all the lifeboats gone?
Posted by Jina Bacarr
Women and children first…
This was the cry heard on that cold, bitter night of April 14, 1912. Earlier that Sunday morning passengers of all classes had attended divine services and offered prayers for a safe crossing.
At 11:40 pm the Titanic struck an iceberg and she was sinking fast.
Everyone scrambled to get to the lifeboats.
‘Women and children first,’ called out the ship’s officers.
Why then, when lifeboat number 5 was lowered (capacity 40), were there only 2 women and 10 men aboard?
If the call was for women and children first, why were gentlemen permitted to get into the boats on the starboard side?
While no male passengers were allowed to enter a lifeboat on the port side of the ship when there were women and children about?
And who can forget the look of pain on faces of the Irish family – the da, mum and three children – who fought their way up from the bowels of the ship only to discover there were no more lifeboats?
No more lifeboats.
With only a rosary and prayer and their arms wrapped around each other, they faced the end bravely.
Still, the question, persists, why were there not enough lifeboats?
Some put the blame on J. Bruce Ismay, the Chairman and Managing Director of the White Star Line, who insisted the number of lifeboats be cut from 48 to 16 (in addition, 4 Englehardt or collapsible lifeboats were stored on the Boat deck) because they ‘cluttered’ the deck.
For the record, Mr. Ismay escaped the sinking in collapsible lifeboat C.
The White Star Line argued that it had followed the British Board of Trade regulations that dictated for a liner the size of the Titanic (using a specific formula based in tonnage), sixteen lifeboats was more than the number of boats required.
Here is a model of the Titanic decks and lifeboats showing rigging and funnel so you can get an idea of what the upper deck looked like. This rule was hopelessly outdated when the Titanic was launched.
But no one seemed to notice.
Until it was too late.
It does me heart in, as my heroine Ava O’Reilly would say, to write this post, knowing so many more passengers could been saved if they’d had more boats. As it was, several lifeboats were lowered half full or less. (The first lifeboat left with only 28 people–it could hold 65).
Again, there is some confusion as to why this happened. The lifeboats had been tested and could hold forty to sixty-five people, but the captain decided to lower them half full, then fill the boats with passengers from the lower gangways.
That never happened. The doors were never opened.
As the lifeboats rowed away, the horrified passengers in the lifeboats watched the heartbreaking scene.
Was Ava among them in the lifeboats? Or fighting for her life in the cold, freezing sea?
Find out in THE RUNAWAY GIRL
Two women hold the keys to his heart. Only one will survive that fateful night…
When Ava O’Reilly is wrongly accused of stealing from her employer, she has no option but to flee Ireland. The law is after her, and she has only one chance at escape – the Titanic.
Aboard the ship of dreams, she runs straight into the arms of Captain ‘Buck’ Blackthorn, a dashing gentleman gambler who promises to be her protector. He is intrigued by her Irish beauty and manages to disguise her as the maid of his good friend, the lovely Countess of Marbury. Little does he realise, that the Countess is also in love with him.
As the fateful night approaches, tragedy strikes further when Ava is separated from Buck, and must make a daring choice that will change her life forever…
A sweeping, emotional historical romance set aboard the Titanic, perfect for fans of Gill Paul and Suzanne Goldring.
This is a revised and fully updated edition of a novel previously published as Titanic Rhapsody.
What readers are saying about The Runaway Girl:
‘A fantastic Titanic take woven in with a great portrayal of love, friendship, and even forgiveness. I would have rather seen this as a movie than the Jack and Rose story!!!’
‘Oh how I adored this story… From start to finish I was enchanted with the story and the characters and all the finer details describing the ship, clothes and scenery.”
‘A breathtaking romance that is sure to stay with you long after reading’
‘Perfect for historical fiction and romance fans.’
‘A mesmerizing romance that is sure to sweep you off your feet and take you away to another place, another time.’
‘A fabulous book you won’t want to miss’
THE RUNAWAY GIRL:
Posted on April 14, 2021, in 1912, Amazon, audio, author, Boldwood Books, books, bookstore, drama, e-Books, heroine, historical, Ireland, Irish, Kindle, KindleUnlimited, love, romance, Titanic, Uncategorized, women, writer, Writing, writing and tagged 1912, class, Edwardian, first class, historical romance, Ireland, Irish, lifebelt, lifeboat, London, love story, manifest, NetGalley, passenger, romance, second class, ship of dreams, society, steerage, Titanic, Titanic 108, video, voyage. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Titanic: it’s 11:40 p.m. April 14 1912… Where have all the lifeboats gone?.
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