Collapsible Boat C (starboard) Edit

Wilde and Murdoch oversaw the launch of the first of the collapsible Engelhart lifeboats, which was retrieved from its stored position, the sides erected and the boat attached to the davits. The majority of the forward boats had gone by this time and most of the crowd on deck had moved aft as Titanics bow dipped deeper into the water.[1] The boat was rushed by a group of stewards and Third Class passengers who tried to climb aboard but were driven back by Purser McElroy, who fired two warning shots into the air, while Murdoch tried to hold the crowd back. Two First Class passengers, Hugh Woolner and Swedish Army Lieutenant Björn Steffanson, came to the officers' assistance and dragged out two stewards who had made it into the lifeboat. With the help of Woolner and Steffanson, Murdoch and Wilde managed to load the lifeboat quickly but calmly. J. Bruce Ismay also assisted by rounding up women and children to bring them to Collapsible C. Captain Smith, who was watching events from the starboard bridge wing, ordered Quartermaster George Rowe to take command of the boat.[2] After Wilde called repeatedly for women and children to enter, a number of men took up the remaining spaces in the lifeboat, including Ismay; his decision to save himself was later to be very controversial.[1]

The boat was lowered into the water at 2:00 am, becoming the last starboard-side boat to be launched. By now Titanic was listing heavily to port and the boat collided with the ship's hull as it descended towards the water. Those aboard used their hands and oars to keep the boat clear of the side of the ship.[1] As Titanic went down 20 minutes later, Ismay turned his back on the sinking ship, unable to bear the sight.[3] It was the first of the collapsible lifeboats to reach Carpathia, at 5:45 am, and had about 43 people on board.[4]

Notes Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Eaton & Haas 1994, p. 155.
  2. Butler 1998, pp. 125–6.
  3. Butler 1998, p. 138.
  4. Wormstedt & Fitch 2011, pp. 141, 144.