Were there any survivors of the Titanic who never got into one of the Titanic's lifeboats?

Sep 2013
909
Chattanooga, TN
I'm sure that all or almost all of the survivors of the Titanic were in lifeboats. The RMS Carpathia is the ship that rescued people from the Titanic about two hours after the Titanic sank. I suppose there is an infinitesimally small chance that there was a survivor pulled from the water who got into one of the Carpathia's lifeboats, taking the survivor to the RMS Carpathia.

Were there any survivors of the Titanic who never got into one of the Titanic's lifeboats?
 

Belgarion

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,770
Australia
None as far as I am aware. The water was cold enough to kill a person within 30 minutes and as you note Carpathia did not arrive for about two hours. From Wikipedia : A water temperature of 10 °C (50 °F) can lead to death in as little as one hour, and water temperatures near freezing can cause death in as little as 15 minutes.[40] A notable example of this occurred during the sinking of the Titanic, when most people who entered the −2 °C (28 °F) water died in 15–30 minutes.[41]

Hypothermia - Wikipedia
 
Jun 2017
2,988
Connecticut
One chef survived in the water until the Carpathia arrived(about 2 hours) by getting extremely drunk where the cold didn't phase him. It's possible he never thought into a lifeboat though I think he would have been picked up when day broke and things had calmed down. Carpathia picking up the survivors took about 4 hours and the main reason he was in the water before was cause it was dark and no one could see him.
 
Jun 2012
522
One chef survived in the water until the Carpathia arrived(about 2 hours) by getting extremely drunk where the cold didn't phase him. It's possible he never thought into a lifeboat though I think he would have been picked up when day broke and things had calmed down. Carpathia picking up the survivors took about 4 hours and the main reason he was in the water before was cause it was dark and no one could see him.
That made no sense. Alcohol makes you feel warmer only because the heat escapes the body more quickly via the skin; if anything, the chef should have died before almost everyone else in the water.
 
Jun 2017
2,988
Connecticut
That made no sense. Alcohol makes you feel warmer only because the heat escapes the body more quickly via the skin; if anything, the chef should have died before almost everyone else in the water.
Well that's true. But it kept him calm and it seems like the(understandable) shock and panic had more to do with the rapid timetable of everyone else's death than just their body's ability to survive in that temperature under normal circumstances. Almost all the people in the water would have been under incredible emotional duress even before entering the water. The absence of that buying an extra few hours is believable even if the heat is leaving the body.
 

sculptingman

Ad Honorem
Oct 2009
3,667
San Diego
One chef survived in the water until the Carpathia arrived(about 2 hours) by getting extremely drunk where the cold didn't phase him. It's possible he never thought into a lifeboat though I think he would have been picked up when day broke and things had calmed down. Carpathia picking up the survivors took about 4 hours and the main reason he was in the water before was cause it was dark and no one could see him.
No- he was pulled out of the water- and alcohol would not have stopped him from dying from exposure- you don't "freeze" to death- if your core body temperature drops below 80 degrees- you die. In water that cold- that only takes about 30 minutes.

Charles Lightoller went in the water as the ship sank from under him as he and fellow crew members were trying to launch the last of the collapsibles. The collapsed boats had a waterproofed canvas skirt that could be extended above a shallow wooden hull-
the collapsible ended up upside down, and Lightoller and several men in the water climbed up onto it- getting their body's out of the cold water- Lightoller had them literally Stand on top of it- each with a foot on either side of the keel- all facing the same way.
as many as could stand on it without slipping off- they all had to face the same way because lightoller would give orders to lean left, or lean right to help hold the raft stable- they did this for about an hour until one of the lifeboats came back to look for survivors- at which point they transferred into the lifeboat- this would not have been possible if not for the glassy calm of the sea that night. The returning lifeboat found less than a dozen still alive in the water- but all but 6 of them died within an hour.
Those that survived longer than average were overweight, or were clinging to debris that helped keep more of their body out of the water for a longer period of time.

to me the crime was that the Captain essentially checked out- and failed to properly supervise the loading of the boats- it was a dead calm sea- and Carpathia was 4 hours away- he could have overloaded those boats till they had 2 inches of freeboard- and increased the number of survivors by 50%-

They also had 2 and a half hours before she sank- knowing there was not enough lifeboats- and a steerage class FULL of tradesmen- there is no excuse for why the upper class snob did not put those men to work building rafts out of the Titanic's copious wooden decorations and deck chairs.
2 hours with 200 men, some fire axes and cordage could have built enough makeshift flotation to keep another 500 people 60% out of the cold water for 4 lousy hours.
 
Jun 2017
2,988
Connecticut
No- he was pulled out of the water- and alcohol would not have stopped him from dying from exposure- you don't "freeze" to death- if your core body temperature drops below 80 degrees- you die. In water that cold- that only takes about 30 minutes.

Charles Lightoller went in the water as the ship sank from under him as he and fellow crew members were trying to launch the last of the collapsibles. The collapsed boats had a waterproofed canvas skirt that could be extended above a shallow wooden hull-
the collapsible ended up upside down, and Lightoller and several men in the water climbed up onto it- getting their body's out of the cold water- Lightoller had them literally Stand on top of it- each with a foot on either side of the keel- all facing the same way.
as many as could stand on it without slipping off- they all had to face the same way because lightoller would give orders to lean left, or lean right to help hold the raft stable- they did this for about an hour until one of the lifeboats came back to look for survivors- at which point they transferred into the lifeboat- this would not have been possible if not for the glassy calm of the sea that night. The returning lifeboat found less than a dozen still alive in the water- but all but 6 of them died within an hour.
Those that survived longer than average were overweight, or were clinging to debris that helped keep more of their body out of the water for a longer period of time.

to me the crime was that the Captain essentially checked out- and failed to properly supervise the loading of the boats- it was a dead calm sea- and Carpathia was 4 hours away- he could have overloaded those boats till they had 2 inches of freeboard- and increased the number of survivors by 50%-

They also had 2 and a half hours before she sank- knowing there was not enough lifeboats- and a steerage class FULL of tradesmen- there is no excuse for why the upper class snob did not put those men to work building rafts out of the Titanic's copious wooden decorations and deck chairs.
2 hours with 200 men, some fire axes and cordage could have built enough makeshift flotation to keep another 500 people 60% out of the cold water for 4 lousy hours.
He was pulled out several hours(2) later though. He was not one of the five or six people pulled from the water when the boats went back to the scene. He was discovered when day broke.

The Titanic wasn't actually even necessarily doomed(I mean the damage was structually fatal so Andrews was going off that and Smith just took his word for it and focused on evacuating), the hole could have been plugged mitigating the damage to a point where the pumps would have stood a real chance. Unquestionably the ship could have survived considerably longer if any effort(beyond manning the pumps that they already knew would be overwhelmed when the water went over the first bulkhead etc) was put into slowing the rate of sinking(a common theme in the sinking of MUCH smaller ships). The Captain's biggest merit as a professional was that he was never in an accident(barring the Hawke incident) and it was part of why he was popular, but that came back to bite him because he had no idea how to handle an emergency. While we don't know if things went down the way they did in the movie for him, by all accounts(primarily in a Night to Remember) Smith is not present in any major way following his receive of Andrew's diagnosis and his officers basically run the show. Tbh I strongly doubt he was even around to give Murdoch and Lightoller permission to load the boats, and testimony otherwise was probably meant to be protect his reputation and Murdoch died and Lightoller was a company man whose testimony isn't the most credible IMO unless corroborated.

Regardless of the whole "not enough lifeboat controversy" it is undeniable the way both Murdoch and Lightoller loaded the lifeboats(Lightoller with his women and children only policy and Murdoch with his empty boats) caused hundreds of extra people to die, possibly doubling the human toll of the disaster. But the fact there weren't enough boats even if they were competent(and since the aversion to filling the boats contradicted the results of the tests the boats had underwent, it was incompetence IMO) has overshadowed this.

When people talk about the Second Officer being transferred off the ship so Smith could have Wilde, and everyone being demoted, the conversation usually goes to the binocolaurs the officer left behind in his locker. What is overlooked is that Wilde joining the crew bumped Murdoch and Lightoller down to First and Second Officer which were not their ordinary jobs. Different officers had different roles on the ship and Murdoch and Lightoller had not been accustomed to their job the past week.
 
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redcoat

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
7,897
Stockport Cheshire UK
to me the crime was that the Captain essentially checked out- and failed to properly supervise the loading of the boats- it was a dead calm sea- and Carpathia was 4 hours away- he could have overloaded those boats till they had 2 inches of freeboard- and increased the number of survivors by 50%-

They also had 2 and a half hours before she sank- knowing there was not enough lifeboats- and a steerage class FULL of tradesmen- there is no excuse for why the upper class snob did not put those men to work building rafts out of the Titanic's copious wooden decorations and deck chairs.
2 hours with 200 men, some fire axes and cordage could have built enough makeshift flotation to keep another 500 people 60% out of the cold water for 4 lousy hours.
The problem was the SS Californian was within sight of the Titanic, the captain ,crew and passengers could clearly see the Califonian's lights in the distance. The captain and crew of the Titanic at first assumed that the Californian would respond to the Titanic's distress flares and radio messages, and that given the rate of the Titanic's sinking they would have plenty of time to transfer all the passengers to the Californian's before the ship sank, so they didn't need to overload the lifeboats.
That's the true horror of the Titanic, they could see a rescue ship in the distance, but the SS Californian, despite seeing the distress flares, did nothing.
 
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betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,496
The problem was the SS Califonia was within sight of the Titanic, the captain ,crew and passengers could clearly see the Califonia's lights in the distance. The captain and crew of the Titanic at first assumed that the Capathia would respond to the Titanic's distress flares and radio messages, and that given the rate of the Titanic's sinking they would have plenty of time to transfer all the passengers to the Califonia's before the ship sank, so they didn't need to overload the lifeboats.
That's the true horror of the Titanic, they could see a rescue ship in the distance, but the SS Califonia's, despite seeing the distress flares, did nothing.
The Capatia did head towards the Titanic and pick up survivors. Could it have gotten there quicker?