Titanic Gazette Souvenir Shop

Titanic Gazette Souvenir Shop

Titanic Gazette Souvenir Shop

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Boat No. 2

The photos above which were taken at the Titanic museum in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee show a replica of Boat No. 2.  It's the forward boat hanging off the side.  

Boat No. 2 was one of two boats called "emergency boats".  It was held in suspension over the side of the ship on the port side for emergency purposes such as man overboard.  It had a capacity of 40 people.  

After the Titanic struck the iceberg, Captain Smith ordered the boats to be swung out.  The crew did so and put provisions in the boats.  During this time, 4th Officer Boxhall noticed a man carrying green flares.  He ordered the man to put them in Boat No. 2 for whoever was in the boat to use.  Chief Officer Wilde was in charge of loading and launching the lifeboat.  A number of men also got in.  At some point, Captain Smith came up and said, "How many crew are in that boat?  Get out of there, every man of you!"  Mrs. Douglas recalled that a "solid line of men from bow to stern" got out to make room for the ladies.  1st class passengers Mr. Walter and Mrs. Mahala Douglas originally hoped to get into a lifeboat together.  They approached Boat No. 2 when they saw it being loaded.  Mrs. Douglas stepped forward to get in and asked Mr. Douglas to follow.  Mr. Douglas replied, "No, I must be a gentleman" and turned away.  Mrs. Douglas said, "Try and get off with Mr. Moore and Maj. Butt.  They will surely make it."  Mrs. Douglas mentioned that Clarence Moore, Archie Butt, Mr. Meyer, and Mr. Ryerson were nearby.  Mrs. Douglas got in and sat at the bottom of the boat at first next to the tiller.  4th Officer Boxhall had finished helping with launching the rockets in an attempt to attract the attention of a nearby ship whose lights could be seen.  

After their efforts had seemingly failed, he went to Captain Smith who was standing next to the door of the wheelhouse on the Bridge, presumably supervising the loading and launching of Boat No. 2.  Captain Smith told Boxhall to get into the boat and row away.  When he got in, only one other crewmember, Osman, was on it at the time.  Anton Kink put his wife and child into the boat and was touched on the shoulder and told to step back.  He did so and his wife and child cried for him to be let on.  The order was given to start lowering.  As the boat was lowered, Steward James Johnson called for a knife to cut the ropes when they reached the water.  Anton Kink later talked about jumping into the boat as it was being lowered while Boxhall denied such a thing happening at the inquiries.  It seems to me that when they gave him a blade, this might have provided sufficient distraction for Anton to sneak in.  

When the boat was lowered, Boxhall tried to count the number of people in the boat, but didn't get further than ten due to some of the passengers not being able to speak English.  Boxhall later said they could have taken about 3 more, but probably gave such a low number compared to the truth of how many more they could take to avoid controversy.  They rowed alongside the ship and near the propellers, trying to get alongside the ship to take on more people.  When Boxhall realized that this wouldn't work, he gave the order to row away.  Boxhall and an unidentified woman rowed with one of the four oars they used.  There was some compaining afterwards about how only Boxhall and Osman could row.  Everyone else managed as well as they could and some of the ladies such as Mrs. Appleton helped with the rowing too.  Mahala Douglas was put in charge of the tiller.  Boxhall lit an old lantern that was in the boat and put it on a pole.  They stopped and rested their oars about (in Boxhall's estimation) 100 yards away from the ship.  They watched as the lights went out and then the Titanic's black shape rose out of the water and sank.  They rowed away after the sinking, mostly ignoring the cries of the dying presumably for fear of being swamped if they went back.  They stopped several times during the night to listen for water lapping against icebergs to avoid a fate similar to the Titanic.  Boxhall remembered the green flares he ordered the crewman to put in the boat a couple of hours before.  He got out the case and the flares were lit, giving off a green light.  At about 10-20 minutes before 4:00 AM, Boxhall spotted the lights of the Carpathia which had heard the Titanic's distress call over the Wireless Telegraph.  Boxhall ordered them to pull for the Carpathia.  

At about 4:00, day broke and they were able to make out icebergs surrounding them.  As the Carpathia came alongside Boat No. 2 sometime between 4:10 and 4:15 AM, Boxhall called up, “Shut down your engines and takes aboard.  I only have one sailor.”  Then Mahala Douglas called up, “The Titanic has gone down with everyone on board!”  Boxhall told her to shut up.  Boxhall made sure everyone else made it safely onto the Carpathia before he himself boarded.  Out of the 40 people Boat No. 2 could have taken, only 17 people occupied it.    

Boat No. 2 was taken on board the Carpathia and taken to New York where it and a lot of the other boats were lowered in Pier 59, the Titanic's port.  What happened to it afterwards is unknown.  





The Loss of the SS Titanic: Centennial Reappraisal

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