Photo source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1254788/Why-women-children-saved-Titanic-Lusitania.html
Boat No. 3 was a regular sized lifeboat located towards the forward end of the Boat Deck. It was located just behind Boat No. 1 (hanging over the side). In the photo from the 1997 movie set, you can see Boat No. 3 being launched. In reality, the lowering happened earlier in the sinking.
After launching Boat No. 7 and Boat No. 5, 1st Officer Muroch began loading Boat No. 3. George Moore got in as ordered by Murdoch and helped the women into the boat. Henry Sleeper Harper put his wife in the boat and stepped back. Then the Speddens came up and Margaretta (or Daisy as she was known by her friends) and her son Douglas along with their maid, Alice Wilson, and nanny, Margaret Burns, stepped in. Frederick Spedden, the head of the household, was told to wait. Then Edith and Margaret Graham were escorted to the boat by Howard Case and Washington Roebling. Thorton Davidson and Charles Hays stepped forward with their wives. Mr. Hays told his wife that he and Mr. Davidson would wait for a rescue ship that would come in the morning. Then he made sure she was wrapped tight and both gentlemen escorted their wives into the lifeboat. After the women and children had gotten in, the men assumed that they could get in and got in without being ordered by Murdoch. Adolfe Saafeld noticed a general reluctance to get into the boat. It seemed so tiny and cold compared to the large, warm, solid ship they were standing on 60 feet above the water with only a slight list. He got in anyway. Harper was among the last to get in with his Penkingese Spaniel "Sun Yat Sen" in his hands. Seeing some room in the boat and with no one objecting, he boarded with the dog. Murdoch gave a final call for more women.
When none stepped forward, he gave the order to lower away at around 12:55 A.M. Edith Graham looked back and watched Howard Case calmly light a cigarette and wave while Washington Roebling calmly stood nearby. Both Mr. Hays and Mr. Davidson waved to their wives. To make his wife feel more reassured, Charles Hays called to Mrs. Hays that the ship would assuredly good for ten hours more and by that time, help would arrive. The journey down to the sea was described as rough by Daisy Spedden and Henry Sleeper Harper. Elizabeth Shute said that as the boat was being lowered, the ropes on one side stopped while the other continued which made everyone afraid that they would capsize. They rectified the problem on the Boat Deck and then they continued down. Little did they realize that only 32 out of a possible 60 were on board.
When they reached the sea, they were delayed a couple of minutes because the crew had a hard time getting the boat free of the ropes. When they were finally free, Henry Sleeper Harper said they had a hard time getting away from the ship because Moore who was at the tiller couldn't steer the boat properly. Finally, Harper told Moore to angle the tiller the opposite of the way he wanted to go and they finally started going away from the ship. At some point, two oars were lost. The reason given was that the men's hands were too cold. They stopped for a moment and let them beat their hands and do things to get their blood circulating before continuing on with only four oars. Along with the crew, 1st class passengers Dr. Max Staehelin-Maeglin and Alfons Simonius-Blumer also helped row.
They were told by the crew to look for a lantern, but found neither lantern, nor food, nor water in the boat. As they passed other boats, Mrs. Hays and Mrs. Davidson called out their husbands' names and ask if they were there. They were only met with a "no" from each one. Mrs. Hays later said that she was naturally agitated and anxious for her husband, but didn't believe he was in imminent danger. Elizabeth Shute who was sitting next to them was invited to sit nearer to them to help keep them warm.
When the Titanic sank, they heard cries from those in the water. According to Walter Hawksford, they lifted their hats and bowed their heads. Then one of the men said, "She's gone, lads; row like hell or we'll get the devil of a swell." Daisy wanted to go back, but complained in her journal several times about how Moore only listened to the sailors who were afraid of getting swamped. They wouldn't have reached them It didn't help that Moore caused fears by saying earlier that there would be a big wave when she went down. After the sinking and they were in darkness, one sailor asked another sailor if he'd put in both plugs on the bottom of the boat. The latter said he thought so but wasn't sure. Both groped around on the bottom of the boat until they found that both plugs were in. Elizabeth Shute talked later about how two men in the back of the boat were smoking cigars and kept lighting them with matches. She asked them to stop using the matches because they might need them later, but they didn't listen to her.
According to Daisy Spedden, they thought several shooting stars might be ships on the horizon. According to Mrs. Hays and Mrs. Davidson, they also spotted lanterns from other boats which they would mistake for other ships. Then they spotted the green starboard light from the Californian. They rowed towards the Californian, burning pieces of paper to attract other boats until they spotted Boxhall's green flare in Boat No. 2. They changed course and rowed towards that until day broke. Daisy Spedden said, “It was just about dawn there and the sight which greeted our eyes was a never to be forgotten one. The moon was setting on the pink horizon, and the morning glow on the icebergs, which surrounded us, was superb. Douglas looked up and exclaimed, "Oh, Muddie, look at the beautiful North Pole with no Santa Claus on it," which made everyone smile! The tragedy of the situation sank deep into our hearts, as we saw the Carpathia standing amidst the few bits of wreckage on the spot where the Titanic went down, with the pitifully small number of lifeboats coming up to her from different directions.” To attract the Carpathia, they lit Mrs. Davidson's straw hat (because they figured it would burn longer), a newspaper, and other flammable things. They rowed alongside the Carpathia at around 7:30 A.M. The survivors in this boat seem to have been brought up on a chair. As the third person who is described by Harper as being of "substantial weight" (Charlotte Cardeza?) stepped forward to get in the chair, a woman who was wearing nothing but a night gown and kimono (Vera Dick?) sat up who Harper thought had been in the bottom of the boat the entire time and said, "Look at that horrible woman! She stepped on my stomach! Horrible creature!" The unhappy woman went up next. As they put young Douglas Spedden in the swing, he said, "My, aren't I'm a fuss!"
Boat No. 2 was brought aboard the Carpathia and dropped off when she reached New York. What happened afterwards is unknown.
Harper's Weekly April 27, 1912 in "Titanic The Story of the Disaster in the Newspapers of the Day."
Report Into The Loss Of The SS Titanic: A Centennial Reappraisal
"On Board the RMS Titanic: Memories of a Maiden Voyage" by George Behe
"On Board the RMS Titanic: Memories of a Maiden Voyage" by George Behe