Flooding in the Mail Room
Boxhall, having encountered Carpenter Hutchinson heading up to report to the captain that the ship was flooding quickly, arrives at the mail room after a postal clerk reports to him that the area is taking water fast. He finds water two feet below G deck and entering the ship at a high rate of speed. Andrews arrives a few minutes later on his own inspection.
Carpathia Races Towards the Titanic
Aboard the Cunard liner Carpathia, wireless operator Harold Cottam overhears Phillips’ call while unlacing his boots and preparing to switch off his set for the night, as Cyril Evans had done nearly an hour before aboard the Californian. Stunned by the gravity of the situation, Cottam signaled that he would tell his captain and rushed to the bridge, finding First Officer Horace Dean, but not the captain. Cottam then burst into Captain Arthur H. Rostron’s quarters and breathlessly explained to the surprised captain what he’d heard. Rostron swung into action immediately, having his eastbound ship turned around to steer northwest toward the position Cottam had provided. He also gave a series of orders to have his ship readied for a rescue at sea and set off for the position 58 miles away as fast as his ship could sail.
Lifeboat Three is Lowered
Lifeboat three’s lowering begins, supervised by Murdoch and Fifth Officer Lowe. Seaman George Moore is placed in charge of this boat, containing around 32 people. Around this time, the steam blowing off from the pipes on each of the ship’s funnels finally ceases after more than an hour of deafening roaring.
In Boiler Room Five, Junior Assistant Second Engineer Jonathan Shepherd falls into a manhole opened to get access to some pumping systems. Shepherd breaks his leg and is carried to the pump room.
Lifeboat Eight Leaves the Titanic
Artwork: by Simon Fisher
Lifeboat eight becomes the first boat on the port side to be launched, with Lightoller, Wilde, and Captain Smith supervising the process. Seaman Thomas Jones is put in command of a boat containing roughly 25 people. The port side boats’ launching had been delayed temporarily while Lightoller, Smith, Murdoch, and Wilde had repaired to Murdoch’s cabin where Lightoller retrieved a set of Webley revolvers and ammunition.
Lifeboat One Leaves the Titanic
Lifeboat one, the starboard emergency cutter, is launched by Murdoch and Lowe. It contains only 12 people and is commanded by Lookout George Symons. Boat one has the lowest number of people of any boat launched with the davits. Among its passengers are Sir Cosmo and Lady Lucille Duff Gordon, who will later be wrongly accused of trying to bribe the boat’s crew to refrain from returning to the spot where the ship went down when Sir Cosmo evidently promised a “fiver” to each crewman who had lost all they owned and had their pay stopped at the moment the ship sank.
Lifeboat Six Leaves the Titanic
Lightoller, aware for the first time of the ship’s downward forward slope, supervises the launching of boat six, containing only one seaman among its 22 people as it left the deck: Quartermaster Robert Hichens, who was in charge. Canadian Major Arthur Peuchen, a yachtsman, volunteers to board the boat to assist with its navigation. Lightoller directs Peuchen to slide down the falls, which he successfully does. The boat also contains Margaret Brown, known to friends as Maggie, whose actions after the sinking will become famous.
As boat six is lowered, Leading Fireman Frederick Barrett witnesses a rush of water coming from between the boilers of Boiler Room Five. Barely escaping the suddenly-flooding room, Barrett makes his way topside.
Lifeboat Sixteen Leaves the Titanic
Access Video One of the H&G Sinking Video with Exclusive Titanic Connections Sound Effects
Sixth Officer Moody sees to the lowering of boat 16, the first of the after eight boats to be lowered. One of the liner’s two Masters-at-Arms, Henry Joseph Bailey, will command this boat containing 52 people, the highest number yet aboard a boat when launched. With the ship noticeably down by the head and listing slightly, passengers were doubtless becoming more concerned and eager to leave the ship. Many, however, still seemed to believe that the disaster would be averted in time and that this “unsinkable” ship was only being evacuated as a precaution.
Around this time, Junior Second Engineer John Hesketh and presumably others pass the word to those working in the stokeholds that they are released from their duties and can leave.
Lifeboat Fourteen Leaves the Titanic
Lowe is aboard boat 14 as it is lowered by Wilde and Lightoller. Around 40 people are aboard this boat when it reaches the water. During the lowering, Lowe was worried about passengers jumping into the boat and damaging or overturning it. He used his revolver to fire two shots along the hull to frighten passengers into staying away from his boat.
Lifeboat Twelve Leaves the Titanic
Boat 12 on the port side and nine on the starboard side are lowered. Boat 12 is under the command of Seaman John Poingdestre and has around 42 people aboard when launched. Boat nine, in charge of Boatswain’s Mate Albert Haines, has about 40 in it as it reaches the water.
Lifeboat Eleven Leaves the Titanic
Boat 11 is lowered by Murdoch with around 50 people in it. Seaman Sidney Humphreys was placed in command of this boat. This boat is able to avoid the water streaming from a discharge pump on the side of the hull which soon was to cause problems for another boat.
At practically the same time, Steward John Stewart spots Thomas Andrews standing in the Smoking Room studying Norman Wilkinson’s painting “Plymouth Harbor” hanging above the fireplace. Andrews did not respond to Stewart’s question as to whether he would try to survive the sinking. Andrews was later spotted leaving the sinking ship with Captain Smith, although Stewart’s sighting is often portrayed as Andrews’ final moments.
Boat Thirteen Leaves the Titanic
Boat 13 is launched by Murdoch and Moody. Leading Fireman Frederick Barrett took command of this boat, with roughly 55 people aboard it, including observant Second Class passenger Lawrence Beesley. Barrett would later be one of the key witnesses in the inquiries into the ship’s loss, while Beesley would go on to publish one of the first survivor accounts of the fateful voyage. As the boat reaches the water, but before she can let go the falls, a pump discharging water from the side of the ship pushes the boat backwards along the hull and under a descending boat 15. Barrett was able to cut away the falls with help at the last moment, and the boat was pushed clear of the oncoming lifeboat.
Boat Fifteen Leaves the Titanic
Boat 15 is also launched by the First and Sixth Officers. Fireman Frank Dymond was placed in charge of a boat with approximately 68 people aboard. Shouts from boat 13 below it provided just enough delay to this boat’s lowering to allow boat 13 to be freed from her falls and pushed clear before boat 15 came down directly on top of them.
Boat Two Leaves the Titanic
Access Video Two of the H&G Sinking Video with Exclusive Titanic Connections Sound Effects
Boat two, with Fourth Officer Boxhall aboard and in command after having launched distress rockets from the bridge wing, is lowered by Wilde and Smith with 17 people in it. Captain Smith signals for the boat to approach the starboard gangway doors to take on more passengers. While Boxhall attempted to do this, he eventually gave up and rowed the boat away. It will become the first boat to reach the side of the Carpathia the next morning.
Boat Ten Leaves the Titanic
Murdoch launches boat 10 aft on the port side and Lightoller finally launches boat four forward on the same side. With Seaman Edward Buley in charge, boat 10 has 57 people aboard. Boat four, under the command of Quartermaster Walter Perkis, contains Madeleine Astor, the wife of Titanic’s richest passenger, John Jacob Astor IV. Astor inquires as to the number of the boat, and then sets off to allegedly free Titanic’s dogs from their kennels. In all, it is believed that this boat contained about 30 people. At this same time, Quartermaster Rowe fires the last of eight distress rockets.
Collapsible C Leaves the Titanic
Collapsible C is launched by Murdoch and Wilde from the same davits as boat 1, placing Quartermaster George Rowe in charge. As the boat, containing an estimated 43 people, begins to drop from the boat deck, J. Bruce Ismay steps aboard and takes a seat, having reportedly seen no other passengers who needed a place in the boat. Shaken by the sinking, Ismay had nevertheless worked diligently to assist during the evacuation, getting in the way of Lowe and Lightoller at various points. Ismay will be forever vilified for surviving the disaster that claimed the lives of 1,492 others, but there is nothing in the historical record to suggest that he did anything untoward beyond simply not dying.