Lifeboat #10

A misleading claim at the top of page 125 says that Seaman Poingdestre gave "specific" testimony that #10 was lowered prior to the other 3 boats in that quadrant. But then the author prints Poingdestre's actual testimony on the very next page32, and that is NOT what the witness said. Poingdestre does state that "hundreds" were waiting to get into the three boats, and further says the three boats were 12, 14, and 16. However, Poingdestre does not say one word about #10 - and whether it lowered earlier or later. In fact, Poingdestre doesn't mention #10 anywhere in his testimony at the Inquiry at all. His testimony can either be interpreted as #10 left first or last, but he does not "specifically" testify that #10 went first as Gleicher claims.

In describing the testimony of Steward Burke on page 126, Gleicher says that Burke "testified that Lifeboat 10 was launched immediately after Lifeboat 8 and that Wilde was already loading Lifeboat 10 as Lifeboat 8 was being launched". A segment of Burke's testimony33 is quoted. However, what is important here is what Gleicher neglects to tell the reader regarding Burke's testimony. First, Burke only said "the chief officer" when he described who was at the boat; he does not mention Wilde by name at all. As we explain above, we feel that this kind of uncertain identification needs to be examined and compared with other testimony in order to see who Burke was referring to, since both Wilde and Murdoch are referred to as the "Chief Officer" at various times in the inquiries. Since Able Bodied Seamen Evans and Buley specifically mention Murdoch by name as being at this boat, we feel it is likely that Burke was referring to Murdoch too.

Second, Burke's earlier testimony mentions going to his assigned boat, #1, and finding it gone, then moving to #8 to help there, before passing on to #10. Gleicher's text does not attempt to explain this discrepancy. Since Gleicher's timeline has both #1 and #10 leaving at the same time, 1:00 a.m., Burke's continuity would make no sense. Another flaw in Gleicher's analysis of Burke's testimony is that Burke says nothing about "immediately" going from #8 to #10 as Gleicher claims it does. Burke's testimony does show a sequence of movements - #1 gone, working at #8, and then leaving in #10, but that's all that it shows. Gleicher also mentions on page 126 that Baker Joughin said #10 was lowered first, and the present authors agree that is what he said34. However, Gleicher does not mention that Joughin also said that he did not see the other three lifeboats lowered35, which brings his statement of #10 being launched first into question.

From pages 131 to 135, Gleicher uses a long and involved explanation in an attempt to prove that when Evans and Buley testified that #10 was the last of the aft port boats to leave the Titanic, they *really* meant that #10 was the last lifeboat lowered level with the deck, but the first of these lifeboats to be lowered to the ocean. This "explanation" includes the statement that when Buley testified that "We got away from the ship", he actually meant "We were lowered to the side of the ship, and then we loaded people into the lifeboat", which amounts to twisting the witness's words to say something he doesn't actually say36.

Gleicher does not tell the reader that Buley also said the following37:

Senator FLETCHER. Were any ladies on the deck when you left?
Mr. BULEY. No, sir. Ours was the last boat up there, and they went around and called to see if there were any, and they threw them in the boat at the finish, because they didn't like the idea of coming in.
Senator FLETCHER. Pushed them in, you mean?
Mr. BULEY. Threw them in. One young lady slipped, and they caught her by the foot on the deck below, and she came up then and jumped in. We got away from the ship, and about an hour afterwards Officer Lowe came alongside, and he had his boat filled up, and he distributed them among the other boats, and he said to all the seamen in the boat to jump in his boat until he went back among the wreckage to see if there were any people that had lived.

When asked again "Did you go in the last boat?", Buley responded "Yes, sir"38. Buley obviously meant "Ours was the last boat up there" and "away from the ship" to mean #10 was the last of the aft port boats on the deck, lowered to the ocean, and away from the ship. There is little room for interpretation given that Buley repeatedly states this.

Evans statement was that "I lowered that boat (#12) and she went away from the ship. I then went next to No. 10" is also twisted by Gleicher to mean that he only lowered #12 to the deck, not to the ocean, before he went to #10. Again, a more complete reading of Evans testimony makes it very clear what Evans really was saying. Evans testimony, which Gleicher does quote, is this39:

Senator SMITH. Was No. 12 filled with women and children?
Mr. EVANS. Yes, sir.
Senator SMITH. How many were put into it?
Mr. EVANS. I should say, on a rough average, there was about 50, sir. There was one seaman standing in the stern sheets of it.
Senator SMITH. Were there any other men in it?
Mr. EVANS. No, sir; I did not notice any other men in the boat. She was swung out on the davits.
Senator SMITH. And you did not notice any men?
Mr. EVANS. I could only see a seaman there.
Senator SMITH. One seaman, or more?
Mr. EVANS. One seaman; yes, sir.
Senator SMITH. That boat was lowered. Were there any male passengers in there; any members of the crew, males?
Mr. EVANS. I did not notice any. After we got them into that, I sung out to the seaman: "How many have you got in that boat?" I said: "Ginger, how many have you got?" He said: "There is only me here." I lowered that boat, sir, and she went away from the ship. I then went next to No. 10 .."

Since people were in boat #12 *before* she was lowered, according to Evans own words, he must mean "lowered to the ocean and away from the ship". Or is Gleicher trying to say they put "about 50" people in the lifeboat as Buley indicates, AND THEN lowered it to the deck? This is extremely unlikely.

On page 129, Gleicher also states Evans and Buley were in error when they testified that they saw Murdoch at #10, using the logic that since Murdoch was in charge of the starboard boats, "he was not involved with Lifeboat 10, whenever it was launched". He ignores that Evans and Buley, as able bodied seamen and members of the Deck Department, would be *far more* likely to know Murdoch by sight, than Joughin, a baker and member of the Victualling Department, who spent most of his time below deck. Evans had even served with Murdoch previously on the Olympic. Wilde's name was first suggested by the British Assessor interrogating Joughin, after Joughin stated the "Chief Officer was there" at #10, and the assessor asked "is that Mr. Wilde?" Joughin replied "Yes", and continued to use that name after this.

Gleicher also does not take into account the changing list of the Titanic, starboard to port, and how this helps to pinpoint the approximate launch time of #10. Whatever time it was when #10 left the ship, we know from eyewitness descriptions that there was an approximate 10 degree list to port, which led to this lifeboat swinging out several feet from the ship's side. We know there was a serious port list in the later stages of the sinking, as accounts show the same or a greater degree of list during the lowering of boat #4, and Collapsible C and D.

If boat #10 left at 1:00 a.m. as Gleicher would have us believe, at the same time as #1, and around the times of #9, #11 and #14, where are the reports of a heavy port list during the loading and launching of those latter boats? The accounts of the loading and lowering of #9, #11, #13, and # 15 on the starboard side, and #16, #14, and #12 on the port side all mention either a slight port list, or no list at all, and no difficulty loading or lowering the boats as a result, as was the case at #10, #4, Collapsible C and D. Gleicher does not mention any of this in his book, and has only mentioned this evidence at all in recent discussions since the book was published. He says that in regards to using the evidence of a list to further pinpoint the launch times that "I certainly don't claim any great expertise in such a matter, but I know enough to know that, yes, this is indeed rather speculative." The present authors disagree, as there is nothing speculative about examining specific details given by survivors as to the degree of list when the lifeboats lowered. These details were not pulled out of the air, and are another important part of the analysis and overall picture that Gleicher ignores.

It is worth noting that out of the four people who Gleicher claims said #10 left first (Joughin, Poingdestre, Evans and Buley), only one of them actually said #10 left first - Joughin. Poingdestre said nothing about #10 at all, and Evans and Buley both *insist* that boat #10 was the last boat to be lowered - and not just to the deck.

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32. Br. 2909 - 2923
33. Amer. 822
34. Br. 5981 - 6006
35. Br. 6009
36. Amer. 604
37. Amer. 605
38. Amer. 605
39. Amer. 675