||Lifeboat from Titanic
||Lifeboat to Carpathia
|Aks, Mrs Leah||4||4||4.75|
|Aks, Master Frank Philip||10||10||3.13|
Mrs. Aks left a number of accounts all of which relate that she became separated from her son Frank while escaping the Titanic. She does relate being carried up the side of the aft deck houses in many of these accounts, but after that, things get confusing.
I don’t see how she could carry little Frank up the sides of those houses, and she must have had to pass him to someone else during the carry. A simulation of this was done at the University of Tennessee in 2018, which proved that she could not
The Norfolk Ledger account of April 24, 1912 seems to be the most complete and coherent account attributed to Mrs. Aks. This account relates that the lifeboat she was in, picked up several people from the water, some of whom died. It says “the boat in which she was rescued picked up a young man who was swimming in the ocean, and that while others were picked up out of the water, they died shortly after being placed in the boat.” This only describes lifeboat #4.
The account also mentions “Captain Smith stepped into the last boat, stepped back on the Titanic, stepped into the small boat again, and just as his steamer was going down, stepped on her deck and perished with the passengers and other officers and crew.” If she was in #4, she would have been able to see Smith step into and out of Collapsible D – or even #2, which left only minutes before #4 left the ship.
Many other lifeboat lists place Mrs. Aks in #13, and Frank in #11. However, we have found absolutely no evidence or accounts to confirm this. We suspect that most of these lists copied the lifeboat number from each other.
If Mrs. Aks wasn’t in #13, then there is no reason for Frank to have ended up in #11. What could have happened to him? We believe Mrs. Aks came up on the port side of A Deck, and moved forward toward the crowd at #4, looking for little Frank. However, before she reached A deck, Frank had already been carried forward, and Baker Joughin gives us an answer of what may have happened in the British Inquiry, Questions 5982-5987. “I myself and three or four other chaps went on the next deck and forcibly brought up women and children.” Joughin was specific they went down to A Deck and then back up to #10 and then “We threw them in.” If Frank was not one of these children tossed into #10, then we have no idea which lifeboat he may have been put in.
We are fairly sure that Mrs. Aks was rescued in #4, but not as sure about Frank in #10.