||Lifeboat from Titanic
||Lifeboat to Carpathia
|Chambers, Mr Norman Campbell||5||5||5.00|
|Chambers, Mrs Bertha M.||5||5||5.00|
|Harder, Mr George Achilles||5||5||5.00|
Testimony of Norman Chambers, page 1043
Mr. CHAMBERS. .... Instead of going aft, we stepped behind the projection of this entry, which was of the vestibule type and waited until people had apparently ceased coming and the steward was no longer there. Then we started forward again, and, as nearly as I can remember, stopped at the last one of the forward starboard group of lifeboats. This was already swung out level with the deck, and to my eyes, appeared sufficiently loaded.
However, my wife said that she was going in that boat, and proceeded to jump in, calling me to come. As I knew she would get out again had I not come, I finally jumped into the boat, although I did not consider it, from the looks of things, sage to put very many more people in that boat.
As I remember it, there were two more men, both called by their wives, who jumped in after I did. One of them - a German, I believe - told me, as I recollect it, later on the Carpathia that he had looked around and had seen no one else and no one to ask whether he should go in or not, and he jumped in.
Senator SMITH. How many people were in the boat at that time?
Mr. CHAMBERS. That I cannot tell. By the time we were settled and I began to take note of the things on the ship I noticed a tall young officer clad in a long overcoat, which may help identify him, giving orders to another officer to go into our boat and take charge of the boats on our side. As a parting injunction he gave our officer (whom I later found to be a Mr. Pitman) instructions to hold onto his painter and pull up alongside the gangway after the boat had reached the water.
Mr. CHAMBERS. .... When we reached the water, we then had difficulty in casting off the falls. The little quartermaster had to crawl between our legs to the amidship portion of the boat in order to reach what was apparently called the "trigger," which is, I believe, a mechanism used to release both falls simultaneously.
Testimony of George Harder, page 1030
Mr. HARDER. We got into the lifeboat, which was either No. 7 or No. 5, I do not know which.
Senator SMITH. Who was in charge of it?
Mr. HARDER. Mr. Pitman. That was the second boat to leave on the starboard side, as far as I could see.
As we were being lowered, they lowered one side quicker than the other, but we finally reached the water safely, after a few scares. When we got down into the water, somebody said the plug was not in; so they fished around to see if that was in, and I guess it was in. Then, they could not get the boat detached from the tackle, so they fussed around there for a while, and finally they asked if anybody had a knife, and nobody seemed to have a knife. Finally, one of the passengers had a knife in his possession, and they cut some rope; what it was I do not know.
Both Chambers and Harder mention Officer Pitman, in charge of #5. Note also the similarity in the stories about the plugs and the difficulty with the falls.