Lifeboat from Titanic
Lifeboat to Carpathia
Confidence Level
McGough, Mr James Robert
7 (7 votes)
5 or 7 (2 votes)
5 (1 vote)
7 (7 votes)
5 or 7 (2 votes)
 7 (1 vote)
Silverthorne, Mr Spencer Victor 5 (7 votes)
7 (2 votes)
7 (7 votes)
7 (2 votes)

American Inquiry
Testimony of James McGough, page 1143
    “I had my back turned looking in the opposite direction at that time and was caught by the shoulder by one of the officers, who gave me a push, saying,  "Here, you are a big fellow; get into the boat.  Our boat was launched with 28 people; we, however, transferred 5 from one of the other boats after we were out in the ocean, which as some time after the ship went down.”

The people who were transferred came from #5, into #7.  McGough’s statement “transferred 5 FROM one of the other boats” indicates he was in the receiving boat, or #7, and he did not change boats.

McGough, from the Camden Post, April 19, 1912:
    "Our boat was the second one off (i.e., after boat #7).  Forty or more persons were crowded in to it, and with myself and members of the crew at the oars, were pulling slowly away. ....
    The sea was calm - calm as the water in a tumbler.  But it was freezing cold.  None had dressed heavily, and all, therefore, suffered intensely.  The women did not shriek or grow hysterical while we waited through the awful night for help.  All lay quiet and still in the bottom of the boat.  We men stood at the oars; stood because there was no room for us to sit, and kept the boat headed into the swell to prevent her capsizing.  Another boat was at our side, but all the others were scattered around the water."

We can see that he was in either 5 (the second boat) or 7. The fact that women could lie down is more suggestive of #7, since 5 was more crowded, although not by much. His mentioning that other boats were picked up before his is also indicative of #7, since boats 2, 1 and 5 had been picked up before #7.

He also mentions poorly dressed women suffering from the cold. It seems quite a few women in #5 were warmly dressed, but several in #7 complained - Mrs. Flegenheim, Mrs. Greenfield. Mrs. Bishop seems to be one of the few well dressed ladies.

However, his reference to the second boat is still to be explained. Could it be that he saw boat 5 swung out and lowered to the level of the deck, followed by #7. From memory, we recall that 5 and 7 were swung out ahead of no 3. And of course, #1 already swung out.

We're more inclined to think that McGough left in 7 than 5.


Silverthorne said, in the St Louis Post Dispatch, April 21,1912.
    “Passengers on deck thought that the liner was less apt to sink than the frail looking boats, and were reluctant to get in.  I got away in the third boat, being almost forced in by an officer.  I saw the first and second boats leave the starboard side.  When the third boat was ready to go, two men who were near me were commanded by an officer to get in.  They demurred, but finally got in.  The boat was not full...
    When I left in the third boat, there were 40 people in the craft. Twenty nine of these were women.  All of the men took turns at the oars, because it was bitterly cold.  Mrs. Washington Dodge of San Francisco fainted three times.  She had her little boy with her and had left her husband on the Titanic.  …..   Our boat was about the last taken up.”

The third boat on the deck would be #5.  Since Mrs. Dodge apparently transferred from #5 (Silverthorne’s boat) to #7, how could she faint 3 times in the time before the transfer?

Silverthorne, St. Louis Star, April 21, 1912:
     "We came to another boat, which was not entirely filled. I, with four other men, transferred to it."  [This suggests he started out in 5 and went over to 7.

We were unable to come to a consensus on McGough and Silverthorne.  Other than they were in #5 or #7, and may or may not have transfered to #7.