Lifeboat from Titanic
Lifeboat to Carpathia
Confidence Level
Nilsson, Miss Helmina Josefina
15 (8 votes)
13 or 15 (1 vote)
15 (8 votes)
13 or 15 (1 vote)

Unidentified Joliet, Illinois newspaper from April 1912 (provided by Gavin Bell):
    “Miss Nelson estimates the number in the lifeboat in which she was carried at over 60. Ten or twelve of these were men who had crowded forward, while there were but two sailors… Although the lifeboat was probably the third to leave the Titanic from the starboard side it was next to the last to be picked up by the Carpathia… the lifeboat was launched probably a little before 1 o’clock in the morning and it was not until after 8 o’clock that the rescued were taken on board the Carpathia.”

Aurora Daily Beacon April 27, 1912:
    “Instead of remaining with the third class passengers, I made my way to the first class cabin… I and a number of other women whose names I do not remember were helped into the second boat. Men were fighting to get into the boats but the officers of the ship kept them back and sent we women ahead first.  There were over 20 in our boat but many hung back confident that they would be saved. There was room for more in the big lifeboat we were placed in but the officers could not wait to urge any more women in…  I did not even get my feet wet.”

Commutator #53 has an article titled “Helmina Nilsson: Titanic Suvivor”, which says:
  " In an interview with the Joliet Herald News shortly after arrival in that city .....  Mrs. Linder (Nilsson's married name) recalled that she was in the third lifeboat leaving the ship from the starboard side.  .....  More than 60 persons were in the lifeboat in which Mrs. Linder was rescued and and passengers were cautioned not to move, since this could upset the boat.  The gunwales were less than six inches above the water and large cakes of ice were floating, Mrs. Linder told newsmen later."

The detail about the boat having 60 people and the gunwales being down near the water does match 15. At least two survivors described that boat weighed down similarly, specifically mentioning the gunwales.

Discussions included how very different the first two accounts above were. Clues from the Joliet papers seemed to indicate a possibility for lifeboat 15. Due to the lack of continuity between accounts, it was difficult to place her with any accuracy, but most of the team felt #15 was the more likely, though one of us still felt #13 was a possibility.