Titanic Sinking - Too Few Lifeboats


Titanic Carried More Than Required, Declares Carlisle, but Needed Fifty.

Until Requirements Are Raised, He Asserts, Companies Cannot Afford to Add to the Topweight.

Special Cable to The New York Times.

LONDON, April 16.---In an interview with THE NEW YORK TIMES correspondent to-day Alexander Carlisle, who was recently chief designer with Harland & Wolff, the shipbuilders, and designed the Titanic, said that in his opinion the great loss of life was due to the fact that the Titanic had not sufficient lifeboats.

"The law regarding 10,000-ton boats as the maximum is very old, when boats of that size were a dream of the future, and the law has never been altered since.

"The reason why more lifeboats are not added to the Titanic and similar vessels is that the owners feel that they cannot afford to add to the topweight of the vessels.

The New York Times, New York, NY 17 Apr 1912



London Figures Titanic's Life-Saving Facilities at Half the Real Need.


Electric Control of Bulkheads is Condemned as a Fad of the Belfast Builders.

By Marconi Transatlantic Wireless Telegraph to The New York Times.

LONDON, April 17.---The indignation expressed in New York over the inadequate number of lifeboats on the Titanic finds an echo here in the increasing condemnation of the antiquated Board of Trade regulations.

The Titanic had 2,357 souls on board, but had lifeboat accommodation for only 970. This is figured on the basis that her lifeboats, variously stated as numbering eighteen and twenty, had a total capacity of 9,702 cubic feet. Ten cubic feet for each passenger is the Board of Trade requirement.

She had a few collapsible boats, probably a half dozen. The collapsible boats approved by the Board of Trade may be able to carry about fifty persons each in calm weather.

On the most favorable reckoning, therefore, the Titanic's boats could not have carried much more than half the population of the ship.

There was at least one life-belt for every person. It was probable that the Titanic had 5,000 of these on board. There may have been rafts, but as to this no information is obtainable in London.

The New York Times, New York, NY 18 Apr 1912