Titanic Lifeboat 15
Lifeboat 15 was kept at the aft end of Titanicís starboard side, at the very far end of the boat deck. During the sinking it was the eighth lifeboat and last large lifeboat to leave the starboard side of the ship. Inside the boat were approximately something around just under 70 people, meaning that the boat, unlike perhaps all of the others, was filled to (including children) at least its maximum capacity. You could perhaps say that Lifeboat 15 being lowered with so many people proves that all of the lifeboats could have been lowered with their maximum capacity of people inside them, possibly saving an extra 400 or so people.
Due to limited and conflicting accounts by survivors, Lifeboat 15 has not been the easiest lifeboat to research. Third Class Steward, John Hart gathered together a group of around 25 3rd class women and children and escorted them to the Boat Deck, where they were placed inside the lifeboat, before John Hart himself was then ordered in to join them.
Before leaving the ship, the lifeboat was lowered down a deck to A Deck, where a few woman and children were helped in. Inside the lifeboat were mostly women, probably mostly 3rd class passengers; a few members of the shipís crew and at least a few male passengers. Trimmer, George Cavell seemed to be convinced that after leaving A Deck the boat then took on more passengers by being lowered down a deck to ďthe 3rd class deck [Sic]Ē (B Deck); however, there seems to be no mention by anyone else of the lifeboat being lowered anywhere else but A Deck. It appears, though we canít say for certain, that Fireman, Frank Dymond assumed command of the lifeboat.
As Lifeboat 15 nearly reached the water there was almost a disaster as, lowered just before them, Lifeboat 13 was being forced underneath where they were being lowered by a huge amount of water that was pouring out of a condenser exhaust; made much worse by the fact that Lifeboat 13 could not release their ropes that lowered them down from the ship, meaning that Lifeboat 13 was stuck and Lifeboat 15 was about to land on top of them. The people in both boats shouted out for the lowering to stop, but it seems they were not heard. Fortunately, the crew aboard Lifeboat 13, just in time before they were crushed, were able to cut the ropes and move away from the ship and out of the way.
Lifeboat 15 was one of the very last lifeboats to reach the Carpathia, the rescue ship; all aboard the lifeboat were safely rescued. Unlike most of the other wooden lifeboats, Lifeboat 15 was not taken to New York and was left behind when Carpathia left for New York.
Included amongst Lifeboat 15ís passengers was Lillian Gertrud Asplund, who by the time of her death in 2006, aged 99, was the very last living survivor of Titanic with actual memories of the ship. She is said to have been put in a bag and hoisted aboard Carpathia from the lifeboat.