Titanic Lifeboat 16

Lifeboat 16 was a wooden lifeboat located on the port side of Titanic’s Boat Deck. On the night of the sinking it is generally believed to have been the third lifeboat to leave the port side Boat Deck and seventh to leave the ship overall; although, the British Titanic Inquiry concluded that it was the sixth to leave the port side.

Under the supervision of Sixth Officer James Moody, Lifeboat 16 was lowered away from Titanic at around 1.20am. On-board were around 50 people, women and children and around six male members of the ship’s crew. Master-at-Arms Henry Joseph Bailey was in command of the lifeboat. Able Seamen Ernest Archer said at the American Titanic Inquiry that the Master-at-Arms had entered the lifeboat by climbing down a rope from the deck, to take charge of the lifeboat.

Amongst those in the lifeboat was Stewardess Violet Jessop, who as well as being aboard Titanic’s sister ship Olympic when she was involved in a collision with HMS Hawke in 1911, was also a survivor of the sinking of Titanic’s sister ship Britannic, after striking a mine in 1916. Violet Jessop said that as the boat was being lowered an officer gave her a baby to look after. After being rescued by Carpathia she said that a woman had grabbed the baby off her without even saying “thank you”; presumably the woman was the mother of the baby.

Once in the water the lifeboat rowed away from the ship. After the ship had sank a remark was said to have been made by a passenger about going back to see if they could rescue anyone from the water. The lifeboat, however, did not make any attempt to return to the wreck site.

At some point after the sinking of the ship, Lifeboat 6 and Lifeboat 16 tied together for a while, before then separating. A Fireman was transferred from Lifeboat 16 into Lifeboat 6 to help them with their rowing.

Ernest Archer mentioned at the American Titanic Inquiry that they had unsuccessfully rowed towards a light that they could see, before then noticing the lights of what turned out to be their rescue ship, Carpathia, and rowing towards her.

All aboard Lifeboat 16 were rescued by Carpathia. Lifeboat 16 is believed to have been amongst the lifeboats taken by Carpathia to New York; after which the fate of the lifeboat is not known. Unfortunately, not a great deal else seems to be known about Lifeboat 16 on the night of the sinking.

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