Lifeboats

Click on a lifeboat number below to find out more.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 1415 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | collapsibles

The lists of survivors and victims in lifeboats is incomplete and welcomes contributions.

Lusitania carried life boats and rafts sufficient to accommodate 2,605 persons. These included:

  • 22 life boats which carried 68 persons each
  • 20 Chambers collapsible boats carrying 54 each
  • 12 McLean-Chambers collapsible boats with a capacity of 49 each
  • 2 Henderson collapsible boats, carrying 43 each
  • 14 life rafts, with capacities varying from 20 to 40 each.

Lusitania also carried nearly 3,000 life preservers on board.  According to the New York Times, Tuesday, 11 May 1915, “The life-saving apparatus is examined before every voyage in Liverpool by the Board of Trade officials when the boats are lowered into the water and the life jackets placed on deck for inspection.”

A number of lifeboats upset while lowering, some lifeboats were never launched, and many survivors managed to be saved without ever having boarded a lifeboat.  Only lifeboats 1, 11, 13, 15, 19, and 21, all from the starboard side, were safely launched.  Lifeboat 2 and a number of collapsible rafts were swept off the ship as Lusitania sank and provided refuge for some.  Lifeboat 14 was the only lifeboat launched from the port side, but the lack of a plug on the bottom of that boat caused the lifeboat to fill with water and swamp.

Therefore, entry into a lifeboat did not guarantee survival, and not being in a lifeboat did not necessarily doom a potential survivor.  Furthermore, the presence of several rescue vessels complicates recordkeeping of who was in which lifeboat.

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