Titanic Wiki

Lifeboats D & 14

Boat D (two crosses) being towed by Lifeboat 14 (one cross)

Collapsible D or Collapsible 4, was an “Engelhardt Type Collapsible” raft that was stationed on the port side of the RMS Titanic. It was the ninth lifeboat to be launched from the port side; and the second collapsible to be launched. Officers Lightoller and Wilde had launched the lifeboat from the davits at around 1:55 A.M.

Preparation and departure[]

Around 1:47 A.M, Collapsible C had been launched under the supervision by Chief Officer Wilde and First Officer Murdoch on the starboard side. Meanwhile Second Officer Lightoller had been preparing Collapsible D for launch on the port side. Lightoller attached the lifeboat to the davits that had stationed lifeboat 2 before.

It was reported that Lightoller had trouble finding women to fill the lifeboats, however remaining adamant on the 'Woman and Children only' policy, not letting men into the lifeboat. Lightoller would later find around 15 - 20 women and children to fill the boat with as Wilde came around to help with the lifeboat.

There were also two children, Michel Marcel Navratil and Edmond Roger Navratil, their father, Michel Navratil under the assumed name Michel Hoffman placed his children into the lifeboat, however Lightoller and Wilde prevented him from entering with them.

There were differing accounts of how many occupants were in the lifeboat when it was launched. Irene Harris stated there were around 19 occupants, however others, including sailor William Arthur Lucas had stated there were around 44, photographs of the lifeboat stated there were at least 29 in the lifeboat. This could be taken into fact that 8 - 10 people had been picked up over the course of the night.

During the lowering of the lifeboat, First Class passengers Hugh Woolner and Mauritz Björnström-Steffansson saw the lifeboat lowering from the A-Deck Promenade and both decided to jump into the lifeboat after seeing empty spaces at the bow. Steffansson had jumped first, followed by Woolner, who had miscalculated the jump and ended up hanging onto the lifeboat with his feet in the water. He managed to lift his leg onto the gunwale, assisted by Steffansson.

Lightoller saw this and had stopped the lowering as to get the men out of the lifeboat, but seeing the situation, decided to continue to lowering process, the lifeboat went into the water and a man, presumably Frederick Hoyt had been hoisted onto the lifeboat; becoming the only man picked from the water.

Meanwhile, it was very late in the night. Boat D's lowering was initiated at 1:55 A.M. The ship's sinking progress was getting a bit quicker at that time. As soon as boat D had landed in the water, it already spilled over the side of the bulkwarks, onto the Promenade Deck just below the bridge, mainly on port side, due to her list.

Michel Navratil had recalled what his father shouted out to him as Collapsible D was pulling away from the ship, his father said.

My child, when your mother comes for you, as she surely will, tell her I loved her dearly and still do. Tell her I expected her to follow us, so that we might all live happily together in the peace and freedom of the New World.- Michel Navratil Sr.

Michel was taken care of and given biscuits by Woolner during their time in Collapsible D.

After the sinking, Collapsible D was one of four lifeboats stationed next to lifeboat 14, which had called nearby lifeboats to go back for swimmers in the water, the lifeboat had received around 8 people from lifeboat 14, which had later went off into the wreckage site and retrieved around four survivors, one of whom would later die.

Collapsible A and rescue[]

After lifeboat 14 returned, Lowe began towing Collapsible D along with lifeboat 14, as said by Hugh Woolner.

-"Then, just at that time, when we began to row toward the Carpathia. Mr. Lowe came down with his boat under sail, again, and hailed us and said, “Are you a collapsible?” We answered, “Yes.” He said, “How are you?” I said, “We have about all we want.” He said, “Would you like a tow” We answered, “Yes we would.” So he took our painter and towed us away from the Carpathia, then we looked and saw that there was another little group of people standing up in the sea who had to be rescued, there were about- They were standing on an upturned lifeboat. -I do not know many of them, but it looked like a dozen or 13."

It could be possible that Woolner had mistaken the swamped Collapsible A for the upturned Collapsible B, as he mentioned that there was a woman, and no officer aboard, he also said that there was only 13 aboard, Collapsible B had 27. Arthur John Bright who was on Collapsible D testified coming across Collapsible A.

Bright: "We saw a boat, one of the collapsible boats, that was awash, just flush with water."

Smith: You mean being swamped?

Bright: Yes; and the same officer, Mr. Lowe, came back and took my boat in a tow, because we had very few men to pull, and towed us down to this one that was just awash, and took thirteen men and one woman off that.

Smith: Did you leave anybody in it?

Bright: No; except those two dead bodies. There were two dead bodies.

Smith: They were standing in water when you came up to them?

Bright: About half way - just about the ankles.

Smith: were they making signs to you?

Bright: No, sir. They had been singing out in the dark. As soon as it got daylight we could see them.

Lowe would pick up these survivors of Collapsible A, it was also reported by Joseph George Scarrott that Lowe had fired four shots into the water as a warning for the occupants of the swamped lifeboat as to not swamp Lifeboat 14 or Collapsible D, the two lifeboats would rescue the 14 people in the water, Collapsible D taking two, Rhoda Abbott and Richard Williams.

Collapsible D would later be rescued by the Carpathia at around 7:15 A.M, with an estimated 27 passengers onboard the lifeboat.

Notable occupants[]

Collapsible A rescuees[]

Saved from the water[]

  • Frederick Maxfield Hoyt ---------------------- First Class Passenger
  • William John Murdock* ---------------------- Fireman

* = not certain

Popular Culture[]

Fictional Occupants[]

  • Irish Beauty ----------------------- S.O.S. Titanic, Third Class Passenger
  • Italian Woman --------------------- 1996 Miniseries Titanic, Third Class Passenger

'A Night to Remember (1958)'[]

After the chaos during the launching of Lifeboat 14, the crew starts to loaded Collapsible D, one of the 4 Collapsible Boats. During the loading, 6th Officer James Moody said to Caroline Lane Brown and Edith Corse Evans: "Sorry, only one more lady". Edith Evans offers her place to Caroline Brown because she has children waiting at home.

'S.O.S. Titanic' (1979)[]

The main characters from Third Class are seen boarding the lifeboat. Soon after, a mob of passengers, mainly third class men rush to the lifeboat, causing Murdoch to fire his gun in the air to control the crowd. He calls for any more women or children. Afterwards, Bruce Ismay steps into the lifeboat, watched by Captain Smith on the bridge wing (he actually escaped in Collapsible C).

'1996 Miniseries 'Titanic'[]

During the launching of Collapsible D, Bruce Ismay steps into the lifeboat and was protested by some third class woman. Later, Collapsible D joined with Lifeboat 14 and Lifeboat 10 waiting for the Carpathia.

'Titanic' (1997)[]

During an attempt to escape, Jack, Rose, Fabrizio and Tommy attempt to get off the ship by boarding this boat but Lightoller fires his gun into the air to prevent the men from rushing the boat, so Jack tells Fabrizio and Tommy to search the starboard side for another boat for them to get off safely to which they nod and head off.

Jack proceedes to urge Rose to take this boat, but Rose is still reluctant to leave him. Whilst Jack is spurring her on, Caledon appears and refinforces Jack's sentiment. He bluntly lies he has arranged for a seat in the next boat for both him and Jack, and Jack strenghtens this lie to make her go. Rose is helped in the boat by a sailor and she looks at Jack standing there, whilst the boat makes its way down. Jack looks back, standing next to her fiance, and the two men look on, and have a small conversation about who the best liar is. Jack immediately understands there's no benefit in it for him, and Caledon simply states he will always win. Jack remains silent and looks away. Rose meanwhile cannot control her emotions. She looks at the ship and then gets up and walks over to the falls. Somebody helps her back on deck, and then the Collapsible D leaves without her, and is the last to be lowered. There's only Collapsbles A and B left, and they take some time to prepare.

The boat is seen again after the sinking, where Fifth Officer Lowe brings the boats together and plans to transfer over passengers so he can return to rescue people in the water.

'Ghosts of the Abyss' (2003)[]

In 'Ghosts of the Abyss', there is a flashback scene where the loading of Collapsible D is so chaotic that Lightoller has to open fire to warn the passengers.



  1. https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanic-survivor/eleanor-ileen-johnson.html
  2. https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/community/threads/eleanor-ilean-johnson.21183/#post-266988
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eleanor_Ileen_Johnson
  4. 'Titanic' ©1996 (second print, 1998) Edward P. De Groot -- Passengerlist Titanic p 175-186
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lifeboats_of_the_Titanic#Collapsible_Boat_D_%28port%29
  6. https://www.ggarchives.com/OceanTravel/Titanic/07-Lifeboats.html
Emergency Lifeboat 1 · Emergency Lifeboat 2 · Lifeboat 3 · Lifeboat 4 · Lifeboat 5 · Lifeboat 6 · Lifeboat 7 · Lifeboat 8 · Lifeboat 9 · Lifeboat 10 · Lifeboat 11 · Lifeboat 12 · Lifeboat 13 · Lifeboat 14 · Lifeboat 15 · Lifeboat 16 · Collapsible A · Collapsible B · Collapsible C · Collapsible D

Lifeboat launching sequence