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Titanic lifeboat 8

Lifeboat 4 (empty) with lifeboat 6

Lifeboat 4 was the eighth boat to be lowered from the port side. As part of a mistake, the boat had been lowered from the Boat Deck to A-Deck at around 12:30 A.M. without anyone in it. There was some trouble before passengers could start entering it. Some of the most well-known ladies and gentlemen from higher-class society were gathered around this boat; the Astors, the Carters, the Wideners and the Thayers.


When John Jacob Astor asked whether he might join his wife in the boat, seeing as she was in a "delicate condition", Second Officer Lightoller denied him. JJ then asked for the number of the lifeboat. Lightoller gave him the number, but he mistakenly thought it was to file a complaint, but Astor only wanted to find Madeleine back later.

When John Ryerson, age 13, was about to enter it, Second Officer Lightoller is said to have tried to stop him, as he was old enough to stay with the men. He was let in after his father, Arthur got very angry with Lightoller and practically ordered him that he will go with his mother.

Eventually, about 30 passengers, mainly ladies from First Class, but also some from Second Class, including Mrs. Richards with two small sons and also her mother, were in it. Quartermaster Walter John Perkis was put in charge and there were two other seamen with him.


The boat was left hanging beside A-Deck for most of the night, and not launched untill 1:50 A.M. When finally lowered away, at least one more crewman came down the falls and while they were trying to get away from the sinking ship, the boat quickly returned to be close to the ship’s stern. Charles Lightoller claimed to have been concerned that the boats could buckle if fully loaded and suspended from the falls and it appears the intention was for the boats to take on more passengers through gangway doors once they were afloat. This could have been the reason for the boat’s return.

Passenger Emily Ryerson commented “There was a confusion of orders; we rowed toward the stern, someone shouted something about a gangway, and no one seemed to know what to do”. Clearly it was a confusing situation. It seems there were no open gangways doors and no passengers waiting, only two Greasers who were standing near the empty davits of lifeboat 16, the aft lifeboat on the port side. These were Thomas Ranger and Fredrick Scott and the pair of them shimmied down the falls from lifeboat 16's davits. Ranger made it directly into the boat but Scott fell in the water and was hauled in after two or three minutes. At another time, lamp trimmer Thomas Hemming said he shimmied down a rope after all the boats had gone and swam 200 yards to boat 4 where he was hauled in by Jack Foley, the storekeeper.

Rescue of other survivors[]

Eight crewmembers were hauled in the boat from the sea; Alfred White, Thomas Dillon, Frederick Scott, Samuel Hemming, Frank Prentice, Andrew Cunningham, William Lyons and Sidney Siebert; the two last were so overcome with cold that Sidney died in the boat shortly after having been hauled aboard; while Lyons died on the RMS Carpathia on April 16th.

With now more than 40 people on board, they received another five or six from lifeboat 14, to which they had been attached. When 14 left them, they went, together with lifeboat 12, to rescue those on Collapsible B and received another 6 or 8 people from that boat and reached the Carpathia late, with perhaps 55 living survivors on board.


Screen Shot 2019-12-17 at 8.27

Lifeboat 4 (right) after being launched while D (left) is loaded around 1:50 AM.

20200712 075907

Lifeboat 4 being loaded on A deck in Ghost of The Abyss 2003

  • Walter John Perkis ----------------Quartermaster (in charge)
  • William McCarthy -----------------Able Seaman
  • Thomas Ranger --------------------Greaser
  • Jack Foley ------------------------Storekeeper
  • Madeleine Talmage Astor -----------First Class Passenger
  • Rosalie Bidois ----------------------maid of Madeleine Astor
  • Caroline Louise Endres -------------nurse of Madeleine Astor
  • Miss Grace S. Bowen ----------------First Class Passenger
  • Lucile Carter ----------------------- First Class Passenger
  • Lucile Polk Carter ------------------ First Class Passenger
  • Master William T. Carter --------------First Class Passenger
  • Miss V. Chandowson -----------------First Class Passenger
  • Virginia Estelle Clark-----------------First Class Passenger
  • Mrs. Florence Cummings ------------First Class Passenger
  • Elizabeth Mussey Eustis -------------First Class Passenger
  • Miss Margaret Flemming ------------ First Class Passenger
  • Amalie Gieger -----------------------First Class Passenger
  • Ida Sopia Hippach ------------------First Class Passenger
  • Jean Hippach -----------------------First Class Passenger
  • Emily Maria Ryerson -----------------First Class Passenger
  • Miss Emily Borie Ryerson -------------First Class Passenger
  • Miss Susan Parker Ryerson ----------First Class Passenger
  • John Borie Ryerson -----------------First Class Passenger
  • Mrs Martha Eustis Stephenson -------First Class Passenger
  • Miss Augusta Jeanne Serreplaà ------First Class Passenger
  • Marian Longstreth Thayer -------------First Class Passenger
  • Eleanor Widener ----------------------First Class Passenger
  • Eliza Hocking ------------------------Second Class Passenger
  • Ellen Hocking ------------------------Second Class Passenger
  • Emily Richards -----------------------Second Class Passenger
  • Sibley Richards ----------------------Second Class Passenger
  • William Richards ---------------------Second Class Passenger
  • Jamīlah Nīqūla Yārid* ----------------Third Class Passenger
  • Ilyās Nīqūla Yārid* ------------------- Third Class Passenger
Saved out of the water[]
Collapsible B rescuees[]

* = not certain

Popular culture[]

Fictional Occupants[]

  • Uzcadum Family ---------------- Titanic (1953), Third Class Passengers
  • Liz Lucas ----------------------- A Night to Remember (1958), First Class Passenger
  • Lucas Family ------------------- A Night to Remember (1958), First Class Passengers
  • Marge Miller -------------------- 1996 Miniseries Titanic, Astor Maid
  • Seaman Holmes ---------------- 2012 Miniseries Titanic, Able Seaman
  • John Batley -------------------- 2012 Miniseries Titanic, Second Class Passenger (Saved from water)

Titanic (1953)[]


Lifeboat 4 being loaded in Titanic (1953)

In the 1953 film, Richard Sturges escorts the Uzcadum family to Lifeboat 4 which is being loaded, assisted by John Jacob Astor. Sturges then hands over one of Uzcadum's daughters into Madeleine Astor's lap, and says goodbye to her.

A Night to Remember (1958)[]


Lifeboat 4 ready to be lowered in A Night to Remember (1958)

In A Night to Remember, when the Lucas family arrived on the boat deck, Mrs. Liz Lucas saw Mrs. Charlotte Collyer crying, not wanting to get into boat 4 because she didn't want to leave her husband. Seeing that, Mrs. Lucas also initially didn't want to leave her husband, but Mr. Robbie Lucas tells Liz that the men who's stay on the ship will be quite safe. Liz then separated from her husband, and brought their children into the boat 4.

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


Lifeboat 4 being lowered in S.O.S. Titanic

In S.O.S. Titanic, 4th Officer Boxhall was in charge of Lifeboat 4 (not 2 as in real life). During the loading of boat 4, Mary Marvin cried because she had to part with her husband, Daniel Marvin, so the Countess of Rothes had to comfort her on the boat. Seeing the couple separating, Ida Straus became doubtful whether she should separate or stay on the ship with her husband. She then decided to stay on the ship with her husband, and told her maid, Ellen Bird to go ahead into boat 4.

A few moments later, John Jacob Astor and his bride, Madeleine Astor, arrived on the boat deck, seeing boat 4 loaded. He asked 2nd Officer Lightoller if he could join his wife on the boat as she was expecting. Lightoller does not allow it, and immediately lowers boat 4.

Lifeboat 4 then became the first boat to reach RMS Carpathia.

1996 Miniseries Titanic[]


Marge Miller entering Lifeboat 4 in the 1996 Miniseries Titanic

In the 1996 Miniseries, John Jacob Astor with Madeleine and Marge Miller arrived on the boat deck near Lifeboat 4. John Jacob Astor asked Lightoller if he could accompany his pregnant wife, but Lightoller did not allow it because men were not allowed to get on the boat until all the women are off . He then asked for the boat's number so he could find his wife later, which Lightoller answered as number 4.

Shortly thereafter, Emily Ryerson and her son, Jack Ryerson were about to enter boat 4, but initially Jack was refused entry by Lightoller, Emily then protested to Lightoller because Jack was only 13 years old.

Meanwhile, Ida Straus told her maid, Sofia, to take her fur coat and get into boat 4, because she didn't want to leave her husband.

Titanic: Adventure Out of Time[]

Boat 2 in TAOOT

Boats 2 & 4 at about 1:15 A.M. in TAOOT

When Carlson wakes up at 1:15 A.M, lifeboat 4 is unguarded. After the first cutscene at 1:15 A.M, a seaman has moved on to the site.

"6 and 8 'ave gone, but my orders are to wait on numbers 2 and 4 here."
    - a seaman

If Shailagh Hacker is reunited with her baby, and/or Lady Georgia is given the antidote, they'll sand at this lifeboat, waiting to leave the ship.

Seaman: I'm loadin' no boats now! It'll be Officer Morrow who'll decide who's leavin'.

Carlson: Can I get on a lifeboat?

Seaman: I'm not lowering 2 & 4 until the officer comes down. Talk to Officer Morrow!

Carlson: Can you help me...?

Seaman: Help?! Now?! I'm busy!! I've got my orders to hold these boats for a few more minutes.

After the third cutscene at 1:45 AM, the seaman is replaced by Officer Morrow.

"These are the last two boats! 2 and 4!"
    - Third Officer Morrow

After the fourth cutscene at 1:55 AM, the boat is launched.

Titanic (1997)[]


Lifeboat 4 being prepared in the 1997 film Titanic

In the 1997 film Lifeboat 4 was seen loaded on the A-Deck, and launched shortly before Collapsible D.

Strangely, the actions of the occupants of boat 4 when returning to pick up survivors were not mentioned by the old Rose, who said that only one boat (No. 14) had returned to pick up the survivors.

Ghosts of the Abyss (2003)[]


Lifeboat 4 being loaded in Ghosts of the Abyss

In Ghosts of the Abyss, there is a flashback scene showing Lifeboat 4 being loaded on the A deck, where John Jacob Astor has to part with his wife.

2012 Miniseries Titanic[]


Lifeboat 4 in the 2012 Miniseries Titanic

In the 2012 Miniseries, Lifeboat 4 became the second boat to be launched on the port side (not the eight as it happens in real life). Eleanor Widener, Margaret Brown (who actually escaped in Lifeboat 6), Countess of Rothes and Roberta Maioni (who actually escaped in Lifeboat 8) boarded boat 4, which is commanded by Seaman Holmes.

After the Titanic sank, the Countess of Rothes, Margaret Brown, and Eleanor Widener insisted on returning to pick up the survivors, but Seaman Holmes refused to do so harshly. Margaret Brown then threatened to throw Seaman Holmes overboard, while the Countess of Rothes took the tiller.

When they returned, they only found John Batley and his wife, Muriel. But Muriel is dead.

Boat 4 then joined several other boats, waiting for RMS Carpathia to arrive.


  1. 'Titanic' ©1996 (second print, 1998) Edward P. De Groot
  2. https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanic/lifeboats/lifeboat-4/
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