April 15, 1912: Third Class Passengers Try To Reach the Lifeboats

Monday, April 15th

As Titanic takes on water, the Third class passengers struggle to find their way to the lifeboats. Racing the water through a maze of corridors and other obstacles deck by deck. To make things even more difficult, many of the Third class passengers didn't speak English, and therefore could not read the navigation signs posted throughout the ship.

"One myth that still persists to this day is that of locked gates extending from floor-to-ceiling between the Third class areas and the rest of the ship. It must be noted that there is no evidence, either documented or from the wreck, that any such barriers existed. Bostwick gates and other physical forms of separation were in place at various locations throughout the vessel, but their primary purpose was to clearly mark points through which Third class passengers could not pass, as many could not read. Gates were not intended, nor were they constructed, as a means of forcible confinement or physical restriction."

Excerpt from: Titanic: The Ship Magnificent Volume Two
By: Bruce Beveridge, Scott Andrews, Steve Hall, and Daniel Klistorner

Eventually, some of the Third class passengers make it up to the boat deck using the First class staircase or the Second class staircase, but only to find that just 6 out of the 20 lifeboats are all that remain.