Timeline Article: Some Passengers in the Lifeboats Want To Return. Many Are Outvoted.

Monday, April 15, 1912

The sounds of Titanic's victims screaming for help is too much for some to bear. Some of the passengers in the lifeboats demand that they go and help. After all, many of the lifeboats had plenty of room to take on several more passengers.
Unfortunately, the passengers that wanted to go back and help were outvoted for one reason or another. The fear of going back and being swamped by the people in the water and then capsized, was a very real possibility.
Some of the lifeboat groups decided that going back would be too dangerous. Some decided that they would wait for the panic to calm down.

Whatever the reason, only one lifeboat will go back to help, and by that time it will be too late.

Lifeboat 8

First class passenger, Gladys Cherry later wrote a letter to the crew member that was in charge of Lifeboat 8, Seaman Thomas Jones...

"The dreadful regret I shall always have, and I know you share with me, is that we ought to have gone back to see whom we could pick up. But if you remember, there was only an American lady, my cousin, self, and you who wanted to return. I could not hear the discussion very clearly, as I was at the tiller, but everyone forward and the three men refused. But I shall always remember your words, 'Ladies, if any of us are saved, remember I wanted to go back. I would rather drown with them than leave them.'"

Lifeboat 1

With only 12 of it's 40 seats occupied, lifeboat 1 refuses to return. This lifeboat carried mostly male members of the ship's crew, and one very famous couple, Sir Cosmo Duff-Gordon and his wife Lucile.

When the men in the boat began discussing the mater of going back to help, Duff-Gordon intervened saying that going back would be too dangerous and that the very idea was frightening his wife. While waiting to be rescued, Duff-Gordon promises a five pound check to each of the crew members in Lifeboat 1 to help compensate for their losses. His intentions may have been good, but he will spend the rest of his life denying that he bribed the men to not go back to help.  

Lifeboat 6

Lifeboat 6 is well known for it's notable passengers. Among them were: Denver millionairess Margaret Brown, writer and feminist Helen Churchill Candee, Quartermaster Robert Hichens, and Lookout Fredrick Fleet.

It was Quartermaster Hichens that was in charge of this boat. He and Margaret Brown would have differences throughout the night mainly due to Hichens sour attitude.

Brown wasn't able to convince Hichens or the others in her boat to go back and help the people in the water. Hearing the screams for help and not going back troubled her for the rest of her life.

When the rescue ship appeared on the horizon, Hichens declared that the ship was not there to rescue them, but to pick up dead bodies. After hearing this and losing her patience, Brown took charge and threatened to throw Hichens overboard if he interfered. Her persistence and bravery earned her the nickname, "The Unsinkable Molly Brown".