"Aquitania"--to have "motorized" life-boats---

"Aquitania"--to have "motorized" life-boats---

Postby Thomas Golembiewski on Wed Oct 03, 2012 5:37 pm

Chicago Evening Post, Saturday, May 30, 1914, p. 5:

TWO MOTOR-BOATS ADDED TO AQUITANIA'S SAFETY DEVICES

Craft to Be Fitted With Wireless Having Range of 150
Miles for Transmitting Messages

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In addition to, and quite independent of the lifeboat equipment of the Cunard liner Aquitania, there will added two large motor-boats fitted with wireless apparatus. These motor boats, constructed by Thornycroft, will be carried on the boat deck, one on the port side and the other on the starboard side. Each boat is 30 feet in length by 9 feet 6 inches in breadth.

The boats show a decided departure from any previously accepted form of ship's lifeboat. The motor-boat's primary function is to tow the ordinary rowing lifeboats. They will be fitted with wireless telegraphy apparatus, having a range of about 100 to 500 miles for transmitting, enabling them to keep in constant communication with steamers in case of an emergency. There is ample space for the stowage of blankets, medical stores and other necessaries. The engine is well protected by a closed compartment, and would consequently not be affected by heavy seas, wind or rain.

The boats are fitted with a Thornycroft four-cylinder motor of 30 horse power, fitted with reverse, this motor complying in all respects with the suggestions of the boats and davits committee of the British board of trade i.e., starting on petrol, running on paraflin. Forward of the motor space a sound-proof room is fitted for the wireless operator. There is a short deck at each end and a wide gangway fore and aft. Also, both forward and aft, a water-tight well is arranged, fitted with seats and lockers.

There will be eighty large lifeboats stowed on the Aquitania decks. Ample accommodation is provided in the boats for all people on board the ship. The latests and most up to date appliances for placing them in the water have been adopted.

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Imagine if the Titanic had had motorized life-boats . . . ? Could this also be the first time motorized life-saving craft was utilized by a liner?
Thomas Golembiewski
 
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