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Nobody’s really quite sure what happened to Titanic’s lifeboats after the sinking, as this and one other image are all that exist of them after the Carpathia dropped them off in New York.
There is one image floating around of the Olympic, Titanic’s sister ship, arriving in port with a bunch of lifeboats in the foreground. From that, some theorize that Titanic’s lifeboats were repurposed as Olympic’s when she received her 1913 refit (which upped her lifeboat capacity), while others believe White Star just had them broken down and sold.
As in, they’re gathering them up here? Or did they find them empty like this?
This photo is terrific – can look at this and imagine what they’ve been through.
As you can see the boats could carry as much people as a swimming door – one!