No discussion of the Titanic II is complete without a mention of the lifeboats. The lack of adequate lifeboats on the original Titanic was a major contributor to the deaths of over 1,500 passengers. Unfortunately, as reported in the press, it appears that the new ship will not have adequate lifeboat capacity to meet the current Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) rules. Frankly, we think that this is carrying authenticity a bit too far. As reported by the Daily Mail and elsewhere:
There will be capacity for 2,435 passengers and 900 crew. There will also be lifeboats that can carry 2,700 and a life rafts with an additional capacity of 800. The original Titanic had just 16 wooden lifeboats that accommodated 1,178 people, one third of the total capacity. Some 1,502 people died when it sank on April 15 1912.
So here is how the math works out. 2,435 passengers + 900 crew = 3,335 people. The advertised lifeboat and raft capacity is 2,700 + 800 = 3,500. The problem is that SOLAS regulations require that there are sufficient lifeboats and life rafts to accommodate 125% of the total number of people on board, which in this case would be 3,335 *1.25 = 4,169. So based on the press reports, the new ship would be 669 lifeboat/liferaft spaces short.
No doubt, there is some mistake here and the actual ship, when and if it goes into service, will indeed have an adequate number of lifeboats and liferafts. Nevertheless there is something darkly amusing in that the original Titanic had more lifeboats and liferafts onboard than were required under the safety regulations of her time, while based on press reports, the Titanic II would not meet the current regulations as dictated by SOLAS, the Safety of Life at Sea Convention. The first International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) was, of course, convened in 1914 to improve the standards of ship safety after the tragic sinking of the Titanic.