FORCED HER INTO LIFEBOAT
Declares He Was Among Last to Leave Sinking Titanic, Calling "Any More Women?"
Out of all the criticism of J. Bruce Ismay, Managing Director of the White Star Line, because of his conduct following the Titanic disaster, there has come praise from a woman who declares that she owes her life to the White Satr [sic] official. This woman is Miss Edith L. Rosenbaum of 45 Merrill Road, Far Rockaway.
Miss Rosenbaum told a reporter for THE TIMES yesterday that she was among the last who, preferring her chances on the sinking vessel to the risk of the lifeboats in an open sea, departed from the doomed liner. She was forced to take to the lifeboat only by the physical force of Mr. Ismay, who, she declares, caught her by the arm on the boat deck and thrust her down a narrow stairway to A deck, where she was heaved over safely into the life craft.
"I believe," said Miss Rosenbaum, "that Mr. Ismay must have entered his lifeboat at the very last moment, judging by the fact that I myself was among the last to leave the Titanic. I last saw him calling out, 'Any more women? If so, all off now."
"I think that Mr. Ismay should not be censured, as he took his chances after all the women in that part of the ship had bean saved."
"For forty-five minutes or more after the ship struck," says Miss Rosenbaum, "I loitered on the deck with others and listened to the jokes about the iceberg. There was not the slightest excitement. I was returning to my room when a Mr. Daniels, who had a cabin near mine, called to me in the corridor, 'Have you put on your life preserver? I understand that the order has gone out for all passengers to be provided with them.' "
After much difficulty in finding and adjusting her life belt Miss Rosenbaum, with several others, inquired of one of the stewards if it were really necessary for them to take such extreme precaution. They were told that the order had been sent out to have the life preservers ready only in compliance with the regulations of the Board of Trade. They were told that there was no danger of the vessel sinking.
Assured of the safety of the Titanic, Miss Rosenbaum, with several others who had heard the steward's answer to their inquiry, proceeded to the lounge on Deck A. She remained there for a half or three-quarters of an hour, when the women were hastily summoned upon the boat deck. Later an order came for them to descend to A deck, and a second time she says they were sent back to the boat deck.
"Women were being placed in the lifeboats," continued Miss Rosenbaum, "as I stood perplexed on the boat deck. Just then I happened to turn around and I caught sight of a man standing in one of the doors. He was calling out and asking if all the women were being cared for. As he caught sight of me he motioned to me and I approached him. As I have said, this man was Mr. Ismay, who seized my arm and cried, 'Woman, what are you doing here? All women should be off the boat!' He thrust me down the passageway to A deck, where I found myself between two lines of men. I was picked up by two of them, carried to the side of the lifeboat, and thrust over into it head first.
"I screamed as I lurched into the craft, and at the same time lost both my slippers. I remonstrated against going out in the lifeboat, and some of the men assisted me back to the deck again, where I recovered my slippers.
"I had scarcely recovered from this frightful experience when one of the men hastened to my side. It happened that he was an acquaintance I had made in Cherbourg, Mr. Mork, [sic; should be "Mock"] a miniature painter. He persuaded me to enter the lifeboat, and facilitated matters by allowing me to step upon his knee, gaining the lifeboat with less difficulty than the first time. The boat was not filled, and there were no other women in sight. As it swung out on the davits and lowered to the water Mr. Mork jumped in after me.
"There were only three oars in our lifeboat, and these were manned by two stewards and a petty officer. None of these was an able seaman, and we found them rowing on one side of the lifeboat, which was going around in a circle. There was no water, no food, no light of any kind in the lifeboat, and there was no compass, either."