THE STORY IN DETAIL OF THE MACKAY-BENNETT'S SEARCH FOR BODIES OF TITANIC VICTIMS
Left Halifax April 17th at 12.35 p.m. and steamed full speed out of the harbor. At 1:30 slowed down because of fog. 6:35 p.m. cleared up and went full speed again.
April 19th at 6:45 picked up a lifebelt with Allan Line marked on it.
April 20th. Sighted a steamer. Altered course and passed close to her. She reported having seen three large bergs and a number of bodies forty-five miles from the position given by the papers when leaving Halifax. We started off again full speed with a heavy sea running behind us, expecting to reach the spot by 8 p.m. At 3:15 passed a large iceberg. At 5 p.m. passed a berg about 200 feet high and some small ice evidently from large bergs. 7 p.m. passed an enormous berg; run for 45 minutes and stopped for the night. A lot of wreckage drifting about.
April 21st. 5 a.m. started steaming for position of wreck. 6:45 a.m. picked up first body, a Danish boy, and during day picked up 51 bodys, four being females and a child of two or three years, a boy. 5 p.m. hoisted boat for the night. Undertaker embalmed 20 bodies, 6 being left for morning. 8:15 p.m. burial service was held on forecastle deck when 24 bodies were buried, these being mostly of the crue and not identified.
April 22nd. 5:30 a.m. lowered a boat for a body. Enormous quantity of wreckage. Came upon a lifeboat bottom up, its side smashed in. Steamed away after trying to pick up boat. This day we picked up 27 bodes, that of Col. J. J. Aster being amongst them. Everybody had on a lifebelt and bodies floated very high in water in spite of the sodden clothes and things in pockets. Apparently the people had lots of time and discipline must have been splendid, for some had on their pyjamas, two and three shirts, two pairs of pants, two vests, two jackets and an overcoat. In some pockets a quantity of meat and biscuits were found, while in the pockets of most of the crew quite a lot of tobacco and matches besides keys to the various lockers and stateroom doors were found. On this day we buried 15 bodies some of them very badly smashed and bruised.
April 23rd. This day we came across the worst bodies. The sea was dotted with bodies as far as one could see. Started picking up bodies at 6:30 a.m. At 6:15 p.m. we had picked up 128 bodies. The decks being covered with them. At 8 p.m. we had a funeral service when ?7 bodies were buried.
April 24th. Heavy sea and very foggy. Could not see a ship's length. The bodies from yesterday were being searched and tagged and stowed away, nobody being buried this day.
April 25th. Started at six a.m. and picked up 87 bodies, keeping all on board. Bodies searched and tagged in proper order. Heard that cable-ship Minia was coming to relieve us. Minia arrived at midnight.
April 26th. Started again at 6:15 a.m., picked up 6 bodies. Put boat to Minia for embalming fluid. Picked up 8 more bodies, then started for Halifax, having on board 190 bodies. We buried 116 bodies, having picked up 306 all told.
(Page 6, Columns 1 and 2).
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(1912) The search at sea for Titanic's DeadHalifax Evening Mail (ref: #12567, accessed 23rd October 2014 11:08:07 AM)
URL : http://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/the-search-at-sea-for-titanic-dead-by-mackay-bennett.html
Added to Encyclopedia Titanica Thursday 5th May 2011, last updated Thursday 23rd October 2014.