23 years later the tragedy almost happens again by Pedro Soares


Pedro Soares

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Everybody knows the Titan, the famous ship from Morgan Robertson`s novel, everybody knows the "horror" tale by W. T. Stead... And everybody knows the tragedy that happened on 14-15 April 1912. Just a coincidence? Nobody can tell. These two stories weren`t a warning to captain Smith, but the memory of that tragedy in 1912 saved another ship 23 years later.
A young lookout named William Reeves was on his nightshift in the crow`s nest of a cargo ship which was sailing from Tyneside to Canada in 1935. He was breathing the cold air of April, the month of the disasters with icebergs, the real or the unreal, that haunted the spirit of the youngman. His shift should be finished by about 20 minutes to midnight, the hour that, has he knew, had been fateful for the R.M.S. Titanic.
These thoughts slowly tooked shape and grew as terrible signs inside Reeves` mind, in his lonely shift in the crow`s nest. His tired eyes were looking in the horizon, seeking for any sign of danger in the darkness. He did not sound the alarm, fearing what his compagnions would think of him.-And he was afraid of not doing it.
Suddenly, he remembered of the exact date of Titanic`s sinking, 15 April 1912. The coincidence was terrible.- that date was his birthday! The growing sensation of fatalism dominated Reeves until it became a dreadful certainty. He desperatly sounded the alarm, and the quartermaster made full speed astern. The ship stopped in a whirl of spume. A huge iceberg standed menacingly in front of the ship. There were even bigger bergs surrounding the small ship, and it took nine days to the ice-breakers from Newfoundland to free the the ship from the ice.
The name of the ship that was so close of sharing the fate of the Titanic? The Titanian.

P.S.-I can`t assure the veracity of this storie...
 

Senan Molony

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From The Times of London, April 27, 1935, page 6:

Casualty Reports

TITANIAN - St John's, Newfoundland, April 25: British MV Titanian, Tyne for Port Alfred, advised 9.30pm GMT, Lat. 48.06N, Long 49. 05W, surrounded thick field ice, impossible steam through account damaged stem post, require assistance. Can you send icebreaker?
Lloyd's agent states that the icebreaker Imogene will be sent to the assistance of the Titanian.

***

The Times, April 30, 1935, p. 27.

TITANIAN - Following telegram received from owners dated April 29:
Titanian reports noon Sunday heavy gale, rolling in growler ice, bumping. So far leakage slight. Icebreaker keeping close, present position ship is very critical. Further telegram dated April 29 received from the owners - Titanian cables Sunday midnight weather continuing. Improved 4am Monday. Under way.

***

Times May 3 - Titanian arrived St John's.

***

Then there's this which I found in November 1935 newspaper reports:

The Times (London) November 15, 1935. p. 15:

The British passenger steamer Titan (9,035 tons) belonging to the Blue Funnel Line, was in collision at Hamburg yesterday with a floating dock containing the German steamer Uruguay. The Titan was only slightly damaged - Reuter.

November 16, ibid:

British steamer Titan... port bow slightly damaged. Floating dock Howaldtswerke damaged seriously.

Reeves' story was reported in an April 1967 copy of the Sea Breezes magazine. It was written by William Reeves himself, and he added:

"The position we were in geographically was exactly the same as the Titan (of Morgan Robertson) and Titanic 41.66 N, 50.14 W."

But the Titanian's reports in the London Times show this claim by the lookout in Sea Breezes is arrant rubbish. She was actually in a longitude and latitute at a very far distance from the collision waters of 1912.

So Reeves is extensively embroidering his story.

Senan in Dublin
 
C

Cátia Lamy

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Hi Pedro!

It would be much more easy to tell you this on portuguese... but that way none else would understand.
I've told you before that this story seemed to me to be too much alike to be truth... It can be truth, but the ship called Titanian...? I don't know... I always believed that no one would use this name anymore! as someone wrote one time... the titans challenged the gods and were defeated! Would anyone do such mistake...?

Anyway it seems to me (if I put beside my most realistic side...) that this is a really strange story.... Reeves shift was to be finished at 11:40pm (everyone knows what happened at this hour that fateful night), Reeves' birthday was on 15 April... And it seemed to me that this boy got a lot of imagination that made him the most lucky boy on earth since his, maybe imaginable fear, became truth and he stopped another tragedy from happening.
Anyway, to me it would be more acceptable Robertson's novel since it was wrote BEFORE the disaster... this one, happening 25 years later, may be only a legend... a "fairy-tale" of the Titanic tragedy... and we all know how people like to imagine things!!!

Anyway, if it really is true... Mr. Reeves doesn't know how lucky he was and makes me thing if we would still be here if Mr. Murdoch or Mr. Fleet had the same lucky back in 1912...!

I really liked the story Pedro, it's a really curiosity-story and I believe that you should go on and research and tell us about these things, because it worths reading it!

(Note: I'm sorry for writing so much!)
 

Pedro Soares

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Thank you so much for your kind words, Cátia, and Senan, of course the story isn´t completely true, but I found it a very interesting "fairy-tale", as Cátia said.
Best regards,
Pedro
 

Senan Molony

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Well it is true that the Titanian encountered ice in April 1935.
The latitude cited by Reeves cannot exist, since there are not 66 minutes in a degree. But even allowing for misprints, it is clear that the Titanian was hundreds of miles north of Titanic's wrecksite.
Clearly, also, Reeves is not telling the full truth when he suggests he saved his ship. The first call for help states explicitly that the Titanian's stem post was damaged.
The basic story is truth... with the legend added on with a trowel.
 

Pedro Soares

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Yes, Senan, thanks for the additional information, I already knew that the story couldn`t possibly be completely true, but I didn`t said that it happened in the same place as the Titanic, but even though, I love legends...
Best regards,
Pedro
 

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