Actually still on board when ship sank

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Phil Fazzini

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Except for those who were either killed on deck when the ship broke up or were washed away-were there any very few persons on Titanic final plunge?
1) Mail clerks last seen in mail room.
2) One passenger who locked herself in cabin.
3) Reportably one couple who didn't open their door to Titanic Steward (Walter Lord history?)
 
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Phil Fazzini

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Forgot to mention Thomas Andrews last seen in
1st Class saloon
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Phil, I'm not quite sure what you're driving at here. Some early swimmers aside, there were around 1500+ people stranded aboard the Titanic when she finally went down. That's a lot of ground to cover there. Was there something specific you're looking for?
 
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Phil Fazzini

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There was a remark in National Geographic that very few were still on board for final plunge.
Forgot to add-two engineers in boiler rooms-one with a broken leg (Walter Lord History)
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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At least one of the mail clerks was seen on deck after they'd all very sensibly given up their losing battle to rescue the mail and made their way up. But there are various accounts of individuals who had chosen to stay below decks - either in their cabins or in final refuge areas like the 3rd Class general and smoking rooms at the stern. August Wennerstrom, for instance, recalled:

One of our friends, a man by the name of Johan Lundahl who had been home to the old country on a visit and was going back to the United States said to us, "Good-bye friends; I'm too old to fight the Atlantic." he went to the smoking room and there on a chair was awaiting his last call. So did an English lady; She sat down by the piano and, with her child on her knee, she played the piano until the Atlantic grave called them both.

Add those few who were still working to keep the lights running, and passengers who were still lost and looking for a way out when the lights finally did go out, and I'd be surprised if less than a hundred actually went down with the ship. Maybe a lot more.
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Brian Ahern

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Dec 19, 2002
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Hi Phil - I know it's been said, going by the cabin number, that the couple who wouldn't open the door to the steward was the Spencers. Mrs. Spencer, of course, left in an early boat, so they obviously didn't stay in the cabin long after the steward gave up on them.

I can't think of a lady being mentioned as locking herself into her cabin. Miss Isham's relatives were afraid that she had, though there's no reason to suppose that this was the case. Could she be who you're thinking of?

I believe it was Don Lynch who highlighted Titanic's first casualty as a crewmember who drowned belowdecks while the lifeboats were still leaving. I'd have to search for his book (just moved house) to look up exactly who it was.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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The two early victims of the inrush of water into boiler room 5 were engineers Shepherd (who had the broken leg) and Harvey, who was trying to help him to get out. The woman who is most often referred to as having locked herself in her room was the 3rd Class stewardess/matron, Mrs Wallis.
 
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Phil Fazzini

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Interesting on Mrs. Wallis.
The person I had read of locking herself in cabin was Miss Augusta Charlotta Lindblom (bio)
 

Pam Kennedy

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Oct 24, 2005
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Maybe this is a question that Michael can answer. Let me try to ask it intelligently! How did most people actually get into the water? Ohhh, that must sound really stupid, but what I'm trying to get at is if most people were washed (or slid) into the ocean during the final plunge, or if it was all the jumping ala JC. Would people have been likely to take charge of their own fates by jumping into the water when it became inevitable that they would end up in the water, regardless?
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Some like Jack Thayer jumped, some were washed off the ship, (Lightoller) and some rode it down, like the baker. As a point of nautical order, jumping off of a sinking ship isn't neseccerily such a swift idea, especially if it's from a great hight since if you do it wrong, you'll learn the hard way that water doesn't compress. (You will if you hit it wrong.)

The way I was trained to do that if it came to that was with my life vest not inflated (The Navy uses inflatable vests) and with my arms crossed over my chest and my legs crossed. Note that for any male, if your legs are not crossed when you hit the water...let's just say you'll be able to apply for the role of the solo soprano in the Vienna Boys Choir with a very good chance of getting the job for keeps! (Nope, I'm not kidding about that!) If you jump with a vest inflated or a full life jacket strapped on, you have an outstandingly good chance of breaking your neck. You might as well make use of the gallows. The result will be exactly the same.

One thing to bear in mind is that with a sinking ship, your options for getting off alive if the boats are gone or the thing is going down too quickly for the boats to be of any use, can well be bad, worse, or downright suicidal. Still, when the beast is going down, you don't have a lot of options, so you try whatever looks best, then hope that it is.
 

Blimp Edwards

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Jan 25, 2013
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Surely the best option would have been to simply walk into the water once the bow gradually went under and gently swim away, or hop in from a lower deck once the water level was even with you? Though I'm sure that no shortage of people failed to take advantage of these options for the want of avoiding entering the deathly cold water any sooner than they had to.

Dan
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>Surely the best option would have been to simply walk into the water once the bow gradually went under and gently swim away, or hop in from a lower deck once the water level was even with you?<<

Hopping off from the bow was no longer an option because it and the well deck was already underwater at least twenty minutes before the ship went down. Others may have tried the latter option but nobody kept tabs on who did what. They were a little busy trying to avoid getting dead themselves.
 

Blimp Edwards

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Hopping off from the bow was no longer an option because it and the well deck was already underwater at least twenty minutes before the ship went down.
I think that's what I meant, unless we're misunderstanding each other. While the bow was under water, though the ship overall only partially submerged, all you'd have to do is walk down the length of the ship into the water, as if entering the water on a beach, yes? Though, again, I'm sure most people were too preoccupied with staying out of the water as long as possible to do such.

Dan
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>I'm sure most people were too preoccupied with staying out of the water as long as possible to do such.<<

And that's the sticking point. It may very well have been possible to do exactly as you suggest and in some form or another, some did. The last reliable sighting of Captain Smith for example had him (Supposedly) diving off the front of the ship as she took that final plunge.

The thing is that the water was a nice balmy 28 degrees.

Would you been in a hurry to take a dip in that?

I know I wouldn't be!
 

Chung Rex

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Dec 25, 2006
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Be cautious of death traps.

>>Surely the best option would have been to simply walk into the water once the bow gradually went under and gently swim away, or hop in from a lower deck once the water level was even with you?<<

Hopping off from the bow was no longer an option because it and the well deck was already underwater at least twenty minutes before the ship went down. Others may have tried the latter option but nobody kept tabs on who did what. They were a little busy trying to avoid getting dead themselves.
I'm not going to talking about the problems of hypothermia, because people would have suffered the injury anyway in the cold water.

However, death traps are evident, notably drowning, trapping and dragging(which causes drowning after a few minutes) and being crushed by funnels.

There are a lot of openings with interior space not filled with water. Walking into water near to bow risked being dragged into deep interior ship space, or simply being dragged downward like what Charles Lightoller experienced. Without hot air blown up from the 1st funnel, Lightoller would have been drowned underwater. Murdoch was likely to suffer from that kind of problem.

One problems was added that forward funnel collapsed and hit any people on water. The low number of rescued passengers on collapsible A can be accounted with the extreme and bitter situations near the bow.

Remaining at the middle part of ship was also dangerous. The ship broke apart at that place, immediate causing serious injuries of anyone near to the breaking line. Then virtually all of them fell to the void and into water between bow and stern. As the stern was pulled by the bow quickly, people at the junction were likely to be dragged by forward broken end of stern and were never seen again.

Dangers of remaining on stern were less pronounced. However, the stern rise up and people jumping from that height suffered great injuries, making them unconscious. They were certainly killed as the stern returned to original position when the ship broke apart(depicted in Titanic 1997). Passengers might fall downwards when the stern turned nearly vertically and hit any parts of ships like metal rods. As the stern was more watertight, implosion occurred inevitably and people falling into water / walking into water from stern would loss buoyancy like what Jack and Rose did. Therefore, they were underwater for one minute or so. The deeper passengers were dragged, the less their chance of survival as air could be used up. Jack and Rose, and also the baker, were lucky enough. Many others did not.
 

L. Colombo

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Nov 22, 2012
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As the stern was more watertight, implosion occurred inevitably and people falling into water / walking into water from stern would loss buoyancy like what Jack and Rose did. Therefore, they were underwater for one minute or so. The deeper passengers were dragged, the less their chance of survival as air could be used up. Jack and Rose, and also the baker, were lucky enough. Many others did not.
Actually some of the few survivors from the stern (including Charles John Joughin - the baker - and Thomas Patrick Dillon) said that there was little or no suction when the stern sank.
 
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Number of people on board during the final moments

Can be estimated how many people were still on board the ship after she broke up?
Most sources say it was over 1500, since there were over 1500 deaths, but that isn't true since:
- of the 826 passengers & crew who made it into a lifeboat, 121 died before the Carpathia arrived.
- Dozens of people, maybe even hundreds, jumped into the water before Titanic broke up.
So, how many people didn't jump?