Excerpt from Rostron


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Apr 7, 2001
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Good Morning,

Wanted to share a touching excerpt I re-read from Rostron. ("From The Sea") No need to respond to this thread.

"In this case I am recounting a boat's gunwale was seized for'ard by a swimmer. It was well before dawn. No one could see who it was, but many voices were raised protesting against him being hauled in.

"We are full; we are full," they cried. "Don't let him come in!"

On woman in the stern sheets, however, nursing her sorrow of a husband left behind on the sunken ship, begged for the swimmer to be taken in. The pity in her pleading prevailed and she knew the swimmer had been saved before she sank back into the frozen coma that great tragedy engenders.

Hours passed. At length dawn lit the haggard faces of those who huddled shiveringly in that boat. Only then did the woman see the features of the drenched man she had been chiefly instrumental in dragging from death by drowning.

It was her own husband.


Rostron doesn't mention who's lifeboat this took place in. It could have been Lowe's lifeboat, but I rather doubt it because I read Lowe had taken in more than one person in his lifeboat.

Teri
 

Inger Sheil

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Teri -

My guess would be that this is a somewhat highly coloured version of the rescue of Frederick Hoyt by D, in which his wife Jane also survived. Here's a version that Rene Harris gave of the incident:

There were terror and chaos on the boat on the part of the quartermaster and the crew. 'Look out for the suction,' they yelled. 'Row for your lives.' A woman took her place at the oars. When we got farther away from the place where the 'Titanic' sank a man was pulled into the boat. As he lay in the bottom of the boat he looked into the face of the woman who was rowing. 'Jane,' he said.

For a moment she stopped rowing. 'Fred,' she called, and tossed him her shawl and went on rowing. It was her husband. The sea had given back the Hoyts to each other.
 
Apr 7, 2001
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Hello there Inger,

Very interesting ~ ~ we have versions written here by separate people. This made my eyebrows raise in wonderment.

I always took Rostron's words at face value, since he was not terrorized by the disaster himself.

One account asserts that there were oars in the lifeboat, the other asserting there were no oars in the lifeboat.

Inger, I am wondering. Might this be a case of, "the reader gets to decide which account holds the accuracy?" Twould seem so in the least.

Sincerely,

Teri
 

Inger Sheil

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Teri -

While both accounts are highly coloured, I'd be inclined to give more weight to Harris as her interview was given in May 1912, soon after the event (whereas Rostron's account was recorded many years later) and Harris, unlike Rostron, was in 'D' at the time and thus an eyewitness. However, neither should be looked at in isolation - they need to be compared with other accounts from 'D'.

Crossreferencing both Harris and Rostron with inquiry testimony supports the idea that the incident wasn't quite as melodramatic as depicted - Woolner's testimony places it almost as soon as D was launched (both Woolner and Bright testify that D pulled away without pause):

Mr. WOOLNER. Yes; and then I hooked my right heel over the gunwale, and by this time Steffanson was standing up, and he caught hold of me and lifted me in. Then we looked over into the sea and saw a man swimming in the sea just beneath us, and pulled him in.

Reading Hardy's account of the rescue of Hoyt, it seems that Hoyt put his wife in the boat and then entered the water and swam out to D after it was launched:

Mr. HARDY. We picked up the husband of a wife that we had taken off in the load in the boat. The gentleman took to the water and climbed in the boat after we had lowered it.

I remember that quite distinctly.

Senator FLETCHER. You mean you took a woman on board the boat -

Mr. HARDY. Before we lowered. Her husband took to the water.

Senator FLETCHER. Jumped in the water?

Mr. HARDY. Yes; and climbed in the boat when we were afloat.

Senator FLETCHER. Do you know who he was?

Mr. HARDY. I know the gentleman - but I do not know his name - because he sat there, wringing wet, alongside of me, helping me row.

Senator FLETCHER. Did you see him afterwards on the Carpathia?

Mr. HARDY. Yes, sir.

Senator FLETCHER. What became of him; do you know?

Mr. HARDY. No, sir; I do not know, sir.

Senator FLETCHER. Was he an American?

Mr. HARDY. Yes, sir; an American gentleman.


I suspect that by the time Rostron heard the story it had become somewhat 'enhanced.'

~ Inger
 
Apr 7, 2001
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Ing,

Thank you for the extra tidbits on the Hoyt's rescue. I see what you're saying about not taking either account into isolation, that one has to compare it to other accounts which ~ you have the advantage of doing with your extensive research being behind you.

Yes Rostron's account WAS written much later than Harris's account.

Hoyt was a smart man to have jumped in the water after the boat was lowered. The lights on Titanic must still have been lit for Hoyt to be able to identify his wife's "D."

Sincerely,

Teri Please excuse if this message appears somewhat messed up, I am having major browser and mail problems.
 
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