Getting drunk before dying


Arun Vajpey

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Apr 21, 2009
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OK. This calls for pure conjecture but deals with human logic.

There must have been several people on board who by around 2 pm knew for sure that the Titanic was going to sink and they would not find a place on any lifeboat. I wonder how many of them would have sought solace in getting as drunk as possible in the remaining time so as to minimise the throes of certain death to come? To me it seems the logical thing to do under the circumstances and there must have been plenty of alcohol lying around in the First Class areas.
 
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Aaron_2016

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Patrick Dillon spoke to a reporter in England in 1912. He said the following:

"The poop deck was full of Third class male passengers. Those steward chaps and deck hands died game, no mistake, sir. One fellow while we were on the poop deck said, "Go to the First cabin bar room." We did and there was a steward in the saloon with two whisky bottles, one in each hand filling up tumblers on a tray. He said, "Go on lads, drink up. She is going down," and we made for the whisky. We got our share. I noticed one of the chaps who was standing there found a cigarette paper, another had enough tobacco to make a fag, and we had a draw or two while it lasted. There we stood smoking it. Then she plunged and then seemed to right herself. There were about 15 of us when she took the first plunge. After the second there were only five of us left. One of these was Mr. Daniels a First class passenger. He only had a pair of knickers, a singlet, and a blanket thrown over his shoulders. I think he jumped for it. I stood talking to Johnny Bannon, and we seemed to be the only two left. We made the sign of the Cross, both of us, for he was a Catholic. "If we are going to die," I said, "it will be best to die gripping something." We gripped the rail................"

According to other survivors when Dillon was rescued from the water he was found to be drunk and then fell unconscious. Charles Joughin was also reportedly drunk and may have been with the other men in the "First cabin bar room" but naturally both men neglected to tell the British Inquiry this.


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Dec 4, 2000
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Be wary of stories about survivors being pulled from cold water in a state of drunkenness or falling down drunk. Back in 1912 not much was known about the condition called "hypothermia" in which the core body temp is lowered significantly. One of the first symptoms of this condition is loss of muscle coordination that looks much like that of a drunk staggering home. And, as the chill persists, the person begins to slur words and talk as if Demon Rum has his tongue. Not saying that a lot of people had a nip o' the strong in the last minutes. I'm sure they did. And, I'm sure some went well beyond a nip to full-fledged gulpers. Just warning that things may not be as they seem.

-- David G. Brown
 
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Arun Vajpey

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Not only that but alcohol makes death due to hypothermia more likely. The "warmth" that people feel after having a sip of brandy when cold is due to peripheral vasodilatation, where the blood vessels under the skin fill-up with blood and hence the feeling of warmth. But in doing so, blood is diverted away from vital organs like the heart, kidneys etc, making them more susceptible to exposure.

My post was about whether people who felt that they were going to die anyway decided to minimise the agony by getting themselves drunk into a state of stupor.
 
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