How Did Officer Moody Die

Arun Vajpey

Arun Vajpey

Member
Leading Fireman Barrett arrived on the A-deck just as Lifeboat #13 was about to be lowered. He saw no officer in charge but found Boatswain Nichols, whom he knew well through the Olympic; the latter ordered Barrett into Lifeboat #13 and to "pull an oar", which the fireman did. Lifeboat #13 started to lower moments later at 01:40 am.

Barrett was on A-deck probably only for a minute or two and although there was no officer there, he could hear (but unable to see) one giving orders on the boat deck above. I am fairly certain that the officer was Moody because Murdoch would have just crossed over to the port side to take charge of Lifeboat #10. Back on the starboard side, the descent of lifeboat #13 was slow and jerky and meanwhile Moody had lowered Lifeboat #15 to the A-deck to pick-up stragglers there. We all know about the mini-drama involving the two lifeboats and so by the time both rowed safely away, it would have been close to 01:45 am.

Meanwhile, it is possible that McElroy, who was seen in the vicinity by Lightoller and others, had already gone forward to make a start on Collapsible C. After #13 and #15 were away safely, Moody would have done likewise; AFAIK, there are no witness statements about Nichols after Barret's sighting but logic suggests that he would have gone forward too. After lowering Lifeboat #10 successfully, Murdoch would have joined them and statements by the likes of Lightoller, Jack Thayer etc indicate that the First Officer and McElroy were from that point in charge of loading and lowering Collapsible C. Moody and some other crew (which may have included Nichols) got on to the roof of the Captain's quarters to try and free Collapsible A, a very difficult task against the port list. After #C was lowered, Lamp Trimmer Hemming reportedly passed some block equipment to Moody on the roof but the Sixth officer felt that it could not be used under the circumstances.

All that suggests that Moody concentrated on his duty till the very last, just like Murdoch. AFAIK, there is no record of Moody at any stage stopping a passenger or even a crew member into a lifeboat when there was room but no woman or child in the vicinity to take it. He very likely was still working on Collapsible A when the wave hit and knocked him overboard.
 
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Thomas Krom

Thomas Krom

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He very likely was still working on Collapsible A when the wave hit and knocked him overboard.
We have confirmation on that, this is his last sighting:
Senator SMITH.
What did you do, then, after that?

Mr. HEMMING.
After I had finished with the lamps, sir, when I made my last journey they were turning out the port collapsible boat. I went and assisted Mr. Lightoller to get it out.

After the boat was out I went on top of the officer's house and helped to clear away the port collapsible boat on that house. After that I went over to the starboard side. The starboard collapsible boat had just been lowered.

Senator SMITH.
Do you mean lowered or pushed off?

Mr. HEMMING.
Lowered. She was away from the ship.

Senator SMITH.
Then what?

Mr. HEMMING.
I rendered up the foremast fall, got the block on board, and held on to the block while a man equalized the parts of the fall. He said, "There is a futterfoot in the fall, which fouls the fall and the block." I says, "I have got it;" and took it out. I passed the block up to the officers' house, and Mr. Moody, the sixth officer, said: "We don't want the block. We will leave the boat on deck." I put the fall on the deck, stayed there a moment, and there was no chance of the boat being cleared away, and I went to the bridge and looked over and saw the water climbing upon the bridge. I went and looked over the starboard side, and everything was black. I went over to the port side and saw a boat off the port quarter, and I went along the port side and got up the after boat davits and slid down the fall and swam to the boat and got it.
 
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