How long was R. Norris Williams ll on the ship?


Nov 29, 2020
I have been on this site for a short time but I have asked questions about survivors and have been coming to conclusions. Now I want to find out what happened to R. Norris Williams when he was on the ship. I know he was swimming in the area when the forward funnel fell because that is what pushed him to collapsible A. But his survivor account on the site just states that him and his father found themselves swimming for their lives in the water. It does not state what happened, did he jump? Was he washed off by the wave that came up the deck? It also states on this site that Williams gave Walter Lord an Interview after watching ANTR. If anybody could find that, or any other info, that wold be great

Arun Vajpey

Jul 8, 1999
There are a couple of rather vague witness accounts by Norris Williams in Paul Quinn's book Dusk to Dawn. According to those, he was on board the Titanic when the ship gave that sudden forward and downward 'lurch' at around 02:15 am. He was partially underwater at the time facing the bow and tried to swim for it. According to him, the "deck came up under him and we were high and dry".

I assumed that Williams' position at the time must have been somewhere around the 'fulcrum point' of the ship and the sudden rise of the stern section (caused by the lurch) might be what he described as the 'deck coming up under him'. He goes on the say that his father at the time was 'no more than 12 to 15 feet from me' but does not specify in which direction. Considering that Williams Sr was crushed moments afterwards by the falling first funnel, it is likely that he (the father) was further towards the bow and trying to swim away.
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