Last Survivors Off Titanic


Scott Mills

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I have been doing some survivor research lately--well, technically I am looking for survivor accounts of the Titanic sinking--where I am specifically looking for the last people who left Titanic and lived. Of course, we all know that Charles Joughin was the very last person off Titanic as he swam from the stern railing as Titanic went under, but I am having a hard time finding a concise list of survivors who made it off Titanic after the last lifeboat was launched.

Really, this is probably a simple task of looking at the survivors who were on Collapsible B, and the people plucked out of the water by Lowe, but I am hoping someone here knows of a shortcut. Specifically, like I said above, I am hoping someone else has already compiled this list and can either share it, or point me to where I might find it!
 

Seumas

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Some people may dispute whether Joughin really was the last man off the ship. I don't know enough to comment.

Frank Prentice claimed he was on the stern almost until the end when he jumped.

If I recall correctly, Paddy Dillon remained on the broken stern as the ship begun the final plunge.

This is a good article written a number of years ago by Peter Engberg and Tad Fitch


It's a compilation of all the claims of having being pulled from the water. You could use it as a starting point.
 
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Scott Mills

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Semus,

Yes, Frank Prentice most likely was on Titanic until very near the end. He claimed that he and a fellow crewman jumped together as I recall. He also claimed that he witnessed at least one crewman floating on top of a piece of debris who, after informing Mr. Prentice that he was going to 'swim for the ship's lights' paddled off out of site in the direction of the 'mystery ship' never to be seen again.

Let me preface this next part by saying I really do not believe there is anything to this, but I always found this bit of testimony interesting given the claim by one of Mount Temple's passengers that sometime in the early morning hours they plucked one of Titanic's crewmen out of the water. The part that has always tickled my sense of "what if?" was that the passenger claimed the crewman in question was swimming towards them, floating on a piece of debris.

However, there are some serious issues here, not the least of which is the lifeboats themselves rowed towards the lights of the ship, only to have the ship eventually move off over the horizon--then again, the same passenger claimed that Mount Temple purposefully shut off all the lights as they watched Titanic founder--making it really hard to believe that someone would have paddled themselves to the 'mystery ship'.

Finally though, if someone on Titanic's crew was plucked out of the water by another ship other than Carpathia, I find it highly doubtful that they would not have gone to the newsmen and sold their story the minute they hit shore.
 
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Julian Atkins

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Hi Scott,

I mean this in the nicest way possible way but your posts on here would be elevated if you did not seemingly appear to have only one book on your 'Titanic' book shelf namely one by Senan Moloney.

Can I suggest you might like to expand your 'Titanic' bookshelf and include Sam's new book 'Strangers on the horizon'.

Cheers,
Julian
 

Scott Mills

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Semus,

Yes, Frank Prentice most likely was on Titanic until very near the end. He claimed that he and a fellow crewman jumped together as I recall. He also claimed that he witnessed at least one crewman floating on top of a piece of debris who, after informing Mr. Prentice that he was going to 'swim for the ship's lights' paddled off out of site in the direction of the 'mystery ship' never to be seen again.
Hi Scott,

I mean this in the nicest way possible way but your posts on here would be elevated if you did not seemingly appear to have only one book on your 'Titanic' book shelf namely one by Senan Moloney.

Can I suggest you might like to expand your 'Titanic' bookshelf and include Sam's new book 'Strangers on the horizon'.

Cheers,
Julian
I have many, many books on Titanic on my bookshelf; however, you are correct, much of my knowledge on Mount Temple specifically comes from Senan Moloney's Trial of Mount Temple.

Importantly, not to rehash an old conversation from another thread, but I would point out that Senan does not mention Frank Prentice at all in that book, nor is the evidence in Senan's book fabricated. A passenger of Mount Temple really did make those claims, regardless of whether or not they appeared in Senan's book.

Frankly, your post makes it seem as if your implication is that the mere appearance in Senan's book invalidates the existence of something, which is very strange indeed. This is particularly the case since Senan is a contributing historian to Encyclopedia Titanica. I understand that some of his theories are unpopular here, and as I have said elsewhere when it comes to Mount Temple Senan's arguments do not convince me that Mount Temple is Titanic's mystery ship. What Senan did convince me of is that there is something very off about Captain Moore's testimony regarding his behavior, and the behavior of Mount Temple on April 14th, 1912.

I will not rehash Senan's book for you--you should read it for yourself--and will only say that, while Trial of Mount Temple does not come anywhere near 'proving' that Mount Temple was the 'mystery ship,' what it does for me is support my only assertion: Mount Temple cannot yet be eliminated, at least in my mind, as one of the potential candidates.

And, at the risk of repeating myself, in the post I made in this thread where I reference the Mount Temple passenger statement that appeared in Senan's book, I very clearly state that I do not believe that there is any substance to it. I was merely pointing out that one could read Frank Pretince's claim that one of his fellow crewmen paddled off on wreckage 'towards the ship lights' as aligning with that passenger's claims.

Finally, I want to add that when it comes to the many mysteries still surrounding Titanic, my interest in the whole 'mystery ship' question is fleeting. This is because I do not believe it would have made any difference at all had that ship immediately came to Titanic's aid; this is not entirely true, but the only difference the aid of the mystery ship would have made is that you and I would not be having this conversation, perhaps (though unlikely) a few dozen more people would have been saved, and someone other than Carpathia and Captain Rostron would have inherited the title of the savior of Titanic's 706 or so survivors.

On a personal level, I am far, far, far more interested in why, and for how long, Titanic began making way again after the collision, and what, if any, impact this had in Titanic's foundering; and by extension, the actual damage Titanic suffered during the collision. A topic, I might add that, at least to my knowledge, Senan Moloney has never written or spoken about. ;)

Edit

For the record, I think the notion the coal fire played a role in the foundering of Titanic is an error--another of Senan's theories. Though, I do find it worthwhile to speculate on whether or not the warping of the watertight bulkhead, as testified to by two crew members, harmed in anyway the structural integrity of that bulkhead--importantly not the hull plating.
 
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Mar 22, 2003
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Finally though, if someone on Titanic's crew was plucked out of the water by another ship other than Carpathia, I find it highly doubtful that they would not have gone to the newsmen and sold their story the minute they hit shore.
My question would be this. If someone from Titanic had been plucked out of the water by Mount Temple, then how did they manage to make it to the other side of the 5 to 6 miles of pack ice for them to even reach Mount Temple over on the western side? Mount Temple never crossed the pack ice that separated her from the wreckage, which itself was 2 to 3 miles east of the eastern edge of the ice. That alone is enough to completely nullify that passenger's wild claim.
 

Julian Atkins

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Hi Scott,

Sorry to have ruffled a few feathers.

Titanic hit the ice berg some few miles from where the Eastern edge of the ice field was, which was also moving.

Anyone who survived on a piece of floating debris would have to have paddled in the dark westwards to reach the Eastern side of the ice field, and through a lot of loose ice some 2 -3 miles. The ice field does not appear to have been a dense icefield, at least in places, as in the vicinity of where Carpathia picked up the final boats it was loose enough for The Californian to push through it at 'full speed' for some 5 - 6 miles without encountering any damage to The Californian, eastwards, as it approached Carpathia. Groves stated at the British Inquiry that The Mount Temple was "in the ice" on the Western side, but this cannot be correct as The Californian passed The Mount Temple with The Californian running down the Western side of the ice field and passing The Mount Temple on The Californian's starboard side some 1 1/2 miles off at that time.

It is all perfectly explained in Sam's new book.

Cheers,
Julian
 

Mike Spooner

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It was Mount Temple who arrived at the right place where Titanic had reported her position. Quite frankly if it wasn't Carpathia who had spotted the lifeboats as not to the right place where Titanic had reported! Without the present of the Carpathia being there, all chance Mount Temple wouldn't of had a clue in the dark of finding the lifeboats in time!
 
Mar 22, 2003
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It was Mount Temple who arrived at the right place where Titanic had reported her position.
Not quite Mike. Mount Temple was headed for the same place that Carpathia was headed for. Mount Temple, coming up from the SW, actually came to a stop somewhat east of the SOS position, and Carpathia, coming up from the SE, stopped well eastward of the SOS position next to boat #2 because Boxhall was firing those green flares. If not for those green flares, Carpathia might have smacked into that field of pack ice that was only a few miles beyond where Boxhall's boat was.
 

Mike Spooner

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I would agree both ships are heading for the same position. But it was Mount Temple got there and not Carpathia.
Sam I have a question. Who fire the distress rocket or green flares first?
 

Mike Spooner

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Sam, I should of look in your book first. As the diagram shown the position of Mount Temple at 3.15am and Carpathia at 3.15am. I am not too sure if think Mount Temple could of seen Carpathia rockets at that time. As you have mention Boxhall starts to lit the green flares about 3.25am. Again would of been possible for Mount Temple to see the green flares at 3.25am?
As reading on the next page there seem to be some doubt who saw what or didn't see at all! Or is it just another unsolved mystery of the Titanic story!
 

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