News from 1913: TEUTONIC MENACED BY GIANT ICEBERG


Mark Baber

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The New York Times, 28 October 1913

TEUTONIC MENACED BY GIANT ICEBERG
---
Saved by Sharp Lookout and Skillful Seamanship from Collision Like the
Titanic's
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By Marconi Transatlantic Wireless Telegraph to The New York Times
---
LIVERPOOL, Oct. 27---The White Star liner Teutonic arrived in the Mersey
to-night after a perilous voyage from Montreal with nearly 400 second
and third class passengers and a valuable cargo.

When about 172 miles east of Belle Isle last Wednesday morning the
Teutonic encountered a thick fog. It was impossible to see more than a
few yards ahead. The Captain slackened speed and a strict lookout was
maintained.

These conditions lasted during the whole of Wednesday. In the evening a
warning that ice was about was received from a passing steamer. The
atmosphere was bitterly cold.

Most of the passengers were below, singing and reading, when the officer
posted at the forecastle head made a frantic rush across deck to report
to Capt. James that an enormous iceberg had been sighted right ahead,
almost on top of the vessel.

The Captain promptly put the helm hard a-port and the engines full speed
a-stern.

Then slowly the liner swung to starboard just in the nick of time, and
the iceberg, towering as high as the funnels, passed silently along the
port aide within a few yards of the stern.

A member of the crew said he had never seen a man in a greater hurry
than the officer who rushed from the forecastle head to report the
presence of the iceberg.

"There is not a commander afloat," he added, "more careful than Capt.
James. I believe he was on the bridge over thirty-six hours in
succession. He saw to it that a strict lookout was maintained when we
struck the fog.

"On Tuesday night we smelt ice, but on Wednesday afternoon we could not
see anything, owing to the fog, which blotted out everything. To walk
along the deck was like going through a cloud on a Welsh mountain.

"The iceberg was almost on top of us when we sighted it. It passed
within four or five yards of us on the port side---so near I was afraid
it would foul the propeller. You can guess how big it was when I tell
you it took us about two minutes to get clear of it. Some of the
passengers, when they heard what had happened, seemed scared."

Before reaching the Mersey the passengers signed a testimonial recording
their appreciation of the skillful seamanship of the Captain and
officers.

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