Officers what did they do

Just had a look at the link, and on one page it says about Captain Smith "He was last seen on the bridge, just before 'Titanic' went under so it is universally recognised that he died in the disaster."

I never thought that that was in any doubt!

N. James,

Most Titanic experts agree that Captain Smith was on the bridge when Titanic foundered. There are however, survivor accounts of Captain Smith last seen swimming in the water after the ship sank and one where he swam to a boat with an infant, gave the baby to a passenger and swan off again. These were told by very few survivors and as such were dismisses by experts as either mistaken identity or embellishment.

As with any major event it is common for a few people to embellish the truth a little and in some cases just make things up. Hope this helps to clear things up.
Believe it or not, somebody did claim to have met Captain Smith, alive and well, in the USA after the disaster. I don't have the details handy, but it involved a Captain Pryal.

Jason D. Tiller

Hi Dave,

Was that the one in Baltimore, where someone met Captain Smith on the street shortly after the disaster? They were certain it was Smith and they even tried to engage him in conversation.
By the wonders of Windows Explorer, I found it.

"Captain Pryal, one of the oldest mariners in Baltimore and well known in shipping circles, who sailed with Captain Smith when he was the commander of the Majestic, made the startling statement today that he saw and talked to Captain Smith at Baltimore & St. Paul Streets. He declares he walked up to Captain Smith and said, 'Captain Smith, how are you?' Then the man answered, 'Very well, Pryal, but please don't detain me, I am on business.' He says he followed the man, saw him buy a ticket for Washington, and as he passed through the gate of the railway station he turned, recognized Pryal again, and remarked 'Be good, shipmate, until we meet again.' 'There is no possibility of my being mistaken,' said Captain Pryal, 'I have known Captain Smith too long. I would know him even without his beard. I firmly believe that he was saved and in some mysterious manner brought to this country. I am willing to swear to my statement. Many persons may think I am insane, but I have told Dr. Warfield of the occurrence and he will vouch for my sanity.' Dr. Warfield said that Captain Pryal was perfectly sane. The captain is well-to-do and is a consistent church member."

It's attributed to a Baltimore paper.
If you want to believe Captain Smith made it to America alive, then perhaps you're ready to accept the myth passed around the Great Lakes that he ended his career as a master on those five inland seas.

-- David G. Brown

Inger Sheil

There was more than one would-be Smith doing the rounds - Senan Molony chronicled some of them in the WSJ a few years back.

How fortunate DNA has done away with a lot of these well as demolished a few of the historic cases (nope, that wasn't Louis XVII...)