Possible death theories

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Tracy Smith

I wouldn't think so much of enemies, per se, but perhaps Astor was among a large group of swimmers thrashing in panic and perhaps had grappled with one or more of them.
Face was swollen, jaw was injured. Hmm...Maybe he was the man Jack punched in the water! 'Get off her! Get off her!'
>>Face was swollen, jaw was injured....<<

Or he had a close encounter with flying debris, or ended up as the flying debris himself in a close encounter with something that wasn't going anywhere no matter how hard he hit it.

Tracy Smith

Several possibilities present themselves as to what happened to Astor right after the sinking, but I imagine we'll never know what exactly happened.
I don't think Astor tried to survive when the ship took its final plunge, he had chosen to die, the way Andrews, Guggenheim, Straus etc. did, so I don't think there would be a struggle.....
Jeremy, Colonel Astor hardly "Chose" to die. It was just the luck (Bad!) of the draw. Earlier, he had attempted to gain permission to accompany his wife when she was put in the lifeboat, but was turned down. He didn't press the matter any further.
Possibly, Donald. Even absent the break-up, anything not nailed down would have gotten underway on the downhill slope once the stern tipped up. Toss in flying debris from the break-up...flying people who couldn't hold on....there are all kinds of ways to get dead in a shipwreck.
BUT if he had managed to hold onto something, then he would have froze or crushed to death by things collapsing on top of him, even in the water.
Where did I say that Colonel Astor managed to hold onto anything? I made a general statement that there are all kinds of ways to get dead in a shipwreck, and there are. Titanic was no different. Most (But not all) anyone who ended up swimming invariably ended up either drowning or freezing to death. I wouldn't bet on the man being crushed by anything as there is no evidence post mortem that he was. In all the confusion, a swollen jaw would be fairly easy to come by. My bet: something hit the man or he had an unpleasant encounter with some of the wreckage. Entirely plausible, and at least it avoids the pitfall of overthinking this question.
>>My bet: something hit the man or he had an unpleasant encounter with some of the wreckage.<<

Great! That's how I believe Astor met his end.....

Thanks Michael!
Jeremy has said: "My bet: something hit the man or he had an unpleasant encounter with some of the wreckage." I must agree. And would add - being upright in the water - only upon his head. As his son, Vincent, who - like helpful strangers first had - identified his father from his effects, I find it most likely that 'Jack' - an excellent swimmer - was one among a number of those struggling in the water whose death - or whose disfigurement - was due to the forward-falling funnel.
When Astor's body was recovered from the water, according to Ross it showed signs of only minor damage to the head, and after it had been prepared for formal identification in Halifax the face was described as discoloured but otherwise showing no signs of damage. Now, you can't be slightly damaged by a falling funnel. Either it misses you or it renders you beyond hope of restoration by even the most skilled of Halifax undertakers. I believe that evidence of minor damage to the head could have been minimised by expert attention in Halifax, but if Astor had been under the funnel when it came down, then all the King's horses and all the King's men couldn't put John Jacob together again.
Having first assumed - for argument's sake - an 'Astor-and-the-falling-funnel-may-be-more-than-a-myth' position, viewing that theoretical possibliity in the black-and-buff of Bob's counter-argument tempts me to concede defeat. Tempts me. And also amuses me. I hope Bob does not believe that my own head was swollen!
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