Quigg Baxter's death

Judy Kunz

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In the final scenes of the British docudrama, Inside the Titanic (2012), Quigg Baxter is shown as having returned to his lover's empty cabin to await his end. The movie portrays him as having died in an air pocket from implosion. Even though no one probably witnessed his death, is this scenario at all realistic or was it just added for emotional impact?
 
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Kyle Naber

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People still trapped in the stern would have unfortunately experienced this as it was quickly pulled under after the break. However, I find it hard to believe that such a thing would happen prior to the plunge.
 

Harland Duzen

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Quigg Baxter's death is heavily dramatised as was 98% of everything seen in the docudrama.

His lover Berthe Antonine Mayné Cabin was berthed in Cabin C-90, found on the Starboard side of the Aft Grand Staircase. This makes the scene shown impossible as Titanic broke apart long before the water level would have gotten anywhere near to flood / submerge the Cabin.

Berthe Antonine Mayné : Titanic Survivor
 

Arun Vajpey

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I have not seen that particular TV show but have had this (admittedly morbid) fascination about a few people being trapped in their cabins at the stern part as the ship sank. Even after the break-up, it would have taken the water a minute or so to reach some of the central cabins at the very rear. It is therefore theoretically possible there were people injured but conscious during that minute, which would than have been the longest 60 seconds of their lives.

I have this uncanny feeling that is what happened to Second Class victim Martta Hiltunen.
 

vonfrieddorf

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It's doubtful that Miss Hiltunen was trapped in a cabin, as her traveling companion Mrs. Hamalainen testified that Martta accompanied her and her son to the upper decks, with Mrs. Hamalainen carrying the baby and Miss Hiltunen carrying the mother's satchel. Somehow they got separated, but it's highly unlikely Miss Hiltunen returned to her cabin.
 
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vonfrieddorf

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By the way, these supposed "docudramas" do more harm than good to the public perception of the Titanic disaster, by perpetuating old, long-debunked myths, and by creating and proliferating new ones!
 
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Arun Vajpey

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It's doubtful that Miss Hiltunen was trapped in a cabin, as her traveling companion Mrs. Hamalainen testified that Martta accompanied her and her son to the upper decks, with Mrs. Hamalainen carrying the baby and Miss Hiltunen carrying the mother's satchel. Somehow they got separated, but it's highly unlikely Miss Hiltunen returned to her cabin.
We will never know for certain of course, but I have often tried to reconstruct that scene in my mind. Anna Hamalainen had baby Wiljo with her and so Martta was following with a "suitcase" or bag. How big was that bag and what part did it play in Martta missing the boat? Anna reportedly said that when Wiljo and she got on Lifeboat #4 she expected Martta to follow but when the Anna looked up a few moments later, Martta was still standing on the deck with the crowd, holding the bag. The boat started to lower immediately afterwards without her.

I wonder if one of the sailors in charge of lowering Lifeboat #4 shouted at Martta that she could not take that bag on board? If so Martta, who could not speak any English, might have mistakenly thought that he was preventing her from entering the boat. If she also thought that #4 was the last available lifeboat - she might not have known about Collapsible C being lowered around the same time on the starboard side or even that there was one more boat - Collapsible D - on her own side. Even if Martta had remained where she was without trying her luck on the starboard side, surely she would have found a place in Collapsible D when it was loaded some 10 minutes later? It was fitted to the same davits as #4 and was not completely full when lowered. As a woman in a crowd mostly of men, she would definitely have been allowed on board D has she been anywhere in the vicinity. The fact that she was not on that boat suggests that she had left the boat deck by then. IMO, the only logical place for her to have gone would have been the 2nd Class cabin that she had shared with Anna and Wiljo. She probably went there soon after #4 was launched and simply waited for the end.
 
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Aaron_2016

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A number of survivors who boarded the aft lifeboats genuinely thought they were in the last lifeboats to leave the ship without realizing there were more boats further forward (hidden in the darkness several hundred feet forward, downhill towards the sound of approaching water.) If there was a significant time between the aft boats leaving and the final plunge then I believe a number of passengers would have gone indoors or returned to their cabins because there was little else to do as all of the boats (in their minds) had left the ship. Although it is unknown if they could get into their cabins as the stewards had orders to lock the cabins to prevent looting. I believe that is why many lights were left on, as the passengers had left their cabins and were expecting to return in a few hours time.


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Arun Vajpey

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That sounds likely. The general opinion seems to be that while a lot of people remained on the boat deck or the exposed aft promenade areas in the final minutes, it could not have been all - or even most of - 1500 people. I think at least some of the passengers, notably Second Class ones with aft cabins, did in fact return there. I wonder if THAT is one of the explanations why so few Second Class men survived - did they retreat to the imagined sanctuary of their still dry rearward cabins?
 

vonfrieddorf

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If she also thought that #4 was the last available lifeboat - she might not have known about Collapsible C being lowered around the same time on the starboard side or even that there was one more boat - Collapsible D - on her own side. Even if Martta had remained where she was without trying her luck on the starboard side, surely she would have found a place in Collapsible D when it was loaded some 10 minutes later? It was fitted to the same davits as #4 and was not completely full when lowered. As a woman in a crowd mostly of men, she would definitely have been allowed on board D has she been anywhere in the vicinity. The fact that she was not on that boat suggests that she had left the boat deck by then.
Actually, wasn't Collapsible D fitted to the same davits as #2? However, it was lowered from the Boat Deck, one deck above, so Martta might have missed it.

But there is another possibility - remember that one of the surviving crew (was it Steward Edward Brown?) recalled that there were about five women waiting for Collapsible A, on the starboard side. Martta might somehow have found her way there - and may well have been one of those five women - perhaps also with Edith Evans, Rhoda Abbott and her two boys, and maybe even the elusive Ann Isham!

As low in the water as the decks were getting by the time Boat #4 was lowered, I just can't imagine Martta would have considered returning to her cabin.
 

Arun Vajpey

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But there is another possibility - remember that one of the surviving crew (was it Steward Edward Brown?) recalled that there were about five women waiting for Collapsible A, on the starboard side. Martta might somehow have found her way there - and may well have been one of those five women - perhaps also with Edith Evans, Rhoda Abbott and her two boys, and maybe even the elusive Ann Isham!

As low in the water as the decks were getting by the time Boat #4 was lowered, I just can't imagine Martta would have considered returning to her cabin.
If Martta was going to try her luck on the starboard side, IMO she would have done so immediately after she failed to find a place on #4. In that case, she most likely would have made it there before Collapsible C was lowered. Ismay was yelling for any more women right up to the moment he got in as #C was being lowered. I don't think she was enterprising enough to check out the starboard side.

As for your correct statement about the port forward side being low in the water by the time #4 was lowered - a fact heightened by the ship's then port list - IMO that in itself might have prompted Martta to seek the false sanctuary of the higher and still dry aft part, where incidentally her cabin was located. It is human nature to have done so and we know that the majority of those left on board after all the boats had left were congregating at the stern promenade areas.

From the little that I have found out about her, Martta Hiltunen comes across as a rather meek - even timid - character. After she missed a place on #4 and if she thought that there were no more boats left, she would have sought out some sort of "cocoon" and I don't think the crowded stern decks would have offered her any comfort. Also, even then the Titanic was relatively "stable" looking and remained so till it lost its horizontal stability and lurched forwards around 02:15 hours. That would have added the illusion to Martta and some others berthed aft that their cabins were as good as any place to go.
 
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Aaron_2016

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Frank Prentice - "Some of them didn't leave their cabins even, and they must have died in their cabins."

Steward John Hart was instructed to take the women and children to the boat deck. He said, "Some were not willing to go to the boat deck, and stayed behind. Some of them went to the boat deck, and found it rather cold, and saw the boats being lowered away, and thought themselves more secure on the ship, and consequently returned to their cabin."
Q - You say they thought themselves more secure on the ship? Did you hear any of them say so?
A - "Yes, I heard two or three say they preferred to remain on the ship than be tossed about on the water like a cockle shell."

Colonel Gracie was at the forward boat deck. Just moments before the bridge went underwater he saw the following - "My friend Clinch Smith made the proposition that we should leave and go toward the stern, but there arose before us from the decks below a mass of humanity several lines deep converging on the boat deck facing us and completely blocking our passage to the stern. There were women in the crowd as well as men and these seemed to be steerage passengers who had just come up from the decks below. Even among these people there was no hysterical cry, no evidence of panic. Oh the agony of it."

I think a number of passengers were inside the ship at least until her final moments and with "no evidence of panic" they probably were not aware the Titanic was really going to sink.


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Arun Vajpey

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I think a number of passengers were inside the ship at least until her final moments and with "no evidence of panic" they probably were not aware the Titanic was really going to sink.


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I think they would have been panicking a bit but as Sam Halpern superbly illustrates in his book, the Titanic was only about 10 degrees down at the head as late as 02:15 hours and since the tilt of the decks was so slow over the previous two and a half hours, many passengers on the ship mistakenly believed that it would remain afloat after all, at least till help arrived. Therefore, they would be forgiven to have chosen to remain on board, even in the warmth of their cabins. It was about a minute or so afterwards that the ship lost its horizontal stability and lurched forward, creating that "huge wave" that rushed up the deck. It was probably around the same time that Gracie saw that "mass of humanity" rushing up from below decks. But many would not have had time to rush-up and so would have remained trapped in their cabins. Perhaps Marta Hiltunen or even Quigg Baxter for that matter were among them.