Racism and bigotry in 1912

Jim Currie

Apr 16, 2008
Funchal. Madeira
]"I know some people with a lot of nautical experience comment that Lightoller's story about drowning and then being 'released' by a bust of hot air was nothing but....hot air. I do not have that kind of knowledge to comment, but what do you think?"[/COLOR]

These pages are full of enthusiastic amateures and top heavy with sceptics. I cannot for any reason understand why Lightoller's version of his escape should not be accepted.

There was a gigantic, forward facing cowal ventilator in front of funnel number one on top of the Wheelhouse. It supplied air via a large capacity trunkway leading down to an electric fan room on deck. It had a wire grill preventing unwanted air borne objects from entering the shaft. When the water level reached that (suddenly) it would have poured in a torrent downward, carrying all things floating with it. However, water would have been entering the air shaft from below and being forced upward under pressure. Obviously it would overcome the weight of water from above and forced it back out of the ventilator; at the same time, spewing forth any floating objects including people which had been trapped against the wire grill. No big deal!

Young Lowe was, in my estimation, one of the finest seaman on board Titanic that morning.
He stated that he recognised that boats had been sent away without an officer. He would already know that Pitman had gone in No.5 so he consulted with Moody. According to Lowe, they mutually agreed that Lowe would go in 14 and Moody in another boat. There was nothing obtuse about that. However, there seems to have been two senior officers at the aft port side of the boat deck at that time- Wilde and Lightoller. I find it strange that Lowe needed to consult with Moody rather than one of them.

I think that quite a few owed their lives to the quick thinking of Lowe. As did those he saved by returning to the wreck.

There was a point when Lowe's questioner, Sir Robert Findlay made a veiled reference to racial prejdudice:

"5992. What was he [one of two men Lowe chased out of boat 14] like; was he fair or dark?

Lowe was very clear that the colour of the man's skin or complexion had no bearing on how the situation was dealt with. His answer was:

- I do not know. If I had I should [still] have chased him out.

Jim C.

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