Very first victim and survivor?


Arun Vajpey

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I was wondering who the very first victim of the Titanic disaster after the collision could have been? My guess is Asst Engineer Jonathan Shepherd.

Also, the very first survivor ie the person who got into a lifeboat FIRST. Obviously, it would be on Lifeboat #7 and I have read somewhere that it was Olive Earnshaw who got in first and then helped her mother Mrs Potter into the boat.
 
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Alex Kiehl

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Same here.

1st victim to die--Asst. Engineer Shepherd,

then 1,494 others,

then the 1,496th and final victim to die--Seaman Lyons.
 
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Cam Houseman

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I was wondering who the very first victim of the Titanic disaster after the collision could have been? My guess is Asst Engineer Jonathan Shepherd.

Also, the very first survivor ie the person who got into a lifeboat FIRST. Obviously, it would be on Lifeboat #7 and I have read somewhere that it was Olive Earnshaw who got in first and then helped her mother Mrs Potter into the boat.
or the stowaways in the cargo hold
 

Arun Vajpey

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or the stowaways in the cargo hold
That is a myth. AFAIK, there were no stowaways on the Titanic but even if there had been, I doubt if they would have hidden in the cargo hold, much less remained there after 5 days. If a potential stowaway was clever enough to sneak aboard undetected in a port, they would have definitely snuck out at night into one of the Third Class rooms. If a 4-bunk steerage room was occupied by just 2 m3n for example, a male stowaway could easily pretend that he was another passenger.
 

Cam Houseman

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There were none aboard.
Fireman George Kemish reported the stowaways to Walter Lord, in a letter written to him, June 1955: "Stowing away in those days was quite easy. No one knew who the Stowaways were. Apparently they had no relatives or friends. That type is to be seen in most big ports. Never [Listed as] missing, because they are never known--just world wanderers. They were always welcome by us because--[in exchange for our keeping their secret]--they would keep our quarters clean." (Farewell Titanic, page 45) George Kemish here is talking about the "kindly stowaways" in Cargo Hold 1
 
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Fireman George Kemish reported the stowaways to Walter Lord, in a letter written to him, June 1955: "Stowing away in those days was quite easy. No one knew who the Stowaways were. Apparently they had no relatives or friends. That type is to be seen in most big ports. Never [Listed as] missing, because they are never known--just world wanderers. They were always welcome by us because--[in exchange for our keeping their secret]--they would keep our quarters clean." (Farewell Titanic, page 45) George Kemish here is talking about the "kindly stowaways" in Cargo Hold 1

I know Kemish letter. Kemish had several thing wrong in his letter. However there were none on Titanic. No one reported them. Also they could not "hide" for several days. Stowaways were always quickly discovered by crew, as was the case on Olympic.
 

Arun Vajpey

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Most likely a myth.
Not sure why you say that. I know that we only have Fred Barrett's testimony to go by but even if he was wrong in the surmise that "there was a rush of water when bulkhead between boiler rooms 6 and 5 was breached", Shepherd was injured earlier when he tripped and fell on a submerged access plate on the floor in BR5. He was helped into the pump room by Barrett, Herbert Harvey and George Kemish. Harvey did not survive the sinking but Barrett and Kemish did; although Kemish was not called in to testify in either inquiry, he is supposed to have made an independent statement (I cannot recall the details) about the Shepherd accident.

Even if the flooding of BR5 took place differently from what Barrett said, I don't believe that they would have been able to shift a man with a broken leg up the ladder to a safer level. Therefore, poor Shepherd must be the very first fatality directly as a result of the Titanic's collision with the iceberg, dying. when BR5 flooded in whatever manner.

PS: The unfortunate death of James Dobbin due to a fall during the Titanic's launch the previous year was a separate event - an industrial accident unrelated to the iceberg.
 
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Not sure why you say that. I know that we only have Fred Barrett's testimony to go by but even if he was wrong in the surmise that "there was a rush of water when bulkhead between boiler rooms 6 and 5 was breached",


Barrett did not say anything about that the bulkhead breached in that case. That breach was from the iceberg and went 2 feet into the forward coal bunker of BR 5. He was asked in detail where the water came from and he stated he did not know.
It was most likely one of the coal bunker doors which gave way. Barrett would have not survived if the bulkhead had collapsed.

Why I say that? Quite simple. Barrett did not say anything that Shepherd died there. He only stated that Harvey ordered him out and went to the pump room to help Shepherd. In his newspaper report for The Sphere Barrett mentioned that preparations were being made to bring Shepherd on deck. Leading Stoker Threlfall (he was most likely in BR No. 4) later stated how the WTD was opened to bring an engineer with a broken leg aft.
 

Arun Vajpey

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Barrett did not say anything that Shepherd died there. He only stated that Harvey ordered him out and went to the pump room to help Shepherd. In his newspaper report for The Sphere Barrett mentioned that preparations were being made to bring Shepherd on deck. Leading Stoker Threlfall (he was most likely in BR No. 4) later stated how the WTD was opened to bring an engineer with a broken leg aft.
OK. But even so, no one recalled an engineer with a broken leg being brought to the upper decks. Therefore, even if Shepherd did not get abandoned in the pump room like some works suggest, it it not likely that he was left to fend for himself at some stage somewhere else? My original post was speculation about the most likely first victim of the Titanic after the collision and don't you think it is almost certainly Jonathan Shepherd?
 
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My original post was speculation about the most likely first victim of the Titanic after the collision and don't you think it is almost certainly Jonathan Shepherd?

No I don't think so. As Threlfall stated an engineer with a broken leg was brought aft. The WTDs aft of No. 4 were opened by that time (we know that for example from Dillon). For me that looks that Shepherd was brought to the main engine room. If he remained there or was taken on deck we do not know. Greaser Scott stated that he later saw about 8 of the engineers on deck one of them Mr. Farquharson who was the only one he knew by name. There were at last also two mentions that Chief Bell was also on deck at the final moments.
If Shephered died inside the ship then I believe it was in the main engine room.
 

Arun Vajpey

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For me that looks that Shepherd was brought to the main engine room. If he remained there or was taken on deck we do not know.
I agree that Shepherd could have been taken to the main engine room. But I am extremely doubtful if he could have been carried up to the deck. It would have involved too much effort from others and going through confined spaces and up ladders etc would have been unbearable for a man with a broken leg. So, IF he was taken to the main engine room, then he would unfortunately have been left there.
There were at last also two mentions that Chief Bell was also on deck at the final moments.
If Shepherd died inside the ship then I believe it was in the main engine room.
I have read that too and believe it. If Bell and his men realized that there was nothing more they could do, they would gain nothing and help no one if they remained below to drown like rats. So, even if they knew that all lifeboats were gone, they would have come up to the boat deck. And if Chief Engineer bell was seen on the deck, it means that he made sure that all the others (except Shepherd, IF he had been taken to the engine room) had also come up - Bell probably was the last to arrive.

Therefore, I still feel that poor Jonathan Shepherd had to be left somewhere deep inside the ship and it may well have been the main engine room. I think what you are trying to say is that if he was left there, he would probably have still been alive when the final plunge started because of the still dry engine room. IF that is the case, then others would have died before him eg those who fell, those crushed by the falling first funnel etc. I suppose it is possible.
 

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