Encyclopedia Titanica

Dorothy Gibson's Account of the Titanic disaster

New York Dramatic Mirror

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Four of us had been breaking the rules of the boat by playing bridge on Sunday evening. After the steward had told us that he must put out the lights, we begged to finish the rubber and have some Poland water. These ceremonies over, I walked down to my room, at just 11.40. No sooner had I stepped into my apartment than there suddenly came this long drawn, sickening crunch. To find out what it might mean, I went back to the A deck....one of the officers explained that we had collided with an iceberg, and that it would probably cause a slight delay....I went back to get my mother, and at the same time picked up my sweater and coat...

Two men – Mr. Ismay was one of them – helped fasten on the preservers, and taking our rugs, we hurried to the boat deck. Mr. and Mrs. Astor were standing near us, but they were called away by some message. Shortly after, we were ordered into the life boats. We did not want to obey, but as some men made my mother get in, of course I followed. The boat swung so on the davits, that I had to jump in as it came towards me, and I remember that I fell all over myself as I slid down, down to the bottom of the boat.

The discipline of the crew was wretched, for nobody knew what to do. Many people refused to trust themselves to the life boats, and we were finally lowered down the side with only twenty-six aboard. That was the most perilous part of the whole adventure because first one end would drop, then the other. We were absolutely silent until we reached the waves. Then we began to realize our plight. There was no plug in the boat, no light, no food, and not a single rower. Putting two men at lookout, the rest bent to the oars. As soon as we were at a safe distance from the Titanic, we turned to watch the great liner settling gradually down into the water. It seemed like a nightmare. The lights flickered out, deck by deck, until the bow was quite submerged. Then with a lurch, the Titanic slid forward under the waves. Instantly there sounded a rumble like Niagara, with two dull explosions.

A pause of silence held everything and everybody spellbound, until the stern shot back into sight and immediately sank again. Then, there burst out the most ghastly cries, shrieks, yells and moans that a mortal could ever imagine. No one can describe the frightful sounds, that gradually died away to nothing.....Everybody was cheerful in his suffering, and one of our men, named Auger, was simply splendid. He gave his outer clothing, even his gloves, to various women, and wrapped others in the sail....the steward told us that if the boats were filled not more than a third of those on the Titanic could have escaped.....(the Carpathia)...ours was the second boat to be tended to....

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Encyclopedia Titanica (2013) Dorothy Gibson's Account of the Titanic disaster (New York Dramatic Mirror, Wednesday 1st May 1912, ref: #19608, published 18 October 2013, generated 14th July 2024 11:19:41 AM); URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/dorothy-gibson-account-of-the-titanic-disaster.html