Encyclopedia Titanica

Four Shot Dead In Boat Struggle

Brooklyn Daily Eagle

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Woman Says Four Men From Steerage Were Killed by Officer.


Third Class Passengers Struggled Fiercely to Get out of Their Quarters.

Pitiful tales were told by the steerage passengers as they came off the Carpathia last night. Few were met by relatives or friends and the majority of them were taken care of by charitable organisations. More than a hundred of them went to the St. Vincent’s Home and others were taken to similar institutions.

Probably the most thrilling story told by the passengers of the steerage class was that related by Ellen Shine. She is about 20 years old, a native of County Cork, Ireland and was on her way to visit her brother, who lives at 203 Eighth avenue. Relatives met her at the pier where she became hysterical. She was taken away in a taxicab to her brother’s home, where she was revived sufficiently to tell of a few details of the accident.

Women of the Steerage Fought Crew to Reach Upper Decks.

“Those who were able to get out of bed,” she said, “went to the upper decks where they were met by the members of the crew and first and second class passengers, who endeavoured to keep them in the steerage quarters. However, the women rushed by the officers and crew, knocking them down, and finally reached the upper decks. There the women, when they saw the excitement and when informed that the boat was sinking, got down on their knees and started to pray.

Four Men Shot Dead by Officer.

“I saw one of the lifeboats and made for it. In it were four men, men from the steerage. They were ordered out by an officer and they refused to leave. Then one of the officers jumped into the boat and drawing a revolver, shot them dead. Their bodies were picked out from the bottom of the boat and thrown into the water. In this boat there were about forty women and men and we were drifting about for more than four hours before we were picked up.”

On the pier were the representatives of various charitable organisations who had quantities of clothing and supplies. As soon as the survivors from the steerage class appeared, the representatives appeared and questioned them, ascertaining whether they expected any relatives or friends. If they did, they were taken to one side and told to wait until these relatives appeared. Otherwise the survivor s were taken care of by the organisations.

“Besides those taken to St. Vincent’s Home, these survivors being mostly women and children, 35 women and children were taken to the Junior League Home at Seventy-eighth street and the East River, and 20 women and children went to the Elizabeth home at 307 East Twelfth street. Several of the survivors also were taken to the Clara de Hirsch Home.

Almost Frozen When Picked Up.

August E. Wennerstrom, a native of Sweden, was one of the men who was left to perish. After the last boat had left, he said that he ran about the deck and finally spied a collapsible boat behind one of the smoke stacks. Calling to three other men, whose names he does not know, he managed to tear it from its lashings. Then the four jumped overboard with the boat and got in it.

It was a weak structure to stand the waves and four times it overturned. The men were good swimmers and managed to right it each time. Practically all the time, they were sitting in water and the four were nearly frozen when they were picked up by the Carpathia.

Wennerstrom said that while he was drifting about in the water, he saw at least two hundred men in the water who were drowned.

One of the saddest cases in the steerage survivors was that of Mrs. Elizabeth Dyker of West Haven, Conn. She was married recently and had visited her old home in England with her husband Adolph, who was drowned. She also lost all her money and jewelry. She was hysterical when she reached the pier where she was met by her mother and brother. She suffered greatly from exposure, having been in the care of a physician while on the Carpathia, and she was hurried away to the home of a friend.

“When the crash came,” she said, “I ran to the deck where I met Adolph. He had with him a satchel which contained two gold watches, two diamond rings, a sapphire necklace and 200 crowns. He couldn’t be saved in the boat I was in and he grabbed a preserver and said he would jump and try to save himself. That was the last I saw of him. When the boat I was in came alongside the Carpathia and we were being taken aboard, one of the men in the life boat threw my satchel to the deck of the Carpathia. I have not seen it since, though I made inquiries about it. It was all I had in the world.”


Gordon Steadwood


Encyclopedia Titanica (2013) Four Shot Dead In Boat Struggle (Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Friday 19th April 1912, ref: #19622, published 29 October 2013, generated 29th January 2022 04:03:20 AM); URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/four-shot-dead-in-boat-struggle.html