Harry Senior's Account

The Scotsman

Harry Senior, a fireman, told a vivid narrative.

Referring to the captain's heroism, he said :- "I was asleep in my bunk at the time of the collision I was awakened by the noise, and between sleeping and waking I thought I was dreaming that I was on a train which had run off the lines, and that I was being jolted about. I jumped out and went on deck. There was a lot of ice about the decks, and I said, 'Why, we have struck an iceberg. That's nothing. We'll go back and turn in.' 

About half an hour afterwards an order came to man the boats and put lifebelts on. I went on deck again, and saw that the ship was going down by the head. I helped to load two or three, lifeboats, and then looked round. There were no more to load, at any rate on the starboard side. We got up to the hurricane deck to lower some of the collapsible boats, but there was no tackle or anything to lower them by. We had to throw them down to the boat deck and run the risk of their breaking.

"The ship was pretty near sinking then, and the captain shouted, 'Each man for himself.' I had noticed him on the bridge before that. He was pacing up and down, sending up rockets and giving orders. It is a dirty lie to say that such a man as he was shot himself.

When that order came I dived over the side, leaving a boat which I had been helping to lower. The boat floated off overturned, and after a time I got on her. There were thirty-five of us on the keel of that boat. The second officer, Mr Lightoller, was there, and the assistant wireless man, Bride . We were all there when we were picked up.

The second officer whistled to attract the attention of the rowing boats, and we were divided among the boats where there was room for us .

"Before I dived off the ship one of the forward boilers burst and blew up the forward funnel.

I saw the first officer produce a revolver and fire two or three shots at some 'Dagoes' ( foreigners ), who were rushing for the boats. I think he fired over their heads to scare them.

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Harry Senior