Directed Launching Of Titanic Boats, Says Tennis Player
Carl H. Behr, tennis player, and Mrs. Jacques Futrelle, widow of the author, who was lost in the Titanic disaster, gave their experiences Friday before Judge Mayer, in the United States District Court, in the suit brought by the White Star Line to limit its liabilities.
Mr. Behr said that he was awake at the time the boat struck and, feeling a slight jar, went on deck A, where he found passengers putting on life belts. The list of the boat to starboard was notable. He returned and aroused Miss Beckwith, who has since become his wife, and her mother and father, but at first advised them against getting into the lifeboats, not believing the Titanic would sink. However, after two boats were lowered, he became anxious, and found accommodations for his friends and himself in the third boat. He said it was 35 to 40 minutes after the ship struck before the passengers received any warning of danger.
Mr. Behr said Miss Beckwith asked J. Bruce Ismay, managing director of the line, who was standing in his shirt sleeves giving orders. Mr. Ismay, he said, was in entire charge of the launching of the boats. The boat contained about 40 or 50 passengers and could have accommodated 15 or 20 more.
Mrs. Jacques Futrelle said that at the time of the collision she was reading, and her husband went on deck to investigate. When he returned, Mrs. Futrelle said her husband told her that an officer had said there was absolutely no danger. Some minutes later the steward, she said, came around and ordered them on deck.
She said she had been lowered away in a boat with 17 of the crew, one second-class man passenger, eight steerage women and four first-class passengers. Her boat was next to the last to be lowered.