Man Mrs Astor saved starts new life here

Carl Johnson, pulled from sea by Colonel's widow, lands in Minneapolis

Minneapolis Morning Tribune

   Hide Ads

Carl Johnson, pulled from sea by Colonel's widow, lands in Minneapolis

He tells of scenes on the liner Titanic and his struggles in water

Lost everything in wreck and begins again as labore

Carl Johnson, survivor of the wreck of the liner Titanic, said to have been the man saved through the efforts of Mrs John Jacob Astor, is in Minneapolis. After having drifted six hours and a half, Johnson and found himself near the lifeboat bearing Mrs Astor and others. He asked to be taken aboard, but his appeals were refused until Mrs Astor intervened, reached her hand to the drowning man, and assisted in pulling him into the boat.

According to Johnson, the first new lease of life was given him by an explosion on the Titanic, while he was foundering in the water under the stern of the sinking vessel.  He said that a cabin door was blown toward him are The force of the explosion. Johnson was on his way from Jönköping, Sweden to Alaska. He lost everything in the disaster, but was given shoes and clothing and five dollars in New York and managed to reach Minneapolis, where he has found employment in the yards of the C.A. Smith lumber company.

Talks through interpreter

Speaking through an interpreter, Johann described the scenes attending the sinking of the great ocean liner.

"I was travelling second class," he said, "with me were my cousin and three young companions. Besides these four I became acquainted on the boat with two Swedish girls who were coming to America. The seven of us went down together when the ship sunk and when I came up I was alone.

"I heard nothing of the ships striking I was sound asleep in my birth and was awakened by the water when it flooded that deck. I jumped out and weeded to the upper deck. The ship was sinking fast. The bow was down and the stern high in the air. I found my friends. We all put on the life preservers. We decided to stick together. When we went under the four boys and myself were holding hands and the two girls were clinging to my coat. It felt as though a current drew us toward the stern of the ship.

Comes to surface alone

"When I came to the surface I was alone. The water was ice cold and we had been unable to cling together. I looked up and saw the propeller of the Titanic high above my head. People were floating and struggling all about me and the screaming was terrible.

"There was a loud explosion. I saw something hurled from the Titanic make straight for me. I feared it would strike me in the head and kill me. It was a large door blown from the ship and it's splashed in the water close by. I grabbed it and climbed onto it. I floated for six hours and a half, drifting near a boat. I wanted to be taken in, but they seemed afraid. But a woman, who I was told was Mrs Astor, reached me her hand and a ship's officer drags me aboard.

"I had a fight in the water when I tried to join six men sitting on a collapsible lifeboat. I wanted to take hold of the end of it, but one fellow kicked at me. He struck me in the arm just below the shoulder, I got mad and grabbed his leg and hung to it until daylight."

Johnson is a powerful man 6'3" tall, and weighs 200 pounds. He is [illegible] years old. He said all he had when he reached to New York was a picture of the young women in Sweden to whom he is engaged and two Swedish [pennies?].

Although in theicy water hours and afterwards exposed to [illegible] air while drifting in the lifeboat Johnson suffered no bad effects from the ordeal. Aside from kicks he received in the struggles, in the main he is in perfect physical health.

Share on FaceBook Twitter

Related Biographies:

Carl Olof Jansson

Relates to Place:

Guerneville, California, United States
Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States


Michael Poirier


Encyclopedia Titanica (2019) Man Mrs Astor saved starts new life here (Minneapolis Morning Tribune, Wednesday 1st May 1912, ref: #21943, published 14 January 2019, generated 27th September 2021 05:27:09 AM); URL :