Pawtucket Times

Titanic Disaster Survivor Tells Experiences of Nerve Racking Moment.

Providence, May 22 – Mrs. Rhoda Abbott, one of the survivors of the Titanic disaster, in a statement given out Monday afternoon at the home of Frederick Swanson in Norwood, where she has been staying for three weeks, says that there were 7 women left behind after all the lifeboats were lowered.

Mrs. Abbott says that she was on deck from the time the second boat was lowered until the last one was let over the side, and that she had no chance to enter a boat, as there was no room. Men were allowed to get into some of the boats without any protest, she claims, while women were standing by, waiting for the opportunity to be saved.

During her stay in Norwood, Mrs. Abbott’s health has improved and Monday she went to New York for a brief stay. Later she intends to visit the West for a change of scene in an attempt to relieve her mind from the terrible experience which resulted in the loss of her two sons.

Speaking of the disaster, Mrs. Abbott made the following statement, although her mind is a blank concerning some of the things which transpired:

"I was awakened by the crash of the liner with the iceberg, and becoming alarmed, I sent Gene, 11 years old, out on deck to see what had happened. He came back and said they were putting on life belts. I immediately got up and got dressed, as did Gene and Rossmore.

“I arrived on the after-deck just as the second life boat was being lowered, I stood on the deck and saw all of the boats put off. Gene, my youngest son, was with me. Rossmore, 16 years old, was much larger and he was put back with the men.

“I did not have a chance to get into any of the life boats, as there was no room. There were at least seven women standing on the deck when the last boat was lowered from the rail. I saw several men get into boats without any protest. When the Titanic went down the seven women beside myself slid off into the water. I had Gene by my side at that time. Soon after we struck the water, we were drawn beneath the surface by the great whirlpool.

“I came to the surface, but Gene did not, so far as I know I never saw my eldest son after we went down the first time. I sank a second time, but was blown out of the water by the force of the explosion of the boilers. This accounts for the burns on my thighs. After a time I scrambled to a raft and begged some of those on it to pull me aboard.

“Soon the raft tilted and all slid off into the water. Many of them managed to get back on it and some did not. I managed somehow to get on it, but I don’t know how. We were forced to stand on the float in lockstep to keep our balance for over six hours. Had it not been for Officer Laws I would have been drowned. I was nearly exhausted when he lifted me into his lifeboat. It would have been impossible for an officer to show more courtesy and many of the criticisms that have been made against this man are very unjust.”

Related Biographies:

Rhoda Mary 'Rosa' Abbott


Gordon Steadman


Michael Poirier

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