Encyclopedia Titanica


Worcester Evening Post

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ST. JOHNS, N.F. April 16.- All hope that any of the passengers or members of the crew of the Titanic, other than those on the Carpathia, are alive was abandoned this afternoon. All the steamers which have been cruising in the vicinity of the disaster have continued on their voyages.

The appalling magnitude of the wreck of the giant liner has been but little mitigated by the fragmentary information which has filtered in today.

The rescuing steamer Carpathia has 866 survivors on board, according to the latest news received at the office of the White Star line in this country. This increases the list of saved by about 200 from the number first reported. But the except for this the favorable details are insignificant compared with the supreme fact that the Titanic is at the bottom of the Atlantic and that the shattered wreck took with her about 1350 victims to their death.

The first reports giving total survivors at 675 were varied by more favorable news early today, first from Capt. Rostron, of the Carpathia, who gave the number at about 800 and later by the positive announcement of the White Star line that there are 868 survivors of the Titanic on board the Carpathia.

But with these revised figures there remain 1341 persons who were aboard the Titanic, passengers and crew, who are today apparently lost.

Hope clung desperately this morning to the belief that the steamers Virginian and Parisan of the Allen line may have picked up survivors in addition to those on the Carpathia. This was practically dispelled at 11 o’clock when the Sable island wireless station announced that the Parisan had no survivors on board when the officers of the American line in Montreal issued a statement that the captain of the Virginian had sent them a wireless message saying that he had arrived at the scene of the disaster too late to be of service.

Both the Virginian and the Parisian therefore hold out no hope of further reducing the extent of the calamity. The Virginian has proceeded on her way forEurope.

The Carpathia, having on board the only survivors, accounted for its coming slowly toNew York.

All hopes for details of the tragedy and its effects are centered in this ship. She will be wireless [sic] communication with Sable island tonight, withNantucketThursday and she will reachNew Yorksometime Thursday night.

London,ParisandNew Yorkare overwhelmed by the news of the disaster. Tearful crowds of relatives and fearful crowds thronged the steamship offices in all three cities, waiting, hour after hour, for news that more often than not, when it does come, means bereavement and sorrow.

As fast as the lists of survivors on the Carpathia were received by wireless and made public in these offices and published in the newspapers they were scanned by anxious men and women. If the names sought were not there the assumption was that death had come. People inParisandLondonwent to bed last night in the belief that all the passengers on board the Titanic had been saved: this morning brought them the appalling truth.

Of the survivors on board the Carpathia by far the larger proportion are women and children.

Many men of great prominence on two continents are among the missing. No word has been received of Col. John Jacob Astor. His wife, however, has been saved. Alfred G. Vanderbilt was not on board the Titanic as first reported. He is inLondon.

These gleaning of facts concerning the world’s greatest steamship disaster- the sinking of the great White Star liner Titanic off the banks of New Foundland stood out prominently today from the wireless reports.

Revised estimate loss of life 1234 souls. 

The $10,000,000 steamship, with cargo and jewels worth perhaps $10,000,000 more, an utter loss.

No mention among the survivors of Col. John Jacob Astor, but his bride, formerly Madeline Force, ofNew York, has been saved.

Maj. Archibald Butt, President Taft’s aide, is still unaccounted for, as are many other persons of international importance.

J.Bruce Ismay, president of the International mercantile marine, owners of the White Star line, is among the survivors. So is his wife.

Wireless reports say the Cunarder Carpathia has on board 866 survivors, the total thus far accounted for. She is steaming forNew Yorkand should arrive on Friday. The rescued passengers apparently, drifted in lifeboats for many hours before succor came.

Of the foregoing summarized reports concerning the awful tragedy in the ice fields of theAtlantic, two were fraught with hope as the day dawned. The frist was that the rescue ship Carpathia  carried 866 survivors as against 675 reported to be on board yesterday. A second was a message saying that the Virginian might have others on board whose safety would cut the list of the dead.

Capt. E.J.Smith, commander of the Titanic, probably went to his grave with his ill-fated vessel without once being able to communicate directly with the agents of his line. Aside from the startling “C.Q.D.” sent by his wireless operator, not one word from him was received up to the time the Titanic sank how foremost into the ocean.

The presumption is that he met death at his post according to the inflexible tradition of the British merchant service. He and his crew enforced rigidly the unwritten law of the sea- “the Birkinhead drill”-“women and children first” is plainly indicated by the preponderance of woman among the partial list of survivors that the wireless has given.

Although rated one of the ableat commanders since the advent of the modern steamship, Capt. Smith’s career had been recently marred by the illfortunate. He was in command of the Titanic’s sister ship Olympic when that vessel was in collision with the British cruiser Hawke.

Having been exonerated of all blame for that occurrence, he was placed in charge of the Titanic only to graze accident [sic] when his new charge fouled the steamshipNew Yorkin theSolentwhen leaving Southhampton on her maiden voyage which ended so terribly.

He had been in the line's employ for 20 years and his first important command was the Majestic.

Although 866 persons are reported to be on the Carpathia it is apparent that not all of them are passengers and it was necessary for Titanic’s crew to man the boats when set out from the sinking liner’s sides.

How many of the crew were assigned to each boat under the conditions prevailing is a matter of conjecture. A similarly unsettled matter is the percentage of first-class passengers saved.

While the names of the survivors so far obtained are largely those of saloon passengers, the iron rule “women first” applies likewise to the second cabin and steerage, a circumstance which may have cost the lives of many prominent men above decks.

It is natural also that the names of the more obscure survivors would be slower in reaching land.

False news and false hopes and an international belief that the Titanic was practically unsinkable followed the slowly unfolding accounts of her loss in a way without precedent. Eager crowds in dozens of cities in the United States besieged bulletin boards when it became known that the giant liner had realy sunk with appalling loss of life, and in New York city hysterical men and women crowded into and about the White Star line offices seeking news of relatives.

Vincent Astor, Col Astor’s son spent the entire night waiting for some wireless tiding of his father, alternately visiting the White Star line headquarters and the newspaper offices.

The speed at which the Titanic was traveling when she shattered herself against the iceberg will perhaps not be known until the first survivors reach port. Whatever her rate of progress, however,  ship builders here and abroad admit that while the modern steamship may defy the wind and weather, ice and fog remain and everpresent element of danger. No ship, they pointed out, no matter how staunchly built, nor how many water-tight bulkheads protect her, can dash headlong against a wall of ice without grave results. The general opinion is that the Titanic’s equipment was put to the test no vessel could have withstood.

“Under ordinary circumstances these water-tight compartments will preserve a ship from sinking,” said A.L.Hopkins, vice-president of theNewport Newsshipbuilding and drydock company, inNew York, “but smashing into an iceberg could produce shattering effects that would render a ship helpless beyond the protection of any design yet known. In  fore and after collisions where the compartments are punctured, the lowering of either end of the ship produces an increased strain on the other compartments.”

Granting that only the forward bulkhead of the Titanic was crumpled by the impact with the iceberg, Mr.Hopkins was inclined to think that the relative buoyancy of the remaining compartments would have been sufficient to save her. Inasmuch as he was not familiar with the relative division of the Titanic’s compartments he could not estimate how many compartments must have given away before the tremendous force of the collision.

Robert Stocker, naval constructor at theBrooklynnavy yard said “In the case of the Titanic, I am inclined to think that her sinking was due to the effect of grounding rather than the impact of the collision. Frequently a ship strikes what is known as “pinnacle rock” ripping open her keel. The iceberg against which the Titanic smashed the bow it certainly seems that the relative buoyancy of the remaining compartments would have been sufficient to keep the ship afloat. I am compelled to believe that a great many of her compartments must have been punctured or sprung.”

Lewis Nixon, the naval achitect [sic], is inclined to think the Titanic was traveling at full speed or perhaps ran into a berg so huge that there was practically no resiliency. “If the Titanic hit one of those great ice masses,” said Mr. Nixon, “it is likely that she struck one that had no more ‘give’ than a rock. Under these circumstances, something had to give way, and, as the iceberg did not, the great ship had to crumble up. It is conceivable that an impact of this sort might have buckled her longitudinal plates from end to end, shearing off and starting rivets and opening up the water-tight compartments throughout the length of the vessel.”

For many years steamship men have asserted that the safest place to be is on a well-equipped ocean steamship. In proportion to the number carried, the statistics show, there is less loss of life and less chance of injury on board a modern liner than there is in other means of transportation. Fleets come and go from Southhampton, New York, Liverpool, Hamburg, Bremen, Havre and other ports with the regularity of the tides, and those carrying mails maintain a schedule which almost equals the punctuality that of the railway mail trains.

Trans-Atlantic steamers travel in well-defined routes, known as “steamship lanes” the westbound and the eastbound. This reduces to a minimum the chances of collision with one another. But icebergs and derelicts have no respect for these rules and float into paths or wallow across them to be a dire menace in time of fog or very thick weather. There is no way to give warning until too late. Out of a smother of fog, a pallid shape may be glimpsed over the bows, to be followed an instant later by the crash of her bows against the mass of ice.

Nothing has been heard from Walter C. Porter of 10 Lenox street, senior member of the firm of Samuel Porter & Co., last manufacturers at 25 Union street, who was a passenger on the ill-fated ship. Mrs. Porter and Mr. Porter’s business partner, W.E. Bigelow of 17 Westland street, both received messages last night from the Steamship company informing them of the sinking of the ship, but giving them no information concerning the safety of Mr. Porter. Mrs. Porter had planned on meeting her husband inNew Yorktoday.

Frank Endres, a printer, living at 10 Gardner street, and whose sister, Caroline Endres, ofNew York, was also a passenger on the Titanic as a nurse, withCol.and Mrs. John Jacob Astor, has heard nothing direct from her. Mrs.Astor and a maid, however, are reported as being rescued.

Percival White, a Winchendon mill owner, who was a passenger on the ship, escaped, according to word received by his brother, Joseph N. White of Winchendon.

Panagiatis Stefanua and Konstatantinos, who were returning toWorcester, from a trip toGreece, are believed to have been lost when the ship sank.


Lesley Morgan


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Encyclopedia Titanica (2006) NO HOPE FOR MORE SURVIVORS (Worcester Evening Post, Tuesday 16th April 1912, ref: #5175, published 6 September 2006, generated 2nd June 2023 04:52:54 PM); URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/no-hope-for-more-survivors.html