Encyclopedia Titanica

R.M.S. Oceanic finds Collapsible Lifeboat A adrift

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May 13th 1912 - Whilst on a westbound crossing, the White Star liner R.M.S. Oceanic finds Collapsible Lifeboat A adrift in the water almost 190 miles from the area where the Titanic went down; inside are the badly decomposed bodies of three people. One is identified as first class passenger Thomson Beattie but the other two victims, both believed to be firemen, carry no personal effects to help establish who they are. With no way to preserve and store the remains which are so decayed that limbs detach when the Oceanic's crew move them, all three victims are sewn into canvas bags weighted down with iron bars and buried at sea. Collapsible A is brought on board Oceanic and stowed on her deck. It will be taken to New York where it will join the Titanic's other lifeboats which have been stored in the loft above Pier 59. (Photograph 1: ca. 1900s Tuck's Oilette Celebrated Liners postcard featuring Oceanic. From my collection / Photograph 2: Collapsible A (marked by X) adrift in the water. Photograph 3: A cutter from Oceanic rows back to the ship with Collapsible A in tow. Sourced from the Des Moines Register / Collapsible A alongside Oceanic. Images courtesy of Henry Aldridge Auctioneers / Photograph 5: Collapsible A on Oceanic's deck after being recovered. Courtesy of Bruun-Rasmussen Auctions)

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