Titanic's Barber Tells of His Terrible Experience on Sinking Liner

Camden Post-Telegram

   Hide Ads

Titanic's Barber Tells of His Terrible Experience on Sinking Liner


Augustus H. Whiteman, [sic] whose rescue from the Titanic was told of in yesterday’s Post-Telegram, passed through Camden to-day on his way to his home in Palmyra. Too weak to walk he was propelled in a rolling chair and was lifted into the baggage car. He was chief barber on the liner.

He was lowering boats on deck A after the collision and declares the officers on the bridge one of them second officer Murdock, promptly worked the electrical apparatus for closing the watertight compartments. He believes the machinery was in some way so damaged by the crash that the front compartments failed to close tightly, although the rear ones were secure.

Whiteman's manner of escape was unique. He was blown off the deck by the second of two explosions of the boilers, and was in the water more than two hours before he was picked up by a raft.

“The explosions,“ Whiteman said, “were caused by the rushing of the icy water on the boilers. A bundle of deck chairs, roped together, was blown off the deck with me, and struck my back, injuring my spine, but it served as a temporary raft.

“The crew and passengers had faith in the bulkhead sysem [sic] to save the ship and we were lowering a Benthon collapsible boat, all confident the ship would get through, when she took a terrific dip forward and the water rushed up and swept over the deck and into the engine rooms.

“The bow went clean down and I caught the pile of chairs as I was washed up against the rail. Then came the explosions and blew me fifteen feet.

“After the water had filled the forward compartments the ones at the stern could not save her. They did delay the ship’s going down. If it wasn’t for the compartments hardly any one could have got away.

“The water was too cold for me to swim and I was hardly more than one hundred feet away when the ship went down . The suction was not what one would expect and only rocked the water around me. I was picked up after two hours. I have done with the sea.”

Whiteman was one of those who heard the ship’s string band playing “Nearer, My God, to Thee” a few moments before she went down.

Share on FaceBook Twitter

Related Biographies:

Augustus Henry Weikman


Mark Baber


Encyclopedia Titanica (2003) SURVIVOR HERE IN ROLLER CHAIR (Camden Post-Telegram, Friday 19th April 1912, ref: #420, published 28 August 2003, generated 17th September 2021 10:31:53 PM); URL :