Encyclopedia Titanica

Survivor of the Titanic finds sea still can buffet him

Arthur Olsen, who hates ocean life, stranded in Seattle

Seattle Star

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Arthur Olsen
Arthur Olsen

For 22 years the sea has buffeted Arthur Olsen about, casting him like flotsam on strange, unfriendly beaches.

This week the sea that he hates had put Arthur Olsen "on the beach" in Seattle.

He has been strangely fated, a victim of its whims, since the night 22 years ago when he, as a boy of nine, survived the sinking of the Titanic.

On that tragic night, as the alarm went out that the Titanic had struck an iceberg, Arthur Olsen's father carried him to a lifeboat filled with women and children. Then he bade his son good-by and stepped back into the darkness – to perish with the hundreds of others who died in the Titanic tragedy.

Lived in New York

The boy was taken to New York to live with relatives.

But, strangely drawn by the sinister force of a sea which had taken his father, he made the seaman's life his career before he had reached his 20s.

He worked on the Leviathan and other ships. He served four years in the Navy.

And intermittently he would leave that life for a trade on land – for he still hated the sea, tho seemingly fated always to obey its will.

Last spring he boarded a Norwegian ship in New York harbour, bound for Norway, to visit his maternal grandmother for the first time since the Titanic tragedy altered his life.

Stranded by strike

At sea, the ship was suddenly ordered to San Francisco.

At San Francisco he was stranded by the longshore strike, but found a Swedish vessel leaving port for Vancouver, B.C.from there he came to Seattle.

And today, the 31 year old, good-natured, redheaded Seaman bides his time at the Seattle Seamen's mission and Seamen's home, 107 columbia, while looking for friends he met here in 1925 – and pondering occasionally on the fate that the sea has held for him.

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Gavin Bell, UK

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Encyclopedia Titanica (2022) Survivor of the Titanic finds sea still can buffet him (Seattle Star, Saturday 4th August 1934, ref: #640, published 13 February 2022, generated 16th June 2024 06:57:41 PM); URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/survivor-of-the-titanic-finds-sea-still-can-buffet-him.html