The Titanic Disaster: A Native of Chorley Saved

Chorley Guardian

Mr. Charles Herbert Lightoller, the second officer of the ill-fated Titanic, who is among those who were saved, is a native of Chorley. He is the son of Mr. Fred J. Lightoller, and was born in 1874, receiving his education at the Chorley Grammar School. Mr. F. J. Lightoller who now resides in New Zealand, is a brother of the late Mrs. Peter Widdows of Chorley.

In his evidence before the Court of Inquiry, Mr. Lightoller was able to supply real information, which was particularly required. It appears that he had charge of the launching of the boats on the port side. He explained that when the first boat was lowered the deck was 70 feet above the level of the water; by the time it came to the last boat, however, the deck was but a few feet above, and the steamer was sinking rapidly. He maintained throughout his remarks that the boats were well filled, preference being given to women and children. In accounting for the saving of so many of the crew Mr. Lightoller declared that he had specially inquired, and had ascertained that out of every six persons picked up from the water five were either firemen or stewards. Further, he explained how some of the lifeboats went back after the Titanic sank and rescued men from the sea. He said no demonstration had occurred on board, and there was not even any lamentation among those left behind. In describing his own escape the officer recounted how he stood in the officers quarters and dived as the ship sank. he was sucked under and held fast against a blower, then came a terrific gust up through the blower, probably due to a boiler explosion. He was blown clear, and came to the surface near a boat.

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Charles Herbert Lightoller

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Brian Ticehurst

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