TITANIC : Stories Of The Rescued

New York Post

EARLIEST IN THE BOATS MISSED THE MORE TERRIBLE SCENES

Carpathia’s Doctor Tells of One Boat Full of Stokers Except for Two Women

Some Got Into Boats Expecting to Return to Ship Soon

Some Leaped at Last and Swam

Survivors of the Titanic gave accounts of the scene on that night of tragedy which varied widely. People in different parts of the great ship seem to have borne themselves very differently. Further, some of the survivors who left the ship with the earlier boats seem to have missed some terrible and tragic experiences which befell those who were present at the last desperate rush for safety. Thus, according to some, the getting into the boats was almost orderly. It seems agreed that those who first entered the boats did not believe they would be needed – did not realise that the great ship was really going to sink.
    However, the doctor of the Carpathia tells of picking up one boat full of stokers, except for two women.
    Both men and women, according to the accounts of several survivors, were piled into the first lifeboats which left the Titanic after the crash. This accounts for the large number of men saved. Many who got into the boats early did so in a semi-joking spirit, according to several accounts. There was  thought to be no danger whatsoever, and getting out in lifeboats was considered an extra precaution. So men, as well as women, got aboard without the feeling that they were doing anything cowardly.

NOTHING TO EAT – NO WATER

    Here is the account given by Max Frohlicher Stehle [sic], who, with his wife and daughter, was among the survivors.
    “We had left the saloon and retired to our stateroom, but none of us had gone to sleep, when we were suddenly thrown to the floor. Putting on the few clothes we could find, we made our way to the deck. The ship was slowly sinking. The lifeboats were being lowered. My wife and two other women entered one of the first boats lowered. Twelve men, including myself, were standing near. As there were no other women passengers waiting to get into the boats at that time, we were asked to accompany the women.
    “While we got into the boats for safety, all of us thought we would be able to return to the Titanic. The sea was clam. We were rowed by the four members of the crew who were in charge of the lifeboat, about three hundred yards from the Titanic.
    “While we were rowing away from the steamer, her lights still burning brightly, the picture, with the iceberg as a background, was most beautiful.” said Mr. Stehle. “The steamer slowly sank, the bow sinking beneath the surface first. The water was covered with small boats and rafts. The ship sank until the front half was buried beneath the water. There was a loud crash. The lights went out. Other people, who left the boat, later say that she broke in two.
    “After the boat had sunk, we began to search for food or other provisions. There was nothing edible in the lifeboats. We could not find even fresh water. Fortunately, one of the men had some stimulant with him, which was given to the women. After drifting around for what seemed weeks, the Carpathia was sighted coming toward us. We had no matches or lanterns, and it was not until daylight that we were put aboard the rescuing ship.
    “The order maintained on the Titanic was what I would call remarkable. There was very little pushing, and it was in most cases the women who caused the commotion by insisting that their husbands accompany them in the lifeboats. The men were very orderly. It was not until we had left the ship that many of the women showed fright. From then on, however, the air was filled with cries and the shrieking of women.”
    How the wireless operator on the Carpathia, by putting in an extra ten minutes on duty, was a means of saving 745 lives was told by Dr. J. F. Kemp, the Carpathia’s physician, to-day.
    “Our wireless operator,” said Dr. Kemp, “was about to retire Sunday night when he said jokingly: I guess I’ll wait just ten minutes , then turn in.”
    “It was in the next ten minutes that the Titanic’s call for help came. Had the wireless man not waited, there would have been no survivors.”

A BOAT FULL OF STOKERS.

    Dr. Kemp described the iceberg that sank Titanic as at least 400 feet long and 90 feet high. He declared that one of the boats that the Carpathia picked up was filled with stokers from the sunken liner. “It had just two women aboard,” he said. The doctor said that the Carpathia cruised twice through the ice field near the spot where the Titanic sank and picked up the bodies of three men and one baby.
    “On Monday at 8:30 o’clock in the evening we held a funeral service on board the Carpathia,” continued Dr. Kemp. “At this service there were thirty widows, twenty of whom were under twenty-three years of age, and most of them brides of a few weeks or months. They did not know their husbands were among the dead of the disaster. The Californian and the Burmah, the last named a Russian steamship, cruised about the scene of the wreck for some time in a futile search for the bodies of the victims.
    “Mrs. John Jacob Astor,” the Doctor said “had to be carried aboard. She had to be taken into a cabin and given medical attention. She was more completely attired than many of the women who were rescued.”
    This was the story of Edwards Beans [sic] of Glasgow:
    “My wife was in bed when the crash came, and I went on deck. We saw the iceberg as plainly as we can see here on the pier. The Titanic was making about eighteen knots an hour when she struck. The berg was thirty or forty feet above the water. Fifteen minutes after the first shock, there was an explosion in the boiler-room and half an hour later two more. The stern of the boat floated about an hour and three-quarters before it went down. I heard a report that two steerage passengers had been shot when they started to crowd women away from the boats.”
    Washington Dodge of San Francisco, who was saved, with his wife and son, Washington, jr, four years old, gave this version of the disaster.
    “There was no fog. The boat seemed to strike head on, and toward the starboard side.
    “The compartments filled immediately with water, and the lower decks were covered with water and floating ice. For a little while the ship’s officers had the situation pretty well in hand, but, when the water began to cover the lower decks and the floating ice, there was a wild panic.
    Continuing, Mr. Dodge said, “Everybody seemed to be panic stricken and there was a rush for the boats. I heard a lot of shots, but I do not know where they came from. In fact, it was not until later on the Carpathia that I recalled the shots. When I saw the boat was sinking, I ran back to my cabin, where I had left my wife and child, but, to my horror, they were gone. I saw hundreds of people running about, but I did not see my family. I searched all over for them, but could not find them. I was on deck, and they were getting ready to lower a lifeboat. They called for women to fill three seats left but there were no more women on that deck. Then a man shoved me into the boat, and I gave my wife and son up for lost.

FOUND FAMILY ON CARPATHIA

    “I did not know my wife and son had been rescued until we met on board the Carpathia. I cannot describe our meeting.
    “Nobody thought that the Titanic was going to sink,” said Mr. Dodge. “In the lifeboat we hoped for rescue, for all we knew that the wireless had sent out our call for help, and that the call had been answered. In the morning, we saw the Carpathia in the distance coming toward us, and a little while later saw her passengers crowding the rail looking for us.”
    Mr. Dodge said he saw Ismay leave on one of the boats on the same side of the ship he left by. This boat was one of the last to leave the ship Mr. Dodge said. He said that he did not know what was going on on the other side of the Titanic.
    Charles Dahl, a second-class passenger who is from Australia and on his way to visit his mother in South Dakota said:
    “I was in bed when the boat struck. I was knocked down six or seven times. I saw women knocked down and pushed about. I heard several shots and saw the flashes of a revolver.
    “I jumped overboard naked. I managed to get alongside one of the boats, and was picked up. It was a horrible sight to see husbands separating from their wives.”
    Here is the story of H. Blank of Glen Ridge;
    “The first thing I knew of the crash was when the water began to pour into my stateroom. I went on deck, and although there were plenty of people hurrying around, there was no panic. I was assisted into a boat with six other people. There were not enough boats, and I learned this after we had been floating about for several hours. A number of people were injured so badly that they were not taken on board the Carpathia. I think they died in the water. There were no deaths on board the Carpathia that I know of.”

LEAPED AFTER BOATS LEFT

A.  H. Barkworth of Tranby House, East Yorkshire, was making his maiden voyage, and on
Sunday evening was sitting in the smoking room. After the boat struck, he said; he saw W. T Stead on the deck, and Mr. Stead described to him how the forecastle was full of powdered ice scraped off of the iceberg. Barkworth noted that the foremast was listing heavily to starboard.
Capt. Smith, he said, was then telling the women to put on life belts. Barkworth went to his cabin, changed his clothes, and came on deck. All the boats had left. He put on a life belt and fur coat and jumped overboard. He swam hard to get away, and was struck by wreckage. A huge wave passed over his head. Swimming about, he found a boat which was rather crowded. He grabbed it and was helped aboard. After that they helped another man on. Two men died, he said, after being helped onto the small boat.
George Rheins [sic] of no. 417 Fifth Avenue, New York, who was on the Titanic with his brother-in-law, Joseph Holland Loring of London, said no one seemed to know, for twenty minutes after the boat struck, that anything had happened. Many of the passengers stood round for an hour with their lifebelts on, he said, and saw people getting in the boats. When all the boats had gone, he added, he shook hands with his brother-in-law, who would not jump, and leaped over the side of the boat.
He swam for a quarter of an hour and reached a boat and climbed in. He found the boat, with eighteen occupants, half under water. The people were in water up to their knees. Seven of them, he said, died during the night, only those standing remaining alive. After six hours in the cold water the situation became critical, because the boat was sinking. Four bodies were left in the boat when it was picked up by the Carpathia he said.

STILL IN THEIR EVENING DRESS

    One party of survivors consisted of Adolf Seafield [sic] of Manchester, Eng: W. J. Hawksford of London, and Mrs. W. E. Minehan and her daughter Dalsey [sic] of Fond du Lac, Wis., the husband and father having been lost. Dr. J. R. Minehan of Fond du Lac, who met them, said the women were so hysterical and ill that he would not allow them to talk. Another consisted of Mrs. James Baxter and her daughter, Mrs. F. C. Douglas, of Montreal, Canada, who were met by James Baxter, a son of the older woman. He said that Quigg E. Baxter, another son, who ws on the boat, had been presumably lost, as nothing had been heard from him. The women had come off the boat in the evening dresses they wore at the Sunday night concert. Sealfeld was in a dinner jacket and a cap that somebody had given him.
    Hawksford, who was a second-cabin passenger, said that when the boat struck the iceberg, it did not do so with a jar, but there was more of a bumping and grinding sensation. He said that there was absolutely no confusion on board, the passengers who were in their staterooms going on the deck, and on being assured that there was no danger the most of them went back to their rooms.
    “A short time after, I do not know just how long, we were again called and told to put on the lifebelts, and then we went on deck, and all the women who could be found were placed in the lifeboats. There was not a man attempted to get into one of the boats before the women and the children were in. If there had been enough lifeboats, everyone would have been saved. There was plenty of time and... [remainder illegible]

Acknowledgements

Michael Poirier, Gordon Steadwood

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Copyright © 1996-2019 Encyclopedia Titanica (www.encyclopedia-titanica.org) and third parties (ref: #19585, published 3 October 2013, generated 19th September 2019 11:36:04 PM)
URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanic-stories-of-the-rescued.html