Mr Emilio Ilario Giuseppe Portaluppi, was born 15 October 1881 in Arcisate, Prov. Varese, Italy. He had emigrated to Milford, New Hampshire.
A stonemason, he boarded the Titanic at Cherbourg (ticket number C.A. 34644, £12, 14s, 9d). He was returning to his home in Milford, NH following a visit to his native Italy.
Portaluppi had retired to bed when the Titanic collided with the iceberg. At first he thought that the ship had reached New York and was docking. He donned a bathrobe and went on deck. There was no panic but he realized that something serious had happened, so he returned to his stateroom and dressed fully. Returning to the deck he saw a half filled lifeboat was being lowered and attempted to jump in, however, according to a newspaper interview, he missed his footing and fell into the water. Other newspapers published somewhat embellished accounts of his escape. The truth is unknown.
Many people seem to have slept through the shock of the collision, and the tale told by Emilio Portaluppi, a second cabin passenger, shows that he was first awakened by the explosion of one of the ship's boilers. He hurried up to deck one and strapped on a lifebelt. Following the example of others, he then leapt into the sea, and held on to an icefloe, with the help of which he managed to keep afloat until he was seen by those in the lifeboats and rescued.
According to his published account, Portaluppi swam for about two hours and as dawn broke he was picked up by lifeboat 14 under the command of Fifth Officer Lowe. He was one of only four people rescued by the returning boat, around them lay hundreds of dead and dying.
|Officer Lowe: "Then I went off and rowed to the wreckage and around the wreckage and picked up four people alive. I do not know who these live persons were. They never came near me afterwards either to say this, that or the other..."
(US Senate Inquiry p.116)
The Carpathia docked on the evening of April 18th and Portaluppi was relieved to be spared the usual immigration formalities. On Saturday April 20, he was welcomed back to Milford by his friends, an event which was reported by the local press.
Front page from the Milford Cabinet
In 1938 Portaluppi was a resident of Brooklyn, New York and was employed by a company called A. Farranda & Son in Woodside, New York.
He died on 18 June 1974 and was buried in his birth town of Arcisate, Prov. Varese, Italy