Encyclopedia Titanica

Titanic's Captain leaped from sinking liner with child in arms

Chicago Inter Ocean

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Two Little Children Stuck to Bridge Until Waves

Broke Over Rail, and Both Were Lost

When Final Plunge Came

Special Dispatch to the Inter Ocean

New York, April 20---Taking refuge on the bridge of the ill-fated Titanic, to little children remained by the side of Captain Smith until that portion of the big ship had been swept by water. Survivors of the crew who went down with the Titanic but were saved by clinging to an overturned lifeboat today told of their gallant commander's effort to save the life of one of the children. He died a sailor's death and the little girl who had entrusted her life to his care died with him.

"He held the little girl under one arm," said James McGann, a fireman, "as he jumped into the sea and endeavored to reach the nearest lifeboat with the child. I took the other child into my arms as I was swept from the bridge deck. When it was plunged into the cold water I was compelled to release my hold on the child and I am satisfied that the same thing happened to Captain Smith.

"I had gone to the bridge deck to assist in lowering a collapsible boat. The water was then coming over the bridge and we were unable to launch the boat properly. It was overturned and was used as a life raft, some thirty or more of us , mostly firemen, clinging to it. Captain Smith looked as though he was trying to keep back the tears as he thought of the doomed ship.

"He turned to the men lowering the boat and shouted: 'Well, boys, it's every man for himself.' He then took one of the children standing by him on the bridge and jumped into the sea, he endeavored to reach the overturned boat, but did not succeed. That was the last I saw of Captain Smith."

McGann said that Captain Smith from the bridge directed the lowering of the lifeboats. He said the story that Captain Smith committed suicide as the Titanic was going down was without foundation.

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Encyclopedia Titanica (2012) Titanic's Captain leaped from sinking liner with child in arms (Chicago Inter Ocean, Sunday 21st April 1912, ref: #17711, published 26 April 2012, generated 23rd June 2024 12:45:04 AM); URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanics-captain-leaped-from-sinking-liner-with-child-in-arms.html