Titanic: A Survivor’s Story
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Two survivors' accounts of the sinking of the Titanic. The information contained in Colonel Gracie's story is available from no other source. He provides details of the final moments, including names of passengers pulled from the ocean and of those men who, in a panic, jumped into lifeboats as they were being lowered. Walter Lord, author of A Night to Remember, calls Gracie "an indefatigable detective." John Thayer was, like Gracie, one of the last to leave the ship. His account, The Sinking of the S.S. Titanic, is meticulously detailed. The sinking of the Titanic was, in his eyes, a symbol of the end of the world that he knew, and the beginning of a frightening new era.
ducking. What I saw was no less than the same Engelhardt, or ‘surf-boat,’ to whose launching I had lent my efforts, until the water broke upon the ship’s Boat Deck where we were. On top of this upturned boat, half reclining on her bottom, were now more than a dozen men, whom, by their dress, I took to be all members of the crew of the ship. Thank God, I did not hesitate a moment in discarding the friendly crate that had been my first aid. I struck out through the wreckage and after a considerable
Baltic, Olympic and Carpathia. It was then that the Carpathia’s name was heard by us for the first time, and it was to catch sight of this sturdy little Cunarder that we strained our eyes in the direction whence she finally appeared. We had correctly judged that most of the lights seen by us belonged to our own Titanic’s lifeboats, but Lightoller and all of us were badly fooled by the green-coloured lights and rockets directly ahead of us, which loomed up especially bright at intervals. This, as
indifference to the danger and that if I advised them as to how seriously I regarded it, they would laugh at me. This was the last I ever saw of any of them, and I know of no one who testifies to seeing them later, except a lady who mentions having seen Major Butt on the bridge five minutes before the last boat left the ship. There is no authentic story of what they did when the water reached this deck, and their ultimate fate is only a matter of conjecture. That they went down in the ship on
this Deck A, when the steerage passengers (as described later) blocked the way to the deck above, is my personal belief, founded on the following facts, to wit: First, that neither I nor anyone else, so far as I know, ever saw any of them on the Boat Deck, and second, that the bodies of none of them were ever recovered, indicating the possibility that all went down inside the ship or the enclosed deck. I next find myself forward on the port side, part of the time on the Boat Deck, and part on
officer passed it to her after she got aboard. I remember her trepidation as she acceded to my suggestion and the happy expression of relief when the mother was safely seated with the baby restored to her. ‘Where is my baby?’ was her anxious wail. ‘I have your baby,’ I cried, as it was tenderly handed along. I remember this incident well because of my feeling at the time, when I had the babe in my care; though the interval was short, I wondered how I should manage with it in my arms if the