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Titanic Gazette Souvenir Shop

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Boat No. 2


The photos above which were taken at the Titanic museum in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee show a replica of Boat No. 2.  It's the forward boat hanging off the side.  


Boat No. 2 was one of two boats called "emergency boats".  It was held in suspension over the side of the ship on the port side for emergency purposes such as man overboard.  It had a capacity of 40 people.  

After the Titanic struck the iceberg, Captain Smith ordered the boats to be swung out.  The crew did so and put provisions in the boats.  During this time, 4th Officer Boxhall noticed a man carrying green flares.  He ordered the man to put them in Boat No. 2 for whoever was in the boat to use.  Chief Officer Wilde was in charge of loading and launching the lifeboat.  A number of men also got in.  At some point, Captain Smith came up and said, "How many crew are in that boat?  Get out of there, every man of you!"  Mrs. Douglas recalled that a "solid line of men from bow to stern" got out to make room for the ladies.  1st class passengers Mr. Walter and Mrs. Mahala Douglas originally hoped to get into a lifeboat together.  They approached Boat No. 2 when they saw it being loaded.  Mrs. Douglas stepped forward to get in and asked Mr. Douglas to follow.  Mr. Douglas replied, "No, I must be a gentleman" and turned away.  Mrs. Douglas said, "Try and get off with Mr. Moore and Maj. Butt.  They will surely make it."  Mrs. Douglas mentioned that Clarence Moore, Archie Butt, Mr. Meyer, and Mr. Ryerson were nearby.  Mrs. Douglas got in and sat at the bottom of the boat at first next to the tiller.  4th Officer Boxhall had finished helping with launching the rockets in an attempt to attract the attention of a nearby ship whose lights could be seen.  

After their efforts had seemingly failed, he went to Captain Smith who was standing next to the door of the wheelhouse on the Bridge, presumably supervising the loading and launching of Boat No. 2.  Captain Smith told Boxhall to get into the boat and row away.  When he got in, only one other crewmember, Osman, was on it at the time.  Anton Kink put his wife and child into the boat and was touched on the shoulder and told to step back.  He did so and his wife and child cried for him to be let on.  The order was given to start lowering.  As the boat was lowered, Steward James Johnson called for a knife to cut the ropes when they reached the water.  Anton Kink later talked about jumping into the boat as it was being lowered while Boxhall denied such a thing happening at the inquiries.  It seems to me that when they gave him a blade, this might have provided sufficient distraction for Anton to sneak in.  

When the boat was lowered, Boxhall tried to count the number of people in the boat, but didn't get further than ten due to some of the passengers not being able to speak English.  Boxhall later said they could have taken about 3 more, but probably gave such a low number compared to the truth of how many more they could take to avoid controversy.  They rowed alongside the ship and near the propellers, trying to get alongside the ship to take on more people.  When Boxhall realized that this wouldn't work, he gave the order to row away.  Boxhall and an unidentified woman rowed with one of the four oars they used.  There was some compaining afterwards about how only Boxhall and Osman could row.  Everyone else managed as well as they could and some of the ladies such as Mrs. Appleton helped with the rowing too.  Mahala Douglas was put in charge of the tiller.  Boxhall lit an old lantern that was in the boat and put it on a pole.  They stopped and rested their oars about (in Boxhall's estimation) 100 yards away from the ship.  They watched as the lights went out and then the Titanic's black shape rose out of the water and sank.  They rowed away after the sinking, mostly ignoring the cries of the dying presumably for fear of being swamped if they went back.  They stopped several times during the night to listen for water lapping against icebergs to avoid a fate similar to the Titanic.  Boxhall remembered the green flares he ordered the crewman to put in the boat a couple of hours before.  He got out the case and the flares were lit, giving off a green light.  At about 10-20 minutes before 4:00 AM, Boxhall spotted the lights of the Carpathia which had heard the Titanic's distress call over the Wireless Telegraph.  Boxhall ordered them to pull for the Carpathia.  

At about 4:00, day broke and they were able to make out icebergs surrounding them.  As the Carpathia came alongside Boat No. 2 sometime between 4:10 and 4:15 AM, Boxhall called up, “Shut down your engines and takes aboard.  I only have one sailor.”  Then Mahala Douglas called up, “The Titanic has gone down with everyone on board!”  Boxhall told her to shut up.  Boxhall made sure everyone else made it safely onto the Carpathia before he himself boarded.  Out of the 40 people Boat No. 2 could have taken, only 17 people occupied it.    

Boat No. 2 was taken on board the Carpathia and taken to New York where it and a lot of the other boats were lowered in Pier 59, the Titanic's port.  What happened to it afterwards is unknown.  

Sources:

http://wormstedt.com/Titanic/lifeboats/lifeboats.htm

http://www.titanicinquiry.org/

http://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/

The Loss of the SS Titanic: Centennial Reappraisal

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Titanic Survivors: PTSD

When the Titanic went down, her 712 survivors were affected.  Some were affected more than others, but all were affected.  Here is a list of ways in which survivors showed signs of possible PTSD.

Young 3rd class passenger Frank Goldsmith lost his father the night the Titanic sank.  But he and his mother continued on to Detroit, Michigan in the hopes of fulfilling his father's dreams.  They lived near a baseball stadium and Frank said that whenever the crowds cheered, it reminded him of the screams coming from those poor people drowning and freezing to death in the water.

Stewardess Annie Robinson was noticeably affected by the Titanic disaster.  She later returned to sea and jumped overboard on a foggy night several years afterwards.  Her body was never found.

1st class passenger Emma Bucknell never went to sea ever again.

2nd Officer Herbert Lightoller enjoyed cool baths.  One day, he decided to take a cold bath to cool off after a game of tennis.  The family later found him in a trance and afterwards learned that it was a result of his being in the icy water that night.

1st class passenger Jack Thayer never fully recovered from the Titanic disaster in which he lost his father.  After his mother's death on an anniversary of the Titanic's sinking, his son's death in the Pacific Theatre of WWII, and several nervous breakdowns, he committed suicide.

Quartermaster Robert Hichens was at the wheel when the Titanic struck an iceberg and he was made more famous that night by his "conversation" with Margaret Brown.  He was affected by the Titanic disaster which basically ruined his career.  He had a bad married life, was a heavy drinker, attempted suicide twice, and went to prison for attempted murder.

1st class passenger and White Star Line chairman J. Bruce Ismay never fully recovered from the disaster.  He was already a shy man in his private life, but the disaster made him more withdrawn.  His wife wouldn't even allow the Titanic to mentioned in his presence in later years.

1st class passenger Irene Harris lost her faith in God after the Titanic disappeared and she listened to the cries of the masses of dying people in the water because she was sure her husband was among them.  Her faith returned in later life.

2nd class passenger Ruth Becker told her story to reporters in 1912 and 1913.  After that, she wouldn't speak of it.  She told her students, but never spoke publicly about it until later years at the Titanic Historical Society conventions.  Near the end of her life, she took a cruise, making it the first time she went to sea after the Titanic disaster.  Ruth's mother, Nellie, couldn't even talk about it when the reporters swarmed her for her story.  She told them, "Ask Ruth!" and left Ruth to tell their story.

2nd class passenger Selma Asplund never spoke of the Titanic disaster.  Her daughter, Lillian didn't like to talk about the disaster either.

3rd class passenger Georgette Dean didn't tell her daughter, Millvina, about what happened to them until she was 8 years old.

Saloon Steward Alexander Littlejohn experienced survivor's guilt for being a male that survived.  The affect of such guilt aged him greatly as seen in the photographs below, the one on the left taken just before the Titanic and the one on the right taken a mere 6 months later.  Photo credit:  http://hastingsonlinetimes.co.uk/hastings-life/hastings-people/lucky-lifeboat-13



Lookout Reginald Lee was one of the men in the crow's nest when the iceberg was spotted.  He ended up being one of the first crew members to die after the disaster.  He passed away due to pneumonia, but he reportedly drank very heavily after the disaster and was very likely suffering from PTSD.

5th Officer Lowe took charge of 4 lifeboats which were put together into a flotilla during the sinking.  He later for the most part emptied one of the boats and went back to pull people from the water.  By the time he got there, most had died of hypothermia or drowning.  Of the people he found alive in the water, about half died from exposure.  Throughout the rest of his life, he never spoke of the disaster.  It was something he never discussed with any of his family members and his grandson speculates it was due to PTSD.

1st class passenger Lucile Carter almost never talked about the Titanic disaster even to her family and hated getting in water.

3rd class passenger Anna Turja was haunted by the screams and cries of those in the water until her dying day.  She also never talked about the disaster except every year on April 15th to her children.

3rd class passenger Bridget McDermott rarely spoke of the Titanic afterwards and her family was forbidden from mentioning it to her.

1st class passenger Edith Graham said in an interview that she often had nightmares about the disaster.

1st class passenger Paul Chevre never recovered from the shock of the disaster and is considered to be one of the contributions to his death in 1914.

3rd class passenger Harold Schuman never spoke of the Titanic disaster with only a few exceptions for the rest of his life.