The story of the tragic wreck through Titanic survivor accounts continues to fascinate people 100 years after it happened. 700 people were able to share their stories out of over 2,200 passengers. The stories of Titanic survivors have faded over time. Some survivors were hesitant to speak out about the sinking of the Titanic. Others shared their Titanic sinking and rescue experiences through speaking engagements.
These firsthand stories/experiences talk about the horrible incidents, yet strange beauty of one of the most luxurious ships that the ocean has ever had been seen slowly sinking into the water. Families have torn apart, great loves were lost, and a lot of lives were sacrificed in the aftermath of the wreck. These stories bring us back to that terrible and fateful night, all those years ago.
1. The Navratil Orphans share what their father last said to them.
Navratil regretted the terrible surprise that their mother would receive. Michael J. remembered his father’s final words:
“My child, when your mother comes for you, tell her that I still love her. I wanted her to follow us so that we could live happily together.”
2. A passenger belonging to the third class category shares experience of the locked passageways.
The Hakkarainens boarded the Titanic to start a new life in America. They had fun as third-class passengers. “We got used to a routine after a few days of boarding the Titanic. During the day, you could attend church services after breakfast, stroll the decks, and play games in the third-class general room.”
The couple heard a sound on the night of April 14. Elin went back to sleep after Pekko went to see what happened. The cabin tilted at an angle when she tried to get out of bed. Her husband was not there.
Passengers were milling around the hallways at that point. All of the third-class passengers were locked below Elin’s husband was up on the deck. She ran out to the passageway after grabbing her purse and life jacket. The door was locked. All of the doors were locked.
She made her way onto the boat eventually.
3. A Governess shares the chaotic experience fn the lifeboats.
A family employed Elizabeth Shutes as a governess when she was 40. After the ship hit the ice, she was pulled onto a lifeboat with other stunned passengers. She was eventually rescued. She described the experience later:
“Our men didn’t know how to pull together. Two oars were thrown into the water. The hands of men were too cold to hold on to. The cry of those drowned people swept across the water. I heard it in my ears, if we don’t row like hell, we’ll get the devil of a swell.”
4. One of the secretaries described the moment she saw the ship that would save them.
A 30-year-old secretary from London describes The Carpathia, the ship that arrived to save them.
“When we saw the lights of that ship, four miles away, we rowed like mad, and passed mountains, at last at 6:30, the Carpathia picked us up, our little boat was like a speck against that giant. The rope swing was lowered so that I couldn’t sit on it with my life preserver around me. I got pulled up by the side of the boat. I was swinging in the air over the sea, and I just shut my eyes, and I felt an arm pull me onto the boat.”
5. A survivor described the scenario of men who were desperate to get onto lifeboats.
Annie was traveling with her aunt from Ireland to New York. She gave her first interview at the age of 86. Women wouldn’t leave their husbands. I could hear gunshots in the background while they were screaming. Some of the men were shot when they tried to dress like women in order to be rescued.
6. One of the women remembers the terrified expression on the face of men and their heroism.
Helen Candee was a feminist and single woman. Even at 53, she was so attractive that half a dozen men in first class, including Colonel Gracie himself, seemed inclined to protect her. She wrote about the workers who gave their lives.
A group of steam engine workers fled the water-filled decks below. Each face had the sight of coming death. The passengers had no idea know what was happening. The junior officer who led them gave a short speech. He told those men to turn around and go back down to their deaths. I looked at the descending column of men and thought they could give up their lives.
7. Ruth Becker describes the strange beauty of the ship the night it sank.
When on the Titanic, Ruth Becker was just 12 years old. She described the beauty of the ship as it slipped beneath the water.
“The night was dark with no moon. It was a very dark night, and that boat was beautiful. The boat had all the lights on. It was a beautiful sight. The lights were sinking under the water as it went down. It was a beautiful sight, yet a terrible one, as we could see the boat was going down.”
8. Charlotte Collyer tells about the peoples’ panicked search for their loved ones.
The passengers who managed to get on the Carpathia arrived in New York City a few days later and began their search for their loved ones. Charlotte was 31 years old and was a second-class passenger.
“I had a husband to look for and I believed he was in one of the boats. He wasn’t there.”
9. Eva Hart shares her experience of moving on from the horrible incident.
Eva Hart was a seven-year-old second-class passenger when the Titanic sank. She lived a full and vibrant life after she survived. She talked about her life after the Titanic.
“People I meet are surprised that I travel by train, car, airplane, or ship when necessary. They expect me to be quivering in my shoes at the thought of a journey. If I acted like that, I would have died of fright many years ago.”
10. One of the women recalls the experience of making snowballs when the ship hit the iceberg.
Edith Russell was traveling first class on the Titanic. She was one of the few survivors who spoke about seeing the iceberg before anyone knew what was happening.
“There was a slight movement. A jar, nothing at all. I entered my room. You knew something had happened when there was a second light jar. One man said it was a whopper. The bloom is rising all the way over the top of the ship because there’s a lot of water above and below.”