When the giant Titanic struck an iceberg and sank on April 15th, 1912, over 1,500 people died in the cold waters of the North Atlantic. Along the Titanic’s starboard side, the iceberg caused a crack of over 200ft. This made five of the forward compartments flooded. It is believed that if the collision was head-on, the ship would have survived.
The temperature of the Atlantic Ocean was below zero and that is why many people died within minutes of entering the water. About 700 people survived and out of those 700.
we have some of the most powerful stories of the Titanic survivors.
1. The Navratil Orphans
The young Michel and Edmond Navratil were on board to the bow of the Titanic in 1912. They were accompanied by their father who was still smarting from his recent separation from their mother, Marcelle Caretto.
They were in the second-class of the Titanic. When the Titanic struck the iceberg, Navratil was able to get the boys aboard a lifeboat the very last lifeboat to leave the ship. Their father died in the disaster but the sons survived.
They were known as the ‘Titanic Orphans’ because they were the only children rescued without a parent or guardian.
2. The Unsinkable Molly Brown
Margaret Brown is famously known as ‘The Unsinkable Molly Brown’ after she survived the wreck of the Titanic.
She got her nickname by effectively taking over one of the ship’s lifeboats and threatening to throw the quartermaster overboard.
Later, the authors called Molly Brown ‘The Unsinkable Molly Brown’ because she helped in the evacuation of the ship. She took an oar herself in her lifeboat and urged that the lifeboat go back and save more people.
3. Eliza Millvina Dean
Eliza Gladys Millvina Dean holds the special honor of having been both the youngest passenger on the Titanic when it sank.
She was the last living person to have survived the disaster. She was just two months old when the Titanic ship went down in April of 1912.
Millvina Dean and her family never intended to board the Titanic. They had initially booked passage to the United States on another ship. However, a strike forced them onto the luxury liner instead.
4. Frederick Fleet
A British sailor and was just 25 years old when he signed on as a crewman on the Titanic. He was one of five lookouts, and it was Fleet who made the famous call to the bridge: ‘Iceberg! Right ahead’
Frederick Fleet spotted the iceberg suddenly off the bow. He rang the bell and notified the bridge. Fleet always insisted that he could have prevented it if he just had binoculars. When he reached old age, he suffered from depression and ultimately committed suicide in 1965.
Afterward, Fleet made his way to the Boat Deck and there the Second Officer put him to help Quarter-Master Robert Lichen load and launch lifeboat 6, the first boat to be launched from the port side.
They loaded 28 women and children. As the boat was being lowered, there was a need for an experienced seaman. Frederick Fleet was asked to go down and in the morning, lifeboat 6 was picked up by the Carpathia.
5. Masabumi Hosono
The only Japanese person, Masabumi Hosono was aboard the Titanic. He ultimately endured the scorn of his countrymen for taking a spot on a lifeboat and not going down with the ship.
Hosono was asleep in his cabin at the time of collision. He woke to a frantic knock on the door and the sound of footsteps in the hallway.
When he arrived at the lifeboats, he was turned away because he was a foreigner. But when the man turned his back, Hosono saw his chance and joined the man in the lifeboat, the screams of the drowning echoing in his ears as the boat pulled away.
6. Harold Bride
Harold Bride was a junior wireless officer on the Titanic. He was one of the two people responsible for sending SOS messages to nearby ships to rescue the Titanic survivors.
He raced to send distress signals to nearby ships. He worked frantically until Captain Edward Smith came and told them they were relieved of duty; the ship had nearly lost power, and only two lifeboats remained.
Harold Bride and 15 others scrambled onto the waterlogged, sinking collapsible and survived until other lifeboats collected them and conveyed them to the Carpathia.
Harold Bride had to be carried ashore when the Carpathia made land. He had sprained one foot in the plunge into the ocean, and the other was frostbitten after a night in the Atlantic’s frigid waters.
7. Lucile Carter
Lucile Carter was also a passenger on the Titanic. She boarded the ship with her husband, her children, a small cadre of servants, and her husband’s car.
Despite Lucile’s aristocratic upbringing, she was not afraid to get her hand dirty and help lead one of the lifeboats to safety.
Lucile emerged from the tragedy but her husband was not so lucky. She claimed that her husband had led her and their children to the lifeboats before going off to wait stoically with the other men.
Millvina Dean was two months old at the time of sinking and was the youngest passenger aboard. She was the final survivor of the sinking and was a British civil servant, cartographer. She died in 2009 at the age of 97.
At the time the Titanic entered service, it was the largest ship afloat as well as the second of three Olympic-class ocean liners operated by the White Star Line.
The Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast built the Titanic. It was under the command of Capt. Edward Smith. The Titanic carried some of the wealthiest people in the world.