The famous British passenger ship RMS Titanic was the largest floating ship at the time it began operation. The ship was built for White Star Line at the Harland and Wolff shipyard situated in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Titanic’s maiden voyage had an estimate of 2,224 persons on board which included crew and passengers however only 700 Titanic survivors were recorded after this gigantic ship sucked in the Atlantic. This tragic incident was not only a surprise to the passengers but also to the ship’s creator, Thomas Andrews who boasted that not even God could not sink the ship. Everyone was left speechless after the Titanic sunk. Learn the truth about Titanic as revealed by 10 selected survivors below.
The Truth About Titanic As Revealed By 10 Survivors
Michel and Edmond Navratil famously known as the Navratil Orphans were fortunate to be among the Titanic survivors but who only when they were older, understood the amount of loss that occurred when the ship sank. The brothers were brought aboard the Titanic by their father Michel Navratil Sr. who had recently divorced his wife, Marcelle Caretto over allegations of infidelity on the part of the wife. However, in spite of the allegations, the court still went ahead to grant custody of the boys to their mother.
Navratil, displeased by the decision of the court decided to relocate with his sons to the United States of America. Fellow passengers on the ship knew him as Louis M. Hoffman, the widowed father of Lolo and Momon. On the ill-fated night that Titanic hit the iceberg, Navratil managed to get his sons aboard the very last lifeboat leaving the ship. His eldest son, Michel Jr., remembered his father’s last message to him despite being only three at the time. The message spoke of his father’s love for his wife and his wish for her to have joined them on the journey.
Michel and Edmond Navratil survived the crash but their father did not as he perished alongside some of the other passengers. Both boys were cared for by a woman who also survived the crash until they were reunited with mother Marcelle who saw their pictures in a newspaper back in England among the Titanic survivors.
2. Margaret Brown
Margaret Brown who became popularly known as the unsinkable Molly Brown fought a brave battle to save herself and the many other Titanic survivors who owe their survival to her act of bravery. She allegedly seized control from the quartermaster controlling one of the ship’s lifeboats in order to turn back and search for more survivors. Whether or not she succeeded, history has remained kind to her for the exemplary courage she showed the day the Titanic sank.
Brown was known to have come from a very poor background but fortunes changed for her when her husband’s business suddenly struck gold. With their newfound wealth, Molly took to philanthropy and traveled around the world. She was a socialite who was fond of associating with almost everyone. Molly was in Egypt when she got news of her grandchild’s ill health which had her make the decision to head back to the United States. She chose to board the Titanic because it was the fastest means of transportation to the United States available at the time.
Following the sinking of the ship, the instruction was given to quartermasters to allow only women and children to board the lifeboats which granted her entry into a lifeboat. Molly upon discovering that the lifeboat she was in could take in more people threatened to throw the quartermaster into the cold waters of the Atlantic if he didn’t turn back and carry more people.
3. Eliza Millvina Dean
Eliza Millvina Dean up until her demise in 2009 was the last known Titanic survivor alive. At the time of the ship’s wreck, she was just barely two months old making her the youngest passenger on board the luxury liner. It was revealed that the Millvina family was relocating to the United States in pursuit of a better life. The initial plan was to book passage through another ship but an issue came up forcing them to make a last-minute switch to Titanic.
When the ship collided with the iceberg, Eliza’s father who had witnessed it from the deck was quick to respond. Many have attributed his quick thinking as the reason why his family survived. He had immediately rushed to where his family was and hurriedly got them to the deck before the growing queue of passengers scrambling for entry into the lifeboats became too long.
Eliza alongside her brother and mother made it out of the ship alive as they were granted entry into the lifeboat but her father, unfortunately, did not make it. The family, saddened by the loss of its breadwinner decided to immediately return back to England. Dean continued to share details of her experience on talk shows and interviews up until her death.
4. Violet Jessop
Miss Jessop was part of the crew of Titanic as a stewardess and it was revealed that before Titanic, she served as a stewardess on the ill-fated Britannic ship which exploded and sank at sea in 1916. This Titanic survivor was also aboard the famous Olympic ship that collided with another ship at sea. Despite the huge damage done to the Olympics, it still managed to reach the port. In all, Miss Jessop was fortunate to survive 3 shipwrecks.
While recapping her ordeal in her memoirs, she mentioned that she was instructed to help non-English speaking passengers at the top deck as soon as the crew realized that the Titanic was beyond saving. She helped in loading the lifeboats until her superior asked her to join a boat. Jessop recounted that she was given a baby to care for as the lifeboat was carefully lowered into the sea.
5. Fredrick Fleet
Fleet is well known as the crewman who made the famous “Iceberg! Right Ahead!” call. Fredrick was a 25-year old at the time he was hired as a crewman. On the ill-fated night of the wreck, Fleet alongside his partner was deployed to the frigid crow’s nest to look out for tiny bits of ice in the water.
Fredrick spotted the huge iceberg at exactly 11:39 p.m and quickly rushed to notify the bridge but it was too late already as the ship made contact with the iceberg. He was also one of the Titanic survivors who served as a quartermaster in charge of rowing one of the lifeboats to safety.
Fleet’s survival was met with mixed reactions despite being the one who spotted the iceberg. He always maintained that the crash could have been avoided if only he had binoculars at his disposal. Fredrick suffered from depression as he approached old age which invariably led to him taking his own life in 1965.
6. Masabumi Hosono
Hosono was the only passenger of Japanese origin aboard the Titanic when the magnificent ship set sails for the United States. Masabumi who was asleep at the time of the collision woke to the commotion that followed. The Japanese traveler managed to find his way into a lifeboat after he had been previously denied entry due to his foreign nationality.
Reports that followed indicated that Hosono lost his job with the Japanese government for being part of the Titanic survivors and that he was also subjected to lots of ridicule by the press. Even after his death in 1997, his name continues to bring great shame to his family owing to his supposed display of cowardice as he was expected to show bravery and go down with the Titanic.
7. Charles Lightoller
Second officer Lightoller adhered strictly to the rule of allowing only women and children entry into lifeboats. His survival may be attributed to anything but not hypocrisy as he did not get on any lifeboat. An explosion in the water after the ship had completely sunk saw him return back to the surface. Charles alongside 30 plus persons swam to a nearby boat that had collapsed and managed to steer their way to safety. His views on maritime safety have now gone to become law.
8. Harold Bride
The bride was one of the two wireless officers in charge of sending emergency messages to nearby vessels. He and his partner, Jack Philips, were responsible for alerting RMS Carpathia of the wreck. The duo continued in their duty post until they were relieved by the captain of the ship.
Harold and Jack ran frantically to meet up with a collapsible boat that was about to set sail. Unfortunately for them, the boat capsized leaving them in the frigid waters of the Atlantic. However, luck was on their side as one of the lifeboats sailing around picked them up alongside 15 other people and conveyed them to the rescue ship.
9. Lawrence Beesley
Beesley, a college science teacher, decided to take a voyage to the United States aboard the Titanic. He was reportedly reading as at the time of the collision but realized all was not well with the silence that followed. He found his way to the top deck when the scramble began and was able to make it to where passengers were being loaded onto lifeboats. Despite being a man, he was asked to enter into a lifeboat that still had a space left on it owing to the absence of women and children on that side of the deck. This Titanic survivor recounted his experiences in a book he published barely 9 weeks after the disaster.
10. Lucile Carter
Lucile is among the Titanic survivors who were from the wealthy aristocratic families on board. She was traveling by her family, some servants, and her husband’s car which was a 25 horsepower Renault vehicle. Carter was able to get on a lifeboat with her children only to discover that the boat had no sailors in it. She ventured to take control of the boat and rowed it to safety. Lucile’s husband, William, who was thought to have perished miraculously found his way to the rescue boat even before his wife did.