ICEBERGS FROM THE LIFEBOATS & FROM CARPATHIA

Lifeboat 1., C. E. H. Stengel, 1st Class. There was one of the icebergs particularly that I noticed a very large one which look something like the Rock of Gibraltar. Am. Inq., p. 971.
Roughly the same description given by Hugh Woolner in Engelhardt Boat D.

Lifeboat 2., J. G. Boxhall, 4th Officer. When within two or three ship lengths of the Carpathia, it was just breaking daylight, and I saw her engines were stopped. She had of stopped within half a mile or a quarter a mile of an iceberg. There were several other bergs, and I could see field ice as far as I could see. The bergs looked white in the sun, though when I first saw them at daylight they looked black. Am. Inq., p. 240, and Br. Inq.
F. Osman, Able Seaman. Not until morning did we see an iceberg about 100 feet out of the water with one big point sticking on one side of it, apparently dark, like dirty ice, 100 yards away. I knew that was the one we struck. It looked as if there was a piece broken off. Am. Inq., p. 538.
Boxhall says at first light, while still aboard the lifeboat he sees an iceberg between a quarter, to half a mile away. Osman comments on another iceberg he seen 100 yards away from the lifeboat, it was 100 feet in height. He also observes a piece broken of it. There appears to be two icebergs, one witnessed by Osman being 100 feet in height while Boxhall describes an iceberg close to Carpathia the one Rostron and Bisset say was 25 to 30 foot high.

Lifeboat 3., Elizabeth Shutes, Ist Class. She describes how both the dawn and the Carpathia fortuitously arrived together. She stated: ..as we drew nearer and nearer that good ship [Carpathia] we drew nearer to those mountains of ice.
Like L. Beesley in lifeboat 13, she notes that the approach to Carpathia brought them in proximity of icebergs.

Lifeboat 4., Emily B. Ryerson - 1st Class, Day 16. Then, when the sun rose we saw the Carpathia standing up about 5 miles away, and for the first time saw the icebergs all around us. The Carpathia steamed toward us until it was full daylight; then she stopped and began picking up boats, and we got on board about 8 o'clock.

Lifeboat 5., H. J. Pitman, 3rd Officer. Monday morning we saw a very large floe of flat ice and three or four bergs between in different places, and on the other bow there were two large bergs in the distance. The field ice was about three-quarters of a mile at least from us between four and five oclock in the morning. Am. Inq., p. 277, & Br. Inq. Pitman describes two large icebergs in the distance.

Lifeboat 7., W. T. Sloper, 1st Class. He stated he sighted a large ship pass within a few hundred feet of his lifeboat during darkness. The same experience during darkness was similarly experience by others only at dawn did they realize it was an iceberg.
Helen W. Bishop, 1st Class. We were out there until just before daylight, I think it was, when we saw the lights of the Carpathia and rowed as hard as we could and arrived at the Carpathia 5 or 10 minutes after 5 o'clock in the morning.
Sen. Smith. I suppose your experience was the same as that of the others as to the presence of ice and your proximity to icebergs?
H. Bishop. Yes; we saw a number of icebergs.
Am. Inq day 11.

Lifeboat 9., W. Wynne, Quarter Master. There was quite a big lot of field ice and several large icebergs in amongst the field; also two or three separated from the main body of the field. Br. Inq.
Like L. Beesley, E. Buley, F. Crowe & others, at least 3 icebergs clearly separated away from the ice-field and in proximity to lifeboats, not on the horizon !

Lifeboat 10., Edward J. Buley, Able Seaman.
E. Buley. No, sir. I never saw any ice until morning. We thought it was a full-rigged ship. We were right in amongst the wreckage, and we thought it was a sailing ship, until the light came on and we saw it was an iceberg.
Sen. Fletcher. Did you get very far away from where the Titanic went down before the Carpathia was in sight?
E. Buley. No, sir. When the Carpathia came and hove to, we were still amongst the wreckage looking for bodies.
Am. Inq day 7.

Lifeboat 13., L. Beesley, 2nd Class. As the dawn crept towards us there lay another [iceberg] almost directly in the line between our boat and the Carpathia, and a few minutes later, another on her port quarter, and more again on the southern and western horizons, [which Capt. Rostron & 2nd officer Bisset noted] as far as the eye could reach: all differing in shape and size and tones of colour according as the sun shone through them or was reflected directly or obliquely from them.
L. Beesley clearly identifies two icebergs, one directly inline between their lifeboat and Carpathia, and one on Carpathias port quarter. This indicates both icebergs in close proximity to each other.
Source L. Beesley's book - The Loss of the S. S. Titanic

Lifeboat 14., E. J. Buley, Able Seaman. (after his transfer from lifeboat 10) We saw five or 6 icebergs [before they reached Carpathia] some of them tremendous, about the height of the Titanic and [seen] field ice. After we got on the Carpathia we saw, at a rough estimate, a twenty-five mile floe, sir, flat like the floor. Am. Inq., p. 605.
F. Crowe, Steward. When it come daylight and we could see, there were two or three bergs around, and one man pointed out that that must have been the berg, and another man pointed out another berg. Am. Inq., p. 615
Buley estimated he seen five or six icebergs (obviously during daylight) and believed some within the same height of Titanic. Crowe describes two or three icebergs, with some commenting which was the one that Titanic struck.

Engelhardt A., Olaus Abelseth, 3rd Class.
O. Abelseth. Yes; when the Carpathia came she was picked up. There were several boats there then. It was broad daylight and you could see the Carpathia. Then this boat sailed down to us and took us aboard, and took us in to the Carpathia. I helped row in to the Carpathia.
Sen. Smith. Did you see any icebergs on that morning?
O. Abelseth. We saw three big ones. They were quite a ways off. Am. Inq day 13.
Again, three icebergs. Like L. Beesley, E. Buley, F. Crowe.

Engelhardt D., Hugh Woolner, 1st Class. At daylight we saw a great many iceberg of different colours, as the sun struck them. Some looked white, some looked blue, some looked mauve and others were dark grey. There was one double-toothed one that looked to be of good size; it must have been about one hundred feet high. Am. Inq., p. 887.
J. Hardy, Chief 2nd Class Steward. [icebergs he seen after daylight] I should think there was, in my judgment, 5 or 6 miles of field ice, and any number of bergs. I could see them from the Carpathia. The berg we had struck was plainly visible.
He stated he didnt see it (US, Sen. Inquiry) He therein must have seen it from the lifeboat suggesting the berg was visible. He said his lifeboat was not more than half a mile from Titanic when she sank.
Woolner is obviously describing the same 100 foot berg that Osman had though from Osmans angle in the lifeboat, he sees a piece broken off.

A. Rostron, Capt. Carpathia. By the time we had cleared first boat [4.15 am] it was breaking day, and we could distinguish the other boats all within an area of four miles. We also saw that we were surrounded by icebergs, large and small, and three miles to the N.W. of us a huge field of drift ice with large and small bergs in it, the ice field trending from N.W. round by W. and S. to S.E., as far as we could see either way.
J. Bisset, 2nd Officer Carpathia. By 4.00am they had stopped. He states; A large iceberg was ahead of us. At the same time he observed; dozens of icebergs within our horizon. Among them were four or five big bergs, towering up two hundred feet above water level.
The last iceberg that 2nd officer Bisset referred to, the one at 4:00 AM, was specifically mentioned by Capt. Rostron also, as being about 25-30 ft high - and not spotted until it was only a 1/4 mile off.

Top | Home | Back