April 14, 1912: The TITANIC hit an iceberg at 11:40 p.m. Would you have survived? ‘Part 4 Steerage Family’
Posted by Jina Bacarr
TITANIC Week here on ‘Once Upon a Story‘.
Part 4 Steerage Class Irish Family
What Really Happened that Night…
Today on April 14, 1912, the Titanic struck an iceberg at 11:40 p.m. and sank at 2:20 a.m.
Would you have survived?
What were your chances?
Steerage Class Family
It is time to speak of the steerage passengers, who until now have waited patiently for a steward to bring them up on top to get into the lifeboats.
Well, not all the third class passengers have been patient.
How could you be if you’re a good wife and mother and your family’s lot depends on you getting to the lifeboats?
Holy Mary, you’ve had time of it since you boarded the Titanic at Queenstown. Getting the two little ones, Mary and Bridget, settled in their bunks with Danny, a lad of ten, wanting so to follow his da around the ship.
And then there’s Patrick, your man. A strong, blustering bloke with strong hands and a big heart. Him always ready to enjoy a pint after a hard day’s work and eager to give you a hug and a kiss when you’re weary from toiling from dawn till night.
‘You’ll have a better life in America,’ he promises you, after buying passage on the grand ship. And now look at the lot of you. Huddling in the stairway down here on E deck like drowned rats after the seawater came flooding into your cabin. The ship hit an iceberg, they say, split her open where you’re quartered in the fore part of the ship in the married couples section.
And would you believe the likes of them stewards shouting and hollering to put on lifebelts that don’t exist? Only through the help of the good Lord did Patrick find belts for you and the children. And now they won’t let you through the gate to go topside?
‘Have you no heart, man?’ Patrick yells to the steward, asking him to let his family through. No, he tells him, you have to wait.
Then you put your hands over the girls’ ears when Patrick lets go with a barrage of expletives and his fists. He pushes the steward aside and bangs on the barrier. With help from the other men, down it goes with a loud crash.
Then Patrick picks up the girls, one in each arm, and orders you to grab Danny and go ahead of him. Up the stairs you go, the companionway taking you up to the next deck. Then someone says go through the second class door and somehow through Divine grace you find your way up on top.
Oh, such chaos you’ve never seen. People yelling and rushing about like frightened mice with their tails caught in the jaws of a hungry cat. Patrick, good man that he is, doesn’t stop. From boat to boat he goes until he finds one that will take you and the girls. And Danny.
But not him.
‘Women and children first,’ orders the ship’s officer, shaking his head.
Patrick nods. He knew all along there’s no place for him, but he didn’t let anything stop him until his family was saved.
God bless him.
‘A kiss to you, lass,’ he says, brushing your lips with his, then he tosses you into the boat and it’s lowered away.
You huddle in the lifeboat with your children close to you. The sea is so calm, so smooth, the piercing screams and pitiful pleas for help sound sharp and clear in your ears, but you can’t cry. That will come later. Now you have to be strong. For the girls and Danny.
Patrick would want it that way.
And there you have it. A trio of passengers and how they fare on that fateful night.
Then at 2:20 a.m. on April 15, 1912, the Titanic breaks in two and sinks into the North Atlantic, a pale gray vapor hanging like smoke over the spot where she disappears.
For the passengers and crew, cold and freezing in the lifeboats, it will be hours before the rescue ship Carpathia reaches them. Then it’s on to New York. Between twenty and thirty thousand people crowd Chelsea Piers when the Carpathia steams into New York Harbor around 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 18, 1912.
Even the aftermath of the Titanic is dramatic. Reporters hire their own tugboat to try to get to the passengers first and buy their exclusives stories; the newspapers blast the headlines for days about the society folks on board (third class passengers don’t fare as well. They’re sent to homeless shelters and their names don’t appear on the survivors’ list); the U.S. Senate subcommittee holds hearings at the Waldorf-Astoria, interviewing first class passengers and crew.
We’ve come to the end of our journey on the Titanic and a grand tale it is. Before I go, I want to take one last look at the ship of dreams, though I shan’t walk her decks or open doors to her cabins.
No, I want to take one more walk down her sweeping Grand Staircase with the great glass dome overhead like Ava O’Reilly, my heroine, does in The RUNAWAY GIRL. We see the stars peeking through, heavenly witnesses to all that is elegant and romantic. A place of enchantment where everything is unique to this time, this place. Ava can’t believe she’s really here and neither can I.
I quicken my pace and leave the ship, knowing the Titanic will stay with me always.
Tomorrow I will pay tribute to the victims and survivors of the Titanic and answer your questions.
I pray you will join me.
Coming up tomorrow: TRIBUTE to the TITANIC and its passengers
Join me April 10-15th when I take you aboard the ship of dreams and we explore what happened during that fateful voyage…
Ongoing: Be sure to check out the wonderfully moving Titanic photos on the TITANIC LIGHTHOUSE Instagram page!
Join Ava O’Reilly in this #sweeping, #emotional #historicalromance set aboard the Titanic
The Runaway Girl by @JinaBacarr is the perfect escape for your Friday evening! #availablenow on @audibleuk 🎧https://t.co/wub4BeAOiC pic.twitter.com/e6afE4jBUJ
— Boldwood Books (@BoldwoodBooks) March 27, 2020
Ava is a fine lass on the run from the law… find out why in this terrific audio excerpt.
I love Laurel Lefkow’s reading of my nasty villian, Lord Emsy…
Then see what happens when Ava runs away and boards the Titanic in Queenstown, Ireland in my video below.
Her sailing to America is a stormy one… one filled with adventure and romance with the dashing Captain Lord Buck Blackthorn…
Two women hold the keys to his heart. Only one will survive that fateful night…
When Ava O’Reilly is wrongly accused of stealing from her employer, she has no option but to flee Ireland. The law is after her, and she has only one chance at escape – the Titanic.
Aboard the ship of dreams, she runs straight into the arms of Captain ‘Buck’ Blackthorn, a dashing gentleman gambler who promises to be her protector. He is intrigued by her Irish beauty and manages to disguise her as the maid of his good friend, the lovely Countess of Marbury. Little does he realise, that the Countess is also in love with him.
As the fateful night approaches, tragedy strikes further when Ava is separated from Buck, and must make a daring choice that will change her life forever…
A sweeping, emotional historical romance set aboard the Titanic, perfect for fans of Gill Paul and Suzanne Goldring.
This is a revised and fully updated edition of a novel previously published as Titanic Rhapsody.
What readers are saying about The Runaway Girl:
‘A fantastic Titanic take woven in with a great portrayal of love, friendship, and even forgiveness. I would have rather seen this as a movie than the Jack and Rose story!!!’
‘Oh how I adored this story… From start to finish I was enchanted with the story and the characters and all the finer details describing the ship, clothes and scenery.’
‘This book was so well written and such vivid descriptions were used that I really did feel as though Jina had put me in a time machine and sent me back to 1912,’
‘A breathtaking romance that is sure to stay with you long after reading’
‘Perfect for historical fiction and romance fans.’
‘A mesmerizing romance that is sure to sweep you off your feet and take you away to another place, another time.’
‘A fabulous book you won’t want to miss’
THE RUNAWAY GIRL:
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