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Friday, April 7, 2017

How many people survived the Titanic sinking?

After a presentation by Carol Starre-Kmiecik, who told the story of the “unsinkable” Margaret “Molly” Brown, a famous Titanic survivor, one of our patrons was curious about how many other people had survived. Ms. Starr-Kmiecik remembered that around 1,500 had died, but no one could remember the number of survivors.

The answer was in Andrew Wilson’s book Shadow of the Titanic: The Extraordinary Stories of Those Who Survived. 705 people survived the sinking. Wilson tells some of their stories, from Jack Thayer, a seventeen year-old who jumped from the rail of the ship in its final moments and managed to swim to an overturned lifeboat, to Dorothy Gibson, an actress who went on to star in Saved from the Titanic, a silent film about the tragedy. 

The website provides lists of survivors that can be sorted by lifeboat. According to the site, there were twenty-three other people on Margaret Brown’s lifeboat – less than half its full capacity. These other passengers included several other people from first class and their maids, two crew members, an a third-class passenger. One of the women, Mrs. Elizabeth Rothschild, is said to have snuck her Pomeranian aboard and refused to board the rescuing Carpathian without it.

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