Thursday, 15 June 2017


Much has been said in this blog about the distinct bodies seen from both the Insizwa and Tottenham two weeks after Waratah went missing. Excuses were made for not attempting to retrieve the bodies, including the delicate issue of sensitivity. The following extract from Editors' excellent volume, The Titanic, describes in the words of Captain Rostron (Carpathia) his reluctance to retrieve a dead body from the water:

...explained, “While they were holding the service, I was on the bridge, of course, and I maneuvered around the scene of the wreckage. We saw nothing except one body.  …  Male. It appeared to me to be one of the crew. He was only about 100 yards from the ship. We could see him quite distinctly, and saw that he was absolutely dead. He was lying on his side … and his head was awash. Of course he could not possibly have been alive and remain in that position. I did not take him aboard. For one reason, the Titanic's passengers then were knocking about the deck and I did not want to cause any unnecessary excitement or any more hysteria among them, so I steamed past, trying to get them not to see it.”

Charles River Editors. The Titanic: The History and Legacy of the World’s Most Famous Ship from 1907 to Today (Kindle Locations 2468-2471). Charles River Editors. Kindle Edition.

one can appreciate the concerns!