Faces of the Titanic: Survivor Eugene Daly - wrote a detailed account having stayed on the ship to the end
29-year-old witnessed brutal shooting and dramatic panic on board before his escape
"I saw two dagos shot and some that took punishment from the officers. After a bit, I got up on one of the decks and threw a big door over the side. I caught hold of some ropes that had been used setting free a lifeboat. Up this I climbed to the next deck because the stairs were so crowded that I could not get through.
"I finally got up to the top deck and made for the front. The water was just covering the upper deck at the bridge and it was easy to slide because she had such a tip.
([Blackmarr’s note:] Here this man fell back on his pillow crying and sobbing and moaning, saying: ‘My God, if I could only forget!’ After a bit he proceeded.)
My God, if I could only forget those women’s cries. I reached a collapsible boat that
was fastened to the deck by two rings. It could not be moved. During that brief time that I worked on cutting one of those ropes, the collapsible was crowded with people hanging upon the edges. The Titanic gave a lurch downwards and we were in the water up to our hips.
She rose again slightly, and I succeeded in cutting the second rope which held her stern. Another lurch threw this boat and myself off and away from the ship into the water. I fell upon one of the oars and fell into a mass of people. Everything I touched seemed to be women’s hair. Children crying, women screaming, and their hair in their face. My God, if I could only forget those hands and faces that I touched!
As I looked over my shoulder, as I was still hanging [on] to this oar, I could see the enormous funnels of the Titanic being submerged in the water. These poor people that covered the water were sucked down in those funnels, each of which was twenty-five feet in diameter, like flies.
I managed to get away and succeeded in reaching the same boat I had tried to set free from the deck of the Titanic. I climbed upon this, and with the other men balanced ourselves in water to our hips until we were rescued. People came up beside us and begged to get on this upturned boat. As a matter of saving ourselves, we were obliged to push them off. One man was alongside and asked if he could get upon it. We told him that if he did, we would all go down. His reply was ‘God bless you. Goodbye.’
I have been in the hospital for three days, but I don’t seem to be able to forget those men, women and children who gradually slid from our raft into the water.
Signed, Eugene Daly. Collapsible B.
After safe arrival in New York, Daly wrote a letter to his mother in which he clearly and casually glossed over all that had happened:
Dear Mother, got here safe. Had a narrow escape but please God, I am all right, also Maggie. I think the disaster caused you to fret, but things could have been worse than what they were.
(The Cork Examiner, 7 May 1912)
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