02:22 AM, 15 April 1912
Titanic is gone forever. She has sunk with hundreds of people still clinging to her stern decks. Many are pulled under by the suction and sink with her. Those remaining on the surface are faced with near freezing water temperatures.
A great cry rises from nearly a thousand voices. It's heart breaking to those in the lifeboats. Many of the women plead with the crew to return and rescue those they can clearly see and hear. Many of these men were their husbands. Their pleas are ignored.
To take a lifeboat into that mass of struggling humanity would be suicidal. Only one lifeboat makes the effort to return. This boat off-loaded it mergre complement of twenty-five passengers into another partially filled boat and returned to rescue only a handful of survivors. By this time many in the water were already dead from exposure.
They did not drown but succumed to hypothermia. The sea was covered with nearly a thousand people all kept afloat by their lifebelts. Several of the lifeboats were joined together and passengers were transfered to those boats who were partially filled.
Several men were rescued from the bottom of two collapsible lifeboats that were floated off Titanic in the final moments before she sank. These men were nearly frozen as all had been submerged in the ocean and had been pulled or crawled onto the bottom of these two boats.
Among these few survivors was Titanic's 2nd Wireless operator, Harold Bride who informed these men that the Cunard Liner Carpathia was on the way to rescue them and should arrive shortly. He also mentioned that Titanic's sister ship, Olympic was on the way as well.
The cries of the lost slowly died away. The sea was calm and quiet again. To those pitiful few who survived there was much to be thankful for. To the few officers that survived there was much to explain.
One man who was responsible for so much of Titanic's fate, J. Bruce Ismay, Managing Director of the White Star Line, sat in collapsible lifeboat "D". He survives when so many of his passengers including hundreds of women and children were lost.
This lifeboat left Titanic's starboard side forty five minutes before the ship sank. It was not fully loaded and could have held many more people. Mr. Ismay would have much to explain in the days ahead...
"This unparalleled tragedy that was being enacted before our very eyes, now rapidly approached its finale, as the huge ship slowly but surely reared herself on end and brought rudder and propellers clear of the water, till, at last, she assumed an absolute perpendicular position."
"In this amazing attitude she remained for the space of half a minute. Then with impressive majesty and ever-increasing momentum, she silently took her last tragic dive to seek a final resting place in the unfathomable depths of the cold gray Atlantic."
"Almost like a benediction everyone around me on the upturned boat breathed the two words, "She's gone.""
(The Story of the Titanic as Told by Its Survivors, pp. 299,300)