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So how did those 700+ survivors get out of the water and back to land? This is silly, but I never thought about it. I'm guessing you had. This fascinating book details the rescue and the quick thinking of the captain of the Carpathia, the ocean liner that turned around and, full speed ahead, plowed through fifty-plus miles of the icy North Atlantic to save as many wretched souls as he could.
In contrast, however, was the response of the captain of the Californian, a steamer fewer than ten miles from the Titanic. He did nothing. His officers reported seeing distress flares launched one after another from the Titanic into the clear night sky. But Captain Lord stayed in the Californian's chart room and went back to sleep.
The author makes clear that had the Californian gone immediately to the scene of the disaster, not everyone floundering in the 28-degree water would have been saved, but hundreds more would have survived. A Senate investigation followed as soon as the Carpathia and the Californian reached New York. Survivors and crew from the Titanic testified, as did the captain and crew of the Carpathia and the Californian. When those ships returned to England, a formal investigation was conducted there, too. The author describes the dramatic hearings where the awful truth about Captain Lord finally comes out.
This was a wrenching book. It makes the Titanic's catastrophic sinking even more tragic than it already was. Between the covers I found a new hero, the captain of the Carpathia, who gives proof to how magnificent we humans can be. But I also met a monster who evidences a heart as cruel and cold as an iceberg.
16 of 16 people found this review helpful
This read is well worth the price or credit! I enjoy nonfiction which is factual and moving at a pace to keep my interest. This exceeded my expectations. All of the horrific truth about the tragedy of the Titanic was told in a very humane narrative, but also how other factors interceded with the tragic event which left me stunned. There were times when I wanted to weep.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful