Atlantic Venture

Rockwell College

The Carpathia,

The Atlantic Ocean.

15th April 1912.

My Dearest Mother,

We have been through such a terribly traumatic experience. As you will have heard by now, the ‘unsinkable’, RMS Titanic, which I boarded only four days ago at Queenstown, has gone under; claiming many lives. We were hit by an iceberg, whilst in the midst of a field of crystal. Imposing cliffs of ivory grew closer and closer. It was without a doubt the most pristine and perfect thing we had ever seen, it seemed incredible that something so large could simply float in the sea. It was like an undiscovered land, a kingdom of ice. Smaller bergs that had crumbled off the ice cliff were humped and crested, and tall spire like columns glittered from the faltering reflections of the lights on the ship. I remember thinking how extraordinarily beautiful it all was, and wondering how something as horrifying as this fate could be so visually exquisite. While this experience offered me a glimpse at natures majesty it also provided a poignant insight into human nature. I saw one American lady waiting to get into a boat with her elderly sister, but she was told there was no room. She didn’t object or protest, but merely stepped back and said; “Never mind. I will get on a later boat.” There was no panic on board, and everyone who had to meet death met it with dignity and composure. On our lifeboat, anyone who was near an oar started rowing. I was too far forward to be of any help, and besides, I was unable to take my eyes off that beautiful stricken ship in what appeared to be her death throes. Even then, to my amazement, I could hear the brave sounds of the violins. As the bow began to disappear, there was an enormous din of shattering glass and crashing metal from inside the ship. No one in our boat spoke, or perhaps even breathed. The horror of these last moments was too awful to watch, but it was impossible to look away. Several women gasped as the Titanic’s front funnel suddenly ripped free and smashed violently into the water before her stern rose higher in the air.  The ship’s lights were abruptly extinguished and we were all plunged into utter darkness. Then, with an almost stately grace, it gradually slipped beneath the surface and was lost to the ocean. Floating adrift in the deep dark waters for what seemed like an eternity, we thought that our end was near. Then, a strange and unfamiliar, almost ghostly sound was teased on the wind, soft at first and then as the minutes past, more rhythmic. I asked myself, ‘’Can it be the sound of a ship?’’ Then, almost like being conjured out of the pitch black of the night and to my absolute relief, it was a most beautiful ship, the Carpathia! With lights blazing and the shouts of men, thankfully we were saved. Taken aboard the Carpathia, we were given hot soup and warm blankets, everyone on this boat is so kind to us. We are now moving ever so slowly towards New York but thankfully, we are safe. I will write to you on arrival.

God Bless.

Your ever-loving son,

Tadhg.