1979: Frank Prentice on how he SURVIVED the TITANIC | The Great Liners | BBC ArchiveApr 15, 2023
there was no impact as such it was like hitting the brakes on a car and it just stopped we had a porthole open and I looked out and the sky was clear the stars were shining there was a sea it was calm I thought no I don't know I couldn't figure it out So I got out of my cabin and I thought, well I moved forward and went over to the well deck on the starboard side and I could see ice on the well deck, there was no sign of Iceberg because it had passed us and the lights were shining on the water from the portholes, there was no sign of damage above the waterline and of course whatever had happened we had slipped on the iceberg and although it was supposed to be unthinkable with the double bottom, the the iceberg he had cut her from the bow.
I'm on the starboard side of the engine room, almost amidships, right across the bottom of it. and little by little they filled them up the first boots were around the port side the first boats to go away they didn't have many passengers on board they were afraid of sinking there was a 70 foot drop into the water and they didn't think it was going to sink and some of the first boats on the port side escaped half full don't forget we had 16 lifeboats each carrying 50. and if they had filled we could have saved 800. whereas we only saved 500. so you can imagine that there were plenty of seats in the first few lifeboats vacant um so i had orders to go to the warehouse with a gang and then and get all the crackers we could find when we got back on the deck of the boat we couldn't get any nails live people some people rushed to come in and they were pushed back at that time, she was listing very badly to port and we couldn't get our starboard boots down, but before my life ended well I met her. a young couple and uh let me tell you her name was mrs clark they had honeymooned in france and we were picking them up in cherberg and she was having trouble with her life jacket so i put that on her and said i believe you better me I got in a lifeboat and there was one in the port on the port side so she said no she, I don't want to go there. later and I took her out and that was it and then I picked up my own life build and put her right, things went then and then the third class passengers would come, there were 700 of them and they filled the decks and filled I went up on the decks and I thought ok I'd done my best I'd help them any way I could and I thought ok now I'm going to come up and get out of this whole scrum and go to the poop deck and she was then she went down and all of a sudden she came up fast and you could hear everything crashing through it everything that could move was going through and then it dipped and seemed to come back up so i thought ok now im going to go and uh i was hanging on a bird we had two boards stabbed and Port that said stay away from Bella's blades and I was hanging from one of these and I was going higher and higher there and I thought ok now I'll go and I fell, it had a light built in and I hit the water with an unbelievable crack and, luckily i didn't hit anything when i fell, there were bodies everywhere and then i looked over at the
titanic, the propellers were out. of water the rudder was just outside and I could see the bottom and then the gratitude crept in and that was that that was the last Titanic I didn't want to die I mean I didn't see much chance of living but I went little by little I froze and because of the grace of god i came across a lifeboat and they threw me off and there was a dead firefighter in the bottom there was about a foot of water in this boat there was another man trying to. he seemed to be trying to get away from it again I don't know what was wrong with him and they were tied up tying him up and the rest were women and children and I sat in a seat and hey who should I be I sat next to Mrs.
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1979 frank prentice on how he survived the titanic the great liners bbc archive...
Clark, the girl i put in a lifeboat and she said the first thing she said where is my have you seen my have you seen my husband so i said no no no i hope he's ok anyway i was pretty bad then as you can imagine almost frozen and she wrapped me in a cloak she had some sort of blanket or coat on anyway i think she probably saved my life i don't know but uh i saved hers at least i think i could have i think i did and she saved mine i think you even have a watch you were wearing the moment you went in the water yeah yeah old brass watch but i couldn't i can't afford anything better in those first few days here is this it doesn't show us that it says twenty past two what time it was when you got into the water I think that like two o'clock I think it lasted I was frozen that black eye was I think it lasted about 20 minutes in the water.
Talking about this incident bothers you like you've been talking about today. I should probably dream about it tonight. Have another nightmare. amazed that you lie in bed at night, everything comes back
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