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Boat 6 (port) Edit

Molly brown rescue award titanic

Margaret "Molly" Brown presenting Captain Arthur Rostron of the RMS Carpathia with a loving cup for saving the survivors of Titanic

Lightoller launched Boat 6 at 1:10; it was photographed as it approached Carpathia, so it is known to have had 26 people aboard at that point.[1] Denver millionairess and socialite Margaret "Molly" Brown was among its most prominent occupants. She did not board voluntarily but was picked up by a crewman and dropped bodily into the boat as it was being lowered. Only one man, Quartermaster Robert Hitchens, was aboard so Lightoller appealed to the crowd still on deck for anyone who had sailing experience. Major Arthur Godfrey Peuchen of the Royal Canadian Yacht Club volunteered and shimmied down the falls into the boat.[2]

Relations between those aboard were strained throughout the night. Hitchens apparently resented Peuchen's presence, perhaps fearing that the major would pull rank and take charge. The two men quarrelled and Hitchens refused Peuchen's request that he assist with the rowing, as there was only one other able-bodied man at the oars. With only two rowing, the boat could only make slow progress away from Titanic. When Captain Smith ordered Hitchens to bring the boat alongside the gangway so that more passengers could board, Hitchens refused, telling the occupants: "No, we are not going back to the boat. It's our lives now, not theirs."[3]

When Titanic sank, Peuchen, Brown and several others urged Hitchens to turn around and rescue some of those in the water. Hitchens refused, ordering the men to stop rowing and telling the passengers: "There's no use going back, 'cause there's only a lot of stiffs there."[4] The cries for help soon died away. Brown asked Hitchens to let the women row to help keep them warm. When he refused, she threatened to throw him overboard. He protested and swore at her but was told to shut up, and a stoker told him: "Don't you know you're talking to a lady?" She took charge of the tiller, prompting the American press to dub her subsequently the "Unsinkable" Molly Brown.[5]

Boat 6 eventually found and tied up to Boat 16 after Titanic sank. It was one of the last to be rescued by the Carpathia, at 8:00 am.[6]

Notes Edit

  1. Wormstedt & Fitch 2011, p. 137.
  2. Eaton & Haas 1994, p. 150.
  3. Butler 1998, p. 147.
  4. Butler 1998, pp. 147–8.
  5. Butler 1998, p. 148.
  6. Wormstedt & Fitch 2011, p. 144.

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