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Newspaper Page Text
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WHEN BIGGEST LINER OF 30 YEARS AGO STRUCK
- ICEBERG AT MIDNIGHT
Passengers in the steerage were
beaten back and awed by force.
Funny stories were' afterwards
told. A New York millionaire
came rynning out in his night
shirt and Avith a suit case. Grasp
ing a life preserver he threw it
overboard and tied his suit case
to his body.
The wife of a prominent New
'Yorker came up jn her nightdress
and cried hysterically because she
couldn't get her gloves on. and it
was her stockings she was trying
to put her fingers through.
Man)r of the passengers fainted.
Several passengers were pulled
away from the irail when they
tried to jump into the sea, in
their mad efforts to leave what
they thought was a sinking ship.
Finally the crew drove the pas
sengers off the deck. Then the
captain convinced them that the
vessel would float, and they
would make St. John's. Slowly
and lamely the liner lurched away
from the towering berg, and
made port 36 hours afterwards.
Her deck and forepart were
cumbered with great fragments
of ice, weighing over '200 tons.
From top-rail to keelson her bows
were driven in. The gaping
wound was 20 feet wide, and the
massive plates and ribs were
crumhled up as so many pieces of
Had her t forward bulkhead
been broken she would have gone
down just as the Titanic did.
The most remarkable iceberg
collision on record previous to the
disaster of the Titanic, happened
in 1879, whrt the then biggest
lirrer in the- world, the Avi.qnr.,
plowing at full speed through a
heavy sea about 250 nii'es out of
- St.. John's not far from ' where
the White Star liner met destruc
tion the other da)' rammed -a
It was midnight when the
awful crash came. There were
509 souls on board, bound from
New York to Liverpool. Sleepers
were flung from' their berths.
Crashing, groaning ice as it was
. pushed into the opened bow of
the boat filled the air with inde
Men and womerirushed in tiieir
night garments to the deck. Cries
that the ship was sinking rent the
air. Strong, able bodied men
fought with women, and children
for life preservers and a chance
to get near the lifeboats. Officers
were begged to cast adrift the
The shrieks of the half clad
' men and women and the children
who charged for the boats made
up a pandemonium equaling .ii
,most the roar of the breaking
berg. Alternately the passengers
pleaded piteousl yand cursed vio
lently the officers and the crew
for not lowering the lifeboats.