Newspaper Page Text
THE WASHINGTON TIMES. FRIDAY, APHIL 19, 1912.
WIRELESS MAN OF
WRECK OF VESSEL
Says Ship's Apparatus Was Out of OHer
a Few Hours Before Being Hit
NEW YORK, April 19. In a copyrighted artlclo the Npw York TImcB
today, prints the following Interview by Harold Bride, the surviving wiro
leBB operator of tho Titanic:
"In the first place, the public should not blame anybody because more
wireless messages about the disaster to tho Titanic did not reach shoro
from tho Carpathla. I positively refused to send press dispatches bo
cause tho bulk of personal messages with touching words of grief was bo
largo. The wireless operators aboard the Chester got all they asked for.
And they were1 wretched operators.
"They knew American MorBO but not Continental Morse sufficiently
to bo worth while. They taxed our endurance to the limit.
"I had to cut them out at last they were so insufferably slow, and go
ahead with our messages of grief to relatives. We sent 119 personal mes
sages today, and fifty yesterday.
"When I was dragged aboard the Carpathla I went to the hospital at
first I stayed there for ton hours. Then somebody brought word that tho
Carpathla's wireless operator was 'getting queer' from the work.
"They asked me if I could go up and help. I could not walk. Both
my feet were broken or something, I don't know what. I went up on
crutches with somebody helping me.
"I took tho key and I never left the wireless cabin after that Our
meals were brought to us. Wo kept the wireless working all the time.
The navy operators wero a great nuisance. I advise them all to learn
the Continental Morse and learn to speed up in It if they over expect to
be worth their salt. The Chester's man thought he knew it, but he was
as slow as Christmas coming.
WORKED ALL THE TIME.
"We worked all tho time. Nothing
went wrong. Sometimes the Carpathla
man sent and sometimes I sent. There
was a bed in the wireless cabin. 1
could olt on It and rest my feet whllo
"To begin at the beginning, I Joined
the Titanic at Belfast. I was born at
Nunhcad, England, twonty-two years
ago, and Joined the Marconi forces last
July. I first worked on the Hoverford,
and then on tho Lusltanla. I Joined the
Titanic at Belfast."
Asleep When Crash Came.
"I didn't have much to do aboard the
Titanic except to relievo Phillips from
midnight until some time In thn mnrn.
Jng, when he Bhould be through sleep
ing. On tho night of the accident. I
WBN not sending, hilt wnn nalnan T nma
due to be up and relieve Phillips earlier
man usual. And that reminds me-lf
it nadn t been for a lucky thing, we
never could have sent any call for help.
The luckv thlnsr was that th wlrnl.
broko down early enough for us to llx
it oeiore me accident. We noticed
something wrong on Sunday, and Phil
lips and I worked seven hours to And
it. Wo found a "secretary" burned out,
at last, and repaired It Just a few hours
before- the Iceberg was struck.
"Phillips said to me as he took the
night shift. 'You turn In, boy, and get
some sleep, and go up as soon as you
can and give me a chance. I'm all done
for with this work of making repairs.
There were three rooms In the wire
less cabin. One was a sleeping room,
one a dynamo room, and ono an ope
rating loom. I took off my clothes and
went tu sleep in bed. Then I was con
scious of waking up and hearing Phil
lips sending to Cape Race. I read what
..w a odium,;, ii was iranic matter.
( remeirbcied how tired he was,
and I got out of bed without my
cl.nheij on to relievo him. I didn't
tven feel the shock. I hardly knew
It hud happened after the captain had
com-i to us. There was no joi: what
ever. Told to Rest.
"I waB standing by Phillips telling
him to go to bed when the captain put
his head In tho cabin.
"We've struck an iceberg," tho cap
tain 3aW, "and I'm havlnK an inspec
tion made to tell what it hns done for
ut. You batter get ready to uend out
a call for asulutance. But don't send
it until I tell you."
"The captain went away und in ton
minutes, I should estimate tho tinm.
he camo back. Wo could heur a ter
lible confusion outside, but thcro was
not the lean tiling to Indicate that
then- was anv trouble. The wireless
was wot kins nrfuctly.
" 'Sonrt the call for assistance.' or
dered the captain, barely putting his
Mead In the door.
" U'hift call should I send?' Phillips
"'The regulation intci rational call
for help Just that.'
' Then the captain was gone. Phillips
Lesan tu send -C Q. D.' He flashed
uwai at it and wo joked while he did
bo All of us made light of tho dis
aster. Joked at Distress Call.
"We joked that way whllo ho flash
ed signals for about five minutes. Then
the captain came back.
" 'What are you sending?' he asked.
' 'C. Q. D.' Phillips replied.
'The humor of tho situation nppealed
tp me. I cut in with a little remark
that made us all laugh, including the
"Send 'S. O. S.,' I said. It's tho new
call, and It may be your last chance to
Phillips with a laugh changed the sig
nal to "8 O. S." The Captain told us
wo had been struck amidships. It was
ten minutes, Phillips told me, after ho
had noticed the Iceberg, that the slight
lolt that was the collision's only sig
nal to u-s occurred. We thought wo
were a good distance away
"We said lots of funny things to
each other In the next few minutes. We
"Irked up first the steamship Frank
rurd. We galve her our position and
taid we had struck and Iceberg and
needed assistance. The Frankfurd op
erator went away to tell his Captain.
"He came back, and we told him wo
were sinking by the head. By that time
we could observe a distinct Hat for
ward "The Carpathla answered our signal.
Ae told her our position and said we
were blnking by the head. The operator
went to tell the captain, and In five
minutes returned and told us that the
captain of the -Carpathla was putting
soout a'.id heading for us.
Great Scramble On Deck.
"Our captnln had left us at this time,
and Phillips told me to run and tell him
what the Carpathla had answered. I
did so. and I went through an awful
' mass of people to his cabin. The decks
vere full of scrambling men land -wom
en. I saw no fighting, but I heard tell
"I came back and heard Phillips giv
ing the Carpathla fuller directions.
Phillips told mo to put on my clothes.
Until that moment I forgot that I was
"I went to my cabin and dressed. I
brought an overcoat to Phillips. It
was very cold. I slipped the overcoat
upon him while ho worked.
"Every few minutes Phillips would
sond mo to tho captain with little mes
sages. They were merely telling how
the Carpathla was coming our way and
gavo her speed.
"I noticed as I came back from -ono
trip that they were putting off wom
en and children in lifeboats. I no
ticed tha,t the list forward was Increasing.
"Phillips told me the wireless was
growing weaker. The captain catno
and told us our engine rooms were
taking water and that the dynamos
might not last much longer. Wo sent
that word to tho Carpathla.
"I went out on deck and looked
around. Tlie water was pretty close
up to the boat deck. There was a
great scramble aft. and how poor
Phillips worked through It I don't
"Ho was a bravo man. I learned to
love him that night and I suddenly
felt for him a great reverence to see
him standing there sticking to his
work while everybody else was rag
ing about. I will never live to forget
the work of Phillips for the last
awful fifteen minutos.
Got Out Life Belt.
"I thought It was about time to
look about and see if there was any
thing detached that would float, I
remembered that every member of tho
crow had a special life belt and
ought to know where It was. I re
membered mine was under my bunk.
I went and got it. Then I thought
how cold the water was.
"I remembered I had some boots and
I put those on, and an extra Jacket, and
I put that on. I saw Phillips standing
out there still sending away, giving the
Carpathla details of Just how we wero
"Wo picked up the Olympic and told
her we were sinking by the head and
were about all down. As Phillips was
sending the message I strapped his life
belt to his back. I had already put on
"I wondered if I could get' him into
his boots. He suggested, wjth a sort of
laugh, that I look out and see if all the
people were off In the boats, or If any
boats were left, or hqw things were.
"I saw a collapsible boat near a fun
nel and went over to It. Twelve men
wero trying to boost it down to the
boat deck. They were having an awful
time. It was the last boat left. I
looked at It longingly a few minutes.
Then I gave them a hand, and over she
went. They all started to scramble In
on the boat deck, and I walked back
to Phillips. I said the last raft had
"Then came tho captain's voice:
'Men, you have done your full duty.
You can do no more. Abandon your
cabin. Now It's every man for himself.
You look out for yourselves. I release
you. That's the way of It at this kind
of a time. Every man for himself.'
"I looked out. The boat deck was
awash. Phillips clung on. sending and
sending. He clung on for about ten
minutes or maybe fifteen minutes after
the captain had released him. The
water was then coming Into our cabin.
"While he worked something hap
pened I hate to tell about. 'I was back
in mv room getting Phillips' money for
him, and as I looked out the door I Baw
a stoker, or somebody from tbelow
decks, leaning over Phillips from be
hind. He was too busy to notice w'lat
the man was doing. The man was slip
ping the life belt off Phillips' back.
"He was a big man, too. As you can
see, I am very small. I don't know
what It was I got hold of. I remem
bered In a flash the way Phillips had
clung on how I had to fix that life
belt In place because he was too busy
to do It.
"I knew that man from below decks
had his own life belt and should have
known whero to get It.
"I suddenly felt a passion not to let
that man die a decent sailor's death.
I wished he might have stretched rope
or walked a plank. I did my duty. I
hope I finished him. I don't know. We
left him on tho cabin floor of tho wire
less room, and he was not moving.
Band Flays In Ragtime.
"From aft camo the tunes of the
band. It waa a rag-time tune. I
don't know what. Then there was
'Autumn.' Phillips ran aft and that
was the last I ever saw of him.
"I went to the placo I had seen
the collapsible boat on the boat deck,
and to my surprtse I saw tho boat
and the men still trying to push it
off. I guess thoro wasn t a sailor in
tho crowd. Thoy couldn't do It. I
went up to them and was Just lending
a hand when a largo wave camo
awash of the deck.
"The big wave carried the boat off.
I ha'd hold of an oarlock and I went
off with it The next I knew I was
in the boat.
"But that was not alt I was in the
boat and the boat was upside down
ana I was under it. And I remember
realizing I was wet throuRh, and that
whatever hapdened I must not breathe
for T wna unri. wnt,v
"I knew I had o flght for It and T
uiu. nu a uoi out irom under the
boat I do not know, but I felt a
breath of air at last.
'Thero woro men all around mo
hundreds jot them. The sea was dot
ted wlththem, all depending on their
life belUj. I felt I simply had to get
away from tho ship. She was a beau
tiful sight then,"
Smoke and sparks wero rushing out
of her funnel. Thero must have been
an explosion, but wo had hoard none,
wo only saw tho big stream of sparks,
the ship was gradually turning on
her nose Just like a duck does that goos
nnun frt. n.'1tt,A. r hid hi .... , .!.-
-.... w, .- i.(vw A nuu v,ijr uiio illiHH
on my mind to got away from tho
outrun, aiio LHiuu was nun playing. 1
guess all of tho band went down.
.iibj tu fiiujruitt svuiumn men.
I swam with all my might I suppose
i whs u leoi away wnen tno Titanic,
on her nose, with her after-quarter
sticking Btraight up In tho air, began
to Kettle slowly.
"When at lost tho waves washed over
her rudder thero wasn't tho least bit
fiuv.iiui v,uui-( lpci, DUO SI1UBI
have kept ifolns Just ao slowly as she
Spoke German Boat.
"I forgot to mention that, besides
tho Olympic and Carpathla, wo spoke
some German boat, I don't know which.
and told them how wo wero. Wo also
spoke tho Baltic. I remembered those
things as I began to flguro what ships
would be coming toward us.
"I felt, after a llttlo whllo, like sink
ing. I was very cold. I saw a boat of
somo kind near mo and put all my
strength Into an effort to swim to It.
It was hard work. I was all done
when a hand reached out from the boat
and pulled me aboard. It was our same
collapsible. The same crowd was on It.
"There waa Just room for me to roll
on tho edge. I lay thero not caring
what happened. Somebody sat on my
legs. They wore wedged in .between
slats and were being wrenched. I had
not the heart left to ask the man to
move. It was a terrible sight all around
men Bwlmmlng and sinking.
"I lay whero I was, letting tho man
wrench my feet out of shape. Others
came near. Nobody gavo them a hand.
The bottom-up-boat already had more
men that It would hold and it was sink
ing. "At first the larger waves splashed
over my clothing. Then they began to
splash over my head and I had to
breath when I could.
"Somo splendid people saved us. They
had a rlght-stde-up boat, and it was
full to its capacity. Yet thoy camo to
us and loaded us all Into It I saw
some lights off In the distance and know
a steamship was coming to our aid.
"I didn't care what happened. I Just
lay and gasped when I could and felt
tho pain In my feet. At Hast tho Car
pathla was alongside and the people
wero being taken up a rope ladder. Our
boat drew near and ono by one tho
men wero taken off of it
One Dead On the Raft.
"Ono man was dead. I passed him
and went to the ladder, although my
feet pained terribly. Tho dead man
waa Phillips. He had died on tho raft
from oxposuro and cold, 1 guess. He
had been all In from work before tho
wreck came. Ho stood his ground
until tho crisis had passed, and then
he had collapsed, I guess.
"But I hardly thought that then. I
didn't think much of anything. I
tried tho rope ladder. My feet pained
terribly, but I got to tho top and felt
hands reaching out to me. The next
I knew a woman was leaning over mo
In n. cabin and I felt her hand waving
back my hair and rubbing my face.
"I felt somebody at my foet and felt
the warmth of a Jolt of liquor. Some
body got mo under tho arms, Then I
was hustled down below to the hos
pital. That was early In the day, I
guess. I lay in tho hospital until near
night and they told me tho Carpathla's
wireless man was getting "queer" and
would I help.
"After that I never wns cut of tho
wireless room, ho I don't Know what
hanpt-ned among the passengers. I saw
nothing of Mis. Astor or any of them.
I Jut worked wireless. The splutter
never died clown. I knew It soothed
the hurt and felt llko a tie to tho world
of friends and home.
"How could I then take news queries?
Sometimes I let a newspaper ask a
question and get a long string of stuff
asklnr for full pattlculars about every
thing. A henrvcr I startid to lake such
a message I thought of tho pair peophi
waiting tor their messiges to go hop
ing for answers to them
"I shut off the Inquirers and sent my
personal message. Ai'd I feel I did
the whUo thing.
"If the Cli'sliT had had a decent
operator I could havo worked with
him longer, but he got tcrrlblv on my
r.ervos with his insufferable incompe
tence. I was still sendlnc my personal
message when Mr. Marconi and the
Times reporter arrived to aek that I
urepaie this statement.
"There were, majbe, 100 left. I would
like to send them all, because I could
rest easier If I knew all those messages
had gone to the friends waiting for
them. But an ambulance man is wait
ing with a stretcher, and I guess I
havo got to go with him. I hope my
legs get better soon.
"The way tho band kept playing was
a noble thing. I heard It first while
still wo were working wireless, when
thcro was a ragtime tunc for us. and
tho last I saw of the band, when I was
floating out In the sea with my Ufa belt
on. It was still on deck playing 'Au
tumn.' How they ever did It I cannot
"That and the way Phillips kept send
ing after the captain told him his life
was his own, and to look out for him
self, are two things that stand out in
my mind over all the rest."
LIKE AWFUL DREAM,
Mrs. Cardeza, of Philadelphia,
Tells of Her Experience
NHW YORK, April 19. Among the
survivor were Mrs. J, r. Cardeza, her
Hon Thnnui. and maid. Annie Vard, all
"We oiiiHlu'd Into tho iceberg." safd
Mrs. Caidcza. "at about 12 o'clock at
nltrht. It is all now llko an awful
dream. I cannot bear to recall it. I
can only thank God that fate was kind
"W Ith the sinking of the Titanic, thoro
wero all kinds of terrible, reports, intone
which was that Captain Smith, when
ho wos nushod uhoaid a life raft, dove
Into the deep rather than cuffer the
iftrliirr's Hhamo of belnjr caved.
"Four died, I understood, in the life
boata before we woro picked ud. Tho
terrible cold killed them."
ROUTES TO EUROPE
As a result of tho disaster to tho Ti
tanic and the unusual ico conditions
prevailing in tho North Atlantic, tho
trans-Atlantic steamship lines have
agreed to cross longitude 47 degrees in
latitude 40 degrees 10 minutes, east
bound beginning today; and in longitude
47 degrees, latitude 41 degrees, west
bound, beginning April 25.
The routes designated are 200 miles
to the south of tho usual steamer lanes
on the southern courso followed at this
time of year.
.Notice of the change, and the agree
ment has been sent broadcast In the
latest bulletin of the United States Hy- i
arc-graphic office. I
The experiences of Mr. MAKE-IT-MGHT will appear In the columns of THE WASHINGTON
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