This site contains some fascinating pictures taken from the deck of the Carpathia on the morning after the sinking of the Titanic, April 15, 1912. Take a look at some of these pictures–they help to press home the reality of what those people went through after their ship sank from under them.
There are also a couple of letters written by survivors detailing their particular experiences. Here is part of what John P. Snyder wrote to his father a couple of weeks after the sinking–
I can only tell you that I have a mighty fine wife and she is the one you must thank—besides our Lord—for my being able to write this letter. If it hadn’t been for Nellie I’m sure that I would not be here now. She is the one that encouraged me to get up when I wanted to go back to bed.
We were both asleep when the boat hit. I don’t know whether the trump woke me up or I woke when Nellie spoke to me. At any rate she made me get up and go out to the companionway to see what was going on—I went out three times before we decided to get up and get dressed.
When we reached the top deck only a few people were about and we all were told to go down and put on our lifebelts—we did it at once thinking it was only a precaution. When we got back on the top deck again we saw they were getting the lifeboats ready—as soon as they were ready they told the people to get into them. . . .
Only a very few people were on deck at that time and they thought it much safer to stay on the big boat than try the lifeboats. When we rowed some distance away from the Titanicwe realized—by looking at the bow seeing the different rows of port holes getting less and less from three rows—then two rows and finally the bow went under—that the finest boat in the world was doomed—we hit between 11.40 and 11.50 and the Titanic sunk at 2.22 in the morning.
Read the entire letter–it is amazing how Snyder closes his letter by casually noting his wife’s weight gain of 20 pounds since their wedding! She must have been pregnant. What a way to finish his account of surviving one of the most famous maritime disasters! It’s a poignant reminder that those folks on the Titanic were real people just like us.