Lifeboat from Titanic
Lifeboat to Carpathia
Confidence Level
Cohen, Mr Gershon 4 (7 votes)
12 (1 vote)
4 (7 votes)
12 (1 vote)


April 18, 1912 Cohen letter quoted in On Board RMS Titanic, page 166:
“I took my chance and jumped but I missed the rope and as I was falling I clutched hold of the rope. [illegible] gloves on and that really saved me because if I would not have those I would have cut my hands very much. As it is the rope cut through the gloves and cut my hands, and it made a cut about a inch in my forehead. My troubles were not over because I fell in the water and was kept up by my lifebelt. After being five minutes in the water (it seemed hours) I was dragged in the last lifeboat. There was nearly all women and children and 3 men. I was given one of the oars to pull the boat. We had to pull very hard because the Titanic was sinking and the suction would pull us all down.”

From a 1963 letter to Ed Kamuda published in the Commutator, Vol. 1, Issue #3, pages 7-9:
    “The boat that rescued me had many women and children but was not filled to capacity – it could have taken a lot more!  I found out later that Mrs. Astor was in the same boat.”  Later he states “Our boat picked up several men from the water.  I believe one or two died of exposure.  Then the bung of our lifeboat began to leak, so my job was to bale the water out. …..  All the lifeboats kept together by order of some officer who we later was informed as 2nd mate Lightoller."

At the American Inquiry, pages 667-668, Lamp trimmer Samuel Hemming had this to say about the only man taken from the water that he was sure was a passenger:
    Mr. HEMMING. I know one was a third-class passenger.
    Senator SMITH. What was his name?
    Mr. HEMMING. I do not know, sir.
    Senator SMITH. Where was he from?
    Mr. HEMMING. That I could not tell you, sir.
    Senator SMITH. Was he an Englishman or an American?
    Mr. HEMMING. I spoke to him, and I do not think he was an Englishman.
    Senator SMITH. Do you think he was an American?
    Mr. HEMMING. He spoke very good English, but I have an idea that he was a foreigner of some sort.

So Hemming thought the man MIGHT be a foreigner. Gus Cohen certainly didn't look foreign, and at the time of his TV interview in the '50s he had no trace of a foreign accent. But as a much younger man back in 1912 he might have retained something of the accent of his immigrant parents.

If Cohen was in Mrs. Astor’s lifeboat, he was picked up by #4, which we know had several people who died from exposure.  #4 was one of the boats that were part of Lowe’s Flotilla.  But if he was in Lightoller’s boat, that was either Collapsible B, or #12.  Is it possible he got up on B, and then transferred to #12?  Or did he just misidentify Lowe?  Gus Cohen's story notably differs from those of many who falsely claimed to have been in the water in that he was clearly trying to get into a boat, rather than heroically taking a dive in support of the 'women and children first' policy. His accounts read like he was describing boat 4.  We did not all agree on which boat, #4 or #12.