||Lifeboat from Titanic
||Lifeboat to Carpathia
Fitzpatrick, Mr Cecil William Norman
Mess Steward Cecil Fitzpatrick gave a detailed account of his escape, which appeared in both the Western Daily Mercury on April 29, 1912 and the Liverpool Journal of Commerce on April 30, 1912:
“… I saw Capt. Smith speaking to Mr Andrews, the designer of the Titanic. I stopped to listen. I was still confident that the ship was unsinkable, but when I heard Capt. Smith say: ‘We cannot stay any longer; she is going!’ I fainted against the starboard side of the bridge entrance.”
After recovering, Fitzpatrick described the following happening:
“I then went to launch one of the collapsible boats which had been eased down off the top decks on the starboard side. We found, when we tried to swing her in the davits that she was wedged between the winch of the davits and the spar - which helped ease her down from the lower deck, which is the deck below the boat deck.
The next thing I remember is the ship suddenly dipping, and the waves rushing up and engulfing me. After ten seconds the Titanic again righted herself, but then I saw that everyone who a minute before had been attempting to lower away, except myself had been swept into the fo’castle head. I saved myself by clinging on to the davit winch.”
Fitzpatrick then describes jumping overboard and swimming for his life:
“...I had managed to keep afloat quite twenty minutes when I got on to an overturned lifeboat, on which was Officer Lightholder (sic) and a number of other people. We drifted until daybreak, when we were sighted by No. 12 lifeboat of the Titanic.”
Fitzpatrick’s claim to have been aboard Collapsible B and pulled into #12 is confirmed by the account of Second Class passenger Lillian Bentham, who the team concluded, with certainty, as having been rescued in #12. She stated the following, in the Times-Tribune in 1962:
“‘If it weren't for my fur coat, I believe I would not be alive today, nor would the young steward. Mr. Fitzpatrick,’ she reminisces. ‘I had. on a hooded steamer coat over my, nightclothes, and Bert grabbed my fur one from a chair as we left, the stateroom. That 'extra' I wrapped around Mr. Fitzpatrick when we had rescued him from an overturned boat.’”
Due to the corroboration from Bentham, we concluded that Fitzpatrick was rescued atop Collapsible B, and subsequently transferred aboard #12.