||Lifeboat from Titanic
||Lifeboat to Carpathia
|Hirvonen, Mrs Helga Elisabeth||Collapsible D||Collapsible D||3.00|
|Hirvonen, Miss Hildur Elisabeth||Collapsible D||Collapsible D||3.00|
From Charleroi Mail, April 23, 1912 (reprinted in Commutator #105 (Vol 13 No 2), “The Finnish Immigrants of the Titanic” by Kalman Tanito:
“I was the last woman to be given a place in the last life boat. I was very carefully picked up because I had my baby with me. Mrs. Alkarainen was seized by the neck and foot, I believe, and tossed in a life boat. She fainted. Her husband bade her a fond goodbye. He intended to get into a lifeboat but heroicaly gave way to others.
I suppose we had been away from the Titanic 20 minutes when it went down. I saw it plainly. When it took its final dive, people were leaping from all sides into the water. Some of them were saved. When our life boat left the Titanic's side it was only about half filled. It wasn't long however, until we had picked up enough to completely fill it. My brother was found on a raft after we had been six and a half hours at sea.
I saw those millionaires on the deck, but I could not distinguish any of them, because they had simply been pointed out to me before and [I] was not familiar with their figures. They were helping place women in lifeboats. I was in the boat with the managing director of the steamship company, J. Bruce Ismay, although at the time I didn't know it."
Eino Lindqvist tells his story in Finska Amerikanaren, April 25, 1912:
“'He helped his sister Elina (sic) and her little 2-year-old daughter into the last boat on the port side, but when he tried to follow, he was pushed away. “ (Lindqvist likely escaped on Collapsible A)
From Lindqvist’s 1930 account in the Syracuse Post-Standard, April 27, 1930:
“Officers were maintaining a terrific struggle to preserve that ancient rule of the sea – 'women and children first.' The odds, at times, appeared to be too great. With their pistols drawn, the Titanic’s officers formed the women and children into lines to await their turn for a place in a lifeboat. To win for my sister and her child a place in this line was the task I set myself to do. I shouted to my sister to hold on to my overcoat and to follow me. Then ensued a fight to hold that place, which lasted an hour and a half. Finally we reached a lifeboat, and with the aid of some ship’s officers, I managed to get my sister and ….. [unreadable] … an attempt to enter the last lifeboat. But a huge .45 automatic pistol pushed into my breast forced me back! ….. I stood by and helped to see that the lifeboat containing my sister and her baby was safely lowered, for I had seen some of the boats, manned by woefully green crews, stood on end. At this time the prow of the Titanic was almost submerged and her stern was high in the air, and she had a fearful list.”
The prow being submerged and the fearful list describes the situation as the very last boats were launched. Lindqvist describes a boat on the port side, which could indicate Collapsible D, however the description of Ismay being in the boat would indicate Collapsible C. The identification of Ismay could be an error.
Looking at the evidence, we have a port boat 'half full,' launched late, they thought it was the last, around 20 minutes before the end, where men were held back, there was disorder, and the officer allegedly used a gun to keep men back. That doesn't sound like #4, but more like Collapsible D. There is no real evidence of guns being brandished or significant disorder at 4, and there was a man taken from the water in D, plus a significant number of passengers were transferred into it later once afloat, filling it up more. Very little sounds like #4 (other than an assumption that 'picked up' means out of the water and not transferred in), there is no mention of climbing through windows to board the boat, etc. If it was a collapsible, it explains the confusion about why there was a thought later that Ismay was in the same boat.