From the April 19, 1912 edition of the New York Times:
Carl Olaf Jansson's account (Jansson is mistakenly called Johnson):
WATER CREPT INTO STEERAGE
Carl Johnson, a steerage passenger, was asleep in his berth when the collision with the iceberg took place.
"There was no crash," he explained. "There was only a slight jar and a creaking, which partially awakened me. There was no excitement in steerage, and I paid no attention to the occurrance. I was asleep again when two of the ship's officers passed through the steerage, awkening the passengers. They told us to dress and come on deck-that there had been an accident, but there was no danger.
"When I started to dress I noticed that there was water creeping up about my feet. At first it came very slowly, but after a time it was around my ankles. In the compartment where I was sleeping the water was at an even depth everywhere, and the boat did not seem to have the slightest pitch to starboard or port, indicating that she was settling slowly and steadily and that the bottom had been ripped out.The upper air compartments kept the water from coming in very fast at first and no one seemed to think that she was going to sink.
"When I got on deck I saw the first sign of panic among the passengers. Women were screaming with terror and men were running this way and that. Then I noticed that the boat had begun to settle in the bow, where I was standing. All the lights of the vessel were still going however, and (lost a bit here)...the davits the water reached the dynamos in the engine room and we were suddenly plunged into darkness, save for the cold, clear light of the heavens, for it was a starlit night.
HEARD SEVERAL SHOTS
"I could not accustom myself to the change for several minutes. I think I was in a sort of daze and had no clear recollection of what happened afterward, or how long a time had elapsed. Suddenly I heard shrieks and cries amidship, and the sharp report of several shots. People began to run at me toward the stern of the ship, and as I started to run I realized that the boat was beginning to go down very rapidly, and there was quite a decline noticeable in the deck, showing that her nose was being buried. A wave struck me and I went overboard.
"As I rose to the surface I saw a board floating on the top of the water and I seized it. A wave threw me away from the ship, and I began to swim, clutching on to the boardto keep me afloat. The shock seemed to restore my sensesand I began to see objects in the water quite clearly. The air was rent with screams and curses, and there was a lot of men and women in the water trying to get away from the ship to escape the awful suction when she went down.
"There was an overturned lifeboat riding a big wave near me. I was swept toward it, and managed to catch hold of the edge. There were seven or eight of its original passengers clinging to its sides. By the time we were almost half a mile from the ship and we could still see it clearly. It was quite low in the bow and was settling rapidly. Suddenly it seemed to give a great lurch forward. The stern seemed to rise from the water, and the ship plunged head first beneath the waves.
"For fully a minute as she was going down there was an awful
silence everywhere. Not a sound was heard from the lifeboats,
which we could now see clustered in a semi-circle a few hundred
yards ahead of us, nor was there any sound from the waters behind
us, where even then we could see hundreds of dark forms struggling
in the water with bits of wreckage and debris.