SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Community News Network

April 13, 2012

Son recalls his mother's anguish over those not rescued

(Continued)

It was a freezing, black night but a calm sea. Passengers faced the choice of being set adrift in lifeboats in the frigid Atlantic or staying aboard the unsinkable Titanic. At first, they mostly chose the latter. (The Titanic had only enough lifeboats for one-third of the more than 2,000 passengers.)

"Hers was one of the lifeboats they let go unfilled," said Wellman. "It pulled away." And there must have been misgivings on board because there was virtually nothing in the way of survival gear.

"Just the oars," he said.

In their lifeboat on a dark night, Mary and her mother were at least grateful to have the flashlight, hoping if worse came to worst they could use it to alert a passing vessel, said Wellman. "It was the only light they had."

Before their eyes, slowly but inexorably, the mighty Titanic disappeared into a black ocean. All lifeboats gone, desperate people began to leap into the icy water.

Heart-rending pleas for help reached the Lineses and others who "wanted to go back and pick people up. The crew would not do it. They were afraid the boat would be swamped." Wellman shrugged grimly. "Understandably."

He added, "Mother remembered all her life the cries of the people in the water, dying."

As those desperate voices weakened and died out, a freezing night followed, the huddled survivors not knowing what would become of them. Mary would later speak of the kindness of passengers and crew aboard Carpathia, the British steamship that picked them up in the morning.

Meanwhile, her father, a doctor working in France for an American insurance company, was frantic for days until he learned his wife and daughter had survived.

In the aftermath of the disaster, the family retreated to Paris. But before too many months, in 1914, World War I broke out. Dr. Ernest Lines devoted himself to treating French soldiers horribly mutilated in the fighting, paraplegics and quadriplegics.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News

Local News
  • Keenan to resign to take Salem State job

    SALEM — State Rep. John Keenan said Tuesday he will resign from office Aug. 24 to take a new job as vice president of administration at Salem State University.
    His announcement ended months of speculation about where the five-term Democrat would end up after leaving the Legislature. As it turns out, he is leaving four months before his term would have expired.

    July 29, 2014

  • Chism attorney challenging legislation

    DANVERS -- The attorney for the Danvers teen charged with raping and murdering his math teacher last October is arguing that the 1996 state law requiring that he be tried as an adult is unconstitutional. The argument by Philip Chism's attorney comes

    July 30, 2014

  • 140729_SN_DLE_PATROL4 Party problems persist in Point SALEM -- 'Tis the season for parties in the Point. Three years after a large Fourth of July gathering in the densely inhabited neighborhood led to a violent confrontation between partygoers and police, Chief Paul Tucker says his department continues

    July 30, 2014 3 Photos

  • lottery.jpg 'Lucky' Salem store sells $15M lottery ticket

    SALEM -- An anonymous person used a trust to claim a $15 million grand prize Tuesday from a $30 scratch ticket bought at a local corner store. It is the largest instant "scratch and win" prize ever in the state's history. Nicole's Food Store at 406

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • shelter2 Ipswich Animal shelter is looking to expand

    IPSWICH -- Dogs and cats living together -- well, it's easier when you've got the space. And that's exactly what the Ipswich Animal Shelter is hoping to get by expanding their facility on Fowler's Lane. Also in the mix is an understanding of animal

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos