Few people now remember the sinking of the great ship Titanic exactly sixty years ago. The number of people who were actually saved from her was small, and some of those have died in the years since, so that those who are still alive today can be counted on the fingers of one hand. Then you will easily understand why I have been asked to write about that sad day in 1912.
The Titanic, then the largest ship in the world, was thought by people at that time to be unsinkable. Yet, when she hit an iceberg in thick fog in the North Atlantic Ocean, she actually disappeared in less than twenty minutes, taking nearly fifteen hundred people with her. My own life was saved by my youth. Being only a boy of fourteen, I was one of those lucky women and children who, according to custom, were allowed to get away first from the sinking ship. The selfless crew packed some sixty of us into a small boat and lowered it into the angry sea. But during the ship's last minutes more and more passengers, as their last hope of escaping death, threw themselves wildly into the sea and tried to get aboard our boat, with the result that it finally turned over and we all found ourselves struggling for our lives in the water. But I was strong enough to swim for three hours in the ice water before a passing ship picked me up.