Titanic Stories: The Chief BakerPosted on 2012.03.29 at 22:04
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The Chief Baker of the RMS Titanic is one of the more interesting characters of the story of the Titanic. Charles Joughin simply knew he was going to die. Offered a place in one of the boats as a member of the crew, he argued that it wasn’t right that he do so. “I’m no sailor” he told Second Officer Charles Lightoller. He assisted passengers with their lifebelts, put some women into the boats and then went back to his room to drink alcohol. Being caught drinking was a fireable offense on the White Star Line, but Charles didn’t think they would get the chance to do it. He alternated between going to his cabin and helping with the passengers.
It came to the point where Charles got completely sloshed to the point it was difficult to walk. He also could not go back to his cabin as it was flooded. He wandered around the top deck throwing deck chairs at people he saw in the water. He followed the crowd and made his way to the stern of the ship. At the stern, he climbed over the guard rail and hung on the outside of the railing. As the ship broke up and then tilted up for its final dive, he stood on the rear of the ship and rode it down like an elevator until he was quite literally, the last passenger that got off the ship. The ship settled so gently and with no suction that Charles hair was not wet. He was still very drunk.
Charles was in the freezing water for two hours. He was found by an overturned collapsible boat and brought on only when another survivor on the boat had died. Most of the people in the water died or had serious ill effects from their time in the water. The next day after boarding the rescue ship Carpathia, Charles Joughin awoke sober with no ill effects at all. His story verified by other survivors was recounted in both “A Night to Remember” and James Cameron’s “Titanic”.
It would not be the last ship that would sink out from under him, but Charles Joughin would have a long life serving until World War II and passing away in 1956.