Passengers Who Became Famous for Surviving the Titanic Disaster
A number of passengers became famous for having survived the sinking of Titanic. Some of these Titanic passengers gained fame for only a few hours and some for many decades.
Rosa Abbott (real name Rhoda Abbott) was the only female Titanic passenger who actually went down with the ship and survived. Abbott, a third-class passenger, was on the stern when the ship went under. She was swept away from the ship and, when she surfaced, was able to make it to the Collapsible A lifeboat. Her two young sons, however, were lost to the sea.
Abbott remarried in 1914 and moved to Florida. She ultimately returned to London with plans of moving back permanently to the United States, but that never happened. She died of heart failure in 1946 at the age of 73.
Lawrence Beesley was a second-class passenger and Titanic survivor who went on to write a bestselling account of the sinking called The Loss of the S.S. Titanic: Its Story and Its Lessons. Beesley had been on his way to the United States for a vacation when the Titanic sank. He began jotting down details of that night while still on the Carpathia after being rescued.
Beesley, a Christian Scientist, remembered tucking a blanket under the feet of a cold baby in Lifeboat 13. He also remembered two perilous moments in the lifeboat: one as they were descending into the ocean and he saw water gushing from the Titanic’s hull (which probably could have capsized them), and another as his lifeboat almost got stuck beneath the descending Lifeboat 15.
Helen Candee was a writer known for the books Susan Truslow (1900); How Women May Earn a Living (1900); An Oklahoma Romance (1901); Decorative Styles and Periods (1906); The Tapestry Book (1912); Angkor, the Magnificent (1924); New Journeys in Old Asia (1927); and Weaves and Draperies (1931). She was a first-class passenger on the Titanic and was rescued in Lifeboat 6.
After her rescue, Candee wrote about visiting the bow of the Titanic before sunrise; it is said that her visit to the bow inspired Cameron’s “I’m flying!” scene (with Jack and Rose) in the 1997 movie.
Candee broke her ankle falling into the lifeboat, and the delay in getting it treated resulted in her needing a cane to walk for almost a year.
Winnifred Vera Quick Van Tongerloo
Winnifred Vera Quick Van Tongerloo was one of just five remaining Titanic survivors when she died on July 4, 2002. Van Tongerloo was born on January 23, 1904, and was 8 years and 3 months old when the Titanic sailed. She was a second-class passenger and was rescued in Lifeboat 11. She resided in Michigan.
Does Winnifred Vera Quick Van Tongerloo have the most unusual name among survivors? If she doesn’t, she’s high in the running.