Officers Did Their Duty Like Brave
|R. Case, a Michigan man, tells a thrilling story of
"When it was found, without a doubt, that the steamer was to be a total wreck," he said, "our first thought was to save the women and children, and so the small boats were launched. Everything was orderly and quiet in the work of transhipping the women. There was no rush for the boats, and the officers did all that they could to prevent any panic.
"The boats were launched fully ten hours before the sinking of the vessel, and it was only when the officers discovered that the boats could not possibly live in such a sea that the mistake of sending off the women and children was realized. Then, of course, it was too late. But no one, in my opinion, is to blame for having the boats launched. It was done for what was thought to be the best interests of the women. All the boats were fully and carefully officered.
"Three small boats were sent out, one filled with men and two with women and children. There is no doubt that they were all lost. They could not possibly have reached land in such a sea. I have heard that a number saw the boats founder and sink, but I did not see this.
"After the launching of the boats the hours of suspense we passed through were tough, but everybody bore the strain like a man. I saw no cowardice manifested. All the officers remaining on the vessel did their full duty through it all. They were brave men.