Titanic's Urgent Message

Titanic's Urgent Message sent around 1:40 AM (local time) on the 15th of April, 1912

Jack Phillips—Titanic’s senior wireless operator—sent this urgent message at about 1:40 AM (local time) on the 15th of April, 1912. It was one of the last messages which Phillips sent before Titanic sank. He advised that:

We are sinking fast passengers being put into boats

Although Phillips initially survived the sinking, he passed away before rescuers arrived.

Charles Lightoller, Titanic’s Second Officer, wrote about Phillips’ final moments in his book Titanic and Other Ships:

Phillips, the senior wireless operator, standing near me, told me the different ships that had answered our call...

...As it turned out, the information from Phillips, and the calculation [regarding Titanic’s location which Phillips had transmitted during Titanic’s crisis], were about right, though poor old Phillips did not live to benefit by it. He hung on till daylight came in and we sighted one of the lifeboats in the distance...

...I think it must have been the final and terrible anxiety that tipped the beam with Phillips, for he suddenly slipped down, sitting in the water, and though we held his head up, he never recovered.

I insisted on taking him into the lifeboat with us, hoping there still might be life, but it was too late. (Charles Lightoller, quoted in The Story of the Titanic As Told by Its Survivors, edited by Jack Winocour, at pages 301-02.)

As history famously records, Titanic did not have enough lifeboats to save all of the sinking ship's passengers. The ship's owner had equipped it with just enough lifeboats to pass muster with regulations in effect at the time.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Oct 07, 2013

Updated Last Revision: Feb 25, 2020

Media Credits

Titanic’s message maintained at the UK National Archives, file MT/9/920/C. Image online, courtesy Wikimedia Commons.



To cite this story (For MLA citation guidance see easybib or OWL ):

"Titanic's Urgent Message" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Feb 25, 2020.
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