Sunday, May 19, 2013

An Intrepid Australian Titanic Survivor

Titanic Memorial Voyage

Imagine the scene.  You're in a crowded lifeboat with no lantern, water, or provisions on a freezing night.  Shots are ringing out all around you, and men and women are fighting with each other to get on the lifeboat, which is already full.  You can see the Titanic sinking. This terrifying scenario happened to Charles Dahl, an Australian survivor of the Titanic.

Born in Norway in 1866, Dahl was one of eight children.  He emigrated to Australia in his twenties to work as a joiner, and lived in South Australia.  Dahl decided to return to Norway, but he changed his mind, and chose to visit his mother and some of his family in South Dakota instead.  He joined the Titanic as a third-class passenger on the way to South Dakota.

On the day of the crash, the sight of rows of icebergs worried Dahl.  He counted nineteen.  One was five miles long, he said.  He stated that no ship could cut a path through the sea, because it was 'full of icebergs'.

However, Dahl was in bed when the crash occurred.  He put on warm clothes, and raced to the deck, but he was surprised to find that he was in one of the lifeboats later.  He said that he must have jumped into it.  His whole fortune was in a wallet on board the sinking ship.

After visiting his mother and family, Dahl travelled for two years.  He returned to Norway and married a Norwegian lady.  They then moved to Australia.  Dahl died at 76 in 1933.

1 comment:

Hels said...

The trouble with most Titanic lectures and books is that a great deal is known about the First Class passengers only. The vast majority of passengers were 2nd or 3rd class individuals and families, and about these precious little is known.

Well done for fleshing out Mr Dahl.