Sunday, February 26, 2012
Charles H. Lightoller was the most senior surviving member of the crew of the RMS Titanic when it sank in 1912. He organized the evacuation of the port side lifeboats before he was sucked underwater, held against a grating for a moment, and then shot back out of the water by the expelled air. Recovering his wits, he swam to join some nearby survivors and he organized their evacuation; he is generally credited with keeping their lifeboat from collapsing until the RMS Carpathia arrived. Years later, in 1940, he, his son Roger, and a friend used his 58-foot fishing yacht Sundowner to help evacuate the British soldiers from Dunkirk, saving 130 soldiers in one single trip.