The last lifeboat discovered after the sinking of the Titanic in 1912 was found with three rotting corpses, according to Fox News.
An auction happening this week in the United Kingdom will feature photos and written accounts of crew members from the RMS Oceanic discovering a lifeboat floating in the ocean in May of 1912, around a month after the Titanic sank. The lifeboat was found roughly 200 miles from where the Titanic sank, according to Daily Mail.
The photos show the bodies of two firemen from the Titanic’s engine room and a wealthy passenger who was wearing a dinner jacket. A woman’s ring was also found on the vessel.
In the photos of the Oceanic crew members discovery of the Titanic’s lifeboat, you can see a boat being lowered into the water from the Oceanic, it approaching the lifeboat, and later the crew members from the Oceanic standing on the Titanic’s lifeboat.
The written account of the discovery from an Oceanic crew member says the arms of a corpse came off the body when an Oceanic crew member tried to pick them up.
It’s been 104 years since the sinking of the Titanic, and these artifacts are just now becoming known to the public. The bodies were wrapped in canvas and buried at sea after the Oceanic crew members discovered them, according to The Telegraph.
The Titanic lifeboat was known as “Collapsible Boat A,” and it is not known how long the Titanic passengers were at sea before they eventually died.
The ring apparently belonged to a woman named Gerda Lindell, and it had “Edward to Gerda” inscribed on it. Gerda allegedly died trying to reach her husband Edward, who was on the lifeboat, and he died on the lifeboat. He died before the other lifeboat passengers and was thrown overboard.
Letter from White Star Line to Berry Brothers & Rudd informing of the sinking of the Titanic. On this date 1912. pic.twitter.com/1ZwWpd8bsc— Will Lyons (@Will_Lyons) April 16, 2016
“These are three first generation photographs of the recovery of Titanic’s last lifeboat,” said auctioneer Andrew Aldridge, according to The Telegraph. “Accompanying them is a very graphic handwritten description by a passenger of the condition of those on board and the recovery operation.”
The records show that the lifeboat was not released from the Titanic like many others were, and it instead fell off while the Titanic was sinking into the ocean. Passengers who had fallen or jumped into the ocean pulled themselves onto it after it fell off, and many died later on.
The RMS Titanic was a British passenger liner that sank after colliding with an iceberg. Over 1,500 passengers and crew members died when the Titanic sank in the North Atlantic Ocean. The ship was supposed to travel from Southampton, England, to New York City.
The Titanic left its port on April 10, 1912, and it had only been completed on March 31, 1912. It was a spectacle for anyone who could go see the ship being built, it being tested in the waters, and the initial voyage attracted many of Britain’s wealthiest citizens. Some of the less wealthy passengers were hoping to go to the United States to start a new life, and they were put in a separate part of the Titanic from the wealthy passengers.
The Titanic had 20 lifeboats, and they were made of wood. Each lifeboat could carry between around 40-60 passengers, depending on the design of the lifeboat. The Titanic lifeboat that was discovered by RMS Oceanic was one of the few lifeboats that was not secured to the deck of the Titanic using ropes. The boats carried food, water, blankets and other necessities.
The captain of the Titanic sent distress signals to the closest ship, the SS Californian, when the Titanic began to sink, but those calls were not answered.
[Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images]