Archaeology & History
Man narrowly avoided Titanic disaster due to injured finger 111 years ago
By T.K. Randall
April 15, 2023 · 6 comments
The vessel ended up at the bottom of the sea. Image Credit: Public Domain
Today marks the 111th anniversary of one of the most infamous maritime disasters of all time.
Situated 13,000ft beneath the surface of the Atlantic, the wreck of the Titanic was discovered in 1985 and has since served as a humbling reminder of the disaster that claimed over 1,500 lives.
On April 15th, 1912, the ship - once hailed as 'unsinkable' due to its immense size and advanced design - struck an iceberg while crossing the Atlantic and sunk beneath the waves.
One of the engine crew, however, managed to narrowly avoid this fate thanks to a freak accident that saw him depart the ship just before it set sail.
Teenager Joe Swarbrick had been planning to emigrate to Canada with his older brother Bill and had found work aboard the Titanic around the time it was due to begin operating.
Just a few days before its maiden voyage, however, he ended up slicing off one of his fingers in an accident, meaning that he had to return to shore at Southamption and go to a local hospital.
He was told by doctors that he would be unable to go to America and was forced to return home to Belfast with his brother, leaving him feeling as though he had let both of them down.
It wasn't long, however, before news of the Titanic's demise reached them.
If Swarbrick hadn't injured his finger, they would have both surely perished on the ship.
Source: BBC News
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