From Zero to Hero (4 of 8) by Jeff Ginn
This content is part of a series.From Zero to Hero (4 of 8)
Series: Risking to Rescue
Dr. Jeffery B. Ginn
January 25, 2004
a. I want to tell you the story this morning of an unlikely hero. To many he was a zero. But he became a hero. Some say, the real hero of the Titanic. Single. 29 years old. 5th Officer. As a 14-year-old teenager, he had run away from home for the excitement of the sea.
b. As the Titanic sank that fateful night of April 15, 1912, the majority of the ship's 20 lifeboats were less than half full. For example, #1 with a capacity of 40, set sail with 12 aboard. It is said that many on board the ship did not believe it would actually sink, and they didn't see the need to get in a lifeboat. Many were confident that a rescue would take place. Filling the lifeboats was simply a precaution to calm the fears of women and children. However, they were dreadfully wrong. More than 1,500 souls perished that night. Meanwhile, in the place where the Titanic had sunk, a spine-chilling chorus drifted across the waters--a mixture of cries, screams, and shouts. For those sitting in the lifeboats, shivering in the cold, it was the most nightmarish sound imaginable. Few, however, were moved to help the dying in the water. Most feared they would be swamped by rowing into the throng of people. Fifth Officer Lowe was in command of Lifeboat 14. He redistributed the passengers from his boat into the other boats and rowed back toward the wreck with a small crew of volunteers to attempt a rescue. The men could hardly row as the water was so thick with corpses. History records that they saved a precious few. He did not bother with corpses. "I may be a bit hard-hearted I can not say," he later recounted, "but I thought to myself, 'I am not here to worry about bodies, I am here...for life.'" He managed to erect a sail and pulled a couple of other collapsibles to the Carpathian.
c. I want us to meet another zero who became a hero this morning. His story is recoun ...
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