One of my favourite real Titanic stories is the tale of this guy, Chief Baker Charles Joughin, who really did end up on the stern of the sinking ship - but not after being kind of a badass
When the Titanic struck the iceberg, he was in his bunk. He ordered his fellow staff above deck. Seeing they were readying lifeboats, he ordered his 13 men to get provisions for the boats - about 40lbs of bread, each.
He was assigned as captain of Lifeboat 10, and he helped to load women & children aboard. When some got scared, saying they'd rather stay on the ship, he chased them down began THROWING them into the lifeboat.
Despite being captain of lifeboat 10, he refused to board, allowing others to get in.
As the boat was lowered to the water, he did what many would do in a disaster with no way out: Drank.
With all the lifeboats gone, he walked up and down the now badly listing promenade and proceeded to throw about 50 wooden deck chairs in the water.
He figured the ship was going down & a lot of people would need flotation devices.
Back on A Deck, he heard a huge crash "as if part of the ship had buckled."
With a crowd, he ran toward the poop deck. The ship suddenly listed to port, throwing all but him, and he was able to climb over the safety rail on the outside.
The sole person on the back of the ship as it went down, he said he rode it down like an elevator, stepping off into the water as it disappeared into the ocean, not even getting his head wet.
Temperatures were -2.2 degrees Celsius, about 28 Fahrenheit. INCREDIBLY he tread water for TWO HOURS. Most people would not have survived more than 15 minutes.
It's thought that the alcohol he'd drunk helped to stop him from feeling the shocking cold & thereby survive.
At daybreak, he spotted Collapsible B lifeboat, with about 30 men standing on the side. They could not pull him up out of the water as there was no room. However, cook Isaac Maynard was aboard & recognized him.
Maynard helped him hold onto the side (his legs & feet were still in the water) until later Joughin spotted another lifeboat. He let got, swan to that, and was rescued from the water at last.
He was later taken aboard the RMS Carpathia with many other survivors, and despite his ordeal had no more than swollen feet.
He moved the USA and died in 1956 at the age of 78.
So when times get tough, just remember to distribute bread, help others, get drunk, and keep your head above water. It'll all work out.
Charles John Joughin (August 3, 1878 – December, 9 1956)
The response to this thread has been unbelievable, I'm so glad you've all enjoyed learning about CJ Joughin.
I have a debut book to plug (but you can find all the info on my profile). Mostly I want to use this space to say to remember to be kind & to have a lovely day