Après que le RMS Carpathia (cliquez ici) ait quitté les lieux avec les survivants, le RMS Californian (cliquez ici), arrivé tardivement, est chargé de ramassé les corps mais, curieusement, n'en trouve aucun. Sans doute, trompé par les vents et les courants, l'équipage n'avait-il pas cherché au bon endroit. Mais les dirigeants de la White Star Line sont convaincus qu'il reste beaucoup à trouver et louent plusieurs navires pour rechercher les corps.
After the Titanic sank in the early hours of the 15th April, 1912 the sea around the site was littered with the flotsam and jetsam of the liner. Among the broken decking, furniture and fittings were hundreds of bodies floating around. Each of these had a cork lifejacket on which would keep them afloat for weeks. After the RMS Carpathia left the scene with her survivors she asked the RMS Californian, which had belatedly arrived to search for more survivors and bodies. Another of the unanswered mysteries is the fact that the Californian claimed not to have seen any at all. The Californian must have made a very cursory search of the area and not allowed for the fact that the wind, drift, and current would have already scattered the wreckage and bodies over a very wide area.
The officials of the White Star Line were not convinced that everything had disappeared and they set to and chartered several ships to go and search the area and recover any bodies that they could.
|Le navire câblier Mackay-Bennett qui eut le discutable honneur d'être le premier à faire le ramassage des corps des victimes du naufrage du Titanic.|
|L'équipage du Mackay-Bennett au retour sa macabre mission.|
Le Mackay-Bennett est construit à Glasgow en 1884 pour la Commercial Cable Company. Il est baptisé des noms des deux fondateurs de la société, John Mackay et Gordon Bennett. Il est mis en service la même année. Il fait une longue carrière dans la réparation des câbles en Atlantique Nord. Bien que basé à Halifax en Nouvelle-Écosse, il était souvent utilisé pour des opérations du côté européen. Son port d'attache était alors Plymouth en Angleterre. Le navire reprend ensuite ses activités de câblier.
Le Mackay-Bennett est désarmé en mai 1922 et il servit comme entrepôt flottant dans le port de Plymouth. Il est coulé durant une attaque allemande lors du Blitz sur l'Angleterre, mais est plus tard renfloué. Il est envoyé à la casse en 1963.
The SS Mackay-Bennett was the first to be made ready, she was a cable laying ship under the command of Captain F. H. Lardner. She hurriedly loaded over 100 coffins and as much embalming fluid as could be found at short notice and also loaded 12 tons of grate iron.
Trois autres navires, le Minia, le Montmagny et l’Algerine se succèderont sur le site pour des recherches approfondies.
|Le navire câblier CS Minia à Halifax.|
|Préparation des corps sur le CS Minia. A bord, se trouvaient le révérend Henry Ward Cunningham, l'embaumeur William H. Snow et l'assistant croque-mort et chirurgien Will Mosher.|
On board were Rev. Henry Ward Cunningham of St. George's Church, Halifax, embalmer William H. Snow 4, and assistant undertaker and surgeon Will Mosher.
To help in the recovery the cable ship CS Minia was also sent, she had 150 coffins, 20 tons of ice and 10 tons of grate iron, she was under the command of Captain W. E. S. Decarteret. She picked up 15 bodies, of these two were buried at sea and the rest returned to Halifax.
|SS Montmagny, troisième navire corbillard loué par la White Star Line. Construit à Sorel au Québec en 1909. 64,8m par 10,6m, tirant d'eau 5,94m. 1269tonnes.|
The CGS Montmagny Official No.126,457. Built 1909 in Sorel, Québec; length 212.6 ft.; breadth 34.8 ft.; draught 19.5 ft.; registered tonnage 1,269 tons.
Also sent was the Marine and Fisheries vessel the SS Montmagny under the command of Captain Peter Johnson and they recovered just four bodies, one of which was buried at sea and the other three returned to Halifax. On board was Rev. Samuel Henry Prince 4 from St. Paul's Church, Halifax, Father Patrick McQuillan 5 from St. Mary's Basilica, Halifax, as well as John R. Snow, Jr. 6, the undertaker who had been on the Mackay-Bennett and Cecil E. Zink 7, an undertaker from Dartmouth. The Montmagny recovered four bodies (Body numbers 326 to 329), one of which was buried at sea. The remaining three bodies were delivered to Louisbourg, Nova Scotia on Monday, May 13th and shipped to Halifax via the Sydney & Louisbourg and Canadian National Railways. After re-bunkering and obtaining more supplies, Montmagny returned to the scene to search for more bodies. The vessel cruised back and forth as far as the Gulf Stream seeking additional bodies, but the search was fruitless with only small pieces of wood, very scattered, sighted to the east of the disaster site. Montmagny met the Algerine at about 6 p.m. on 19 May 1912 she returned to Halifax on 23 May 1912 and resumed her normal duties with the Canadian government.
Montmagny was a lighthouse supply and buoy tender, on loan from the Canadian Government and operated by the Canadian Department of Marine and Fisheries.
|SS Algerine, qui rapporta le dernier corps trouvé sur les lieux du drame.|
The Algerine was a cargo and passenger ship (and part-time sealer) owned by Bowring Brothers Limited of St. John’s. She sailed under the command of Captain John Jackman. Also aboard were chief officer Richard B. Giles and undertakers Andrew Carnell from Carnell’s Funeral Home and a Mr. Lawrence the undertaker with Lawrence Brothers.