Captain E.J. Smith intended on retiring after this particular trip. He and his officers aboard the Titanic had hoped to set a speed record during the vessel’s maiden voyage across the transatlantic. They pushed on, full speed ahead into the night and into an iceberg. Smith and all but one of his officers, Second Officer Charles Lightoller perished with the ship.
Governess Elizabeth Shutes recalled being summoned to the Sun Deck after the Titanic struck the icy mass. She made it onto a lifeboat: “Our men knew nothing about the position of the stars, hardly how to pull together. Two oars were soon overboard. The men’s hands were too cold to hold on…Then across the water swept that awful wail, the cry of those drowning people. In my ears, I heard: ‘She’s gone, lads; row like hell or we’ll get the devil of a swell.”
Ida Straus was adamant about boarding a lifeboat without her husband Isidor. But Isidor wouldn't board one either, not while women and children were still on the sinking vessel. So, Ida fooled her way into staying aboard by draping her fur coat over Ellen Bird, one of the ship’s maids.
Ellen took Ida’s place on the lifeboat and Ida died with her husband. “I will not be separated from my husband. As we have lived, so will we die, together.” According to witnesses, the couple was last seen arm in arm on deck.