Lake Maxinkuckee Its Intrigue History & Genealogy Culver, Marshall, Indiana

Carl Olof Jansson Account

In a letter back to his parents and siblings he gave his account as follows:

I will tell you shortly how it happened. I can't describe it all.

One can't describe with a pencil the terrible things I witnessed.

Sunday night 11:30 we suddenly were informed that the boat had collided with an iceberg and was about to sink.

We had only time to take on the trousers and the cap before the water came into the cabin, and we had to run up on deck.

All the lifeboats were lowered and the rules and regulations were that women and children should be saved as far as possible. As the last boat was lowered, two Swedish girls wanted me to go on board with them, but I was blocked.

A scream was heard: Women first! But when they saw me standing there without any hope of salvation, the girls threw themselves from the boat into the water.

The big boat sank with a great explosion and the only thing to do was to jump into the water. With lots of scratches on the body I now began a struggle for life and death with the Atlantic's waves.

We were two Swedish boys, I myself and a journalist who's name was August Suderssou (Wennerstrom) from Ystad. We fought side by side and finally we found a raft, torn loose from the ship which we clung firmly to, but finally we were too many so it sank. Then started a tough fight in the water, making some people release their hold, so others could be saved. It worked.

Finally we were 50 men clinging to the raft, but before we were saved which happened after eight hours of wild struggle in the dark with plaintive cries that pierced the very marrow of my bones.

There were only 11 alive, three of us now were insane, four persons died after three to four hours. Finally only four perservered.

I am still in bed, but soon I am ready to go up. We get good care, so I think it will be a happy end. It has seemed very dark, but don't worry. In that case I don't wonder..

Today is