To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Actual Titanic survivor who hung onto board in freezing water relived moment he cheated death in extraordinary interview

Actual Titanic survivor who hung onto board in freezing water relived moment he cheated death in extraordinary interview

A survivor from the Titanic has opened up about how he miraculously survived the ship's sinking.

A survivor from the Titanic has opened up about how he miraculously survived the ship's sinking.

Warning: Contains descriptions some may find upsetting:

Frank W. Prentice was on board the White Star Line's British passenger liner when it hit an iceberg in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean on 15 April, 1912.

He was part of the Purser's Office, where first class passengers could purchase tickets to certain attractions on the ship.

The trip was the Titanic's first ever journey from Southampton, UK, to New York City, US, with 2,240 passengers and crew onboard. More than 1,500 people lost their lives in the tragedy.

In an interview with the BBC, Prentice spoke out about the traumatic event and how it continued to affect him years later, 'the whole thing com[ing] round again' as he lay in bed at night.

The Titanic set sail from Southampton on 10 April, 1912.
Shawshots/ Alamy Stock Photo

Recalling the moment the RMS Titanic struck the iceberg, Prentice revealed there was 'no impact as such' but it just felt like 'jamming your brakes on a car'.

He continued: "We had a porthole open and I looked out and the sky was clear, stars were shining, the sea was dead calm and I couldn't understand it. So I came out of the cabin and I thought I'd go forward."

Prentice went to the 'well deck on the starboard side' where he could see ice, but 'no sign of damage above waterline'. However, he soon realised the ship had 'slipped over the iceberg'.

"Although she was supposed to be unsinkable – with the double bottom – the iceberg had cut her from forward on the starboard side to the engine room right through her two bottoms," he explained.

Prentice was part of the Purser's Office.
BBC

While more than 1,500 people lost their lives, Prentice revealed how he ended up being one of the lucky ones to survive.

After going up to the 'poop deck' Prentice realised just how fast the Titanic was sinking.

"All of a sudden, she lifted up quickly and you could hear everything crashing through her," he said. "[...] I thought now I'm going to leave. I was hanging onto a board, we had two boards starboard and port."

After being taken higher and higher in the air, Prentice 'dropped in' the sea with his lifebelt on.

He continued: "I hit the water with a terrific crack. Luckily I didn't hit anything when I dropped in. There were bodies all over the place. Then I looked up at the Titanic [...] and I could see the bottom and then gradually she glided away and that was that. That was the last of the Titanic."

Prentice hit the water with a lifebelt on with a 'terrific crack'.
BBC

However, despite being off the ship, Prentice still wasn't safe.

He recalled: "I didn't want to die and I didn't see much chance of living. I was gradually getting frozen up and by the grace of God I came across a lifeboat and they pulled me in."

In the interview, Prentice noted how he met a couple – Mr and Mrs Clark – just before he managed to escape the ship. According to Prentice, the wife was distraught at the idea of leaving her husband behind but he urged her onto a boat, saying her husband would follow soon after.

Once on the lifeboat, Prentice turned around and who should he find but Mrs Clark.

He said: "She wrapped me round with her cloak [...] I think she probably saved my life. [...] I saved hers, at least I think I might have done [...] and she saved mine."

Prentice opened up about still being haunted by the sinking of the ship and suffering from nightmares.
BBC

When asked whether talking about the sinking of the Titanic and his experience bothers him still, Prentice said: "Talking about it? I should probably dream about it tonight. Have another nightmare.

"You'd think I'm too old for that but you'd be amazed."

If you've been affected by any of the issues in this story, you can speak in confidence about where to get help from Mind free on 0300 123 3393, 9am–6pm Monday to Friday 

Featured Image Credit: BBC / 20th Century Fox

Topics: TikTok, TV and Film, Viral, Social Media, Health, Mental Health