One Drunk Baker’s Remarkable Story Of Survival Aboard The Titanic

Alcohol can be a problem ... but in some cases, it might be a solution. One Drunk Baker’s Remarkable Story Of Survival Aboard The Titanic Historia/Shutterstock

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Few real-life stories of tragedy have sparked more public interest than that of the Titanic’s crash off the coast of Newfoundland more than a century ago. While the fictionalized account of the 1997 James Cameron film certainly revived interest in the narrative, there are more than enough individual stories of crew members and passengers aboard the doomed cruise ship to pique the interest of history buffs.

Among the most intriguing tales to emerge from the site of the crash was one involving an unlikely hero named Charles Joughin.

A series of fortunate events

While the immediate aftermath of the crash sparked widespread confusion and chaos, the ship’s lead baker took an atypical approach to the situation. Joughin picked up a bottle of booze and started swigging from it as he unceremoniously tossed women and children into the limited supply of lifeboats available on board.

That left him destined for the same fate of the roughly 1,500 people who died after entering the frigid sea … but his story had an uncharacteristically happy ending.

Experts say the buzz from the brandy he’d been drinking allowed him to remain calmer than others and provided him with a sense of confidence that he’d be able to survive the harrowing situation. Unlike some accounts, it’s not that the liquor kept his body warmer, but it did help divert his attention away from the tragedy and toward the mission of finding his way to safety.

Is alcohol the answer?

For Joughin and many other people who were drunk at the time of a serious trauma, their inebriation has been linked to the ability to survive situations that defy expectations. But it’s important to remember that cold weather can be even more deadly for people who have consumed a low to moderate amount of alcohol.

Chris Agee
Chris Agee January 22nd, 2024
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