Introduction1. Beforehand Life2. First Ships3. Ship"s Officer4. Titanic5. Evacuation6. Lifeboat 147. The Return8. Collapsibles & Carpathia9. US and UK Inquiries10. Post-Titanic and War11. Post-war & Retirement12. Fatality & Memorials13. Life in Pictures14. Film Portrayals15. Timeline

Fifth Officer Harold Lowe - The Return


Fifth Officer Lowe (Ioan Gruffudd) thinking around returning to wreck website as shown in James Cameron"s 1997 film "Titanic". (Click photo to enlarge)

An Hour Delay?

Lowe said that he at some point waited to go ago "until the drowning world had thinned out."(US Inquiry, day 5)

Daisy Minahan walk not repaint a favorable portrayal of Lowe, alleging that he firstly go not want to return because that survivors and also that he mistreated her:

Some the the females implored Officer Lowe, of No. 14, to divide his passengers amongst the three other boats and also go ago to rescue. His first answer to those request was, "You should be damn glad you space here and have obtained your very own life." After some time he was encouraged to do as he was asked. Together I came as much as him to be transferred to the other boat he said, "Jump, God damn you, jump." I had actually showed no hesitancy and also was waiting just my turn. He had been therefore blasphemous during the two hours we to be in his boat that the females at my finish of the watercraft all assumed he was under the affect of liquor. Climate he took every one of the men who had actually rowed No. 14, along with the men from the other boats, and also went back to the scene of the wreck. (Senate Inquiry)


Passenger Daisy Minahan"s declared Lowe to be reluctant come return, but this is not supported by any kind of other eye-witness.(Encyclopedia Titanica)

However Minahan"s portrayal is not supported by any type of other eyewitness testimony. In truth it appears passengers might have had a to speak in how soon the went back. Crowe reported: "The officer said we could take 80 human being in all, but the ladies appeared to do a protest in ~ his idea of going back again with these human being in the boat." (US Inquiry, work 5)

Ultimately Lowe "lay off", as he described it "until the drowning civilization had thinned out….I need to say one hour and also a half; what under two hours." (US Inquiry)

AB Scarrott assumed it was just "couple that minutes": "When the ship sank, when there to be nothing left the her above the water, the waited, i suppose, around a couple of minutes, not more, and also ordered every our boats to row wherein we last witnessed the delivery to watch if we could pick increase anybody." (British Inquiry)

Conversely abdominal Frank Evans stated "It must have been around an hour and a half, I have to think." (US Inquiry)

Senator blacksmith at the us Inquiry mentioned that Pitman on boat no.5 did not return at all, Lowe then said: "Because he would be hazarding every the remainder of their lives. That is the believed that win me." (US Inquiry, day 5)

Later Lowe expanded on this:

It would certainly not have actually been wise or safe for me to have actually gone over there before, because the whole lot of us would have actually been swamped and also then nobody would have actually been saved... What space you walking to carry out with a boat of 65 whereby 1,600 civilization are drowning?...I was just on the margin. If anybody had actually struggled out of the mass, i was over there to choose them up; but it to be useless for me to get in the mass….It would have actually been suicide.(US Inquiry, job 5)

When city council Smith argued he could have saved 15 Lowe replied "You might not execute it, sir…made the attempt, sir, as shortly as any kind of man might do so, and also I am no scared of speak it. I did not hang ago or anything else. "(US Inquiry, job 5)

At the British inquiry Lowe included it "would have been suicide to go earlier there until the human being had thinned out….it would have actually been useless to try it, due to the fact that a drowning man clings at anything…I had to wait until I might be of part use. It was no good going earlier there to be swamped." (British Inquiry)

Sir Robert Finlay, that headed the White Star Line"s representation at the brother Inquiry, stated in an overview that Lowe was not to be blamed:

"He waited, an procedure of the most painful character, requiring an excellent nerve and an excellent coolness, he waited until the sea had actually done its work-related with the good majority of people, and also then put back and choose up a few of the survivors. Yet to suggest, as some inquiries which were put suggested, the there was inhumanity in not pushing into that group of drowning people in the hope of saving them, is, ns submit, a course based top top ignorance of the an essential conditions that attend on the endeavour come save civilization who are struggling in the water when, if you press your boat among them, the only an outcome will be that those in the watercraft are included to the roll of victims." (British Inquiry)

The Rescue

Lowe recruited possibly up to nine men to return through him to the wreckage to look because that survivors. According to abdominal Frank Evans, from no.10 boat, once they reviewed to the wreckage there were "Eight or nine" (US Inquiry). Crowe stated that it was "impressed upon us that we must go earlier to the wreck":

Senator BOURNE.

You are watching: Name of fifth officer who went back to look for survivors

go Officer Lowe contact for volunteer to go back to the wreck?Mr. CROWE. No, sir; he impressed upon us that we must go back to the wreck.Senator BOURNE. to be there any protest?Mr. CROWE. None whatever, sir. A second-class passenger called Williams, the champion racket player of England, reverted with us.Senator BOURNE. he volunteered his service?Mr. CROWE. Yes, sir. (US Inquiry)


Some the the crew who manned lifeboat 14 that Lowe took ago to the wreck site. From left: abdominal Joseph Scarrott, Charles Williams, abdominal Frank Oliver Evans, abdominal Edward Buly

Consequently, Lowe had the ability to organise the following crew to guy lifeboat 14:

• abdominal muscle Joseph Scarrott (from lifeboat 14)• Saloon steward George Crowe (from lifeboat 14)• Charles Williams, racket player (from lifeboat 14)• ab Frank Oliver Evans (from lifeboat 10)• abdominal muscle Edward Buly (from lifeboat 10)

Lowe explained returning to wreckage together an understandably daunting process, as "it was rather awkward to get in among it, since you could not row, because of the bodies. You had to press your means through" (British Inquiry). He explained in detail:

Then i went off and I rowed off to the wreckage and around the wreckage and also I choose up four people...Four alive….I carry out not understand who those three live persons were; they never came close to me afterwards, one of two people to speak this, that, or the other. But one died, and also that was a Mr. Hoyt, of new York, and it took every the boat"s crew to pull this gentleman into the boat, due to the fact that he was an massive man, and also I intend he had been soaked fairly well with water, and also when we picked him increase he to be bleeding indigenous the mouth and also from the nose. So we did acquire him on board and I propped him up in ~ the stern of the boat, and also we let walk his collar, take it his collar off, and also loosened his shirt so as to give the every opportunity to breathe; but, unfortunately, that died. I intend he to be too much gone as soon as we choose him up. Yet the other three survived. I then left the wreck. I went right approximately and, strange to say, i did not watch a solitary female body, not one, roughly the wreckage. "(US Inquiry, day 5)


An artist"s impression the lifeboat 14 returning for survivors (Source: Titanic - The Disaster that Shocked the World by note Dubowski)

AB Scarrott explained the grisly task:

During the moment that to be going ~ above - we intended come make quick ourselves, that course, with the four - us heard cries comes from an additional direction. Mr. Lowe made decision to transfer the passenger that us had, so countless in every boat, and also then comprise the complete crew; the did not issue whether it was sailors or anything, and also make increase the complete crew and go in the direction of those cries and see if we might save everyone else. The watercrafts were do fast and the passengers were transferred, and also we walk away and went amongst the wreckage. When we got to whereby the cries were us were amongst hundreds, I need to say, of dead body floating in lifebelts...Yes, and also the wreckage and also bodies seemed to be every hanging in one cluster. As soon as we acquired up to it we obtained one man, and also we gained him in the stern the the watercraft - a passenger it was, and also he passed away shortly after we obtained him right into the boat. Among the stewards that remained in the watercraft tried method to reclaim life come the man; the loosed him and worked his limbs around and rubbed him; however it to be of no avail at all, since the man never recovered ~ we got him right into the boat. We obtained two rather then together we moved our way towards the wreckage, and also as we acquired towards the center we experienced one guy there. I have since found out he to be a storekeeper; he to be on peak of a staircase; it appeared to it is in a large piece that wreckage anyhow which had actually come from some part of the ship. It was hardwood anyhow. The looked prefer a staircase. He to be kneeling there together if he was praying, and also at the exact same time he was calling because that help. Once we witnessed him we were around from here to that wall away from him, and also the boats, the wreckage were the thick - and also I am i m really sorry to say there were much more bodies 보다 there to be wreckage - that took us a good half-hour to gain that distance to that man to gain through the bodies. We could not heat the boat; we had actually to push them out of the means and pressure our boat up come this man. However we go not acquire close sufficient to get him right off - only simply within the with of an oar. We put out an oar top top the fore-part of the boat, and also he acquired hold the it, and also he controlled to organize on, and also we acquired him right into the boat. Those 3 survived. There to be one dead in ours boat, and that was the passenger, first one us picked up. (British Inquiry)


Fifth Officer Lowe (Ioan Gruffudd) and crew rowing v the bodies as portrayed in James Cameron"s 1997 movie "Titanic". (Click picture to enlarge)

Buly describes transforming over the body to examine if they to be alive:

We got away native the ship, and about an hour later on Officer Lowe came alongside, and he had his watercraft filled up, and also he dispersed them among the various other boats, and he said to every the seamen in the boat to jump in his watercraft until he went ago among the wreckage to view if there were any type of people that had lived…and choose up the remaining live bodies…There were not really many there. Us got 4 of them. Every the others to be dead…there were a good few dead, sir. Of course you could not discern them precisely on account the the wreckage; yet we turn over several of castle to check out if they were alive. It looked as though none were drowned. Lock looked as though they to be frozen. The life belts they had on were that much out of the water, and also their heads to be laid back, through their faces on the water, number of of them. Your hands to be coming up favor that .(US Inquiry, job 5)

Crowe discussed - in contradiction to Lowe"s explain of not seeing any female bodies, the they did check out the body of a woman:

Returning back to the wreckage, us heard miscellaneous cries, and endeavored come get amongst them, and we were successful in act so and in picking one body up the was floating roughly in the water; as soon as we got him into the watercraft - after good difficulty, he being together a heavy man - the expired quickly afterwards. Going farther right into the wreckage we came across a steward or among the crew, and also we gained him into the boat, and he was really cold and his hands were sort of stiff, yet we got him in and he recovered by the moment we got back to the Carpathia…also a Japanese or Chinese young other that we picked up on height of several of the wreckage - it can have been a sideboard or table - that was floating around. We quit until daybreak, and we witnessed in the distance a raft or Berthon watercraft submerged, in the distance, with a group of guys on it. We talked about to the boat and also found most likely 20, or there might have been 25, men and 1 woman; also 3 or 4 dead bodies, which us left. Returning again under canvas sail - us stepped ours mast in ~ night - we soaked up tow a collapsible watercraft containing completely 60 world - women, children, and also men. (US Inquiry)


Fifth Officer Lowe (Ioan Gruffudd) and also crew rowing through the bodies as depicted in James Cameron"s 1997 movie "Titanic". (Click photo to enlarge)

AB candid Evans shown the 4 who were rescued v one dying, in addition to the psychological impact of seeing so countless dead:

"We picked up four persons alive...One died on the way back, sir. There to be plenty of dead bodies about us. You couldn"t hardly counting them, sir. Ns was fear to look over the sides since it might break mine nerves down….. I should think between 150 and also 200. We had actually great an obstacle in obtaining through castle to gain to the wreck." (US Inquiry)

48 year old first class passenger Emily Ryerson, originally in watercraft no.4, additionally witnessed the rescue:

"Then us turned to pick up few of those in the water. Some of the females protested, yet others persisted, and we dragged in 6 or seven men; the men we rescued to be principally stokers, stewards, sailors, etc., and were so chilled and frozen currently they could hardly move. 2 of them died in the stern later and also many to be raving and also moaning and also delirious many of the time. We had actually no lights or compass. Over there were number of babies in the boat, however there to be no milk or water. (I believe these were every stowed away somewhere, however no one knew where, and also as the bottom of the boat was complete of water and also the watercraft full of civilization it to be very difficult to find anything.)" (US Inquiry)


An artist"s impression that lifeboat 14 discovering a survivor (Source: Titanic - The Disaster that Shocked the World by note Dubowski)

If Lowe"s electric torch the he had actually been provided by Dr man Simpson during the loading that lifeboat 14 was still working during the rescue is unconfirmed, although john Poingdestre go testify the "nobody had actually a light; just Mr. Lowe had actually a flash electric light belonging come himself, i believe." (British Inquiry)

The four Saved

Lowe and his crew to be able to conserve four, one of whom later on died. Three of these 4 individuals have been identified and also they are:

1. Mr William Fisher Hoyt - died

William Fisher Hoyt

Hoyt was a 43 year old American businessman travelling in an initial class who had joined Titanic in Cherbourg. As soon as Lowe discovered him in his life jacket. He passed away shortly after being found. The new York time of 27 April 1912 stated that Hoyt was the "first victim the the Titanic disaster to it is in pronounced legit dead.

Harold G. Lowe, 5th officer the the Titanic, said Gordon Hoyt thatafter the Titanic sank he had actually heard moaning and also had found a big manheld increase by a life preserver. The guy was so hefty that the took every thestrength the the lifeboat"s crew to gain him top top board. The man died afterbeing rescued. One affidavit by Lowe was attached to the applications forletters of administration. This told exactly how Mr. Hoyt"s body had actually beenidentified. In his pockets to be cards and also papers and a watch and chainof peculiar workmanship. The cards consisted of a membership card in the NewYork strong Club and also an identification card issued through the Fidelity andCasualty company of new York. Mr. Hoyt was hidden at sea from the Carpathia top top April 16, Lowe stated." (The new York Times,27 April 1912)

2. Steward Harold Phillimore - survived

Steward Harold Phillimore (Encyclopedia Titanica)

Phillimore to be a 23 year old brother saloon steward in 2nd class. According to Encyclopedia Titanica "Harold stayed on the Titanic during her last throes and also managed to rise aboard some floating wreckage wherein he invested time with an additional man who later died of exposure. The was among only a very few men rescued from the water by lifeboat 14 … Phillimore spied the boat approaching and called out, v Lowe and his crew responding through travelling towards him and also extending out an oar for him to grasp. Such was his frozen condition though that he was unable to grasp it but he was at some point hauled into boat 14." (Encyclopedia Titanica)

Phillimore have to be the "storekeeper" the Scarrot referenced, as there is also mention of utilizing an oar to rescue him: "a storekeeper; he was on peak of a staircase; it appeared to be a huge piece of wreckage anyhow which had actually come native some part of the ship. The was timber anyhow. The looked favor a staircase. He to be kneeling there together if he to be praying, and at the same time he was calling because that help… that took united state a good half-hour to gain that street to that male to acquire through the bodies. We can not row the boat; we had actually to press them the end of the means and pressure our watercraft up to this man. However we walk not obtain close sufficient to gain him appropriate off - only just within the with of an oar. We put out one oar on the fore-part the the boat, and also he gained hold that it, and he regulated to hold on, and we obtained him right into the boat. Those three survived. There to be one dead in ours boat, and that to be the passenger, the first one us picked up."(British Inquiry)

3. Fang Lang - Chinese seafarer - endured

Chinese sailor Fang Lang(GazetteXtra)

Variously determined as a passenger, sailor and also "small Japanese" the actual identity of the individual saved by Lowe has for part time been largely uncertain. According to a dramatic retelling by second class passenger Charlotte Collyer, most likely an occupant of lifeboat 14, the saving of this sailor brought about an interesting adjust in Lowe"s appraisal of the man:

A small further on, we saw a floating door the must have been torn loosened when the delivery went down. Lying upon it, confront downward, to be a tiny Japanese. He had lashed himself through a rope to his frashill raft, utilizing the broken hinges to do the knots secure. As much as we can see, he was dead. The sea washed end him every time the door bobbed up and also down, and he to be frozen stiff. That did no answer as soon as he to be hailed, and also the officer hesitated about trying to save him."What"s the use?" stated Mr Lowe. He"s dead, likely, and if he isn"t there"s others much better worth saving than a j--!"He had actually rotate our watercraft around; however he changed his mind and went back. The Japanese was hauled top top board, and also one of the women rubbed his chest, while rather chafed his hands and feet. In less time than it takes come tell, he opened up his eyes. He spoke to united state in his own tongue; then, seeing that we did not understand, that struggled come his feet, stretched his arms over his head, stamped his feet, and in 5 minutes or for this reason had nearly recovered his strength. One of the sailors near to him was so exhausted that he might hardly pull his oar. The Japanese bustled over, moved him native his seat, took the oar and worked choose a hero until we were finally picked up. I experienced Mr Lowe watching that in open-mouthed surprise."By Jove!" muttered the officer. "I"m embarrassing of what ns said around the little blighter. I"d save the likes o" him six times over, if I gained the chance." (The Semi-Monthly Magazine, may 1912, just how I was saved from the Titanic)


Fifth Officer Lowe (Ioan Gruffudd) and crew uncover a Chinese male as illustrated in a turned off scene native James Cameron"s 1997 film "Titanic". (Click photo to enlarge)

This Chinese sailor was among eight seafarers from Hong Kong who boarded Titanic at Southampton as paying third class passengers, travelling together on the exact same ticket. That the eight, two died:

Lee Ling - diedLen Lam - died

Leaving us with 6 names, among whom Lowe rescued:

Lee Bing - survivedChang Chip -survivedChoong Foo -survivedLing Hee --survivedAli Lam --survivedFang Lang - rescued


Fifth Officer Lowe (Ioan Gruffudd) and also crew rescue a Chinese male as illustrated in a turned off scene from James Cameron"s 1997 film "Titanic". (Click photo to enlarge)

According come a brand-new documentary entitled "The Six" through Arthur Jones and also Steven Schwankert (with executive producer James Cameron) around the making it through Chinese sailors, the identification of the seafarer that Lowe saved has actually been shown as Fang Lang:

Fang’s story is an especially harrowing: he was uncovered floating top top a door to which he had actually tied himself. After ~ he was pulled — freezing — indigenous the wreckage, the tirelessly rowed the lifeboat come safety and also was praised because that his efforts, according to accounts the Jones and also his team collected. The 1997 movie recreated Fang’s rescue, but the scene was not consisted of in the last cut. He never said a word to his son, Tom Fong — who shows up in “The Six.”

(Sixth Tone, Link:

If accurate, Fang Lang was aged 26, unmarried and also was travelling to brand-new York with his eight partner from the Donald Line"s Anetta, as a fireman.


Portraits of Fang Lang (real surname Wing sun Fong) Harold Lowe. (Credit: photo to enlarge)

According come a 22 September 2019 execution of the GazetteXtra, his actual name was Wing sunlight Fong and he to be 17 years old. "Tom Fong, wing Sun’s son, is a Janesville resident… stated his dad never mutual with him... Fong claimed throughout his childhood and also as a young adult his relatives had hinted that his father had survived a shipwreck, however Fong claimed his father never spoke around the accident to him or his mother."


Fang Lang"s grandson Tom Fong (Credit:

Tom Fong at the moment of the article being written was 59 years old - his dad 65 years old once was born. "Wing sun spoke tiny English and died virtually 40 years ago." but a cousin had casually pointed out in 2003 "You know, the Titanic: the was the shipwreck her dad survived.” throughout the study for the documentary it was developed that "Fong claimed researchers now know Wing sun wrote to loved ones on Xiachuan around his human on the island has actually poetry Fong created to them detailing his battle to stay afloat in the frigid s as rather in the frigid water cry for aid from the darkness neighboring him.""

The Unknown survivor - Robert Daniel or Emilio Portaluppi?

The fourth is presently unknown. Over there does not seem to be any description through Lowe or the rescue crew to help with identifying this man. One possibility, raised by Vitaly Savinkin that the Russian Titanic Society, is the it was Robert Daniel, a 27-year-old very first class passenger. A modern newspaper report stated:

“I had not taken time come dress and also wore just a bathrobe. Under this I had actually slipped a life preserver. The didn"t seem come me that we were sinking, yet the waters seemed increasing up over us. Finally, i jumped in and I wasstruggling around among the ice cakes, fighting for my life, when I to be rescued…. There were numerous shots fired, however. I observed one male discharge a revolver numerous times to frighten others away from a lifeboat and also then obtained into it himself. In fact, I observed him afterwards in the really lifeboat the picked me up." (April, 20, 1912, The new York Times)


Robert Williams Daniel, 1915, courtesythe nationwide Archives and Records Administration/Mike Poirier.

The officer who fired a revolver several times in lifeboat 14 that additionally rescued world is the course, 5th Officer Lowe. So that is interesting that Daniel climate adds "I experienced him later on in the really lifeboat that picked me up."

On one more occasion he reported he to be "far increase on one of the height decks once I jumped. About me were countless others in the water. Mine bathrobe floated away, and also it was icily cold. I struck out at once." (Titanic –Tibballs, p.89). But it looks prefer we can ascendancy out Daniel together a opportunity after the release of a completely researched write-up on Encyclopedia Titanica licensed has been granted A Titanic Mystery: experimenting the escape of Robert W. Daniel through Randy Bryan Bigham, Richard Edwards and also Brandon Whited, which concluded that he was most likely rescued native the water through lifeboat 4 - the occupants of i beg your pardon were later redistributed in Lowe"s flotilla that lifeboats 4, 10 12 and collapsible D.


Emilio Ilario Giuseppe Portaluppi, 1930s (Encyclopedia Titanica)

Another possible candidate is Emilio Ilario Giuseppe Portaluppi, a 30-year-old Italian-American 2nd class passenger. The Times newspaper reported:

Emilio Portaluppi, a second cabin passenger, mirrors that he was an initial awakened by the explode of one of the ship"s boilers. He hurried as much as deck one and strapped top top a lifebelt. Complying with the instance of others, he then leapt right into the sea, and also held on come an icefloe, v the assist of i m sorry he managed to save afloat till he was checked out by those in the lifeboats and rescued.(The Times, April 20, 1912)

Worcester TelegramNew York, April 19.- A large cake of ice was the way of aiding Emilo Portaluppi the Aricgabo, Italy, in escaping death when the Titanic went down. Portaluppi, a second class passenger, was awakened through the explode of among the boilers that the ship. He hurried to the deck, strapped a life preserver approximately him and also following the example of others, leaped into the sea. With the aid of the preserver and also by holding on come a cake of ice he controlled to store afloat. He was watched by among the lifeboats and also picked up. There were 35 other world in the watercraft when he was hauled aboard.

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The Milford Cabinet: No women were about on the deck whereby he stood, and he attempted to obtain into the lifeboat. Lucky was against him, or appeared to be, for he lost his footing and fell right into the ocean … as soon as he struggle the water grandfather Portalupi found that that was no alone. And also many rather were swim or floating in the icy, numbing water. At once he win out and also had succeeded in putting four or 5 hundred yards between himself and also the ship before she took the last plunge... Together time went on and also the very first streaks that dawn made it feasible to distinguish objects the half-frozen guy in the Water saw near him a woman, sustained by a life preserver, and additionally a child which had actually succumbed to the cold and died. Among the lifeboats, happen near, come within ear shot, and also the crew rescued the man and also woman, pulling both into the boat. Here additionally the cold was almost intolerable. And also of the men and also women in the frashill craft, three died front the exposure prior to the Carpathia got to them. Your bodies to be taken aboard and buried at sea.


The four human being rescued indigenous the water by fifth Officer Lowe, clockwise from peak left: wilhelm Hoyt (died); Robert Daniel or Emilio Portaluppi; Fang Lang; Harold Phillimore