Sunday, April 30, 2017
We can't leave April without remembering Rigel:
The New York Herald, Sunday, April 21, 1912
SURVIVOR'S CRIES WEAK, DOG'S
BARK CAUSES RESCUE OF BOATLOAD
Rigel, Whose Master Sank with the Titanic, Guides the Car-
pathia's Captain to Suffering Passengers Hid-
den Under Rescue Ship's Bow.
Not the least among the heroes of the Titanic disaster was Rigel, a big black Newfoundland dog, belonging to the first officer, who went down with his ship. But for Rigel the fourth boat picked up might have been run down by the Carpathia. For three hours he swam in the icy water where the Titanic went down, evidently looking for his master, and was instrumental in guiding the boatload of survivors to the gangway of the Carpathia.
Jonas Briggs, a sailor aboard the , now has Rigel and told the story of the dog's heroism. The Carpathia was moving slowly about, looking for boats, rafts, or anything which might be afloat. Exhausted with their efforts, weak from lack of food and exposure to the cutting wind, and terror stricken, the men and women in the fourth boat had drifted under the Carpathia's starboard bow. They were dangerously close to the steamship, but too weak to shout a warning loud enough to reach the bridge.
The boat might not have been seen were it not for the sharp barking of Rigel, who was swimming ahead of the craft, and valiantly announcing his position. The barks attracted the attention of Captain Rostron and he went to the starboard end of the bridge to see where they came from and saw the boat. He immediately ordered the engines stopped and the boat came alongside the starboard gangway.
Care was taken to take Rigel aboard, but he appeared little affected by his long trip through the ice cold water. He stood by the rail and barked until Captain Rostron called Briggs and had him take the dog below.