The Story Of Charles Joughin, The Chief Baker Of The Titanic, Who Survived The Sinking By Getting Drunk

The Story Of Charles Joughin, The Chief Baker Of The Titanic, Who Survived The Sinking By Getting Drunk

Joughin was the chief baker on board the ill-fated ship consumed copious amounts of whisky that inevitably saved his life.

Cover Image Source Inset: Instagram/mrosedb

While we are all familiar with Jack and Rose, the fictional characters, onboard the Titanic, there was one real-life person whose name is unlikely to ring a bell. Charles Joughin was an Englishman and the chief baker of the Titanic. He survived the disaster. History Daily reports that when tragedy struck, he was the last to abandon ship. Quickly realizing he would not be saved, he ensured that the other passengers, mostly women, and children, flee to safety by putting them on lifeboats and giving them food and other supplies.



When some women refused to jump ship, Joughin forcefully threw them into the lifeboats. He then retreated to his cabin and drank as much whisky as he could preparing himself for the inevitable. He later went out on the B Deck promenade where he threw deck chairs into the ocean so people could use them as flotation devices in the freezing waters. Just as the ship began to make its vertical descent into the cold waters, Joughin clung onto the rails, as depicted in the Hollywood flick. Unfazed, he rode it down like he was in an elevator, and merely stepped off into the freezing water without as much getting his hair wet!

Source: IMDb


For the next two hours in the wee hours of the morning, he managed to stay afloat in the North Atlantic ocean by paddling around in sub-zero temperatures. Under normal circumstances, that would have been enough time to kill anybody, but because he had consumed so much liquor, it actually saved him by keeping him warm. At some point, he spotted an overturned boat, and made his way there, only to realize that there was no space for him. His colleague, Issac Maynard, held his hand while he dangled from the side of the boat till another lifeboat arrived. He swam towards it and climbed onto it, and waited until  RMS Carpathia rescued him.



After returning to England, he testified that the incident took place on his day off and that he was in his bunk at the time.  He sent as many as 50 loaves of bread as provisions to the lifeboats for the other passengers. Following the disaster, Joughin rejoined the Merchant Navy and served as a baker on the Baltic, the Frankfurt in 1919. He also served in Fort Victoria in 1920. He was also part of another ship that sank, the SS Oregon that went down near the Boston Harbour. He survived that as well. He was also invited to describe his experiences by Walter Lord for his book on the Titanic disaster: A Night To Remember. Joughin eventually emigrated to America and settled in Paterson, New Jersey, where he died on December 9, 1956, from a bout of pneumonia.  

Recommended for you