How chef Charles Jufin escaped the Titanic thanks to alcohol

They say that a drunken sea is knee-deep. A drunken person can survive even in a critical situation, after which any sober person will play in the box for a long time. This phenomenon also manifested itself during the sinking of the Titanic, when the drunken whiskey baker Charles Jufin was one of the few survivors.

Charles John Jufin was born on August 3, 1878 in Liverpool. Accordingly, the Titanic disaster caught him at the age of 33. On the Titanic, he transferred to the position of chief baker from the Olympic, a liner of the same project as the Titanic. On April 14, 1912, at 11:40 pm, the Titanic collided with an iceberg. Half an hour after the collision, the evacuation of passengers and crew began. At 2 hours 5 minutes in the morning on April 15, the last lifeboat (foldable boat D) was launched.

At 2 hours 20 minutes "Titanic" sank, hundreds of people were in the water. The air and intake water temperature was approximately - 0 degrees Celsius. The water was icy.

Scientists teach us that “the possible periods of stay in water have large individual differences, and the degree of cooling also depends on the temperature of the water, clothing, physical activity and body temperature prior to immersion in water. The time of safe stay in ice water is possible no more than 0.5 hours, and in some cases people die in 5-10 minutes. This time is not enough for excessive heat loss that could lead to fatal cooling, and many scientists attribute the cause of death to a cold shock from exposure to cold water. "

Chef Baker Charles Jufin was awakened, like many people on the Titanic, with a strange, grinding jolt, and like so many others, a little after midnight, he heard the command of general alarm.

But Jufin didn't just show up on the boat deck. He reasoned that as soon as the boats were to be prepared, provisions had to be prepared for them; on his own initiative, he gathered his 13-baker staff, and together they ransacked the Titanic's food pantry in search of available bread. After that, the bakers went up to the upper deck, each carrying four loaves.

With this done, Jufin retired to his cabin on the left side of Deck E to wet his throat with a sip of whiskey.

At about 0:30, he felt himself strong enough to ascend again to his place according to the boat schedule - by boat # 10. At this stage of the evacuation, it was still difficult to persuade the women to board the boats, and Jufin resorted to the most effective measures. He went down to the promenade deck and by force began to pull individual women upstairs. Then, using his own expression, he threw them into the boat. Rough but effective.

According to the boat schedule, Jufin was supposed to leave the Titanic as the foreman of boat # 10, but he decided that there were enough men in it without him, he jumped out of the boat and, instead of leaving the Titanic in it, helped to lower it on water. His evacuation in this boat, he later explained, "would have been a bad example."

It was already one twenty in the morning. He ran briskly down the leaning steps back to his cabin on Deck E and poured another glass of whiskey. Sitting on the bunk and savoring his drink, he saw water, murmuring, arrive through the doorway, spill over the checkered linoleum and climb to the top of his shoes, but he did not attach much importance to this.

After a while, he saw, to his surprise, the quietest Dr. O'Loughlin, prowling in the area of ​​the ship. It never occurred to Jufin to ask what this elderly gentleman was looking for here, but the proximity of the buffet suggests that the doctor's and Jufin's thoughts were moving in the same direction at that hour.

Anyway, Jufin greeted the doctor briefly and went to the boat deck. He was in time just right: if he was a little late, and it would be impossible to use the stairs or ladders, since the slope of the deck became even steeper.

Although all the boats had already left, Jufin felt nothing like despondency. He went to the closed promenade deck B and began tossing sun loungers at the windows. Others watched his actions, but did not help. In total, they threw about 50 seats overboard.

It was a tedious job, so, pulling the last chair to the edge of the deck and squeezing it through the window (for him, this operation was like threading a needle), Jufin retired to the sideboard on the starboard side of Deck A. The clock showed 2 hours and 10 minutes.

Having quenched his thirst - this time with water - he heard something similar to a rumble: as if something could not withstand the load and collapsed. Cups and saucers began to fall around him, the glow of the filaments in the lamps turned red, and above him he heard the stomping of people running into the stern.

He flew out of the sideboard with a bullet, heading for the aft end of Deck A, and ended up in the tail of the crowd of people leaving the boat deck and heading in the same direction as him. As much as possible, Jufin tried not to get into a crush, maintaining his position in the rearguard of the crowd. He slid down the steps to Deck B, from there to the aft deck. As soon as he got there, the Titanic banked sharply to the port side, and most of the fleeing people were thrown down to the railing of this side, where a huge pile of human bodies had formed.

One Jufin remained on his feet. With caution and at the same time remaining completely calm, he moved to the stern, keeping his balance remarkably well. The stern rose higher, while the hull of the liner heeled to the port side. The slope of the deck became so steep that it was no longer possible to stand on it; Jufin climbed over the starboard railing and literally stood on board the ship. Still holding on to the handrail, but outside the railing, he moved up the side to the stern and reached the white-painted steel deck deck of the poop. He was now standing at the very tip of the Titanic's rounded stern, which had risen about 50 m above the sea surface.

This moment was captured by James Cameron in the film "Titanic" - when Jack Dawson (DiCaprio) and Rosa de Witt-Bukatir (Winslet) climbed over the rails on the protruding float stern of the liner, a man in a cook suit sits next to them and slowly sips from a small flask. This is, according to the director's idea, our hero Jufin.

Taking his time, Jufin pulled up the straps of his life bib, then looked at his watch - it showed 2 hours and 15 minutes. After a little thought, he removed the watch from his wrist and put it in his back pocket of his trousers. The position in which he found himself began to puzzle him somewhat, but then he felt that the stern began to go out from under his feet, as if he was going down in an elevator. The moment the surface of the sea closed over the stern of the Titanic, Jufin slipped into the water without even getting his head wet.

He swam in the night ocean, not in the least paying attention to the icy water. It was four o'clock in the morning when he saw what in the gray light of the busy morning seemed to him a wreck of a shipwreck. He swam closer and discovered that it was an inverted foldable boat B.

The bottom of the boat was littered with people, and Jufin could not climb up, so he sailed around the boat until he noticed his old friend in the galley, John Maynard, among the standing people. Blood, as they say, is thicker than water; Maynard held out his hand, Jufin grabbed it and held on, his legs dangling in the water, still well protected from the cold by the wine vapor.

Others did not notice him - partly because they were too cold, partly because everyone was now watching the horizon in the southeast with their eyes.

An hour and a half later, when the ascent of the survivors from the boats to the Carpathia began (and in order to escape, the rowers in the boats had to approach the ship themselves), the people on the inverted sail B began to be moved to other boats.

Baker Jufin, who was in the water, was not at all worried about how he would transplant. He simply let go of Maynard's hand and swam to boat # 4, where he was dragged, still protected from the cold by the vapors of whiskey.

Thus, the chef-baker stayed in the icy water for about two and a half hours, until he was in a boat, naturally in completely wet clothes. He boarded the Carpathia even later.

He himself wrote this in his report:

I climbed over the rail at the stern. Was in the water. Thought I'd find some piece of wreckage, swam forward and found a foldable dinghy [B], where Lightoller [Chief Officer] was and about 25 other people. There was no room for me. I tried to climb in, but they pushed me off, and I began to hang out next to me. I swam across to the other side of the boat, and there the cook Maynard, who recognized me, helped me, began to hold me [by the hand].

According to various sources, Dzhuffin drank about one and a half / two liters of whiskey and gin for two hours (from midnight to 2). Many believe that Jufin was saved only by drinking a lot of alcohol, however, one should not forget that alcohol, although it dulls the feeling of cold, actually contributes to hypothermia.

After the Titanic, Jufin continued his naval service, was aboard the Oregon when it sank in Boston Harbor. Of course I was saved. Then he served on American transports, during the Second World War, transporting troops.

He was married and raised a daughter. The successful cook died on December 9, 1956 in Paterson, New Jersey at the age of 78.