A SURVIVOR'S account of the sinking of the Titanic was rediscovered after having been lost for decades and will be published next month ahead of the 100th anniversary of the disaster.
John B "Jack" Thayer, who boarded the ship at age 17 with his parents, printed his recollections of the catastrophe as a family record in 1940 and made just 500 copies.
The tome was recently unearthed by Lorin Stein, editor of the Paris Review, who recalled a family tie he had to the Titanic after Luke Pontifell, who runs handmade-book publisher Thornwillow Press, said he wished he could track down documents from the ship.
"Suddenly, I half-remembered that a distant cousin of mine had written an eyewitness account and had given my great-grandfather a copy," Stein said. "My mother found the book in my grandfather's library when he died."
In the pages, Thayer recalls boarding in Southampton as a first-class passenger. As the ship sank 800 miles (1287km) off New York on April 14, 1912, he was separated from his parents but assumed they made it into a lifeboat.
"The shock of the water took the breath out of my lungs. Down and down I went, spinning in all directions," he wrote.
He continued, "We could see groups of the almost 1500 people still aboard, clinging in clusters of bunches like swarming bees; only to fall in masses, pairs or singly, as the great after-part of the ship, 250 feet of it, rose into the sky, till it reached a 65- or 70-degree angle."
Thayer was rescued by a lifeboat. His mother survived, but his father perished.
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