When the ship began to take on water late at night on April 14th, 1912, we can only imagine the kind of panic that must have washed over the crew and passengers aboard the Titanic. Within 3 hours from hitting an iceberg the “unsinkable” ship was completely underwater. Many of the men on board helped women and children into lifeboats, but there weren’t enough to save everyone even if they had had more time. Less than half of those aboard escaped the sinking of the ship, with the now orphaned and widowed survivors boarding the steamship Carpathia 4 hours later in the small hours of April 15th, 1912.

Via: NYPL Digital Collections

One such family was that of Eva Hart who lived to be 91 years-old (1905-1996), and was the last Titanic survivor to die. She was only 7 when her father (Benjamin Hart) was lost in the disaster. He loaded his wife and sleepy daughter into a lifeboat and then went down with the vessel. His body was never identified- if it was ever found at all. The family was traveling aboard the Titanic from London to start a new life in Winnipeg, Canada.

Benjamin, Eva, and Esther Hart. Via: Wiki Commons

In 1985 the shipwreck of the Titanicwas finally discovered after years of searching. Hart was interviewed at the time by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation as to what she thought about this find and her reaction is as complex as you might imagine. First and foremost, Hart didn’t want the shipwreck disturbed since she viewed it as her father’s place of burial. To her it would have been most disrespectful to dismantle the ship or scavenge from the ship in light of how many others had their final resting place there as well.

The shipwreck of the Titanic. Via: NOAA

Incredibly, Hart’s mother, Esther, had a bad feeling as soon as they got on the ship and slept during the day so that she could be awake during the nights. She believed that it was tempting fate to ever call a ship “unsinkable”. It was because her mother was already awake that the family was able to act quickly in the face of danger.

Watch the interview with Hart from 1985 below.