RMS Olympic Nantucket Collision 1934 (HD/audio)





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Published on Jul 18, 2014

On May 15,1934, RMS Olympic, on approach to New York in heavy fog, collided with Nantucket Lightship LV-117 causing it to break apart and sink. There were seven fatalities out of Nantucket's crew of eleven. In this combination of newsreels we see the Olympic arriving in New York City harbor with the city skyline in the background and a close shot of the damaged bow from the collision. On arrival Captain J. W. Binks (Olympic) and Captain George W. Braithwaite (Nantucket) are interviewed along with surviving crew from the Nantucket -First Mate Clifton E. Mosher, John F. Perry, radioman and Laurent U. Roberts, oiler.

Thanks to the Moving Image Research Collection from the University of South Carolina we also have uncut footage which includes Olympic passenger Negley Farson describing the collision in detail. Even more intriguing we have the uncut footage of the press conference with Captain J. W. Binks (Olympic) and Captain George W. Braithwaite (Nantucket). Binks, at first unaware that sound is being recorded, shows concern for Braithwaite being too long infront of the cameras and refuses to allow him to be thanked (indirectly acknowledging that while they acted swiftly they were in fact the cause of the collision). But tellingly he asks Braithwaite to "smile." The two captains briefly compare ages, Braithwaite refuses to discuss the collision on camera and in an interesting twist a reporter calls Binks "Captain Jinks" causing him to swiftly correct him.

The reel finishes with some excellent close ups of the Olympic including a shot filmed under the stern and Captain Binks looking out from the starboard wing cab, which can be seen in clear detail.

All the footage is presented with actual audio recorded at the time of filming.

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