Gallantry nakhoda, komandan kamar mesin, mualim, pemain musik dan penumpang dalam kecelakaan kapal Titanic betul ada. Bukan hanya ada dalam film Titanic saja. Bahkan film itu hanya menonjolkan kisah percintaan saja, bukan kepahlawanan awak kapal dan penumpangnya.



Tak salah kalau pada tahun 1912 Lord Charles Beresford
menulis surat kepada surat kabar The Times begini:

“In the late appalling disaster to the ‘Titanic’,
perhaps the greatest in maritime history, attention
has rightly been called to the bravery, resolution,
and chivalrous gallantry of Captain Smith, the
officers, seaman, band and passengers, who were true
to the spirit of manly duty of the English-speaking
races in a sudden and terrible emergency.

Many comments have been justly made regarding the
heroism on deck, but nothing has been said of the
heroism below.

I respectfully submit that unintentionally the
dauntless heroism of those employed in the engine and
boiler room (such as the carpenter and his crew); have
been passed over without comment.

Nothing can exceed the heroism of the captain,
officers and seaman of the ship; but officers and
seaman are the first to offer a whole-hearted tribute
of unbounded admiration to those working below, as
they well know how often the real grit and courage of
the officers and men of these departments is called
upon in moments of emergency.

It is stated that the lights were burning until the a
few minutes before the ship took her final plunge.

This proves that the officers and men below remained
at their posts when they must have known that death –
the most terrible and painful that it is possible to
conceive – awaited them at any minute, wither by the
bursting of the steam-pipe or water rising in a
compartment.

It is certain that those working below must have know
the awful danger the ship was in long before anybody
else, but they remained at their posts, resolving to
die sooner than come on deck and create a panic or
attempt to save themselves.

Those below must have heard the muffled sound of the
ice tearing through the ship’s side.

Within ten minutes or a little more they knew that the
pumps would not check the rising water, yet for over
two hours they remained at their posts, as was evinced
by the lights burning and the few of them who were
saved being picked up after the ship went down.

That so many people were saved was due to the fact
that those working below remained at their posts
working the dynamos and kept the lights burning, and
never came on deck to state what had really happened.

Again and again the indomitable pluck and discipline
of those who work below in the engine and boiler rooms
is illustrated when some terrible disaster of the sea
occurs, but on no occasion have these traits been more
brilliantly shown.

It should be remembered that those below work in
confined spaces, watertight doors closed, often in
intolerable heat, with a roar of machinery making
orders difficult to understand.

A man will face death with greater equanimity on deck
than working below under the incidents I have
mentioned.

Working below really requires more fortitude and
pluck.

All honour and respect to those men whose names will
be recorded on the roll of fame for gallantry in a
sudden and unlooked for disaster. But I am sure the
survivors of this shocking catastrophe will agree with
me in placing those who worked below on ‘The right of
the line.’

Surat itu perlu dilayangkan karena surat kabar waktu
itu hanya memberitakan yang terlihat saja yaitu
nakhoda dan mualim serta kelasi yang membantu
penumpang di dek.
Tapi mereka melupakan KKM (komandan kamar mesin)
beserta crew diruang mesin yang besar. Mereka
berjuang mati-matian agar mesin dan generator listrik
tetap berjalan. Berkat jasa maka seluruh ruang kapal
tetap terang benderang sehingga banyak orang selamat.
Mereka tetap bekerja mati-matian sampai air laut
memenuhi kamar mesin. Jelas mereka tidak sempat ikut
naik sekoci.

Begitu pula band yang bermain di dance hall, tetap
bermain memberikan semangat pada orang lain. Mereka
baru berhenti setelah air laut sampai kehidung mereka.
Persis seperti di film Poseidon Adventure, tapi
kejadian di Titanic real.

Para penumpang juga menunjukkan gallantry. Anak2 dan
wanita didahulukan naik sekoci. Tiba giliran orang
tua, mereka menolak mendahului orang muda.

Sumber:
http://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/black_gang_tribute.html

Salam,
RM