Titanic Survivor Story: Mary Sloan

A name almost always Irish in origin, there were a few Sloans on the Titanic when it sank. After hearing about the ship built in Belfast, many Irish individuals thought it should be there for its maiden voyage. Mary Sloan was among the passengers of the Titanic A native of Belfast, Mary Sloan worked as a stewardess on the ship and played a crucial part in the Titanic survivor’s story.

Many accounts of the sinking of the Titanic mention Mary Sloan and her connection with Thomas Andrews, who was a shipbuilder and the one in charge of building the RMS Titanic. An account of the tragedy speaks of a conversation between Sloan and Andrews while lifeboats were deployed. Standing near what historians believe was lifeboat 16, it is said that Andrews recognized Sloan and urged her to get onto the boat, which she finally did.

After the collision, Sloan woke up several passengers, informing them that the vessel had hit an iceberg. Accounts of Mary Sloan speak of her as pulling life jackets out of cargo bins and helping people board lifeboats. Selfless in her portrayal, the documents that mention Sloan mention her as quite possibly the last person to board a lifeboat just before the Titanic sank into the Atlantic.

Documents collected over the years, including a letter to her sister, describe Mary being pushed onto the last remaining lifeboat by the crush of individuals attempting to board it. Accounts also seem consistent, with Thomas Andrews recognizing Sloan and urging her to board the lifeboat for her safety. Further evidence of Sloan being the last person off the boat is reinforced by the testimonial of eyewitness and British Royal Navy veteran Edward John Buley. Here is his testimony before a Subcommittee on Commerce United States Senate:

SENATOR FLETCHER: Were any ladies on the deck when you left?

MR. BULEY: No, sir. Ours was the last boat up there, and they went around and called to see if there were any, and they threw them in the boat at the finish because they didn’t like the idea of coming in.

SENATOR FLETCHER: Pushed them in, you mean?

MR. BULEY: Threw them in. One young lady slipped, and they caught her by the foot on the deck below, and she came up then and jumped in.”

All sources point to Mary Sloan being the last to leave the sinking Titanic.