Sunday, April 15, 2018

Race-car Driver & Engineer Dies In Sinking Titanic - April 15, 1912

March 25, 1881 - April 15, 1912
Washington Augustus Roebling II
Born in Trenton, New Jersey, USA.
Roebling was 31, dynamic, handsome, and the general manager of Mercer Automobile Co. He eventually developed a race car, known as the Roebling-Planche, which he drove to a second place finish in the 1910 Vanderbilt Cup Race in Savannah, Georgia. In 1912, Roebling, along with his chauffeur, his Fiat car and a friend, sailed to Europe, where they traveled to several countries to promote a new racing sports car, the Mercer Raceabout. For the return trip home to America, Roebling booked a first-class cabin on the Titanic, then the world’s largest and most luxurious ocean liner, measuring 882 feet in length and tipping the scales at over 46,000 tons.

Roebling boarded the ship at Southampton, England, on April 12, 1912, for its maiden voyage. Two days later, at approximately 11:40 p.m., the Titanic struck an iceberg in the frigid waters of the North Atlantic, about 400 miles from Newfoundland. Two hours and 40 minutes after hitting the iceberg, the mangled luxury liner, which had been dubbed “unsinkable” by the press, lay broken in pieces at the bottom of the sea, resulting in the deaths of more than 1,500 passengers and crew members. The Titanic carried 20 boats capable of holding 1,178 people, which exceeded regulations at the time but was hardly sufficient for the 2,228 individuals onboard.

After the collision, Roebling reportedly assisted numerous passengers to the lifeboats, but perished on board the sinking ship.
Washington A. Roebling, II, at the wheel of the specially built Roebling Planche racer.

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