Titanic survivor's account auctioned for $32,000

LONDON — A first-person account of the sinking of the Titanic fetched $32,000 Saturday in a British auction.

The affidavit signed by Laura Francatelli, who got away in a lifeboat with her two prominent employers, was bought by an anonymous collector from eastern Europe.

In Francatelli's affidavit, she spoke of hearing an "awful rumbling" as the Titanic sunk in the icy North Atlantic in 1912.

She and her employers — Sir Cosmo Duff-Gordon and his socialite wife, Lady Lucy Duff-Gordon — fled in a rowboat with a capacity for 40 people, but only 12 on board.

"We kept on rowing and stopping and rowing again," wrote Francatelli, who was Lady Duff-Gordon's personal secretary.


"We were a long way off when we saw the Titanic go right up at the back and plunge down."

Francatelli was 31 when the Titanic struck an iceberg on April 14, 1912. Her signed account was given as evidence to a British board of inquiry.

She died in 1967. The affidavit has been in private collections since shortly after her death.

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