LONDON, UK — Fifteen-year-old Edith Haisman and her family boarded the Titanic on April 10, 1912, bound for a new life in Seattle. They never made it.
In 1996, KING 5 Evening reporter John Stofflet traveled to London to meet up with Haisman on her 100th birthday. Accompanied by her daughter, Dorothy Kendall, Haisman recalled the events of that fateful night when the Titanic and more than 1,500 passengers, including her father, descended into the frigid waters of the North Atlantic.
"The thud woke her up," Kendall said.
At first, Haisman's father told her not to be concerned.
Haisman recalled, "'Oh, it's nothing much,' he says, 'They've only struck an iceberg.'"
But after realizing how serious the damage was, her father ordered her to dress warmly.
"I dressed and put thick clothes on," Haisman said.
They headed to the deck of the rapidly sinking ship, where Haisman saw the lights of the Californian, a ship anchored only 8 to 10 nautical miles away. Its crew never seemed to realize the Titanic was in any trouble.
"I said to my father, 'See that light of that ship? It's coming to our rescue.' Hardly said the words when the light was turned off and left us in the dark," Haisman said.
As Haisman and her mother boarded Lifeboat #14, they had no idea they were saying a final farewell to her father. As they rowed away from the sinking ship, Haisman and her mother could only watch and listen in horror as her father and the remaining passengers drowned.
"Lost him then," Haisman said. "He went down with the Titanic."
Just a few weeks after our interview, Edith Haisman passed away at the age of 100. At the time, she was the Titanic's oldest survivor.