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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 May, 2003, 10:37 GMT 11:37 UK
Survivor returns to Titanic
By Hannah Bayman
BBC News Online, Southampton

It was a freezing night in 1912 when Millvina Dean last saw her father on the deck of the doomed Titanic liner.

Bertram Dean kissed his nine-week-old daughter on the cheek and wrapped her in a sack to keep her warm, ready to be lowered to safety.

Millvina Dean
Ms Dean was put in a sack and carried to safety as the ship sank
"I'll follow in another lifeboat," he cried to wife Georgette, as she cradled Millvina and her two-year-old brother, also called Bertram.

Mr Dean had paid 20 11s 6d for his family's passage on the maiden voyage of the White Star line flagship.

He hoped to sail them from Southampton to a new life in America - only squeezing on at the last minute after transferring tickets from another ship.

But Mr Dean's dream ended in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean on the night of 14 April, when he woke to the sound of an iceberg ripping a hole in the hull.

His body was never found.

Now aged 91, his daughter is one of just three people alive who made it off the ocean liner.

Visitors can step inside mock-ups of first and third class cabins
Ms Dean, from Woodlands in Southampton, has relived the disaster that claimed her father's life and more than 1,500 others at a new exhibition.

The pensioner saw some 200 relics salvaged from the ship, including its huge bell and a three-ton chunk of its hull, at London's Science Museum.

She said: "I think it is fantastic and very, very interesting.

"Children still ask me all the time about the Titanic.

"I think it has become a piece of history, particularly because people said it was unsinkable and it was so luxurious.

"It is still a romantic enigma after all these years, but I still love the sea."

The display includes mock-ups of Titanic's first and third class cabins and an exhibit that demonstrates the terrible cold encountered by those trying to escape the ship.

Each visitor receives a boarding pass bearing the name of one of the passengers.

Only when they reach the end of the exhibition do they discover whether the holder of their ticket survived.



Titanic relics go on show
15 May 03  |  Science/Nature
In pictures: Titanic artefacts on display
15 May 03  |  Photo Gallery
Titanic survivor 'refuses' film invite
15 Apr 03  |  Entertainment


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