Monday, 10 October 2011

The Titanic; A Lithuanian Australian connection

Luidvikas Stulpinas also known as Ludwig Stulping was born December 4th 1871, in Jomantai into a wealthy farming family. He is regarded as the first Lithuanian sea Captain.

He was Captain of the Birma when he attempted to aid the stricken Titanic. The Birma of the Russian East Asiatic Company, had just departed from New York bound for Rotterdam. The sinking Titanic send a distress call on the 14th April, 1912, which was intercepted by the Birma. Captain Stulpinas at once altered the ships course, being 100 miles away from the tragedy. The position given was incorrect, and the Birma was not the first ship to arrive. As the ship came closer to offer assistance they were told to “Stand by”. They were unable to gain further information as they were not a Marconi company ship, which were given orders not to pass on information to non Marconi ships. It soon became clean that the ships help was not wanted. How many lives could they have saved if commercial rights did not stand in their way.

Stulpinas became honorary consul in Libau, then a part of Russia, now a seaport in Latvia. By 1923 with part of the Memel area returned to Lithuania, he returned to Klaipeda as Harbourmaster, he held this position until 1933. He played an active role in maritime activities and developed numerous naval plans.

Liudvikas had two sons, Napoleonas and Aleksandras. Both fled Lithuania at the end of WWII and ended up in Displaced Persons camps in Germany. Both immigrated to Australia and made Adelaide their home.

1 comment:

EsumAviad said...
Liudvikas Stulpinas