A ship carrying tourists and many bed-ridden patients on a trans-Atlantic voyage bit a massive iceberg in a dense fog, destroying more than half of the lifeboats. The ship went under within 30 minutes. One of the lifeboats was surrounded by many swimming and nearly exhausted shipwreck victims desperately wishing to be rescued. The lifeboat was soon filled to capacity, but the number of people rescued rapidly increased the number of wet and cold passengers to thirty people beyond the safety level. As the heavy seas began to build, it became obvious that the lifeboat would inevitably sink if any more people were allowed to climb into the dangerously low-riding craft.
A person by the name ofHolmes, who had been one of the last people rescued, feared that the boat would sink and refused several people the opportunity to climb on board. He even struck a persistent young man of 17 or 18 on the head with an oar, knocking him unconscious. He also physically pushed an assortment of other
people back into the ocean. All these people drowned.
Several hours later the weather and waves became much worse and the lifeboat began to take the water too quickly. The only possible way to keep the lifeboat from first swamping and then sinking was to lighten the load. Holmes, after considering the serious nature of his solution and feeling he had to act quickly, threw people who were next to him overboard. A few of the people on board tried to restrain the muscular Holmes, but were unsuccessful. As the waves increased and the sinking of the lifeboat became inevitable, Holmes would throw people overboard. Several children, women, and elderly men, one internationally known musician and another medical research scientist, were drowned because of the actions ofHolmes. By some twist of fate several of the elderly invalids who were on board were not harmed. The 35 remaining passengers were picked up safely two days after the storm, disgusted with Holmes, but convinced that he had saved their lives.