The Daily Telegraph reports that a previously unseen account by a survivor alleges Captain Smith was drinking before Titanic hit the iceberg. Second class passenger Emily Richard’s claims in a letter (written aboard Carpathia) that Smith was in the saloon drinking before he went to bed. Most accounts have Smith retiring to his cabin after leaving Murdoch in charge and in bed when the collision occurred.
Una Reilly of the Belfast Titanic Society was asked about the claim and states to have never heard the accusation before.
The problem is that no one else can corroborate this story. And it is quite possible it is a case of mistaken identity. No doubt it will get some play as the story zings around the world. Of course various Titanic authorities will be called or asked to comment. Coupled with stories about drunks piloting boats, the news media might wring out even more stories. So where does this story go? It gets filed into those strange/odd stories that seem to come out around full moons, Halloween, or near anniversaries of important events like when Titanic sank.
Source: The Telegraph, Titanic’s Captain Edward Smith In Bed Drunk When Ship Struck Iceberg, 10 Mar 2012