Born in Uruguay 1840, Ramon Artagaveytia was an Argentinian businessman. Even in 1840, businessmen had a need to travel periodically. That is why Artagaveytia found himself on board the ship America when it sank in December 1871. I’m sure the situation was absolutely terrifying, but Artagaveytia, became one of just 65 passengers to survive the disaster. He survived, only by jumping into the water and swimming to safety. I’m sure he felt very fortunate to survive his ordeal, but that is not to say that he was not traumatized. For years, Ramon Artagaveytia, was terrified of travel. Still, while he may have limited his travel, it was still essential at times.

All that changed in 1912, when he wrote a letter to one of his cousins. In his letter, Artagaveytia, expressed relief, saying, “At last I will be able to travel, and, above all, I will be able to sleep calm. The sinking of the America was terrible!… Nightmares keep tormenting me. Even in the most quiet trips, I wake up in the middle of the night with terrible nightmares and always hearing the same fateful word: ‘Fire! Fire! Fire!’… I have even gotten to the point where I find myself standing in the deck with my lifebelt on….”

Artagaveytia was returning to the Americas, following a visit with his nephew in Berlin. As it turned out, the ship that finally put his mind at ease, was the “unsinkable” Titanic. When Artagaveytia arrived at Titanic, he was awed by its luxury. Everyone who saw Titanic was awed by its luxury. For Artagaveytia, one of Titanic’s greatest features was the fact that the ship had telegram capabilities. The promise of instant communication should a crisis arise, brought Artagaveytia great comfort.

Of course, as we all now know, Titanic would not be the ship that would make him safe. Titanic was simply not “unsinkable” because no ship is unsinkable. Titanic would hit that iceberg hiding in the darkness on April 14, 1912, and it would sink, in the early hours of April 15, 1912. Artagaveytia was reportedly seen on one of the decks of Titanic with two fellow passengers, looking as though he wasn’t concerned about the ship actually sinking. He had accepted the story that so many people had believed…that somehow, this ship was “unsinkable.” Somehow, he and many others trusted the story above what should have been understood a known fact…that any ship can sink. This time, Artagaveytia would not escape. Artagaveytia’s body was found in the North Atlantic roughly one week after the ship sank to the bottom of the sea.

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