NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

CNHI Special Projects

April 13, 2012

Ships on opposite sides of ocean on Titanic trips

(Continued)

NEW YORK —

Across the ocean, the MS Balmoral memorial cruise, operated by Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, began its trip Sunday from southern England, carrying 1,309 passengers, including relatives of some Titanic passengers who died.

The ship made a brief stop in the Irish town of Cobh on Monday before continuing on its journey to New York. The Balmoral had to interrupt its journey on Tuesday because of the medical emergency on board.

Organizers did not identify the passenger or describe the ailment, but the BBC reported that one of its cameramen, Tim Rex, was airlifted by rescue helicopter "as a medical precaution."

At least one person on board the Journey had a very personal connection to the tragedy. Sharon Lee Willing, of Tucson, Ariz., bought a ticket to honor her great-grandfather Herbert Chaffee, a farming magnate from North Dakota who perished in the sinking. Family lore has it that Chaffee and his wife were in Europe on their second honeymoon, Willing said.

"I know it's just going to look like water, but to think of that great ship down there," Willing said, getting choked up at the thought. "It's going to be kind of tough, I think."

Willing's great-grandmother Carrie Chaffee was placed in the last lifeboat to make it off the ship safely.

After the journey, Campbell and her husband plan to stay at New York's Jane Hotel, where many crew members and survivors stayed after the sinking. Campbell admitted that she's just a little nervous about the voyage.

"It's fairly daunting to go on a ship at this particular time," she said. "If I see an iceberg, I don't know what I'll do."

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